Politics is Not a Banana is at the printer. After some practical gestures to expose a plane of consistency for theory and practice, a few old questions posed from a different angle, a bit too much smoking inside, and an excessive use of typography, Politics is Not a Banana: “What are you doing...” has reached its threshold. Some 168 pages of content, color covers, off-set printing and 2-color-pantone insides as a perfect bound 4.25x7in assemblage will make up the machine of PNB. Around a thousand copies will be printed for the first run. Seriously, we don't even know a thousand people, much less a thousand people who will want to read this fucking thing.
“Politics is Not a Banana: What are you doing...” is not “Politics is Not a Banana 2.” While it is certain that the Politics is Not a Banana that has been floating around since spring of '08 was the first of many issues we have, it was not “Politics is Not a Banana 1.” This project is not intended for progress or development. If by chance we get worse over time, it is because we will have given in to the seduction of becoming a better commodity or a more terrible practice of print—which are temptations that are felt at every corner. If the former is the case, it would behoove you to not merely denounce us. If the latter is the case, may god have mercy on the anarchist milieu.
“Blablabla form blablabla content”
We believe that we can get what we want. Its difficult perhaps; we have to become sensitive to each other in order to really be expositional, rather than merely performative. However, with a meaningful practice of doing relationships how we want to, we may accidentally stumble upon something a bit better than just a different form of terrible. It is this logic that motivates the experiment with the commodity known as Politics is Not a Banana.
The Institute for Experimental Freedom would like to congratulate itself. We engage in projects with a certain lightness and prefer the form of the experiment, which serves to prove—to give experience—to a what we believe to be sensible. If the 7x7 issue of Politics is Not a Banana proved anything, it was that the practice of DIY print (zines) could be reappropriated. Solidarities between service workers felt as inclinations were made material, and whatever force of seduction was afforded to Politics is Not Banana translated into crews across the US figuring out their own shit and printing a few copies. The theft and use of the hookup network between various metropolitan service workers made the initial 300 copies of Politics is Not a Banana possible. The use of the information super highway and the PDF form accounts for the other immaterial conditions which gave Politics is Not a Banana its strangely vast distribution. The practice of so called DIY print is not dead, it is merely refined.
Despite the fact that Politics is Not a Banana “What are you doing...” was professionally printed, it should not to be understood as form in favor of content. Rather, it is an elaboration of the methods employed to produce the glossy pages and the design decisions of the first issue that tormented Anarchy Magazine. Should we pay from our own pockets to produce beautiful things that will be captured as commodities? Never. Although, sometimes we do. This time, however, like the last, is a testament to what is possible through a profaned use of class antagonisms, friends, sadomasochism, a few hoops to jump through, and, of course, material solidarities. Although currently we shamefully practice doing the commodity ethically or whatever, perhaps soon we'll give the purists a real reason to hate us.
Don't mistake cohesion and rhythm for a coherent political program. Although some readers will applaud a more easy to follow amalgamation of texts, Politics is Not a Banana “What are you doing...” is not the result of ideological unity between contributors. After carefully reading the proofs, the editors of Politics is Not a Banana turned to each other and shared the tiniest single tear for the undoubtedly stupid readings of our so-called work of art. Yes, we could have more effectively splayed aphorisms and nonsensical maxims across the page; we could have interrupted the reader with more confusing pornography, with more experimental fictions, but then again we, so charitably, decided to cut a lot of our own writing. Perhaps we can all learn a valuable lesson: there is more to the practice of radical discourse than propaganda and discipline. Make no mistake, we could give a fuck, and we certainly do give fucks, but our perversity cannot be contained in any one literary singularity. We take whatever seriously.
So how will we distribute this? How will we share our shame and power? How will we write our ignoble desire on new generations?
We have no illusions about the class composition of our friends and comrades—we work stupid jobs and survive on coffee and theft, but we're pretty good at it. Likewise, we have no fucking idea what to do with a thousand copies of anything. When anarchists give us their newspaper advertisements for this or that protest, we are usually able to get rid of like twenty and then the rest usually sit around. Sometimes print is lucky enough to be used for kindling. Most times, it's near a toilet. “Politics is Not a Banana: What are you doing...” is useless as toilet paper. It is best as a sexual technology or fashion accessory.
It is from this knowledge that we pose the question to our comrades, to our vile territories of revolt-in-practice. We will be selling Politics is Not a Banana at a retail price (around $10-12) and a wholesale price (around $5-6). We ask that comrades buy fifty or so at wholesale and then sell it to make a reasonable amount of profit to benefit their projects; we ask that distributors get in touch too, but we're not super worried if Glenn Beck doesn't cry about us on Fox news. We ask also that comrades in university and comrades who work with social spaces would be so kind to get in touch with us, to prepare this year's IEF tour (SRSLY IEF T0URz 0MG!!!!1).
Nothing is too beautiful for the unwanted children of capital,
from the dirty, and across the puddle '09
[1.] the poke at performance here is not meant as a denouncement of all things performative—in the world of lies, it is useless to tell the truth—rather it is meant to critique a vulgar logic of advertising that is applied in many contemporary radical projects. We want to become sensitive to each other in order to lie together.
PS: Our sincerest apologies to those who did not make the cut—you gotta want it more. To those who sent us an email saying, “Do with this what you want.” we must reply: this is neither submission nor cruelty, it is merely feigning indifference. Perhaps the shame you feel should motivate you to redeem yourself one way or the other?
Some gems from inside the typographic war-machine:
Public Sex and Social War
An examination of the orgy and public sex as a biopolitical strike aimed at dissolving the categories of “public” and “sex.”
I am a Bulging Tangle I am a Stringy Mass
A pornographic critique and analysis of anarchists election year strategy using Baudrillard and Antonio Negri (Oh, my!), featuring an Inhuman violation of Barack Obama.
An IEF Favorite. Two communiques from the Enlightened Avant-Guard regarding the “so-called anti-CPE struggle,” featuring their “politically coherent propositions” (PCP).
Taking Communion at The End of History
An elaboration of the theories of rupture, divine violence, and insurrection and a critique of the dual power revolutionary strategy using Agamben, Tiqqun, Miranda July, Walter Benjamin, and Pasolinis' Salo 120 days of Sodom.
The Revelation of St Narcissus, with annotations by an Yadira Lopez, and a tangled mess of IEF critiques.
A critique of the anarchist identity using a framework of the Situationist Internationale's critique of the image.
Biófilo Panclasta: Lover of Life, Destroyer of Everything
The first English language biography of the Colombian anarchist Biófilo and his misadventures, poorly translated.
Horrible Sound Objects
A critique of the music form and elaboration of Takeshi Kosugi's gesture, alongside some provocative images of pandas doing naughty things.
The Heart of War
An elaboration of the theory of social war and a tactical contribution to the theory of Human Strike using Clausewitz and everyone's favorite utopian fascist, Carl Schmitt.
Oh Good, The War!
An English translation of the 1999 Tiqqun piece which examines the concepts of war, spectacle, and a redemptive concept of revolutionary time.