I’m starting a series here where I talk about history, because geeks love history. I’m going to focus on stories I think anarchists will like. Here’s one:
“The Nazi scumbags were meeting one night on the second floor. Nat Arno and I went upstairs and threw stink bombs into the room where the creeps were. As they came out of the room, running from the horrible odor of the stink bombs and running down the steps to go into the street to escape, our boys were waiting with bats and iron bars. It was like running a gauntlet. Our boys were lined up on both sides and we started hitting, aiming for their heads or any other part of their bodies, with our bats and irons. The Nazis were screaming blue murder. This was one of the most happy moments of my life.”
That was Max “Puddy” Hinkes, of Newark, New Jersey, and today we’re going to be talking about Jewish gangsters who fucked up Nazis.
Continue reading So A Nazi Walks Into An Iron Bar: the Meyer Lansky Story
If you’re anything like me, this is what happens when you first load up the game Skyrim.
You’re a prisoner on board a cart. Everything is dark. Why is everything dark. Is it everything supposed to be dark? Does your character have a blindfold on, or is there a problem with your pirated copy of the game?
Oh, it’s the latter.
Re-install, try again.
You’re a prisoner on board a cart. The Empire is planning to execute you for being in the wrong place at the wrong time (and for illegally crossing a border). Fuck the empire. Your name isn’t on their list of prisoners to be executed, but what the hell, they already have you, might as well cut off your head. Fuck the empire.
Continue reading Everything I Need to Know About Trump I Learned From Playing Skyrim
Director: Byrd McDonald
Vintage Tomorrows, currently streaming on Netflix, is a feature-length documentary about the steampunk movement. It is based on the book of the same name. It is a very personal film for me. I was a steampunk event organizer, DJ, blogger, and maker from 2007 until about 2013. I was such a fanatic that the large bureaucracy I worked for wrote a memorandum about hats in the workplace just to get the bowlers off my head. I know many of the people interviewed in this film personally. Full disclosure, one of the interviewees is Margaret Killjoy of this website. The film has clearly been in post-production a long time: none of these interviews or events took place any later than 2012, so this film is unintentionally a retrospective of steampunk at its peak.
Continue reading Vintage Tomorrows (2015)
Director: Paul Feig
Screenplay: Katie Dippold, Paul Feig
We don’t really do hot takes here at AGR, apparently. Now that you’re all done talking about Ghostbusters and probably never want to hear about it again, here are some thoughts.
MRA pissbabies should be even madder about Ghostbusters than they are. Though that would probably kill them. Which, I mean, ok, if they have to go, literally burning up in a column of incandescent rage over a movie that has girls in it is probably how they’d want to go.
Continue reading MRA Pissbabies Should Be Even Madder About Ghostbusters Than They Are
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