Tag Archives: revolutionary

Friends, Foes, Bookworms, and Burial Grounds (For Slander)

bookworms
Friends, Foes, Bookworms, and Burial Grounds
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Originally published Mar 14, 1997. The belief in the sanctity of words is never more substantial an argument for that great principle than when those who use words to slander others slander themselves instead.

Neither Sadie Plant nor Stewart Home could be called 'Debord's puppy dogs', so try them out—Plant: 'The Most Radical Gesture', Routledge, 1994; Home: 'The Assault on Culture', AK Press, 1988(?). Home also edited a reader "What is Situationism?' (AK Press, 1993) which has an essay by Jean Barrot, an interview with Ralph Rumney where he credits Michele Bernstein with doing most of the work of the S.I, and a reprint of the Dave Wise 'End of Music' article which started the whole S.I=punk thing which Greil Marcus was so keen on.

Does your p.s mean that Len's Debord book is on sale? He sent me a letter a year ago saying it was on its way, but I've never heard anything more. Who published it?

I told him both times in a rather grinding voice that I didn't want to hear about his petty acts of vandalism, that I didn't go for that sort of thing, adding something to the effect that yeah, he's been written up about these sort of things. He didn't even probe for content, but was juiced that he was "creating rumor, and rumors of rumors..."
Thanks Tim for the Home tip. Of course Home and Marcus rank as treasonous characters off Bracken's critical tongue, but since one of Bracken's novels is called "The Secret City" set here in DC, and not very written to boot, I now wonder who's secret is really being kept. A secret society is far preferable to an openly political cadre in as far as I am concerned. To pull a feather from the SI cap, to be political in today's climate, one must eschew politics, and simply use the game to learn and to expose, but the idealism and ranting is misleading and fruitless. Why imitate that which we find rather transparent and offensive in that which we would overthrow? As for Len's book on Debord, no, it's not off the presses yet. We only sent the hardcopy and disks to his publisher at the end of January. Feral House supposedly is publishing it, having already paid Bracken his author's slice but apparently (and here goes the gossipmongering again) Adam Parfrey is battling not a few personal problems of his own (sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll), and had subsequently lost the package in his corporate (well, small press) transition from Portland OR to sunny LA...

But Len called me earlier this week saying that Adam had called him, got his answering machine, but confirmed that all the components had been rediscovered and he was busy putting the money together to move forward. The book will actually go to a Michigan printer as soon as all the rough edges are worked out. Late '97 is probably the earliest bet. And the pre-press GT scoop on the Debord bio is this: it's sad that the author didn't interview Bernstein first hand. The book was researched from lots of published sources, and while a rather mediocre book from the standpoint of traditional biographies (and Len's own ridicously repeated rants that his book will stand for 500 hundred years), it is quite informative to someone who knew next to nothing about the movement and its major players beforehand.

My P.S. comment was solely reflecting Len's eagerness for any publicity, good or bad. Indeed I had gotten his name "out there" with the E-mail he so pompously despises. When he called me up to brag (to report on his revolutionary activity, in his "own" words) about his latest graffiti surge this week, and actually the week before as well, I told him both times in a rather grinding voice that I didn't want to hear about his petty acts of vandalism, that I didn't go for that sort of thing, adding something to the effect that yeah, he's been written up about these sort of things. He didn't even probe for content, but was juiced that he was "creating rumor, and rumors of rumors..." (My words). Len Bracken's a character alright. Trust Feral House gets its act together and puts the ink to the paper on this one. Hey, I earn a few lines of credit in the book as well, so let's carry on...

GT