Thursday, December 05, 2013

Peace, Love & Petrol Bombs by D. D. Johnston (AK Press 2011)

This is how the Anarchist Bookfair goes. At midday, you want to celebrate the libertarian tradition in all its diversity. After half an hour, you remember that anarcho-primitivists are mental. At one o'clock, you tell your mate, "if it's not class struggle, it can fuck off play in the traffic." At three o'clock, you remember that Situationists are annoying, autonomist Marxists are boring, and platformists are Trotskyists in disguise. By five o'clock, it's only your old mates Dave and Jim who are even worth talking to. And at seven o'clock, you remember that Jim sprays everywhere after he's had a few, and Dave has an annoying habit of quoting Malatesta.

Fuck the lot of them.

There are weird people everywhere: girls with bullrings through their noses and dreadlocks thick as anchor ropes; boys with tall, flopping Mohicans; bookish men in raincoats; the Spartacist League—even crazier than the year before. People are reluctant to lower their political guard, so they ignore your leaflets, or they pause, suspicious, as if you're a circus performer who might squirt them with water.

No Way are you coming back next year.

"Fuck this," I said, "let's go for a pint."

"That's a poor level of commitment," said Lucy—no, if you're wondering, she hadn't fallen in love with me and we weren't now a couple. She had left Dundule as planned, and though she she sent me e-mails with her news and smiley faces and exclamation marks to point out the jokes, this was the first time I'd seen her since that night.

Buzz waved his leaflets. "Aye, fuck this."

It has to be said that Spocky, who had escaped into the council communism meeting, was the only one of us with an activist work ethic. We probably would have left then had someone not crept up on me. She put her hands over my eyes and said, "Police, freeze!" I spun round, pushing her away—it was her. She said, "You do not recognise me?"

Of course I did.

"You manage to stay off the railway tracks then?"

Her hair was in a black bob with a dyed red fringe and her voice was different—almost London sounding—but the little nose, the eyes like melted chocolate!

"You do not talk any more?"

"Fuck, it's good to see you. Why—How come you're here?"
"I live in London now."

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