Articles, Essays, Poems and More

Liminal – a review

The book you see below, with the eyesore that is a QR code sat there on the cover, is Liminal (obviously).

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Liminal is a processual term, referring to the spaces where you find you are somewhere ambiguous and disorienting. Any liminal project is one that is at the boundary between spaces – like that weird psychic realm between the conscious and unconscious mind.

This book, Liminal, is one of disorientation, but also of confession. Who’s confession? Cameron’s, of course!

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What is Cameron’s crime? Read the book to find out!

This autobiographical novella could easily be compared to some of the best cyber-punk science fiction available to us. Over his journey, throughout this period of his life, Cameron is confronted by symbols from Ancient Mesopotamian and Buddhist theology, goth and punk subcultures, and anarchist traditions, all the while confronted by questions that are both strange and common to us all – “what is going on?”, “what is happening to me?”, “what do I trust as real?”, etc.

There is a particular concept that Cameron brings to the reader, which I want to comment on here, as it is one I intend to use and is perhaps the best gift to the reader from the book. This concept is semiotic-driving. If you’ve not come across the idea of psychic-driving, prepare yourself to feel disappointed in how awful people can be!

A techno-therapeutic practice used by psychiatrists, mostly in the 1950s and 1960s; psychic-driving involves repeatedly playing an audio-message to “patients”, until behaviours were moulded to the psychiatrists intended form. This is reported to have been popular with brainwashing programs, such as MKultra. As a mind-control technique, psychic-driving is an aspect of depatterning procedures that include the use of electro-shock therapies and psychotropic drugs in further stages of “treatment”.

Semiotic-driving, like psychic-driving, involves certain forms of repeated messaging, but through the use of sign-processes that encode signs with meanings that usurp the activity of communication. What semiotic-driving might do to the Semiosphere – the interconnected realm of activities that invoke meaning through an environment – is enable the manipulators of meaning to play “mind-control” type games through indirect informational streams. In all probability, not necessarily as some kind of conspiracy, but semiotic-driving is likely already underway through digital and virtual semio-state-capitalist production narratives, as this culture of Reality-building does what it does.

What is Liminal then? A confession – yes! But more than this, Liminal is Cameron’s cautionary tale of how innocent individuals, with no ill-willed intentions, can build mechanisms of semiotic-driving.

Click the link below to find more on this fantastic little book –

https://whereiscameron.wtf/?fbclid=IwAR2R9W8jM7I0qjbGWvoABsKlrKZ7CphtcZqpH5zjRCer_Z4tHDg65q2tVxM

Non-Conceptual Negativity by Zafer Aracagök – a review

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I read Zafer Aracagök’s book Non-Conceptual Negativity: Damaged Reflections On Turkey  in September 2019, most of it on a long train journey, which was delayed by almost an hour. Since then, I have dipped in and out on multiple occasions, to look over specific sections that I resonate with especially. 

Published by the Open Source publisher Punctum Books, this analysis of “Neanderthal capitalism” and “nano-fascism” embodies what is perhaps both the best and worst quality of academic writing, with its unique array of terms and Zafer’s unconventional thought, which is not kind/easy on the reader. Zafer’s thought draws from the post-structuralist realm of continental philosophy, in particular that of Deleuze and Guattari – who have also influenced a great deal of my thought and approach to writing, with their concepts-as-bricks-to-smash-with energy/aesthetic.

What this provides the reader with is an arsenal of weaponised concept-bricks, for “somnambulist situationist” attacks against the “suicide bomber” father of Hegel/Trump/Erdogan/etc. In the section “somnambulist situationist manifesto” Zafer states –

” “Why”ing, not in order to get ready-made responses to daily media bombardements, and media intellectualisms, Somnambulist Situationists aim at miraculating a sleepwalker’s strategy to re-consider the Situationist Internationalist’s texts towards an un-negotiable, short-circuiting, non-identitarian, and especially a critically perverted position.”

With regards to my personal immediatist/eco-presentist philosophy, one of the sections that resonated most with my thought is the piece entitled Now. In this section, Zafer position’s opposition to hetronormativity within queerness as “now” – that is to be queer is to be living now. This resonates intensely with my personal experiences of becoming-animal, as a rejection of human-normativity that is Historical (in both directions), and the immediacy of (authentic) ecological-rebellion. I wasn’t surprised by this harmonising of spaces, as queer anti-humanism and environmentalist anti-humanism have seemed like places for unified-differentiation/differentiated-unity (as Guattari might have dreamed of).

Zafer for the most part appears to be attempting to shatter the Cotard’s delusion of cultures that have embraced the stupefying position of total submission to the voice of dictators/fathers/authorities who ultimately embody the suicide-bomber position – i.e. “hey guys, you are actually alive” – while hypnotising the dictator/father/authority. While not the manner by which environmentalists and anarchists are traditionally accustomed to thinking or reading or strategising, this somnambulist post-situationist tactic – which is perverse in ways that embody the non-socially-acceptable quality ecological rebellion and anarchist revolt desperately needs to embody, if the practices are to escape further usurpation and Spectaclisation by the machine-Leviathan – offers potential means of avoiding traps that seem to be set all around, capturing too many into that terrible cage of inclusion, where we are all zoo animals, making money for the zoo keepers.

The last thought of Zafer’s, from this wonderful, perverse, incendiary little book, that I will share here, again with particular relevance to the areas of discussion I am personally involved in, is this single sentence that is the entirety of the Animals section –

 “When it is understood that animals are constituted as singularities, humans will give up making documentaries on animals.”

How I interpret this thought is that, when we destroy the speciesist categories of non-human humanised stereotypes, we can recognise every living being as Uniquely them –  no-Things, as non-conforming to market-reification. In a non-conceptual sense, all beings, entities, phenomenon, whatever-word-you-like, is singularly them. Imagine David Attenborough doing a documentary where he spent the entire show going “here is a unique being interacting uniquely with other unique beings, through their processes of becoming-themselves” – he’d never be able to profit off of his alienating “nature” Spectacle if he did!

Even if you are not familiar with the realms of discourse that Zafer has drawn from, and seeks to defend through the work, I’d encourage anyone to give it a read – especially anarchists and eco-rebels! I’ll post the link to the page on Punctum’s website below –

Non-Conceptual Negativity: Damaged Reflections on Turkey

 

The Origins and Nature of Hunting: Ecopatriarchy – a review

In the photo below you will see the copy of her new book The Origins and Nature of Hunting: Ecopatriarchy by Ria Montana, sent to me by Ria, with the cat who lives with me and Katie sat next to it.

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Ria writes within a tradition of anarchist thought that I am often considered tied to – anarcho-primitivism. One of my most significant struggles with anarcho-primitivist discourse is, despite its exploration of areas not often ventured through within even many radical areas of thought, it has largely manifested as a monocultural space, with some very concrete roads for praxis. My personal experiences and beliefs regarding anarchy are more inclined towards fluidity and diversity. Ria’s journey off of the beaten track of anarcho-primitivist thought was wonderful from the outset, for this simple rejection of conforming to the norms of this area of discussion.

Now there is a fair bit that I feel could be criticised about the analysis that Ria presents, but I do not feel a need or desire to do so. This is because, from the outset, she presents her analysis as a means of building a case to support her experientially based beliefs – not as an objective, reductive, singular truth. The book is Ria seeking to connect with people’s compassion and that is largely all it needs to be seen as. What I enjoyed about this is, again, how different it is from the absolutism of purist an-prim thought – given that this is for the most part a challenge to the mainstreams of the tendency.

In challenging the “hunter” narrative of anarcho-primitivism, through a vegan-moral perspective, Ria “kills” (metaphorically) 2 birds with 1 stone – or perhaps 2 stones with 1 bird? The first is the fetishisation of eating meat within rewilding thought and the second is the toxic ideological object of “Man” the violent force, as if it is something romantic and desirable, and the sexism that pollutes much of the primitivist space.

Again, this is by no means perfect – but who wants perfect?! Does the reader really gain much from the email exchanges and conversations with anarcho-primitivists, seemingly via computers, which Ria has included? I don’t think so, personally. But this is her book, her challenge to primitivism, from within primitivism, and I think more like this is needed – I’ve dedicated a decent portion of the manuscript I’m working on to challenging some of the mainstream primitivist ideology from a prim-sympathetic perspective.

Now that this book has put forward this challenge to the anarcho-primitivists of the world, my thought is “will they rise to this challenge, or will the sexist monocultural ideologues just scoff and disregard this as some woman’s opinion?”

I have already recommended this book to 1 vegan male friend and have 2 vegan female friends in mind to recommend it to as well. I suggest that primitivists give this book a look over and use this as an opportunity to reflect.

Dance Before The Day Is Lost And You Are Not Seen As Insane

Two statements by Nietzsche, which I have taken quite to heart, are –

“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.”

and

“We should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once. And we should call every truth false which was not accompanied by at least one laugh.”

I can remember after my first round of brain surgery being sat in the hospital café, eating chips with family who had come to visit me, talking about both of them and why I didn’t want to just rest in bed. An unreasonable refusal surged through my body, and I rebelled against the push for me to just be in bed.

When recovering at home from surgeries and other aspects of treatment, I would listen to music for several hours in a single go, play guitar and explore alternative tunings and techniques, when I had the energy to do so, write songs and poetry, as well as cook, again when I had the energy to do so. Of course I slept and rested when I was tired. But I made sure that I did all I could to engage in experiences that I found an experience of beauty in.

With the Covid 19/Coronavirus situation as it is, perhaps there seems like less reason to dance and like it would be madder to dance today than it would at other times. The existential anxiety is terrible to many. Businesses are failing to stand before the weight of the situation. Governments are implementing increasingly authoritarian measures, so that they might regain some perception of control.

Ecological healing might be beautiful to those of us who are earth-minded and anti-anthropocentrism. It is less joyful to those who are struggling, social distancing and experience isolation as something that is crushing.

I do not see that there are any comfortable “political” outcomes to the situation. My instinct is that, as ecological situations worsen and the political machine continues to lose what little stability it has, economies will worsen and authoritarianism will be used as means of grasping for control, as it slips from between their fingers. My belief has been that the 2020s will include a great deal of systemic collapses, which will not be repairable or reconstructable, where most illusions around this culture really being able to control the world will fall apart. However, I don’t want to play the game of future prediction or future planning.

Life is here and now.

Consider this a clichéd existentialist-type statement, but death has always been here and now too. This is a thought I’ve had with me throughout the Covid 19 panic. We’ve always carried death’s shadow with us.

In this way, perhaps it has always been unreasonable and insane to dance. But the music of life sings away. The other day I sat under a tree, listening to birds sing and the wind make music through the trees, like breath flowing through a flute.

I enjoy living somewhere that already very socially isolated – in a small barn-conversion house out in the Devon countryside. My house is a T.A.Z., which fluctuates between low-intensity capture by the machine – in the paying of bills like council-taxes – and being an immediatist tribal space full of anarchist fun. Much of my anarchist praxis is based in immediatism – immediate revolt and rebellion, immediate experience. I’m not waiting for anyone else for the world I want to create and I am not relying on mediators, like organisations, to facilitate structures that provide the image of liberation.

Much of the immediatist fun that happens in this space where I live, with my wife and the chaotic cat who lives with us, is through cooking decadent flavourful food, spontaneous live music, crochet creativity, dancing, games, gardening and the enjoyment of scented candles and incense. Immediatist games and art projects are best kept out of “the media”, so I do not showcase much more of this through the spectacle of social media, other than when I decide to do so to support non-immediatist projects, as I am doing here – this is not immediatism, but an image of immediatism.

I enjoy this small tribal experience of immediatist fun, joy and shared struggle, as we seek to survive Leviathan. I consider us a tribe in the sense that there is a quality to the shared experience that is prior to any encoding and consider a tribe to be individuals sharing a space out of egoistic desire to do so, which comes before any conceptualisation.

Immediatism is in many ways like dancing – even more so when it is dancing. And even when it is a form of madness – perhaps especially when it is madness, when considering what it means to be sane in a thoroughly sick culture – it would seem terrible, to me, for anyone to go a day with no immediatist experience. Much of what I wrote in Feral Consciousness was an attempt to deconstruct processes of mediation, as what I wrote in Feral Iconoclasm was an attempt to articulate processes of the destruction of mediation – in the sense that humanisation is an attempt to separate from the wild world through layers of mediation and becoming-feral is a naked embrace of animal experience.

As attempts made by governments to control the world ultimately fail, so does domestication and processes of mediation. We cannot cut the world out, because we are the world. It is right here and there is nowhere else to go, really. They can build images of and monuments to our perceived cosmic-separation, but they fall apart when the world comes flooding back in.

In many ways, immediatism happens more than anyone ever realises. It creeps up on you and takes you by surprise, like when you suddenly find yourself being hugged by a friend you hadn’t expect to see, but suddenly find yourself in the arms of.

It is happening now. Even as authorities attempt to grasp out for control, through intensifying mediums of mediation, life happens immediately.

You might consider activities and experiences of immediacy within your life, even as this culture fetishizes distancing as a means of keeping the dangers of the wild world out. Are you creating live music where you live, singing to yourself and those you live with, cooking delicious foods, playing together, engaging in the craft-creativity or any other style of immediatist fun? If not, why not?

As the authorities try to repress activity and the world, now seems the perfect opportunity for secret tribal gatherings with immediatist play – as right now is always the only opportunity for immediatism to happen. Individuals sharing spaces together engaging in collaborative fun, without the presence of facilitators and mediators, as means of psychic and physical rebellion. One-person dada-style theatre performances to an audience of friends; secret music festivals created collaboratively and with no spectators; story telling that contains nothing from within the dreadful mental-prison of “news-media”; and so on, with as many potential means of insanity amidst all of “this” as you dare to try.

Stop reading this right now! Abandon this moment of mediated experience and dance. You think there is no music? I am convinced that there is. All around, coursing between and through our bodies, there is the music of life. The heartbeat is a beat, like a drum, pulsating the rhythm of your animal body.

Why are you still reading? What are you afraid of?

Sing! Scream! Dance!

There is nothing to wait for; as it is already right fucking now and you are already right fucking here.

Okay, I’m finished with this piece. I’m gonna go take a piss and then play some guitar.

Will you dance before the day is lost and you have can no longer be insane right now?

A Thought On Earthly Thought

I have continually struggled with the Gods-eye-view that is prevalent within most discourse, radical or non-radical. From a Gods-eye-view position, groups and individuals suppose a position of authority and with it an assumed truism about “what needs to be done”, which serves as justification for any attempt to control through systematising – on macro and micro political scales. I wrote more on this in my piece Some Thoughts On Flat Earthers .

I enjoy and attempt to think more on the earthly level, as I encounter the world. At this level of thinking, you have to move around obstacles, such as trees or large boulders, move through spaces, such as rivers or thorny overgrowth areas of plant growth, and sometimes find yourself as contradictory, like when sat besides a warm fire outside on a cold windy night. This type of thinking means getting muddy and messy. You might get stung when travelling through this space, or trip over a tree root. It is often inhuman thinking, instinctual rather than rational, as it is a psychic realm of our being-animal.

A quality that this space of thought has, which I enjoy, is that it includes being-with, as living-with, innumerable others who live together in different ways. The lives of an oak tree and tribe of badgers might be different in ways that defy any similarisation, but they might live together, probably supporting each other in those egoistically-communistic/biospheric-egalitarian ways that wild-life just seem to do. Rather than the mono-culture of civilisation/egriculture, this realm of wild-Being continually appears to me to be a process of actualising differences and growth of diverse spaces, through continual change.

Announcement Regarding My Feral Books

5 years ago I sent Aragorn! an email, asking whether Little Black Cart would be interested in considering publishing the manuscript that I was working on at that point. This was the beginning of my relationship with the publishing project.

My desire to work with Little Black Cart grew from their being a publishing project that provides anarchist, environmentalist and egoist materials. Working with LBC has not always been easy and, for the most part, worked only because of mine and Aragorn!’s desire to work together, in-spite of any difficulties.

With Aragorn!’s death, the topography of my relationship with LBC is changed in a drastic way. I still feel appreciation for the project and think that they are one of the most valuable spaces within anarchist discourse. And things are different now.

Like how LBC is different to the space it was 5 years ago, I am different in many ways, am a different space and am undergoing processes of change. I am still very similar to who I was when I first emailed Aragorn!, with basically the same beliefs, and I am extremely proud of both Feral Consciousness: Deconstruction of the Modern Myth and Feral Iconoclasm: Anarchy as Rising and Dying. And I am different now.

Aragorn! had encouraged me to write a third book, as a final part to the Feral-collection of thoughts/arguments/discourse, that I have been in the process of creating. I sent him the manuscript first draft and received a message 2 weeks before he passed away from him, stating that he was about to start reviewing the manuscript. With his passing, I have been confronted by a choice and the anxiety that freedom brings – do I try to retain the type of relationship I have had with LBC, without the individual who has been my main point of contact, or do I pursue other routes.

After a great deal of self reflection, meditation and making the decision to trust in my gut instinct and not worry about the reactions from people reacting out of bad faith, I have decided to journey in this direction. I have gone through the manuscripts of my first 2 Feral books, made some minor edits, and am going to self publish, as second editions, both books on May the 15th2020, in print and with a pay-what-you-want free digital-copy download option as well. I do not want these books to be limited to only anarchist circles and want them to be able to reach more people, as more people take an interest and place value in these books that I have written.

A friend has agreed to edit the third and final book in this collection of this collection, Feral Life: Meditations on Anarchists and Anarchy, and currently has an updated draft. This collection of writings is probably the best thing I have written yet and I am both excited and nervous about getting it out into the world. I am intending to publish this one later in 2020, in the same ways that I am going to publish the other books.

I find a great deal of resonance with the anarcho-primitivist philosophy of John Moore, in that for me radical praxis is a type of medicine-person activity. I am interested in exploring different ways of destroying the earth abusing machine and healing of this world, in the same way that I desire the destruction of cancer cells by healthy bodies. I am now exploring ways in which I am able to survive this culture and support those who I love and are part of my tribe. These explorations are very much the same, with no separation. These books, as much as being rebellions, have been attempts in medicine work – again explorations with no separation.

My project of writing these books is both different and the same as it was back when I first contacted Aragorn!.

Mesodma

Vegan Primitivist

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An artistic life reconstruction of Kimbetopsalis simmonsae. Image credit: Thomas E. Williamson et al / Unsplash / Sci-News.com.

How I long for pre-civ stories to satiate my imaginings of uncivilized life. Not stories wholly invented, but based in sensual experiences and events, pre-historical fictions of sort. There has been nothing close to when William Golding, author of Lord of the Flies, fearlessly took on the challenge in The Inheritors, a telling of a band of Neanderthals’ first contact with Homo sapiens. But now here comes Julian Langer with Mesodma, a work on absurdity and extinction, a telling of a rodent species surviving a mass extinction event. He’s a burrowing creature who experiences the world through habits of waking to birdsong, the feel of the sun, and searches for nuts, with a rich range of sensations, feelings and wisdom of embeddedness in wildness. Ah, to live moment…

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A Meditation on Interiors and Exteriors

One of the conceptual fields from psychoanalysis and psychometrics that I find most repellent is the dichotomous cartography of introvert/extrovert. An introvert is supposedly someone who is intensely internal. An extrovert is supposedly someone who is intensely external. Introverts are shy, quiet and contemplative. Extroverts are sociable, talkative and impulsive. 

These concepts work, as stereotypes for psychological researches that want to reduce people to easy-think-categories. They have their machinic function and perform it well. 
Thinking about this ontologic-ecologic-anarchically, this conceptual field is repellent (to me at least)! In much the same way that transcendental meditation principally succeeds as a means of alienating an individual from their body, by attempting to locate the Self in some spiritual dimension, outside of this fleshy bodily realm; the introvert/extrovert plays into mereological ideological dualisms, where these realms of inside and outside are real separate places, with territorial boundaries demarcating, real points of separation. This is the same logic of salvationism-through-agriculture, social contract, after-life religions, transhumanism, Buddhism and other modes of thought that reason that the world is primordially evil, and so must be Humanised – with Man in God’s image and God as Man’s image – by building and constructing a world that is, supposedly, not in the world, through its isolationism (which is Historically colonialist at all points). 
From a non-dual “the body is real”, radical monist return-to-the-flesh – the physicalism that embodies ecological thought – this division between inside and outside is meaningless; like how flooding renders the boundary between inside and outside a building meaningless. There is no internalised/externalised self separation. What is considered the internal world of the psychic is just as much part of the external world as oak and ash trees, turtles and snails. What is considered the external world of streams, goldfinches and valleys, is just much part of internal world as our personal meditations. The intensification of internalisation, which is civilisational/transcendental/salvationist thought, intensifies this duality of externalisation and the logic of externalities, which is pollution, clearcuts and specicide. Typical environmentalist thought will often maintain this duality by only seeking greater externalisation, rather than collapsing the separation. Likewise, introversion is sought to be overcome through greater externalisation of the Self and extroversion is overcome through greater internalisation. 
What seems to me to be an important aspect of rewilding thought is the destruction of the false dichotomy of internal/external. The world that lives within us, from our psychic processes to the bacteria in our guts, is just as much part of the world as koalas, mountains and honeybees. The skin that holds our bodies together, the skulls that protect our brains that amplify the mindedness of our bodies, and so on; these are not boundaries of demarcated territory. We are Extensions of the world. 

On My Friend Aragorn!

Last night, right before going to bed, I learnt that Aragorn! has died. I have woken up with the same feeling of grief I went to sleep with.

When I first messaged him asking if he thought Little Black Cart would be interested in publishing the book I was writing at that moment, he told me yes. He then took interest in the next book I had written and, while it was a bumpy process, Feral Iconoclasm was published. Aragorn told me that it felt like I wasn’t “complete” and that it needed to be a trilogy to finish the idea. This encouragement was what started the process of writing the 50,008 word manuscript, which his last communication to me was that he’d started reading and that we’d be video chatting soon.

With an ocean and a continent between us, most of our communication was through video chat. Either early in his day or late in mine – twice at 2am for me – I would get a sense of who the guy was, behind this public persona and emails and messages that give very little personality away. I struggle to listen to podcasts, for the same reason I struggle to listen to the radio – the ghost like absence feels too dead for me to really enjoy. If I do as I intend now, and listen through The Brilliant as a means of appreciation for what he brought the anarchist conversation, I don’t know if this struggle will be worse or better. I’ll have to see.

In the last conversation we had through video chat, much of the conversation focused on the idea of anarchists needing time and space for anarchist-stuff, away from other life pursuits, like work and family. Like a lot of our minor differences in thought, I felt appreciation for his. When he spoke about himself he said “I’ve dedicated my life to anarchism”, between different complaints about how boring the anarchist scene has been recently.

Aragorn told me once that he loved the film of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – not the Johnny Depp one! My response was that, when we met face to face, I’d like to watch it with him. This will never happen – though I intend now to watch it at the earliest opportunity.

I imagine those who love him and knew him more intensely than I do are in far more severe states of grief than I am. I imagine those who do not appreciate what he brought in the way of news platforms and digital libraries and more, to the anarchist space, as well as political enemies, will not.

As far as challenging provocative people go, who are prepared to pursue the anarchist conversation to some of its most intensely uncomfortable, honest and radical spaces, he was provoking and a challenge.

My feeling right now is of love and sadness, uncertainty and a cruel sense of absence, which must be explored.

In a radical monist sense of birth and death, creation and destruction, he is not gone. Energy is always in processes of transfer. He is becoming different to who he was, as he dissipates into the nihilistic void, for regrowth to occur. I think of Aragorn as a destructive wildfire, burning away to make space for new life and regrowth, with the cruel thought and conversation he brought – in this way, he is much of what I mean in the term feral iconoclasm. As far as the process he is now in, I’d be lying if I denied that my desires are for more of who I knew him to be.

Aragorn was more than the editor/publisher who made books I wrote objects that people can hold and smell and taste and look at and so on, to me. He was my friend.

I can’t really say more than that!

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