TOTW: Why aren't you doing exciting anarchist things?!!!

"My idea of fun..." - The Stooges

Is it true that anarchism in practice is often really boring? If fun, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder, how dare anyone judge long assemblies as boring. Maybe they're profoundly enriching and stimulating, on top of necessary, for those who attend them. So anarchists should not heed the sneers of onlookers from other ideologies trying to give them FOMO. Or is this just a deliberate slight, and the opposite is true, that boredom is a symptom that anarchy is sorely lacking? What's the point if we can't have fun?

But, how is it to be fun? What are fun anarchist things: can we list them? What is making anarchists boring? Between employment, organizing, assemblies, mutual aid, prisoner support, and many other projects: is all work and no play making anarchy dull? Or is fun, pleasure and excitement overrated, and therefore anarchists are wise to focus on such more important and pressing matters? After all, you're not in it for the cheap thrills, but as a commitment to the utmost logical extension of lofty humanist ideals! Ensuring that people have their basic needs met, so that they're able to live with dignity. Right? And to those who don't do any of the above: What's your excuse for being a boring anarchist? Is it the current self-imposed social isolation, a too acquiescent adaptation to the "new normal", or other forms of risk aversion; like social anxiety, fear of faux pas, of being cancelled, or of things like brutal repression by police on the streets, incarceration, torture, death?

Are you mostly being stopped from doing fun anarchist things or are you stopping yourself? If you killed the cop in your head and got rid of all the spooks, why aren't you going for it (whatever it is)? Is it because you've decided that crime doesn't pay, or are you too busy pursuing other interests, or even passions? Like, let's say botany, for example. Is this about accepting that and loving your "boring" anarchist self? Or is this when you realize you've been putting off doing the very things that make you feel alive, the things that give meaning to any anarchy worthy of the name?

There are 22 Comments

Jeez, alright, I will! Get off my case already, will ya?

I wrote that How Is It To Be Fun? how-to years ago, so I listed a few things (or one big thing) that I used to find fun, and I've since moved on to mycology (not botany, like you mentioned, but close enough). And yeah, it's excitingly boring to me and that's enough for right now.

Crime is great, I def won't knock it, but we grow up and have kid(s). Eventually you have to at least cut back.

The summer should have brought out any anarchist who's interested in street actions. Even if you're mostly "out". Yes, it was a booster shot of excitement.

I'm a boring (your word) anarchist partly because group dynamics of early 20 year old's in a small college town was a nightmare for me a decade ago and I was cancelled, the other part is depression. But I've taken the initiative to work on the relationships that would be hurdles for me if I did want to be accepted back in someday. Now I'm not so worried about being around other anarchists, I'm just wary and choosy. I also don't have an interest in running with the "crowd" I was with that cancelled me. There's new cool people and some old cool people still in the "sandbox", those are who I'm interested in having fun with.

Why did the syndicalists take all the fun out of anarchy-esque consciousness?

I dunno, Why did the syndicalists take all the fun out of anarchy-esque consciousness?

I assume you have a punchline? or were you asking, like, for real?

It could have been a smear campain - either political or spite or something.

Also coming to mind, it might be a knee-jerk thing. Like, you see a storm brewing far away (a social storm), and that scares you.

On the other side (why it's a honest accessment), people have been smashing their head against the wall trying to appeal for different manners and vibes, structure, all sorts - for ages. If you look up "organization" in the library's database, it's so *sad.*

BUT, in trying to find a certain essay I was looking for (and failing), I saw new submissions since I last checked, so I'll have to read them to stay relevant.

I have a theory about this. As theories are, it's a bit overreaching and abstract, but maybe it'll be enlightening.

Before woke consciousness became widespread in society, our ideas were not widespread in society. We were outsiders and rebels. We TRANSGRESSED. But now, large sections of society believe that racism, sexism, homophobia, and transphobia exist. They want to lend some level of support for combating these things: usually by saying things online, calling for gender-neutral bathrooms, cancelling people, etc. Yet, not everyone agrees with these woke positions. So, the population is now identifying with the establishment to the extent that they are 'protecting' these gains. Protecting them from the far-right, etc.

While we anarchists are much more than soldiers of wokeness, those ideas are very morally charged. They are hard to go against or question. So, we tend to go along with them, or get swept up in becoming their defenders, putting us on the same side as HR departments and liberals. We stopped being the transgressors.

Because we are not rebels in these situations, we lose humor and irony. Instead, we are defenders of the state as a repressive institution, as it protects these woke gains. We traded humor for moral self-righteousness. Not that we lacked the latter previously. I think it's primarily the loss of our position as transgressors.

Sure, post-lefties and others transgress. But the anarchist culture generally has gotten swept up in defending woke gains in the establishment.

That's my theory.

What is fun and exciting?

I find physical exertion outside fun. Swimming, riding bikes, hiking, dancing, horseplay with my child, gardening, foraging, etc. But I also find mental exertion fun. Learning new things, speaking rapidly in shorthand/jargon with other people, writing songs or essays, playing cards and board games, study groups, editing, etc. And I also like doing these things with people.

I think you can find fun in the hum drum, day-to-day. Learning how to wash dishes relaxed and playful, where you remember that bubbles are kinda fun, is just one example.

I'm not sure what you mean by the question exciting, fun anarchist things. Do you mean things we do to confront capital/state/etc? Because, in that case, find what you like to do, where your passion is, think about how you'd like that passion to translate into "the movement", I mean just find where you can see yourself being the most useful/helpful, find others in "the movement" who share that passion and join their project. If their project isn't exactly what you had in mind, start your own. The more the merrier. Avoid people who are in their teens and twenties and who have it "figured out" as much as possible. Hold them at arms length and work on building your project. Have a few other creative side projects. Don't forget how to talk to people and learn to notice talent and dedication in others, but realize they aren't always the same thing. Just keep working on developing your passion into a skill.

Here's where the tricky part comes in. There's three roads to doing this:

1) Develop an important, yet adjacent skill, so if you write poetry and you want to be run a DIY publishing project, maybe go to a technical college to learn how to print and find a job where you can hone that skill. Keep the two mentally separated. Work is work, project is fun. Use the money as the seed fund for your project.

2) Just do your project and have a shitty side hustle to support yourself while you make this your life. Barista, nurse, shoplifter, teacher. You still keep the two mentally separated, but now you don't have the skills that transfer over, but you probably have more time to devote to your exciting project (that is going to be dull so remember to find the childlike wonder in the hum-drum). Always expand when you can.

3) Your passion is your job. I quite honestly don't know how these people don't grow to hate themselves. Writers who tour with their book and rely on money from that and book sales. They have to keep writing or it's out of work. Derrick Jensen springs to mind. I would imagine the deadline for the next book isn't fun or exciting. But some people seem to make it work and that's amazing, they figured it out somehow and don't regret a thing. Every part of their life is seamless.

"I'm not sure what you mean by the question exciting, fun anarchist things."

look at pic, read roller

nice life wisdom tho

ok, so, "shooting and fucking are the same thing" type thing, or? Sorry, I can't get that example out of my head for some reason

Oh, I'm hearing your concerns, I think. Something to do with not wanting to tone-police because that can be classist, racist, even sexist. Hell, a stutter can do it! BUT you want to call out (I'm fine with that) word-salad, dog-whistles. Like, the awe-shucks, digging-your-shoe-into-the-sand, doe-eyed ... coy? I can see it being abused. Almost something unfair about it. Like, a good cloak for predation. I hear ya. But I don't know how to handle that. It's a thing, imo.

It would be a "good cloak for predation" if I wasn't open to communication. Also, that's not really my intent, I just like the "awe-shucks" style of writing, it's more true to how I speak. I'm tired of using boring "argot" we inherited from marxists/philosophers, while I agree with Perlman that it's nice to learn new words past high school, I don't think I need to shape my thoughts and writing to suit an ongoing conversation that I'm barely part of anymore.

If that's not what you meant by your comment, then I'm really not sure what you're getting at. Was it the Adam Curtis joke? Have you not seen that, yet?

Have I seen Adam Curtis? Yes. Could I understand? No. But I enjoyed the experience of watching. I could say exactly how I missed the joke?

"But the official ideology is once again finding itself in contradiction with socioeconomic reality (lagging behind it), and it is precisely the youth who have first asserted an irresistible rage to live and who are spontaneously revolting against the daily boredom and dead time that the old world continues to produce in spite of all its modernizations. The most rebellious among them are expressing a pure, nihilistic rejection of this society without any awareness of the possibility of superseding it. "

"BORED AGAIN? Why not rattle your cage? I propose a dialog of the disaffected, a conspiracy of the equals, a politics of pleasure. Ours is the anomic power of negative thinking and corrosive laughter. The unruly amongst the institutionalised have only themselves — and possibly each other. Let’s confer. The choice is sedition or sedation. Any number can play. "

"Life will become a game, or rather many games, but not — as it is now — a zero/sum game. An optimal sexual encounter is the paradigm of productive play, The participants potentiate each other’s pleasures, nobody keeps score, and everybody wins. The more you give, the more you get. In the ludic life, the best of sex will diffuse into the better part of daily life. Generalized play leads to the libidinization of life. Sex, in turn, can become less urgent and desperate, more playful. If we play our cards right, we can all get more out of life than we put into it; but only if we play for keeps. No one should ever work. Workers of the world... relax!"

"There is only cheap satisfaction in telling yourself that you have more exciting sex, stronger friendships, or fiercer personal convictions. The point is not to be better, but to win."

"(Too many) anarchists are — if not the worst — the first enemies of anarchy. This enemy at least the anarchists lack not the power, only the will, to defeat."

"It is much more the lack of fun which batters us than over-abundance and indulgence. Let the dead bury the living dead. My well-being does not dine upon virtue and certainly not upon revolutionary virtue. I feast upon what is alive and kicking. Dead truths are venomous, as all who give up their desires discover. Whatever represses pleasure will be destroyed by it. [...]Life has neither goal nor finality. It escapes the economy and for fun will destroy it.[...]Sabotage, absenteeism, voluntary unemployment, riots, wildcat strikes, stealing for fun and doing things for the hell of it — the ax is laid to the commercial tree and I’m delighted. [...] As sure as work kills pleasure, pleasure kills work. If you are not resigned to dying of disgust, then you will be happy enough to rid your life of the odious need to work, to give orders (and obey them), to lose and to win, to keep up appearances, and to judge and be judged. "

"The Book of Pleasures reads like Cliff Notes for The Revolution of Everyday Life compiled by an uncomprehending exegete. Ideas are nothing else but what you do with them. In this sense Vaneigem has run out of ideas, although he remembers their names. He once cut deep with his critique of roles; now he hates them too much to understand them. He’s too afraid of playing roles to play with them. His one-handed cult of the abstract orgasm is pathetic. Some people should quit while they’re ahead. "

So where can we compile this list of fun things?

On GCC lol

A lot in OP's thread has to do with doing things more like to please others than ourselves, or at least pleasing ourselves in a way that makes others FOMO. Why would I do that, assuming I'm not a sadist?

While doing shit in public (social media doesn't count as "public") is a priority, it's hard to do so without turning yourselves in a spectacle. The only way I saw it work was FnB type of stuff and dance parties on the street (latter is kinda fun, but kinda liberal too). Riots are always interesting tho they're also spectacles in themselves. And I fail to see where in history humans haven't been doing spectacles. American natives used to have these huge multiethnic potlatch conventions where you had ritual dances, music and possibly theater plays. Those were a type of mediation between diverse cultures and languages. So if at least it's living real people being the comedians, well at least that's better than lifeless images and representations of projected non-beings, which is the real ultimate liberal crap.

So the idea of doing shit in public is for the goal of reaching out to others and connecting. Intersubjecting. Interacting. Going on the stage is great funs, but creating your stage is even better. Where being on the internet is yet another form of dislocation and disconnection from the world around us, no matter how you're putting your intimacy online... that's pathetic. "Finding each other" online is absurd and also way cop-ish. But there's still nothing wrong with using online to organize irl shit.

Messy thoughts, too lazy to arrage them this mornig. But take whatever suits you.

1. I don't understand the question.
2. I don't know if anarchism is boring.
3. I had to look up FOMO. Dang internet speak. The internet says it's a marketing strategy and is also related to social media. Both sound depressing and like distractions that would divert me away from realizing my goal and full potential.
4. If you're stuck in boredom because you believe it is a symptom of anarchy, I would say do the opposite of boredom.
5. Because I find it enjoyable.
6. I am making a list. I would appreciate it if you got entirely off my back about it, dude.
7. I have no idea if anarchists are boring.
8. I don't do any of those things listed. The things listed sound dull. Yes.
9. I'm indifferent to stuff anarchists do. Same goes for whether doing said stuff is wise.
10. I'm indifferent to people I don't know and their self esteem, appearance, and class/rank on this planet.
11. I don't know how to determine if I'm boring or not. I have had some success looking for items by digging holes and tunnels.
12. Since I don't know how to determine if I'm boring or not, I can't determine if the litany of things listed apply. They don't apply to my hole digging and tunneling skills.
13. I have 70% successfully rewilded. I am like a vole that is literate, use a computer, put on & wear clothing, open & close doors/windows, use utensils, and speak languages. I'm currently trying to devolve and unlearn my literacy comprehension and the actions mentioned in the previous sentence.
14. I don't have a cop in my head, but thanks for reminding me about that idiom. That's going to take some time to zap that from my memory. Not cool at all. I am going for my goal. See #13.
15. I have ran into unforeseeable difficulties devolving. It is not one, two, three devolve 100%. That is why I haven't fully accomplished my goal.
16. See #11.
17. I am alive. Yes. When I inhale and exhale it reminds me that I'm alive each time. Procrastination does indeed pose a challenge for me. I'm indifferent to giving meaning to the word anarchy. Not applicable.

regarding item 11 on your list, there's always feedback from your peers...

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