In Defense of Bob Black

  • Posted on: 21 September 2015
  • By: Anonymous (not verified)

From Aragorn! Blog

For those of you that haven't heard I threw an event with Bob Black at our local infoshop on August 7th 2015. At this event local activist "Morgan Le Fay" came to protest Bob for the 1995 Hogshire affair and ended up punching him a few times (3) in the face. A month later Bob announced on Facebook that I was both a traitor and enemy. He proceeded to blow my pseudonym (incorrectly) as an act of vengeance.

Rather than speaking about my own anger at Morgan or Bob at their behavior I am going to give the eulogy--one I've been contemplating for some time--of Bob.

I have known Bob, not in his daring years when I could have been a co-conspirator to his minor offenses against local legends Processed World, not when he was at the peak of his power and railed against work at the Gorilla Grotto, but perhaps in his decline, as publisher of his last two books. But the relationship between a publisher and an author is a close one. We could safely discuss his entire oeuvre at length and depth. We could discuss our shared ideological enemies. I could share with him my goal of returning his name back to being on the cynosure of anarchist thinkers where he belonged, returning him from his exile (for his naughty behavior against Jim Hogshire, etc.). As the preening narcissist he has always been, Bob basked in my appreciation, of someone he delusionally believed to be a fawning acolyte.

I still believe that Bob deserves defending, and my defense of him follows in three parts: he survived, he did something (even if it was the wrong thing), and he did it alone (for better and worse).

Survival

I imagine become an anarchist in the twilight period between the end of the Vietnam War era (not exactly a banner time for anarchists anyway) and the rise of (albiet low-profile) anarchist punks must have been quite lonely. I can't imagine having these ideas without the benefit of seeing what impact they had on relationships as they were tested out. One of my clearest experiments of this sort was when I moved out of a group house (the very next day as I recall) when they wrote my name to an objectionable task on the chore wheel because I was at work. I had Debordian fantasies and put my body on the line in their pursuit. But I did not do it in a vacuum. The day I left the house I drove across the state to a warm, waiting room with friends who were happy to see me. The situation would have been miserable if I didn't have those friends, that shared understanding about Debord, or the money to have a car to make that drive.

While Bob isn't the only survivor of his generation I have a giant soft spot for all of them. Their clarity about then is one of the reasons that we can be fighting different fights now. Specifically I am referring to the context of anarchism, workerism, the left, and ATR. I have so much respect for this generation because I caught the tail end of the Red anarchist menace and its mediocrity was asphyxiating. As an ex-post-left anarchist I've had enough talk of what the left should be (if only...) to last three lifetimes. Dodging the bullet of having to endure Great-Men-Talking-about-Revolution-as-if-it-were-about-to-happen (or already did) I still consider quite the achievement, which would not have been possible if it were not for the ones who survived and particularly for Bob Black.

But they paid a price. In Bob's case an ass-kicking or two, for others it was different kinds of social exclusions, ones that reflected their personalities and survival skills. On another level they paid the price of loss of faith. Obviously we are talking about a secular kind of faith--a belief that when exposed to a correct analysis or critique people will change their minds--but a faith nonetheless. A faith that other people, strangers, are like you: reasonable, argumentative, and more interested in something-like-truth than in popularity contests or petty games. This loss of faith has created grumpy, lonely men but it has also created a neon colored sign post for us, the next generation, and for those who are arriving after us.

Doing something

I realize that most of the anarchists of the post-left generation have exposed their own influences as being egoist but that wasn't my perception of them or their position(s) during my first decade of exposure to them (prior to meeting them). It seemed to me that Anarchy: A Journal of Desire Armed was the American wing of a post-situationist perspective, full stop. In hindsight, I realize how little I knew but it was the SI that excited me when I was just an anarcho-tot. It was their practice of critique-as-action that made sense to me, and it was how I saw action that I wanted to participate in. The SI critique of what we would now call activism felt complete to me and, as a result, held no interest, it was complete. The attacks against groups and people of the same fighting weight did, and still does, hold me captivated.

This is where my defense of Bob is strongest. Whether in the name of revenge or his own sense of rightousness Bob devoted his life to fighting people and institutions outside of his weight class. We once had a conversation where I was expressing how not-in-a-hurry I was with regard to dealing with a slight because I held that the long view, the strategic view, would win out against hurried action. Bob made it clear that while he might have agreed with me about the likelihood of winning, my attitude was bullshit. The only time to deal with opponents is now. He meant it. He would rather lose the fight, and do it now, than wait and win.

This charming personality trait explains nearly every scandal and misstep Bob ever took. As he aged, his rush to fight took on the long form essay rather than the flaming poop bag, but the will to fight never waned.

This point, by the way, is why the activist insult against theory/critique people has always aggravated me. I try to give the activist crowd the benefit of the doubt that they do truly believe in the political practice they are part of "in the streets" and are not just using regular people as cover for their desire to see the glittering rain of a window pane. (The least they can do is realize that a vigorous internal conversation is a verb and not "doing nothing" but whatever.)

Bob has taught anarchism a lesson that has yet to be meaningfully followed up. We need to establish something like a set of rules, or a kind of terrain, around how to fight with one another. When Bob accused Ramsey, in the letter section of AJODA, of being a state agent (on the flimsey grounds that they needed to evade the consequences of the Anarchist Exclusion Act of 1901), there were two results . One, Bob broke an unspoken rule against snitch-jacketing and two, Ramsey took him (and the accusation) extremeley seriously. Ramsey placed a fatwa against that issue of the magazine (#65, which had quite of few strong articles) and did whatever he could do persuade us (including by threat of force) and whomever was in his sphere of influence (which mostly meant infoshops that inclined Red) to not carry it. By putting his (and by extension ours--as AJODA did the material suffering, since AK Press stopped distributing the magazine after this issue) body on the line, Bob proved an unintended point. He provided Ramsey an opportunity to show what Ramsey was all about and Ramsey's response to that paragraph of text couldn't have been clearer.

For those of us who are similarly inclined, this lesson should be instructive. When you throw your body, identity, and personhood into the fray you rarely get accolades or huzzahs. At best you get a clarifying moment on a tangential point related to but not necessarily central to why you were acting in the first place. What most people do with this information is hide themselves behind nicknames, anonymity, or silence, and we, as a politic and practice, suffer for it.

The power of one

Bob has never had an ally (or accomplice in the modern vernacular) as he made it structurally impossible for anybody to be (or become) one. There are many private examples of how this looked in practice but it's an obvious point that if you are fighting for your interpretation of the singular right and correct position anyone who would join you has to convince you that they think the same way that you do and for the same reasons.

Bob's life is a series of breaks from limited collaborations that is not disconnected from the Stirnerite postulation about organization only lasting as long as the participants in it gain satisfaction in that arrangement. Bob's innovation, if it could be called that, was to (mostly) set fire to any possibility of future collaboration by way of personal insults and public declarations of acrimony. Let's call this practice "angry egoism," which can only be ameliorated by its target bending knee, thereby placing future collaboration on the unstable base of an explicit power-over relationship.

And these dysfunctions ultimately rise from the fact that every battle, every idea, and every break happened for Bob alone. He has had lovers and temporary friends but largely his life was one lived alone, with no voice cautioning consequences or suggesting a different pacing, no daily consultations in bed. The only voice in his head was his, amplified by a Debordesque diet of spirits.

By this cautionary tale I put Bob Black to rest. He was a clarifying influence in my life, largely as a negative example but also as a good writer, but one incapable of reaching the heights he attempted. He will be remembered as much for who he wasn't as for who he wanted to be but this is the most anarchist of problems. Most of us will not be remembered at all as our shared Beautiful Idea is larger than each of us and continues on after we are gone. The best we can hope for is some contribution to that idea and as a person who lived and wrote in especially challenging times and circumstances Bob Black has done his part.

Farewell.

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Comments

No real mention of his snitching?

Come on, pigfucking is the topic of the week!

I also find it odd that most of these people related in some way to Anews (FRR, Aragorn!, and so on) carefully avoided to talk about such an obviously important issue to anarchism.

Right, because not enough has been written about that....it certainly is mentioned, if briefly, here. I think that's part of what A. was actually trying to address and contextualize here in his portrait of B. Agree or don't with his view but stop posting lots of comments replying to yourself acting all aggrieved that this piece isn't all about the one thing you want it to be about, because you obviously wouldn't like it then either.

The lady doth protest too much, me thinks. A true anarchist needs no stinking apologies. But this one does. And so, submitted for your consideration, is the idea that Bob Black is harmless and that "apologies" such as this one are actually transparent attempts to make him "dangerous."

It's all a conspiracy to sell more LBC/Bob Black books. Aragorn has already admitted that he'll continue selling Black's books thru LBC, and I seriously doubt that Black will withdraw his inventory from LBC in a fit of pique, no matter the perceived slight. Now, the question is, has all this been staged...

I don't understand. Don't Black's books sell really well? Why would a guy like him need publicity?

As much as I love conspiracy theories... Bob's books do not sell well. He has long since poisoned the well on that front. Bob has asked for us to destroy our remaining inventory FYI.

Yet still no word on Bob's snitching eh? That's some Matrix-like dodging!

Destroy the remaining inventory? Why would anyone want that? I hope you will ignore this request and simply give the remaining books to some other distributor.

It's better as material tinder than political tinder.
Trash writing trash.
Give a platform to ppl writing better shit living harder lives, FFS.

Raffle them for prisoner support money$$$

While I appreciate absurdity, this request is so over-the-top. Did our legal-system-inclined buddy Bob force LBC to sign a contract obligating them to destroy the inventory in the case of unforeseen wingnuttery? I am doubtful... So if he is making this demand on integrity alone--it is such a laughable request on behalf of someone who lacks integrity in this situation himself! To destroy a bunch of books out of spite is the low road for sure, which I guess is the only road Bob is licensed to drive on.

Bob- if you really want your books off the stands you've gotta step up and buy 'em buddy. The materials and labor didn't fly out of anyone's ass. Maybe you can buy them back at cost, with an added fee for pain and suffering inflicted on the publisher. Then you can build a castle out of them to spend your final years as the King of Spite. Castle Ressentiment they'll call it!

Man, I want to live in a house called Castle Ressentiment. That sounds awesome.

This was probably Aragorn's plan, but not mine. What you "seriously doubt" shows that you understand me not at all. I've demanded that LBC/Aragorn destroy all copies of both of my books they have published. I don't consider a slug to the head, foreseeable by Aragorn, to be a "slight."

This is probably exactly what it looks like; someone who got to know the guy well enough, explaining that he's a crotchety, lonely old dork. Fair enough! Although snitching behaviour is hugely problematic and unforgivable, I've also been in a situation where someone with pretty severe mental health stuff would neurotically call the cops on everyone all the time. It was a hard situation to process and deal with. Any harsh measures felt wrong because the person was so pitiable, even though they were creating huge problems for other people … no easy answers there.

it's funny as much as bob has railed against chomsky (with good reasoning and very articulately) because if you put their politics aside they're basically the same person- old blowhard douchebags who burned every bridge they ever crossed.

also did the punches result in stitches? just wondering if the old adage held true...

U realize Ur being fucked up by putting a Trans Woman's name in quotation marks right?

More fucked up to put the name of someone online next to allegations of assault. An apology for a snitch, complete with its own dry snitching.

You realize that Morgan Le Fay is the name of a fictional character from King Arthur legends right? As in, not that person's actual name. Nice try though

Well yes, but also Morgan is that person's chosen name. and being that, you know, we are anarchists, it would be common to respect people's chosen names as their "actual" names (as opposed to their legal ones?)

omg are you just trolling me then? I feel stupid for responding even but if the point is to not be snitching then the person's legal name is the one you wouldn't want to be using, since like, "morgan le fay" isn't an officially registered name other than as written in fictional books or a fucking Disney cartoon. I'm sure it wouldn't be hard if they wanted to put some detectives on the case but I've got a feeling they aren't investigating every petty fight that is gossiped about through the internet. They'd be better off watching the monthly World Star Hip Hop fight compilations where there is actual footage of "assault" or whatever. And besides, Bob has already dropped the persons actual name in other places, so A!'s post is innocuous and not saying anything new on that front

you - "but anarchy has rulesssss why won't you follow them!!!"

Shut up, Professor Rat. Go assassinate some Australian asshole and stay out our scene drama.

I'm not on this thread you anonymous coward moron. Go fuck your ugly mother.

Intercommunal Vengeance for the win.
This is what happens when Anarchists neglect intercommunal policing.
Really sad this dude still has a platform &him &his bros can smash our comrades' projects so hard with just a few articles.

if your comrades' projects can be smashed with just a few articles, then they probably aren't worth all that much to begin with

what is your logic with that one again? is value based on sensationalized reaction to novel impressions?

"Nixon's presidency wasn't worth all that much to begin with since a few articles took him down." That guy must have not affected anything or been worth much. Wait, wasn't he president during the Vietnam War? I'm pretty sure his "worth" affected global politics pretty drastically.

**one of many figureheads who have been taken down "with just a few articles"

Perhaps projects shouldn't be overly reliant on "figureheads" then?

"intercommunal policing"??? I'm not sure what this is, but I think it is the enemy

its called identity politics

"This is what happens when Anarchists neglect intercommunal policing." My brain just exploded

I get appreciating someone for being a "survivor of their generation" but come on, there are many other examples of folks who fit that profile that aren't snitches and receive far less attention. Why spend the energy on this guy? Because he wrote some stuff you agree with and you have a history with him? This essay is not compelling in the least bit.

Am I misinterpreting, or does the "Doing Something" section give accolades to Bob for "doing something" (snitchjacketing Ramsey) and critique Ramsey for "doing something" (reacting to said snitchjacketing)?

That's what friends are for! Solidarity and all that shit.

yes, you're misinterpreting: a! clearly says bob broke an unwritten rule for insinuating something obviously false about ramsey. ramsey "reacting" by using his economic power to censor an anarchist periodical (regardless of content) is hardly in the same ballpark. snitchjacketing is bad, but Ramsey getting more projects than just his own to engage in some serious authoritarian behavior is really bad. if it actually had any effect on ramsey's status as an immigrant to the u.s., bob's snitchjacketing would have only hurt one person, but ramsey's puffed up policing effected half a dozen at least. read better next time please.

Wait, Ramsey got a magazine censored/blacklisted or he got half a dozen people deported? Or are you referring to the half dozen people who actually subscribe to AJODA?

Boo fucking hoo. The fault is Black's not Ramsey's. Cause leads to effect, not the other way around.

Assigning fault is playing the moralist blame-game yo.

You please read better. I pretty clearly wasn't trying to rank the actions. It just seemed like one shitty action was deemed positive for "doing something", while another shitty action, that could just as easily be deemed "doing something" is seemingly denounced.

It's called "drama."

totally solidarity with the comrade, Morgan Le Faye, in her attempt on Bob Black! long live anarchy!

anyone want to summarize or copy/paste for those of us without facebook?

A! has, at his leisure, replied to my letter to him. He airily relates that the assault on me was the gossip topic for a week or two. He does not deny that he knew about the danger in advance. He does not denying knowing the assailant, a nut case named MLF, who I am told goes to every anarchist and leftist event in the Bay Area. A! does not deny recognizing the thug when he entered the Long Haul building; A! was at a table by the front door. But he calls me a snitch. The previous person who called me a snitch, moments before slugging me, was MLF. People who call me a snitch (which I am not) are licensing violent attacks on me. A! is one of them." -- Bob Black

ahhhhahahaha how are we supposed to pity this man? He makes it too damned difficult.

Bob's facebook is not public.

Facebook is public.

I have been present for most of the recent events that have been relevant to this situation. I'll summarize the events and maye I'll actually have some kind of take-away by the end of this:

I think that this is a good place to begin...

- A few days before BB came to speak at the Long Haul, the local anarchist study group was discussing some of his material. Morgan showed up some time into the discussion and voiced their concerns about hosting BB, a "racist snitch", at the Long Haul. They were asked to save the conversation about this for after the study group. They stayed and participated a bit in the discussion of work, then afterwards wound up spitting in someone's face ...apparently because after pointing out that this person was being quiet during whatever conversation was going on and then asking if it was because the person thought Morgan was an idiot. The person had said "yes".

- When BB came into town, we (me, BB, Aragorn, another friend) met up for lunch. I don't remember the conversation word-for-word, but BB and A discussed the likelihood that someone would show up to harm BB and I think Morgan's attendance at the ASG was mentioned. As no one suspected that Morgan would show up to attack BB physically, but would probably show up to heckle him or call him out or something along those lines, that is what was conveyed to BB.

- Before BB began his presentation, Morgan showed up to the Long Haul, came inside (past the table of merch A and probably a couple of other people were overseeing), and began interrogating BB about being a snitch as BB sat in a chair. There was already a crowd of at least 10 people seated in a circle, eating/drinking stuff. BB's first and only response to the interrogation was to say to Morgan that their mascara was smeared. This was what Morgan has said provoked them to begin hitting BB, which I believe. The succession of these events lasted all of a few minutes and after 3 punches, Morgan was being escorted out of the Long Haul. Outside, Morgan proceeded to accuse everyone inside of being transphobic assholes.

After that BB asked for information on Morgan and went on to give his presentation.

- BB left to the Philippines for presentations they were giving there and as they were away, among other things that took place, Morgan was trolled on FB, I discussed some of the event on Free Radical Radio, and an expected communique from Morgan amounted to an ASCII middle-finger posted on Facebook.

- When BB returned from his trip, he began conversing with Aragorn about the situation at the Long Haul. Obviously I don't know what those conversations consisted of, but BB eventually decided to make Aragorn his enemy and ask for his books to be destroyed. A bit out of the loop from being hospitalized, I had a brief conversation with BB about my lack of coming forward with the information I had about all this. BB's basic position is that he should have been told more about who Morgan is before the LH talk and deeply questioned Aragorn's motives for conveying to BB that the most likely trouble would be some heckling. Also, for even letting Morgan enter the LH for BB's event.

- This was posted as Aragorn's summary response to the falling out.

take-away portion

I hate to see this. I'm not suspicious of Aragorn's motives. I took part in discussions with Aragorn and others tied into hosting Bob Black where everyone assumed that Morgan would do everything they did, except for physically attacking BB. I think that if BB knew more about Morgan, then he would have planned differently for the event at the LH. In retrospect, I think the smart protocol would have been to prevent Morgan from coming in, but I'm aware of how distant that this retrospection is. I think the Eulogy is an interesting response, but at this point this shit is far beyond me. I absolutely do not sympathize with Morgan's actions. Not only towards BB, but towards the person whose face they spit in and towards me and others lumped together in the category of "transphobic assholes". I also don't sympathize with Bob Black's interpretation of the events. It contradict my experience of them. I sympathize with BB's motivations to avenge the assault and even with BB's expectations that anarchists here should have the integrity to have his back as a thinker and as a guest/comrade/etc.

When I've been in situations like this before - ones with sympathies that don't fall neatly on one side or another - I've tended towards "let them sort it out", conflict resolution, or anger at both people involved. Conflict resolution is the least practical of the three in this situation and this shit has been drawn out too long for me to be angry anymore. I'm adding my response mostly to try and provide another perspective that has been very close to the event(s). Overall, I think the debate about BB's "snitching" and "racism" is important, but I think it is a debate that is often brought up for ulterior motives ...as in, by anarchists who wouldn't want Bob Black around to begin with and don't want to actually debate the issues in good faith. It's the superficial politico discussions about shit like this that just fuel the outrage of someone like Morgan and the apathy of someone like me. I think the collaboration of Bob Black and Aragorn over the years is worth a hell of a lot more than Morgan's near hearsay-motivated attack and whatever better event planning could have happened.

TL;DR - this split and feud is what it looks like when the trolls win.

I guess I don't understand the horror at someone being punched. In the world I live in, if you insult someone's make-up, and that person is a tough take-no-shit kinda femme person, it is likely you will get punched. Also I think it is a pretty common response for people to want to fight people who write crazy racist screeds (such as Bob's about Oakland, etc). I think it is a cake-and-eat-it kind of thing where people want Bob around specifically because he is controversial, but then want to be shocked and indignant when there are consequences to the controversy. I guess I'd prefer he get punched in the face a million times over an inane 'who is fucked up and who isn't?' conversation any day. Thanks for the longer report though, it helps to contextualize.

what? No. This was not a "take-no-shit" situation that was too hardcore to handle seeing. This is more like being pissed at the person who came to one of your fav. bands shows and tried to end it by starting a fight with the singer. Then after getting bounced, they try to turn it into an issue of prejudice when they were the instigator. The part that I'm more focused on highlighting is when the singer and the record label that booked the show split because of it.

But the record label is Def Jams and some punk ass just slapped Dr. Dre. Shug not gonna do nothing?

I'm not familiar with that controversy, but I assume that whatever it is, the analogy still works for the way I see the situation.

Dr. Dre has a history of domestic violence

Well except for it being factually incorrect, "Suge" Knight is rumored to of murdered Biggie Smalls for murdering Tupac Shakur...but then again, the rumors also point to Suge possibly murdering Tupac for leaving the label and murdered Biggie Smalls to divert attention away from him.

Anyways, I guess since anarchists aren't gangsters, we shouldn't expect any anarchist to do anything. Instead it was Stephen King that got knocked the fuck out by someone that thinks Star Trek is da bomb and didn't want to hear about how their Vulcan Ears were on crooked.

i wish there was a like button on a news. i'd like this comment. also, i'm glad there is no like button on a news.

I think overall Bob should be happy it was Morgan and not one of the folks he was calling "Negro Nazis" (Bob's words) last year. Unconditional solidarity to everyone physically confronting that piece of shit!

exactly! and when that happened, Black claimed that if someone tried to pour water on *his* table and *his* books, he'd go medieval on they asses. But looky looky what happened. And so I say it too: Unconditional solidarity to everyone physically confronting that piece of shit!

"unconditional" anything sounds like gross dogma any way you cut it. I don't know your peeves but i bet there are ways you wouldn't support people physically confronting him. Like, are you okay with me calling the cops to confront Bob? You better be if you're sticking to your unconditional line! What if I assaulted him while I supervising a baby, and the baby got taken by CPS because I was seen as unfit for parenting? Just two examples, but "unconditional" covers EVERYTHING, so better double-down on that one

now Bob on the other hand I would be more convinced about his unconditional retaliative action, since he has no anarchist morality attached to his actions, and his reactionary approach cares not for consequences or babies.

Calling the cops would be a form of mediation and therefore not "physically confronting" in the way i intended the term.. But i suppose the cops would be (in some delusional hypothetical scenario where they would attack him) and i wouldn't be down with that. Unconditional solidarity with people who aren't cops or nazis or the like attacking bob, then.

Declarations of solidarity don't imply the action was strategic (ie, while supervising a child and them being taken by cps) but solidarity in the face of that repression.

You should probably just avoid the term "unconditional solidarity" and stick with "I'm totally down with people punching Bob Black in the face." Let's not get bogged down in semantics people!

OK then: I am totally down with people punching Bob Black in the face. Or in his head. I'm not bogged down in semantics or morality. Snitches get stitches, end of story.

he's also racist AS FUCK

Uhh. What the fuck? Walk outside and talk to your neighbors about racism. You will realize that Bob Black is not outside any normal level. When you want to start a fight, you use words to insult the people you are trying to instigate a fight with. The problem is all these fucking audience members acting like they are watching some WWE drama instead of normal human drama.

Last major fight I had was against two guys bigger than me and at first I thought I was going to lose, so I said some shit so they'd punch me into their car and I totally fucked their car up by "falling" into it. Had I known neither of them could land a proper punch I would've whooped both their asses, but at least I'm satisfied doing a few hundred dollars worth of damage to their vehicle (and still won the fight since two against one and they couldn't get a punch in once my guard was up, fight broke up because neighbors were screaming someone called the police so we scattered). Anyways, I've been attacked and set up in fights and jumped dozens...scores of times in my life. After all of this, I no longer feel like the same creature as other anarchists...I feel so much more superior to most anarchists anymore because of how pathetic and whiny they are about everything. Bob Black is a shitbag, but in a world of crybaby anarchists, a shitbag is a step in the right direction.

I draw a different conclusion than this, "I think it is a debate that is often brought up for ulterior motives ...as in, by anarchists who wouldn't want Bob Black around to begin with and don't want to actually debate the issues in good faith. It's the superficial politico discussions about shit like this that just fuel the outrage of someone like Morgan and the apathy of someone like me. I think the collaboration of Bob Black and Aragorn over the years is worth a hell of a lot more than Morgan's near hearsay-motivated attack and whatever better event planning could have happened."

My conclusion is this: lie down with dogs, get up with fleas. Bob Black is a well-known flea-ridden dog. Anyone who couldn't see IN ADVANCE that he would do something like this, based on all the psychotic shit he's done in the past, is simply out of touch with reality.

Incorrect use of the word psychotic.

psy·chot·ic
sīˈkädik/
adjective
adjective: psychotic

1.
of, denoting, or suffering from a psychosis.
"a psychotic disturbance"
synonyms: insane, mad, deranged, demented, crazed, psychopathic; More
informalcrazy;
vulgar slangbatshit
"a special ward for psychotic patients"

noun
noun: psychotic; plural noun: psychotics

1.
a person suffering from a psychosis.

if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then guess what? It *is* a fucking duck, you idiot. Now go read more Heidegger.

Bob Black is not psychotic. You disagree with his actions and find them unethical. He is not hearing voices or seeing things that are not there. He is reacting to stimuli that is commonly agreed on to be present. He is not behaving like someone with a psychotic disorder or even just having a psychotic episode.

No ducks were hurt in the writing of this comment.

Yes I see what you mean (backing away from him). You can get inside Bob Black's brain and know that "He is not hearing voices or seeing things that are not there. He is reacting to stimuli that is commonly agreed on to be present. He is not behaving like someone with a psychotic disorder or even just having a psychotic episode." (A good ten feet away from him now.) Well, good luck! (Exits.)

Bob claims he was unconscious for some period of time, which is a complete delusion. He twisted the "stimuli" (to use your word) in ways that were no only completely misinterpreted, but at points fabricated and then exasperated in his mind. He has been suffering from alcoholism and pill addiction for who knows how long, which lend well to psychotic disorders.

But yeah, he is not just "responding", he is responding like a crazy person. Getting punched by Morgan Le Fay then blaming Aragorn! is like coughing while you're outside and blaming it on Chem Trails. It's beyond logic and into paranoid delusional thinking. A.K.A. psychotic thinking.

Except Aragorn said he had his back. So no anarchists are going to get poor ole Morgan into a corner and browbeat the bastard? No anarchists are going to disrupt their dumb IWW meeting and knock their shit over to let them know they need to reign their tribe in or we'll fuck them up?

Yeah, anarchists are now just middle class people with ideals on life and sometimes posture like they are having an existential crisis and want to make destruction occur, but its all weak do nothing and avoiding conflict. Our posturing makes it sound like we really should do something about Morgan, but since we haven't done shit to enemy number one, Brandon Darby, maybe anarchists should stop using anti-snitch references and start acting like they are participating as a citizen and call the damn police and hope and pray that our middle class whiteness will trump out the stench, the weird hair and dirty clothing enough for the police to handle our problems for us. We really should stop calling them "pigs" and start calling them "officer". And speak with respect, they do shit that you are too cowardly to do. Anarchists used to be punk as fuck, now they are just a bunch of punk asses.

Thanks, Officer! That was a very stirring speech.

-- Bob Black (pig ffffucker and karate instructor)

Morgan is punk, Ur a jock.

All of this emphasizes how trivial and putrid the anarcho-weenie scene is. Do you think Emma Goldman would have cavorted with you dweebs?

Stick to collecting Star Wars toys; it's all you wimps are good for.

Hi, Kevin, how are you today? Feeling OK, I hope.

Emma Goldman horse whipped Johann Most for talking shit on Bergman. I think she'd be down for what happened. q

"Bergman" was always kind of a shitlord anyway.

I am so excited to hear that someone has a project and/or scene that extends beyond the trivial and putrid weenie-activity we engage with.

Can you link us to the "real" movement where you are getting so much done? Are you the J.J. Abrams to our Star Wars toy-collecting? Looking forward to seeing your next movie!

question: if we are all irrelevant, trivial, dweebs and weenies, then what does that make the lonely old drunk who is obsessed with us?

I couldn't care less about Bob Black's perceived personality flaws, or whether or not he did this or that, with or without justification. Since I first read his essay, "The Abolition of Work", twenty-odd years ago, I have always considered him to be one of the most stimulating and challenging thinkers in the current North American anarchist milieu. I hope to post a review soon of his latest collection, Instead of Work (published by Little Black Cart).

I enjoy the clarity and occasional humor of Black's prose, and I wish that his devotion to careful research and clear reasoning were more widely emulated among anarchist writers. Some of Black's best ideas are expressed in the personal critiques he has published on people like Murray Bookchin, Noam Chomsky, etc. His analyses of Platformism and the fetish of democracy are essential reading.

dude, the separation of ideas from practice is precisely the problem here, innit? I mean it isn't just that Bob Black's sociopathy has undermined the credibility of his theories but also that he's always been a theorist and has never really put any of it into practice, I mean, other than pissing contests, character assassination, letters to the narcotics cops, etc ad nauseum.

Could you possibly expand on why the separation of ideas and practice is a "problem"? Thanks.

I'm another random person who clearly sees why its desperate and futile to try and separate shitty people from their ideas? I enjoy Bakunin's writing but he was an anti-semite. It serves me no constructive purpose to try and ignore his racism just because I like a few of his other ideas. Package-deal yo.

but it serves you to ignore those ideas that you find useful, because of his racism? package deal my ass! that is known as "dogma". take what you want and leave the rest, you religious ideologue!

just don't let him into your house, or meet any of your friends, or know your real name, or try to work with him in any way, and you'll be able to maintain your above-it-all perspective.
people who do projects get their hands dirty. bob is a mud that is hard to wash off.

Bob Black does know my real name (although he's probably forgotten it by now), since I corresponded with him years ago while trying to get him to come to Chicago to do a presentation or a debate at an anarchist event called Matches & Mayhem. He was eager to come, but I got no support from the organizers, so nothing came of it.

One of the people I asked to debate Black responded with some vague threats about disrupting the event, and I let him know that while he and his comrades were perfectly free to come and protest, any effort to physically interfere with the talk itself (or with Black) would be dealt with by me personally, which is apparently more support than he got as an invited guest at the recent happening in the Bay Area.

it took years for bob to decide that his publisher was his enemy. he might still make his way around to you.

well said! and once he categorizes you as as enemy combatant, he authorizes himself to do whatever he feels like doing to "get back at" you.

see? what did I tell ya? this is all Aragorn's fault for not providing adequate security for an invited guest who prudently shies away from bellicosity and physical confrontations.

"...which is apparently more support than he got as an invited guest at the recent happening in the Bay Area."

He was physically defended by some of those present, three punches being those which could be thrown in the time it took for people to cross the room and lay hands on M.

I used to think so too, but then I discovered other writers that he used source material from and I didn't find his argument as compelling. "Virtuous Laziness" is far more interesting than "work as play."

It was A!s fault for inviting me out in public without a secret service security detail. I had also demanded a bowl of red m&m's as a rider in my appearance contract and never got those either. I am being mistreated, getting bad advice, and really need to find a new book publisher.

-- Bob Black (pigffffucker and anarchist motivational speaker)

(thoughtfulness)
I appreciate your steering away from anger and writing something more interesting. How might bob's life have been different if murray bookchin had just given him a big hug and said 'i'm sorry that you're hurting.' It seemed like bob already wrote his own eulogy last year and called it 'the fire next time,' his letter to the world declaring that he's lost his battle with drink and is completely out of his fucking mind, though i'm glad you managed to get another book out of him. Abolition of Work and Anarchy After Leftism are among the primary texts that shaped my understanding of anarchy and I've enjoyed everything else of his I've read (except of course for that 'fire next time' piece which mostly just made me cringe and shiver).
(drama/flame-bait shit)
Crazy idiot punches old drunk for calling cops on wife beating junky 20 years ago. Now let us all lap it up like dogs.
If physically assaulting a senile alcoholic senior citizen is such an obviously rad choice to make, then how come the only person to actually show up and do it was M.: the world's craziest idiot loser with no friends? Where were all you tough talkers that night? I assume you were probably off HAVING MORE SENSE THAN THAT somewhere else.
M. should have not been let in that night, especially after the face spitting incident, even if all anyone thought they'd do is heckle and talk shit. If you know that someone's coming to an event just to disrupt it and be mean and shitty to your guest, there's really no good reason to let them attend. And if you know your guest is a volatile crybaby, well then...
I suppose the lesson here for A. is to not let his anarchist principles predispose him to the assumption that grown adults don't need fucking babysitters

I work as a bouncer and this sounds like standard shit to me. Forget who Bob is (a senile douchebag with addiction problems apparently) and MLF (perhaps also a bit of a wildcard) and just look at it. There was an incident, people pulled this other person off and escorted them outside. That's exactly what "security" is supposed to do. You can't prevent every incident but you resolve them as quickly as possible and then do follow-up like medical aid for injuries and documenting details, blah blah.

I'm just saying this sounds like pretty standard shit to me. Also hilarious!

They could have prevented it. This is why Black is so understandably pissed.

Nah, that's the thing. You shouldn't ban people for thought crimes which means you're forever reacting to this type of stuff. Obviously, if Bob gets assaulted by the same person twice in the same venue he'd have a lot of cause to complain but as is, he verbally provoked somebody and they assaulted him, then the person was removed. Standard, like I said.

You do to EH what Bill Maher did to the truthers who snuck into his show, and in Maher's case he could not head them off at the pass. Aragorn could have done this.

Anyway you slice it Bob is in the right as this idiot should never have been let in in the first place. Don't bullshit me with 'thought crime'.

Yeah but there's a separate set of protocols used for a reason. If you want to have like, a treehouse where you ban people on a whim, fill your boots cupcake! But in my professional capacity, we use something a little more substantive for our operating guidelines, based loosely on the legal system. As an anarchist, I don't particularly like it, but it does at least negate the schoolyard bullshit about who likes who, who said shit to who. It emphasizes actions over opinions, etc.

My original point was people often get upset because "security" wasn't good enough to prevent A, B and C but the reality is you're never completely safe from a random shot to the face unless you cloister yourself in a bunker.

We are talking about common sense threat assesment. When Malatesta was shot for instance at least the hosters(I presume) did not see it coming. I'm not talking about all dissenting opinions being warded off. Also, hecklers at least have to sneak in.

You don't let someone in who you may have to drag out to begin with.

I'd say you would be the perfect choice to be Bob Black's bodyguard. Why don't you contact him and apply for the job?

Because bob black can't be his own security guard, and we all know sir enzige is actually bob black

Conversations were had, literal hours were spent considering the different ways an intervention might play out. After careful consideration it was decided before the fact that based on large amounts of personal experience with M by those involved in the consideration that it was unnecessary to deny M entrance. Things turned out differently than expected, perhaps because BB's curmudgeonliness was underestimated, but due diligence in this matter was absolutely performed.

Anyone who thinks this was a setup or hit-job by the organizers is simply ignorant of the facts.

The 3 Stooges would do a better job at careful consideration then you clowns. If by curmudgeonliness you mean hitting back at a heckler, interupted speakers are allowed to do that with the obvious example being comedians.

sir e, you are being a beautiful example of exactly the kind of shit-eating follower that bob loves. you should absolutely get in touch with him. you were apparently made for each other.

That's what I suggested, that Slur Einzige should become Blob Hack's bodyguard. He'd be perfect!

"How might bob's life have been different if murray bookchin had just given him a big hug and said 'i'm sorry that you're hurting.'"

So both yin AND yang are guilty?!

This is the crux of why BB is pissed(as I would be to). This was at his fucking book launch for fucks sakes. If MLF tried that shit with me it wouldn't be the cops they would have to call. I also wouldn't be paying the Obamacare money he would need to put his brittle bones back together again.

The problem isn't BB in the least. The problem is that defect personalities like MLF are given a place in the milieu to begin with.

But then, who gets to decide such things ziggy? If it was up to me, I wouldn't "give you space" but that's not my place until you do something tangible like assault someone. Then I have a much stronger position when I say you shouldn't be allowed in, because of your history of assaulting other guests … and not just because I think you're a douche, yeah?

Feel how you feel about that fact but when you have someone over in what is essentially a business arangement you have some basic accomodations in place like not letting Black's Bay Area enemies into the venue.

Right … so apparently Bob needs some anarchist equivalent of the secret service to protect him from his enemies?

Not even.

But that's exactly what this senile alcoholic crybaby is asking for! Special security precautions. FUCK HIM. This is the alleged bad-ass who said that if anyone ever spilled water on his books, he'd go medieval on their asses. Turns out he's fucking pussy, crying about how he was wronged.

If I were a provacative anarchist I would want an obvious danger headed off at the pass as well. I would prefer to give a speech and not be responsible for giving EMTs extra work for the day by having to pick up some bloodstained mascara madman and put him on a stretcher and take him to the hospital.

You're missing the point. Bob Black failed to defend himself. And that's what anarchism is all about: defending yourself, not expecting someone to do it for you. He can't defend himself? Then the senile old drunk shouldn't be out in public.

Like, are you actually being serious?

I'm as serious as a punch to the head. As a shut-in, you wouldn't know about such things as protecting yourself. But for people who go out and do stuff, they find it preferable to learn to defend themselves rather than expect someone, anyone else to do it, if/when they need it. Self-reliance? Autonomy? Yeah, all those cool things.

He's an old man with cancer. Go punch Steven Hawking.

Should the not so fighting able have do defend themselves as well? I would have no problem dealing with this little man and his mascara. However someone in his wonder years with health issues who just wants to discuss his latest book at a mostly friendly event should not have fighting and defense on his mind. Neither should I if I presume I am in what should be friendly confines with my publisher who should only let presumably friendly people to me and my work in.

^That is not necessarily how anarchist spaces work. The ones I operate in often encourage some level of conflict. If that's what you need/desire otherwise, it is probably contingent on you to make that clear at the outset.

And anarchist spaces are failed experiments. How long have we been using them? Why don't we make the Order of the Eternal Flame, then get a space for the order and let it be used for the same shit that Infoshops do, except not ran by a scene, but rather an order, so if someone is shitty to someone in the order, those shitty people have to deal with the order.

I have a Bob Black story too...

I once went to a San Francisco Anarchist Bookfair that Bob Black was also in attendance at. I met him during that event, and then when that event was winding down I saw him standing by himself looking for a ride to another event that evening that was also a part of the "8 Days of Anarchy*. I was also going to that second event, and I had a car with space in it, but I decided not to offer him a ride. Because of me, and others, opting to not give him a ride he did not make it to that second event.

Bob was drinking some kind of alcohol and orange juice combination in public at his table the entire day of the book fair, so by the time it was over and he was asking for a ride he was visibly drunk. I did not offer him a ride because Bob Black's reputation preceded him. Even back then, it was public knowledge that bad shit happened because of this man, either directed at him, coming from him, or both. Add to that the fact that he was drunk, and the prospect of giving him a ride did not seem very appealing to me.

I do think that to a certain extent Bob is the victim of other people's bullshit. But given that he repeatedly, for decades in a row, keeps on getting into these kinds of messes makes it clear to me that he himself also has a hand in these situations coming up.

If the original post was the eulogy, I would say that Bob himself has over the years contributed to digging his own grave.

I'm so glad to hear Bob did't stigmatize your proper little puritanical prissy parade. I'm so shocked as I have never heard such horrible things said of an anarchist before! You mean to say he drinks too much...gasp!

THE EPISTLE TO ARAGORN

Sadly, I cannot put this message off any longer. I expected that by now I would long since have answers to the questions I have to repeat now. I’m not the only one interested in these answers.

I visited the East Bay August 5-8, en route to Manila where I made three presentations and met many anarchists and others. I was always received courteously and, usually, warmly. Anarchy after Leftism, Chomsky on the Nod and Debunking Democracy had been republished locally to coincide with my visit. My reception at the event you arranged was, however, dramatically different.

You called me, where I was staying, to invite me out to lunch the next day with some comrades. You also spoke, mysteriously, about some vague threat to my Long Haul “book launching” party.1 When I asked what you meant, you said, “I’ll tell you tomorrow.” However, at lunch, you didn’t elaborate much. Your source was apparently some Facebook Friend who was threatening me in language you have yet to repeat to me. Skree, who was present, confirms my rcollection. But you assured me that this would be, at most, heckling. I can make a fool out of any heckler, especially before a sympathetic audience.

I arrived at the appointed place and time, recognizing some old friends, and meeting some others I only knew by correspondence. This was in the Long Haul in Berkeley, the anarchist space in which I have most often spoken. Shortly before I was to begin, I was seated (the seats having been rearranged, non-hierarchically, in a circle). Someone well-known to you, and probably to others at the door – who you knew to be the source of the FB threats, correct? -- where there was a table with my new book on it, breezed in.

This demented wretch, whom I had never heard of and never seen before, swaggered up to me, got in my face, and rapidly delivered some incomprehensible diatribe. The only word I could make out was “snitch.” I glanced up at face, contorted with rage. In the poor light, all I saw was a garishly painted face, sort of a goth/glam look. I said: “Your mascara is smudged.” He then slugged me in the head. I blacked out, for how long, I don’t know. When I regained consciousness, my assailant had been dragged away, screaming (I am told), and thrown out.

It takes guts to sucker punch a seated, 64 year old man with health problems. (For those who didn’t know, I have cancer, among other infirmities.) He must have been wrong about the “snitch” thing. Unlike Lierre Keith and Derek Jensen, I did not call the police. But, the thug might have counted on that. The attacks on Lawrence Jarach and later on the Anarchy magazine table at the Anarchist Bookfair by Qilombo remain unavenged and indeed ignored. For my protests (where were yours?) I was called a racist. Now the line has been crossed to bodily violence. Since it was accomplished with impunity, the line will be crossed again. I hope you’re next.

Nonetheless, I made my presentation (based on topics from the afterword to Zerowork). I made the same presentation later at the University of the Philippines. I didn’t tell most people in the Philippines about the attack. Apparently, you haven’t told many people about it either. You would have some explaining to do. And you do . . . in the first place, to me.

Before I began my presentation, I did announce, that I wanted my assailant to be identified, and I asked for as much information as possible about him, his name, his address, his phone number, his mother, his probation officer, etc. All I ever heard was that he is named “Elliot” and I didn’t get even that much from you. I want that information. If you and the anarchists cover up for this guy, I’ll hire a detective to find out. Why would I want to know these facts? Use your imagination. In the first place, to publicize them as widely as possible. I notice that nobody is even considering any retaliation. On behalf of your friends and yourself, you have dismissed the possibility.

If we were ever friends, we are not friends now.

Bob Black

---
1 Previously, by E mail, I half-seriously expressed concern that this should not be a SubGenius-type “head-launching party.” My head was not, in fact, launched. But I was hit hard enough – in the head -- that I blacked out. The launch was abortive.

"I’ll hire a detective to find out." I don't see why you don't simply go straight to the cops. Perhaps this will be your next step.

PS. Very good to hear you got knocked out. Wish I'd been there to see it.

Bob, based on what others have reported about the event in San Francisco, let alone what you said, it seems that you have plenty of reason to be angry. Nevertheless, I hope you don't burn your bridges with Little Black Cart, since they are the only ones publishing your work right now (at least in book form), and I would really like to see more of it in the future.

That's what I get from his FB messages. The cancer thing might not help either.

If he does get around to writing another book or two perhaps there will be some alternatives to the LBC. Quite frankly the very least a publisher can do is assure a smooth book launch by doing everything in their power to have no hostile interruption. This is a bare minimum standard of respect.

The problem with A is that he pays WAY too much lip service to greater milieu anarchist values, values that really don't count for shit in the grand scheme of things. A good way to support BB is to simply come out pour water on the whole Hogshire controversy once and for all. You don't have to personally like what he did, but you do have to make it clear that it is a PERSONAL disposition in regards to how you feel about that event. For fucks sake stop cow towing the greater sensibilities of the milieu. It's not going to be around as you know it today in another generation mark my words.

A let BB down in that regard. He's also not the greatest steward of post leftist thought. He's much more cozy with overrated SI radicalism then he is with the much superior Stirnerian radicalism. Bob Black talked of the French disease, Aragorn has too much of it.

sorry for your loss.

Wait, who did Bob Black snitch on?

He snitched on a heroin junkie 20 years ago.

And then crowed about it later, again and again. He also scurrilously targeted Ward Churchill and Ramsey Keenan, among others. Plus God knows who else. When this evil piece of shit dies, it will come out that he was COINTELPRO. Mark my words.

I've no interest in defending BB's snitching, but your shit here is COINTELTROLL nonsense. Point me to a single FBI/DHS agent with a comparable sense of subcultural humor. BB did all this shit on his own agenda. For good, or for ill.

Bob Black has a sense of humor, therefore he can't be a COINTELPRO agent.
Hitler was a vegetarian, therefore he couldn't be all bad, right?
Logic fail.

Yes BB is a drunken asshole but none of these events were actually snitching. BB wasn't doing anything illegal with Hogshire, and did not talk to the police to save his own legal standing. Anyone conflating this with snitching is either seriously naive or has highly questionable motives.

I think the phrase you are looking for is "ratting out," as in Black ratted out Hogshire to the Narcotics Division of the SPD. He's a rat, not a snitch -- got it.

One need only look at the David Cameron to see how quickly Bob Black's attempt at praxis can be recuperated and used for the purposes of neoliberalism.

"When I feel forced to do something so distasteful, I don’t try to conceal it afterwards. Sooner or later a cover-up usually makes matters worse. Besides, I stand by my decision; I’d do it again. I became, because of extreme provocation, a police snitch. So what? You got a problem with that?"

http://www.inspiracy.com/black/ducksanddrakes.html

I regard Bob's snitching as unacceptable. I also think that punching a 64-year-old man who poses no immediate physical danger to anyone is unacceptable. Bob didn't snitch on the person who hit him, which says something. It's easy for those on the winning side of these extra-legal confrontations to take the high ground about relations with the law. Priorities, people. Once you're crowing about a sick old man getting beaten up, it doesn't matter if you're not using the existing state infrastructure, you're a bad fucking person.

in-crowd gossip and innuendo for its own sake [as when it is offered in lead articles], that features 'anarchist celebrities' and their 'private' antics, seems like it deserves its own category, like a 'Tabloids' section to go alongside 'Forums'.

it could not only boost @news site ratings but cultivate celebrity-leaders that induce social order without any authoritarian regulatory enforcement. the person winning anarchist script-writing, film-making, bikini or music competitions could serve as surrogate centers of non-mandatory organizing power, kind of like 'elders' in a native community, but without all the wrinkles and straggly gray hair. in fact, showing the short and curlies can be a superior way to get people's interests up on issues that might otherwise fall through the cracks.

I have read several books by Bob Black.
I found them very interesting , insightful,
well written , provocative, and certainly prescient ,as well as in the broader scope well,
a part of our libertarian heritage and sensibilities , relevant to the kinds of topics
discussed on the site.

bill cosby's comic genius is still comic genius regardless of his 'decline' in public esteem.

the subject was not bob black's work, but how the tides and fortunes of one's personal life establish, for some, the value of a person's work.

the article may have pivoted from black's work, but so it is in all celebrity gossip forums. the admirers of authors of celebrated works can only include themselves in the picture via the social side of things, that is what celebrity gossip forums are all about; ... 'the time i had tea with the queen and pee'd my pants rather than interrupt her monologue'.

this bob black story??? was introduced as follows;

"I have known Bob, ... in his decline, ... as publisher of his last two books"

'watcha gonna do now, Einstein, as a follow-up to General Relativity, ... got writer's block or sumpthin?'

"as publisher of his last two books ... I could share with him my goal of returning his name back to being on the cynosure of anarchist thinkers where he belonged, returning him from his exile (for his naughty behavior against Jim Hogshire, etc.). As the preening narcissist he has always been, Bob basked in my appreciation, of someone he delusionally believed to be a fawning acolyte."

this is a line straight out of a soap opera script or tabloid celebrity exposée and there's plenty of narcissism to go all the way around.

since when does a philosopher's work have to be judged on the basis of his personal behaviour?

the article lead-in continues to follow the Entertainment Tonight celebrity gossip forum style, ... where a person's works are discredited together with the discrediting of his social status;

I still believe that Bob deserves defending, and my defense of him follows in three parts: he survived, he did something (even if it was the wrong thing), and he did it alone (for better and worse)."

"Bob deserves defending"... is not a reference to;

"his well written , provocative, and certainly prescient [books, that form] a part of our libertarian heritage and sensibilities"

my point is that anarchists more than most 'cultural mainstream outsiders' have a major exposure to having screwed up social lives, so let's NOT throw out the baby with the dirty social bathwater.

I deliberately side-stepped a discussion of the controversies regarding his Personality and Behavior.
My point of view is merely that: an opinion. in oppposition or in agreement with other so stated opinions in this and a whole host of other threads over the years on this and other sites. I don't care for what I think are moralistic assessments . These never
lead to interesting concepts or activities. I can get all of that by following my favorite celebrities that can provide me with
much entertainment. I focus on his writing and ideas. Both are first class. I'll leave to others to delineate his moral character
attributes. I have my own thoughts as to the Hogshire incident. But these are irrelevant to what I like to do here.
The same game has been played out with every other libertarian "personality" including Bakunin all the way to the main contributors Fifth Estate and Anarchy magazine. This attempt at an "analysis" and serving "judgment" is the real pathology
among our "scene". Let's cut out the morality play and pop-psychology. and stick to :what are the questions we face, what
problems arise, how to make sense about them, and what can we offer as to a discussion of effective paths forward.

At the end of the day what we have here is a crazed identity politician knocking out an old guy with cancer over an incident that occurred 20 years ago when aforementioned crazed identity politician would not even have been around. Pretty fucked up.

I've heard people repeatedly call Black "a snitch" but not about the circumstances involved. While I am somewhat familiar with the claim, it seems like most of his accusers are not. I do think Bob Black has been racist, and along with declaring to MLF that "your mascara is smeared", it doesn't really surprise me he was hit. Also, for those not familiar with Bob Black's call for Berkeley anarchists to avenge the attack on the table for Anarchy magazine during the Bay Area Anarchist book fair that happened a few years ago, this was provoked by their call to burn down black churches.

you ignoramous, it was a reference to burning ALL churches (yes, even black ones).

yeah, someone barging into an event and berating the speaker with a self righteous tirade of name calling and accusations is something everyone should tolerate, but a comment about someone's make up, now that's just going too far.

Exactly! Smacking someone is "something everyone should tolerate," especially if the person getting smacked is Bob Black, as was the case here.

Maybe Morgan can come and beat up my 80 year old wheelchair bound grandma as an encore, I'm pretty sure somebody heard her say 'Negro' once.

You and Morgan both share a similar vindictiveness to the one that is generally exhibited by the state, interesting that.

In 2015, white racism is just as common as it was 10 years ago, except it uses a different language. Your analysis is so shitty on this that somehow the obvious (but also the least meaningful) racism is more important to you than the racist behavior that is disguised by good white liberal ally bullshit. BB makes stupid, racist puns, something exceptions are made for all the time until there's some reason to try and make a case that someone should be dismissed for other reasons. The other reasons in this case are totally pathetic: applauding someone for punching a 60-something y/o guy with cancer, while he is sitting in a chair. If you're not on BB's side with the racist puns and using police to get revenge on people that threaten your life, fine. But Morgan's behavior is disgusting and the only reason any of you fucking idiots can't see that is because you're high on the illusion that the tables have been turned. The tables were not turned. That dynamic doesn't exist. BB wouldn't go to a transfolk's speaking event and punch them for some superficial shit unrelated to that event. That sort of moral logic is just too fucking beyond you assholes tho. Somehow, like the worst shit bags in all history, you are able to equalize transgressions that are on completely different levels of harming other human beings. Fuck you and your ilk.

Who = anarchists.
What norm = snitches get stitches.
You = totally clueless or Bob himself, pretending to be anonymous.

anarchists aren't giving stitches to snitches and the investigative apparatus that would be necessary to figure out how many baby anarchists call the cops on people will never exist. but if the sellout social justice anarchists say all the right words: no stitches, gold star. what anarchists are doing instead of giving stitches to snitches is drudging up some 20 year old gray area case that has nothing to do with insurrectionary activity or selling an comrade out to the cops. wtf is "pretending to be anonymous"? gtfo lol

It's all entirely true... Especially for the anarcho-leftists and the self-proclaimed "nihilist" authoritarians. WE should know better about avoiding these people and doing stuff on our own with people who are actaully interested in radically changing the game of Society, or just fucking it up apart.

Nor is nigger technically though the context often is. Negro has no derogatory context. As I've said before, I'm a mullato and have no issue with BB's incendiary prose. I happen to think that Qilombo probably should be burned down just to send a message.

Anarchists have a really hard time of excluding anyone from their networks and friendships because they were nerds in highschool who were constantly on the outside and thus are triggered by exclusion. Full stop. This is why Bob Black is still around.

And you're that guy who was always saying the stupidest thing at the stupidest time, weren't you?

Why should anyone outside of the people immediately involved in this care about it? Should we write public pieces about all of our break-ups and conflicts, or is that reserved specifically for anarchist celebrities? More self-absorbed drama from those who have set themselves up as anarchy's spokesmen...

doesn't anyone care about your break ups?

Bob Black's "The Abolition of Work" is about as important a contribution to post-left anarchism as it gets -- and not in terms of airy ideas but in terms of myself and other real people changing their attitudes about how to relate with others and the world, and he deserves a whole lot of credit for that. None the less, I've no interest in him as a person or his squabbles with any body. Moreover I don't expect that if anarchists today can't behave perfectly according to their ideas, that all is lost and/or that some one must be punished.

your comments are measured and without the futile Bombast that gets our ideas and our efforts No-Where.

Personally I think Black should get a pass on the snitching since Hogshire threatened his life with a semi-automatic rifle...http://www.spunk.org/texts/writers/black/sp001654.html

"Why should anyone outside of the people immediately involved in this care about it?...More self-absorbed drama from those who have set themselves up as anarchy's spokesmen...'

Words of wisdom, about a scene with no wisdom or relevance anywhere in evidence...

Anarchism in North America is a complete embarrassment to the whole international movement with it's petty dramas and insane 1970s Maoist-inspired identity politics. If you beat up a 60 year old cancer sufferer in my country we would kick the living shit out of you.

"Anarchism in North America is a complete embarrassment to the whole international movement with it's petty dramas and insane 1970s Maoist-inspired identity politics..."

More excellent, on target feedback -- from outside the US, of course!

Overall... I think this sucks all around. Does anyone ever really win a fight? Or even more a war? I've always thought not, and as anarchists we have been losing for sometime now especially.

So many things suck about this. Relationships and friendships(?) frayed, everything that comes with this, and so on. Bob Black's books have never sold well, and unfortunately that is why you can find a lot of his recent material online for free. He is a great writer and one of the most critical at what he does, just look at the introduction that Aragorn! (not fake) ;) gave him in the recent title "Defacing the Currency". It covers a lot of the mud slinging that is a frequent topic of trolls on even unrelated @news articles a la "Bob Black pig fucker" trolls and more.

I was speaking to a friend over the weekend about Bob Black and telling them exactly the above about how I think he is a great critic and they replied that anyone could write that and respond to such criticism in a meaningful way. Is this really what people think? I've usually been blown away by his writing, except for perhaps the above mentioned Quilombo text which was originally posted here on @news and then deleted. But, I was also not at all impressed by the actions of those at Quilombo. You can find the text elsewhere, most likely on Tumblr, if curious.

Having said that it's unfortunate that Bob responded in the way he did against the host of his event and publisher. Yeah, why would someone let an individual into an event that was throwing threats out over Facebook, but then again - it is Bob Black, one of the most controversial figures of NA anarchy and this kind of thing seems to happen regularly (see @news comments). Bob was described to me as someone who you may call on the phone and speak with, but perhaps not have over for a dinner party.

It's a shame and absolutely disgusting he blew a pseudonym up. How to blow up a social relationship. Reading Bob's response, I can feel for him and see where he is coming from, but in the end his response seems way over-the-top and attacking the wrong people. I understand some people never say "sorry" (A! mentioned this to me once, perhaps jokingly and something I haven't forgotten) or respond in a way that helps relationships heal and mend with time, but perhaps one may know this from having interacted with them for years in publishing your books.

Not sure where this comment is going, but mostly grumpy and feel for those involved as one looking in from the outside. I wish all the best and cheers. Do we have to buy all of his books now before they are burned?

BTW, to thecollective: why are these comments not being deleted that are one liners and personal attacks? I scrolled them last night and tonight and I'm surprised that the mods have seemingly been asleep on this thread, as I thought @news was trying to clean up a lot of this non-sense.

Rocinante, I don't like you nor your opinions on most everything, especially moderation. You are a thin skinned twerp that never has anything challenging to say and most of the time I think you are a closet liberal. You've been here for years and you are a constant prude on anything fun.

Bob Black is right to be mad, but the truth of the matter is that most people have the wrong idea about what anarchists are now. I used to think we were some hard mofos that would take matters into our own hands and take care of each other. If Bob Black feels insulted, it should rather be because more and more anarchists are becoming like you and less like Ben Morea.

Scenes aren't the place for the kind of anarchists Bob Black thinks should exist. We need an explicit society of anarchists that has some principles. Unfortunately this would have to exclude Bob Black because he has compromised himself too much to be trusted in the very thing he wished existed for him.

I'd like to like Bob Black. I've defended Bob Black, mainly against errors and misconceptions. I've rethought out what a snitch (informant, rat, etc.) is and have more of a nuance on it. But he's a fuck scum and isn't worthy of joining in on any attempt at creating a society with the real anarchists that make shit happen.

thecollective, don't listen to Rocawear, he's style is faded. More openness and less deletions means more fun and more understanding the very nuances on why scenes are stupid failures and need to be criticized even more deeply than the left.

I agree that anarchic orientation needs more concrete relationships. I don't think characters like BB would impediments to such arrangements. For one thing an more authentic non scene/milieu based anarchy would understand the context of revenge and attack that characterizes BB.

An explicit anarchic 'society' would likely have less of these abstract moral/ethical positions. Something like snitching would be defined in its proper context as betrayal or selling out.

Also, I like to use the comparative analogy of music circles vs music(youth culture) based scenes. With the milieu you ironically tend to have these centralized positions where the abstract 'we' is assumed. We are supposed to see BB as a snitch(I don't). If anarchy had concrete circles BB would naturally find people of his own. People that crave wild justice and revenge for example. Such a society would see the Hogshire affair as the means to revenge that it was.

And yeah, moderation sucks.

Okay, how about this: Everyone here is a Christian and Bob Black is a Satanist. This means much more than it seems. This isn't an argument of love and desire, but of getting vengeance, not very Dionysian, but very Satanic approach.

Here goes some scum fuck shit that Bob Black did that only Bill Brown and a few others remember: Bill Brown was Bob Black's rival and Bill Brown tried to out-Bob-Black Bob Black and instead got exposed for dirty calling the daughter of one of his enemies, then Bob Black dropped dox to Bill Brown's enemies and wrecked his career. Satanist vs. Satanist, Bob Black wins. However, in the eyes of anarchy kids, both are scum fucks.

How would you make a society where the very moment you make a decisive disagreement, those you disagree with are expected to come at you with guns drawn? This is how Bob Black bullies other anarchists and because there aren't any gangster anarchists around anymore, nobody can put him in check. So instead the scene is used against Bob Black rather than his direct enemy to try and deter him from being a scum fuck. But that shit sure as hell wouldn't persuade me, so I doubt its doing much to Bob Black. Its like economic sanctions against Russia and Bob Black is Putin and the anarchist scene is the West.

Good point! Many people aren't persuaded by sketchy anons who claim that this or that person is a scum fuck. Most people are quite intelligent when it comes to things like that. Or so I've found. As for the others, yeah, they're about the same as Satanists and anti-Communist hysterics, trying to feed they own souls by eating those of others, the sacrificial victims.

Bob Black is a 60 year old, trans-woman of color, gender queer, Native American, pan-sexual, undocumented immigrant, migrant worker, single mother, holocaust survivor, and disabled cancer sufferer. Bob called the police on Jim Hogshire, a privileged cis-hetero white man settler, who had previously threatened Bob with an AK-47 grenade launcher, that also had a bayonet on it. Jim also sold candy laced with opium to little black children outside of their schools in the inner-city of Seattle. Jim also grew the opium with GMO Monsanto earth killing pesticides on an Indian burial ground located on unceded First Nations land using Mexican slave child labor. Bob tried to organize the community against the evil Jim, but the community was mostly manarchists who were too busy burning down black churches to help little ole helpless Bob. So Bob had no other choice but to take direct action by calling the police on Jim, not only for Bob's own safety, but for the safety of THE BLACK CHILDREN. Bob Black is not a snitch, but a saviour for children and people of color. Bob is a true revolutionary and hero

I encountered Morgan when (s)he was still Elliot and before (?) his (more obvious) descent into madness. I've seen several other folks in the East Bay anarchoid scene follow a similarly tragic trajectory. While some professional help for them has led to varying degrees of success (judged in terms of their ability to interact with other people on a less hostile/hypervigilant manner -- what the professions too readily label paranoia), there remains a healthy skepticism about imposing such institutional solutions to mental health issues. It's not that Morgan didn't deserve a retributive response to sucker punching Bob, but the reason I limited my response to grabbing an elbow and quickly escorting Bob's attacker out of the Long Haul had more to do with my instinct of not further antagonizing a person who is clearly cracked.

This is the issue with contemporary anarchy. If we look at classical anarchy(1886-1936), there was at least a better balance. You had your cases(like the guy who shot Malatesta, or Leon Czolgosz) but you also had top of the line character archetypes like Malatesta, Novatore, Goldman, De Cleyre ect.

Right now we have too many Leon Czolgoszes running around and not nearly enough of the latter. I'm of the view that these weaknesses may well be endemic to the current epoch of anarchy(1968-????). Might as well start over at this point as we are coming up on 50 years of this current anarchist epoch that has not come close to even approaching let alone bettering the what came before it. There may be one more major play for anarchism to make in the next 10 years but after that it's all she wrote. At least with century 21 you'll get high precarity and new technologies like the 19th century. I'm at least hopeful that the 3rd wave of anarchy will be MUCH better then what has been produced over these last 45+ years.

This one homeless dude from town, Slowbear, clearly cracked, came up on my boys and started talking shit to them. They halfway responded since we were walking by, then he tossed his 40 oz at us, hitting one of our dudes in the back of the leg, so we turned right around and took turn beating the fucker down. We knew he was damaged, cracked and then we made him look the way he felt inside.

When he healed up, he didn't dare do that to any of us again. But then he died over the winter because he was homeless. /story

I'm sorry you all have to deal with this shit...

gonna stop bitching like a little kid and start defending himself? The clown that socked him is certainly a clown, however his response makes him sound just like that whiney indenture politician.

Identity***

Bob Black said this yesterday on his Facebook page: "I ask that nobody buy my books -- or any books -- from his business, LBC Press/Distribution."

I'm sure the person who punched Bob Black is a POS and I don't understand why they didn't just get stomped when they spit on someone at the reading group, but:

1) Bob Black boasts that he can deal with any hecklers
2) Bob Black gets heckled
3) Bob Black proceeds to "deal" with heckler by insulting them and
4) Promptly gets knocked the fuck out, so
5) Bob Black cries foul!

L-O-L

Sometimes people talk hard when they think someone has their back. He assumed he had boys. Failing that, fans. The only thing he does have is cancer. Also FYI when knocked out you don't have to slump, close your eyes or anything except a glaze. I'll give it to Mr.G on that, but I think he was physically stunned, which means he couldn't react.

Like in the case of comedians does not entail having to beat them up. That's what surrounding security/safety is usually for.

I'm against withdrawing further. Instead, we could be ready to get hit, de-escalate the situation and become louder. By de-escalate, I mean not non-violence, but pretty much what seems to of happened in this situation, except people weren't ready.

Taking a hit. I've fought so many fights, been jumped so many times and I've lost more than I've won. But also at times I've also jumped others, I've hunted down my enemies and I've hurt my enemies worse than they hurt me. Nobody ever stands behind me. I've come to expect my friends to watch as I get attacked, so I tend to instead amplify myself as a threat so my friends can just run away and I take care of it myself (i.e. get beat up by myself).

I've been in Bob Black's situation. After getting jumped a few blocks from my cousin's, I went over to him as fast as I could so I could retaliate, but everyone was more concerned about some party they were throwing and nobody wanted to help. So many days, weeks, months later, I was still feeling betrayed and wanting retribution. I walked by their house and thought about how I'd like to prank them like Applebees.

I remember this one time I was getting jumped, singled out, and as the mob surrounded me, my friends stood aside and looked on helplessly as my arms were grabbed and kids took turns lining up to punch me. I looked my friends in the eyes and it burned into my memory. Just hearing about this conflict brings it back to me and I feel sympathy for Bob.