“We have a world of pleasures to win, and nothing to lose but boredom.”
This book was the starting point of the subversive current which first appeared in May ’68 and is now re-emerging in the anti-capitalist movements of today. It outlines the theory, which lays bare the reasons for our own alienation from modern life. It is a book that will shape the future.
This is the essential handbook of all of us still alienated by modern capitalism.
“You want to fuck around with us? Not for long.”
-The Revolution of Everyday Life, Raoul Vaneigem
Rebel Press, 2006
My amazon.com browsings & wishlists are loads of junk about the 1960s and 1970s, mostly history books, biographies, manifestos, etc; with litterings of (modern) art books as well. Maybe a random book about skateboarding or graffitti — but otherwise the subjects are pretty narrow. While looking for books by Tom Hayden and Abbie Hoffman, I came across The Revolution of Everyday Life by Vaneigem. Purchased it, put it in my camera bag before traveling cross-state to a shoot, and forgot about it for — has it been? — three months or so. I guess I’m trying to get back into it, between The Revolution by Ron Paul, Letters from the Underground by Anita & Abbie Hoffman, The Dharma Bums by Kerouac, Immortality by Kundera, and Sing a Battle Song edited by Ayers & Dohrn (& perhaps a couple others). I have a big problem with picking up 6 or 7 books to read at a time, and I rarely get through them until a year or so later. I’ve been browsing Lipstick Traces (recommended by my Dada/Futurism/Surrealism professor), which I find a bit dry at times (but I’m only 10 pages in); and a couple of Situationist International books as well…. Anyway, I’m especially struck deeply by the relationship between Anita & Abbie Hoffman and the honesty of their letters while she raised his child and he lived underground. Abbie’s letters; I often feel as if I’m on the receiving end of them, as if he’s speaking to me or as if I’ve experienced something similar before but I’m not completely sure of the parallel yet. If I could, I would read all day in a room full of plants and open windows. Endless coffee and tea and I would never have to get up to pee……….. ha ha. And forget about work and selling cotton to people who clearly don’t need another item in their wardrobes, no train commuting – no squished sardines on the El – and nice weather all the time.
I’ve been thinking about beginning to compost all my scraps & such. You wouldn’t believe how many coffee grounds Tom & I go through in the french press every morning. And for what (besides the kick!), to be tossed down the garbage disposal? Ew ew, and the egg shells and the ends of the green onions, the paper peel from the yellow onions…. the baby bellas that went bad because how could we possibly finish an entire bag in one week?
So I’ve been reading about urban composting, which seems a little messy and difficult for a beginner (especially a beginner who has very curious animals and extremely messy roommates), but once we are out in Berkeley (or even here in Chicago, when the weather warms up & we can take it down to the muddy back yard), I’d like to compost whatever we can!
Why take without giving? I also feel so much better about taking the stairs instead of the elevator, even down 10 flights, or bringing my travel mug to Starbucks instead of wasting paper….. but these shouldn’t even occur to me, this should be a regular way of living, not an extraordinary event! We as Americans (and perhaps as a world) are so wasteful without regard to the environment; and Chicago toutes itself as an “environmentally friendly” city!
There is a Revolutionary Communisty Party meeting/Q&A at the University Center on Sunday. I can’t decide if it’d be worth attending or not; I guess it’s worth a shot, not like I have to commit to anything. I feel so politically schizophrenic sometimes – Libertarian? Communist? Democrat? Anarchist? A combination, and how is that even possible? I guess I believe that “less is more,” but since it seems impossible to have “less,” the government might as well take complete care of its people. I believe in community. I believe in freedom. And I suppose I’m still a novice, politically, but I can’t find something I agree with 100%. And if I do, even, what does it matter?