It’s like Marvel reads my posts. One minute I publish an article claiming that Steve Rogers as Captain America exemplifies anarchist principles, the next minute he’s being clumsily outed in the comic books as a fascist this whole time. Under deep cover. Under such deep cover that he has been fighting Red Skull, and also was able to pick up Mjolnir, and has done so many other things directly counter to being an undercover Hydra agent this whole time (since BEFORE HE WAS PICKED OUT FOR THE SUPERSOLDIER PROGRAM????) that it’s just not worth getting into. It doesn’t work, and we all know it. This is bad, bad writing. It’s gimmicky crap in the worst tradition of gimmicky crap comic book plot twists.
Continue reading Don’t Make People Nazis Just Because You’re a Lazy Writer: A Response to this Steve Rogers Hydra Nonsense
Directors: Joe Russo, Anthony Russo
Screenplay: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely
Is it weird to call Captain America an anarchist? Yes, yes it is. Of course, there’s a ton of different versions of the character throughout the canon, from the hyperpatriotic and jingoistic to the I-hereby-renounce-my-US-citizenship-because-I-am-so-disgusted-with-this-government. “Captain America” is not so much an embodiment of America as he is an embodiment of whatever version of America the creators who are working on him at whatever moment think would be the ideal. So even though yeah, we’re talking about a guy called Captain America who wears a red white and blue costume, we’re not talking about AMERICA.
Continue reading Captain America is a Big Screen Anarchist Superhero, How Fucking Weird is That?
Welcome to “Are You My Comrade?” where I will evaluate fictional revolutionaries on the basis of whether or not I would personally like to hang out and/or revolt with them. This will be an ongoing, multipart series, and is theoretically infinite, since I don’t see us running out of fictional revolutionaries any time soon. Suggestions for future entries are welcome; leave us a comment with a fictional revolutionary you’d like to see judged in a highly subjective way!
Les Amis de l’ABC, Les Miserables
Oh you guys. You’re so passionate, and sincere and sincerely passionate. I think my favorite moment in any musical ever is when Marius comes into the revolutionary plotting meeting singing the “I just saw a girl for like three seconds and now everything has changed oh my god you guys” song and gets told “dude shut up, we’re trying to plan an insurrection over here. You can chime in with whatever you want when we sing Red and Black if you must but tbh no one cares about your feelings right now and don’t you dare try to bring your heterosexuality into Do You Hear the People Sing.” It’s pretty satisfying.
Continue reading Are You My Comrade? part 1
Detective Jack Robinson
Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries
So, so guilty. Maximum guilt. This guy is just a standard stereotype of what people who say “most cops are good, it’s the bad ones who ruin things” believe a “good cop” to be, and I am an absolute ass for accepting and loving this character just because he wears sharp 1920s suits and because I want him to make out with Phryne Fisher. You do not get a pass on being part of an oppressive colonialist law enforcement agency just because I think it’s cute when you get flustered by a flapper’s free-spiritedness. So much agonizing guilt here.
Should you suffer from the same guilt, I highly recommend constructing a parallel narrative to the show in your head, where Bert and Cess never gave up on being communists and are quietly plotting a 1920s Australian revolution in the background of literally every scene in which they are not actively helping Phryne stop murders. If you like, you can also pretend that Jack knows about this, and is turning a blind eye or even helping them, but I honestly don’t know if my imagination can stretch his character that far; he is a cop, and I feel bad for liking him. I feel bad for liking Phryne too, if it comes down to that, but Free-Spirited Flappers Who Are Also Imperialist Aristocrats I Guiltily Love is a much shorter list so it doesn’t get its own article, I just thought I’d mention it.
Guilt levels: so high.
Continue reading Fictional Cops I Love, Ranked By How Guilty I, As An Anarchist, Feel For Loving Them
Cover image: Juan Navarro
From: The Zombie Years
Image used with permission but without Juan having read or necessarily endorsing this piece.
It’s a week into the zombie apocalypse. Our plucky gang of heroes from all walks of life has holed themselves up in a sporting goods store at the edge of town.
Seven people, all worried about their friends and families. All worried about the end times.
They’re gathered together in the store’s office, nervously checking the security camera feed. The biggest herd of zombies seems to have drifted on, and there are only a handful of the living dead roaming the parking lot, plus nearly a hundred haunting the nearby grocery store. Our survivors are waiting for a few of their crew to return from scouting the department store on the other side of the parking lot.
Continue reading American Governors in the Zombie Apocalypse
A short review of the comic and an interview with the author.
Words: Ion O’Clast
Art: Rachel Dukes
Cover: Andy Warner
This comic had me from the cover. First of course the imagery of a cop car crushed by a d20. Well, hell yes, I’m going to read this. Happily I can say there is a lot to like in this short little comic.
I really don’t want to give away too much of the content, but I’ll share a little. For me this is such a nice summary of why I think projects like AGR are important in our radical space. The comic follows the narrator’s journey through subcultures talking about how each group has informed them. (I just realized I’m using narrator here. I assume it’s Ion, but I forgot to ask.) The idea of fantasy as an escape from anarchism was one that hit close to home for me, but also the idea that fantasy provides us with tools to inform our anarchism.
Continue reading No Gods, No Dungeon Masters
Director: Colin Trevorrow
Writers: Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver, Colin Trevorrow, Derek Connolly, Michael Crichton
Recommended? This movie has dinosaurs in it.
So I know for people who go to movie theaters this movie is old already or whatever, but as far as I’m concerned it’s a new release because I just found it on The Pirate Bay.
Jurassic World is full of hot dinosaurs I’d totally love to know in the biblical sense and they all run around this island and go totally jurassic on all these fucking tourists. There are like, flying velociraptors and shit. If you want to watch that happen, which you do, you’re going to have to turn your pop-culture blinders up to 11.
The protagonist is this action hero dude who was probably genetically engineered to be part velociraptor which is why he’s as smart as one, and the antagonist is this giant T-Rex who was definitely genetically engineered to be part velociraptor which is why he’s as smart as one too.
And these two guys — the human guy and the dinosaur guy — they’re fighting over who gets to be the alpha of the pack of actual velociraptors.
Continue reading Jurassic World (2015)
Under the Dome
Created by: Brian K. Vaughan and Stephen King
Based on: Under the Dome by Stephen King
Recommended? Not even remotely.
It was such an intriguing premise. A small town, and its surrounding farmland, is suddenly sealed off from the rest of the world by an impenetrable dome. My mind reeled with possibilities and questions. Can they learn to live sustainably? Will they do away with conventional government and currency systems? Will they form collectives? Will they organize by consensus? I have a crapload of laundry to do — will I at least have an entertaining binge watch while sorting and folding? The answer to all these questions was a painful no.
Should you wish to share my pain, or judge for yourself, Under the Dome is a CBS series readily available on CBS.com, Amazon Prime, and DVD. Be warned though, this show is just good enough in its early episodes to make you keep watching for a long, life-sucking ride.
Continue reading Under the Dome, Seasons 1-3
Final Fantasy VI
Released in the US as: Final Fantasy III
Recommended? Looking for an outlet to satisfy your craving to join an anti-Imperialist, anti-technology, underground resistance movement? Then yes. Like games with interesting stories and challenging, unique gameplay? Then yes. Seeking deep political analysis, insight into intersections of oppression, or some straight-up anarchy? Then maybe, maybe not.
Final Fantasy VI (FFVI) — originally released as Final Fantasy III in the US — is a legendary roleplaying game for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. It is considered by some to be the best RPG of all time, and I can see why. It’s got a fun, dynamic story; over 14 playable characters, many with their own unique attributes; unforgettable music; character and gameplay customization that allow for new experiences in every playthrough; and some righteous, though mostly superficial, politics.
Because this game has been glowingly reviewed so many times for its gameplay mechanics and character development, I’m going to focus on the aspects of the game that you all came here for: resistance to government oppression, and anti-civ fanfare.
Warning: The rest of this review contains hella spoilers.
Continue reading Final Fantasy VI
Directed by: Francis Lawrence
Screenplay by: Danny Strong and Peter Craig
Based on: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
I’ve only read the first Hunger Games book. That either makes me the perfect reviewer for the movies, or maybe a woefully incompetent one. It does mean, however, that I’m taking the movies one at a time, because I don’t know what happens.
I know it makes me a bad anarchist to say this, but the worst thing about the third part of the Hunger Games is that there aren’t any hunger games. It’s just a movie about revolution instead. Considering that the hunger games are an awful thing and revolutions are something us anarchists are known for encouraging, this is a strange statement. But frankly, the battle royale under the omniscient gaze of an evil dictator made for good fiction.
Revolution can too, it turns out. I liked the movie, but it was decidedly less fun, and in so many ways less spectacular, than the first two. It was just, well, a completely different thing. Which is better than just making the same movie three times, I suppose, from a storytelling point of view. So I’ll forgive it.
Continue reading The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 (2014)