Announcing Black Seed 6 - Full-spectrum Maternity

  • Posted on: 21 May 2018
  • By: aragorn

From Black Seed

We are happy to announce that the sixth issue of Black Seed has returned from the printers. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Black Seed, it is a FREE, newsprint, green anarchist publication in the spirit of the old Green Anarchy magazine out of Eugene Oregon. Unlike the old paper our Black Seed is more concerned with questions of ambiguity, indigeneity, and hostility as a form of life on earth. We invite you to join us by ordering a bundle of copies and sharing them with friends, as we are doing with you.

Here is the editorial.

The sixth issue of Black Seed continues an effort to challenge and expand the meanings of both Green and Anarchy. As editors and contributors, we not only wish to reject notions of the state and capitalism, but seek perspectives that are earth-focused, unexpected, or inhuman.

The binary of the Fearsome Sky God and Sweet Mother Earth is a historical fallacy. If we seek to speak of the earth, let it not be in language perverted and twisted by narrow-minded gender ideals, but in language that rejoices in the cruel glory of the natural world.

The preceding is from the call for submissions to this issue. Even beyond this issue and this theme, this callout stands as a marker for our continuing efforts to live and imagine differently in a world that has seen and foiled many previous such efforts.

Ambiguity is one word for the reality of things that cannot be said to be good or bad, or even good and bad, but that exist orthogonal to that polarity. Is a mother who kills her child bad or good? Can you call her good or bad if she’s a slave and her child will be a slave too? What if she’s attempting to keep older children alive by killing her most recent? These are only a few examples of real decisions that real women (and families) have made and will make, and they point to the two branches of this issue’s theme; one that reflects on earth is a mother, and the other on mothers as primarily nurturers.

Our cover image for this issue, a photo of one of the two destroyed dams on the Elwha River, speaks to some of the ambiguous terrain we’re exploring. At face value, the destruction of the Elwha dams is an incredible and rare success story. Decades of struggle through legal and less- or not-legal means were finally successful. Dams are one of the most significant interventions in indigenous subsistence practices, and the removal of these two has meant a remarkable resuscitation in the ecosystem of the river, with birds, salmon, native plants, all coming back with almost unbelievable speed. And yet, there are more complicated ramifications. First, it signifies a struggle that was successfully pushed through the apparatus of the state. For those of us who recognize the structural and perspectival limitations of fighting by the rules of the current system, this step towards a balanced ecosystem will be two steps back if it’s seen as a reason to use the tools of the system.

As significantly, one reason to build dams is for energy production. Given the scale of the (ever-increasing) demand for energy, there are no good options—to the extent that sincere and passionate environmentalists have promoted nuclear energy, despite the toxins lasting for thousands of years, because everything else is worse.

We celebrate the victory of the Elwha River, while keeping clear in our mind that that victory, that ecosystem’s return, can only come at the cost of other ecosystems. That is the way of the civilization that surrounds and informs us. That victory is both real and not real, in a world in which floating continents of plastic and miles of fishing nets denude the oceans, in which ongoing oil-spills in Africa have no one even attempting to clean them up, in which toxic waste is buried or dumped offshore by the multi-ton load, etc. The very real successes happen in a context of overwhelming poison, misery, and extinction, and cannot be said to offset them.

The goal of Black Seed is to look at all of it, not to hide from or over-emphasize the bad or the good, or the things that are neither or both, to see humans, to see ourselves, as small, overly-loud parts of a whole that was doing better when we were quieter, and to consider how we can loudly remember, or learn, to be quieter again, in a civilization that promotes the equation of silence with death.

Here is the link for a single issue of Black Seed #6 -



Not sure how blowing up dams is that much "productive" towards holding back the spread of society. It's also extremely dangerous and elitist tactic with a huge load of adverse effects. Why not going for lesser risky options that turn out to have similar effects?

There's this indie film, "Night Moves", that's exactly about this topic. It's done in a very Euro realist approach. I suggest everyone to see it, even if many here should have seen it already.

Even if it was a flop, it was much more cleverly done than the latest abhorrently dumb attempts at putting eco-anarchist/eco-extremist insurgency into film (*cough* The East *cough*). It attempted to draw a critical yet realistic reflection of what it represents to be a tiny bunch of convinced eco-extremists who blow up a major dam for saving ecosystems, in the light of the potential outcomes, what they mean for those involved, behind just the aspect of execution. This talks about a case, like here, where the attack has succeeded, was perfectly planned, and there were no significant screw ups, aside than a loss of human life. No one gets caught. Yet eventually the "group" collapses in a gruesome, ruthless manner.

Submit A review to Black Seed

That's a good idea, I'll think about it...

I saw that movie and thought the character John played by Jessie Eissenberb was a typical bourgeois idealist with serious dysfunctional emotional complexes and inability to relate to other people, thus frustrated and prone to tantrums, in this case magnified to megadam destruction without consideration to the broader consequences to other's lives. A definite movie for rock throwing BBs to AK waving troppos to watch.

Scary, like JZ on steroids and super paranoid.

I thought you were speaking about yourself in the first half of your comment, but doesn't seem like you got a grasp on bourgeois idealists, who're unlikely to be working on communal farms for low wages. Aside from your own tantrums here, Eisenberg did do a good job with this character.


Wheres the PDF

You can read previous issues of The Black Seed here:

Usually, when the next issue or so comes out, the old one appears on the library.

The environment is a shipwreck, learn to laugh in the lifeboats!

Hand me a few billions so I can buy myself a suite in some underground bunker or on Mars.

That's overkill, Earth provides more humorous alternatives and challenges to ponder over. Cheer up, it's not the end of the world, only a different phase.

"unlike" the old paper, you're more concerned with hostility? As someone intimately involved with the production of Green Anarchy, I always thought that we ---regardless of other faults and deficiencies--were undeniably HOSTILE...As stupid and embarrassing as some of the material we choose to publish ultimately was, it was ALWAYS hostile....

I recall several of my submissions that were rejected due to their exuberance of hostility, but I do agree that the layout was hostile to the reader ;-)

i am not sure i have ever read anything as hostile as the GA review of slingshot. humorous, biting, overwhelmingly hostile. nah, having also been quite close with the GA crew and its production for several years, i would say it had hostility to spare.

"to see ourselves, as small, overly-loud parts of a whole that was doing better when we were quieter, and to consider how we can loudly remember or learn to be quieter again, in a civilization that promotes the equation of silence with death"

i like that.

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