Apocalypse of the Anarchists
Primitivist Podcasts Killed the “Green” Radio Star
Sometimes something is so obvious it becomes obscure. Such is the case with the current trend in “primitivist” podcasting and other mass “alternative” infotainment. Why, you might ask, would a self-declared “primal” anarchist – embrace high technology to disseminate their opinions and philosophical/social ideas. There is nothing primitive about podcasting, or radio shows, or industrial publishing. Trees still die, electricity is squandered, mass quantities of water wasted, in the promotion of shopworn radical tropes. Why not topple an irradiating cell phone tower instead of producing an hour long Internet broadcast, or burn out a nest of bothersome techno-bureaucrats in lieu of posting a colorful PowerPoint presentation on YouTube? A call-in talk show consisting of reading mass society newspapers and reviewing one’s own work? Surely, a true anarchist warrior would be out in the field, replacing useless Earth First! Hippies (more concerned with “social justice” clichés than actually defending the wild), getting ones hands dirty. Apparently, the Monkeywrench Gang has retired. They covet their pensions more than the call to arms against the Megamachine. Yet they still have time to format fancy magazines and sell them at a premium to skinny jeans anarchists.
John Zerzan is the “grand old man” of green anarchy. Nearly eighty, he hosts a weekly talk show on the University of Oregon radio station, and has been doing so for years. Originally a classic liberal from the sixties “counterculture revolution,” he has since converted to a cozy academic, anthropologically-centered “primitivism,” publishing a dozen or so books along the way. Books with lots of footnotes. John is enamored of his references. You’ll find long lists of them in the appendices of his screeds “against civilization.” Most of these referenced texts were written by university-funded academics, artist-philosophers, scientists and industry society functionaries. John is a former government employee himself, an ex-social worker. Nothing more frightening than an ex-hippie leftist on the war path, angry but safe in his office chair in an air-conditioned domicile. Sometimes his co-host is an old street agitator who uses the moniker “Kathan.” She sounds like she threw more than a few rocks at cops in the past. Or “pigs,” as John still calls the boys in blue. Tired leftism morphs into exhausted anarchism. Rarely does he interview forest defenders or in-the-field fighters. Perhaps they are too busy in court turning on their fellow activists. Let’s ask the obvious: hasn’t anyone ever whispered in his ear “hey John, baby, this is a tad hypocritical.” Maybe his radio engineer and university functionary Carl could get on that. You don’t stop the madness of industrialism by reading the New York Times Magazine. Despite whatever activism he may have done, whatever actions he may have been involved with in the past, this is not an excuse for kissing the feet of the FCC. The government monitors every radio broadcast, does it not? If John’s show were a threat, he would be silenced. The most interesting thing about Anarchy Radio is its history of attracting lunatics to call in. The Sandy Hook shooter was on the line with John some years back. Maybe Alex Jones can deny the radio show’s anarchist credentials. I doubt anyone would sue over that.
There’s an error-ridden recording posted semi-regularly on YouTube called “Uncivilized Podcast,” hosted by anonymous white guys from the Midwest (or is it Bernie’s socialist Vermont). They don’t have down the basics of broadcasting, misstating guest’s names (recently deceased hero of anticiv, convicted murderer Ted Kaczynski, becomes “John”) and speaking in halting fashion as if some hunter-gatherer were poking them with a spear every few seconds (likely a function of recording in separate locations and cutting it all together, an annoying technological faux pas apparent to all listeners). Truly, this podcast is uncivilized, but not in its intent. They interview the usual suspects – academics and recently published authors – with a cute high school amateurism that borders on a comical Hollywood-style appeal to be liked, really liked. It would be entertaining – like a bad standup comedian is somehow entertaining – if the whole thing were not so earnest. Zerzan level “I am right and you are wrong” earnestness (when he’s not walking it back, like he did recently with his classic essay “The Case Against Art”). In fact, they just interviewed the grand old man of liberalism – er, anarcho-primitivism. It was the usual fawning endorsement. The format of the show is stilted, indeed machine-like, and the ideas the same old same old. Has no concerned female partner, Starbucks coffee cup in hand, not nudged these guys and cringed, “Is this anarchy?” Decidedly not, they would be summarily banned by Googletube for stating anything against commerce, civilization or even defending the wyld. Let dry academia do the talking. After all, mass media is for selling things. Books and website subscriptions and such. This is merely another example of controlled opposition, anarchy style, and Uncle John Zerzan must be proud.
Speaking of selling things —
Kevin Tucker needs no introduction. He is the Kanye West of “primal anarchy,” a successful publisher, podcaster, best-selling author (okay, in his niche) and gentle giant of the green activist belt in the Midwest (Missouri to be more accurate). Not unlike that other Missouri gadfly, Jesse James, he is an outlaw of the post-civil war frontier (in this case, the civil war of the 60’s hippie revolution). Starting with his brazenly-titled Species Traitor zine, he was destined for martyrdom as a deviant mind criminal of the new anarchism. Sadly, he settled into quaint mid-Western domesticity with the distaff co-host of his occasional podcast, Mrs. Tucker. It’s like Mr. and Mrs. Smith without all the guns, or glamor, or fine apparel. Or entertainment. Just the same angry accusations and exhausted rhetoric that Zerzan made famous years ago, only with glossier magazines. Perhaps, in the dim past, before his publishing empire with Black and Green Review and his books, his podcast and his domesticity, he toppled a few windmills in the field. Like a certain Social Security recipient in a snug university radio station studio, he has settled. No more being a traitor to the species (whatever that meant, since industrial society is a machine state of being for cyborg thinkers, not the natural state of the species), he has travelled a road much taken, ardently criticizing other anthropological tourists (his book on ethno-botany and murder related to tribal cultures of South America, The Cull of Personality) and setting up shop as a technological entrepreneur wearing a green anarchy t-shirt. You might say he is colonizing the movement, suburban mall style. Welcome to Green Amazon, where KT’s biography (like Kanye he wears a hoodie in his photo) and list of publications invites a comfortable shopping experience. The mass society controllers’ snicker, unworried about the antics of a writer who threatens absolutely no one with his domesticated brand of “anarchy.” Just shut up and buy his shit. At least there aren’t as many footnotes.
Like an angry off-Broadway writer/actor who trades in his well-intended social politics for main stage stardom, or a “citizen journalist” who becomes too big and famous for his own broadcasting britches, these alleged radicals of green anarchy have embraced the death kiss of mass media. Monsters of the Googlesphere and industrial academia aside, it’s not as much about selling one’s soul as it is sitting down to a nice warm meal of electronic complacency. Feel-good anarchy, if you will, with a side of mushy complicity. Like a mad bomber reduced to prison creature comforts, the revolutionary takes a reluctant seat at the enemy’s table. Even if it’s the kid’s corner. Better a warm microphone than a cold tree sit any day.
But it accomplishes nothing in the end, this placating of the Megamachine. Industrial society marches on, burning itself to the ground even in paradise, and the mass murderers responsible recline in their McMansion armchairs, crystal glass of expensive Scotch in hand, smiling at the apocalypse outside their triple-paned windows. It only comforts them to know that the controlled opposition, so-called radicals of the green variety, are buying into the whole Clownworld carnival, one podcast at a time, and paying their taxes like good citizens. Bombs rain on the Middle East and Ukraine, mothers lose sons, forests are decimated, mountain-tops are mined, heavy metals extracted from our mother earth, and the mouthpieces of complacency keep on broadcasting.
What Did You Do in the War, Daddy?
Sometimes something is so obvious it becomes obscure. Other times, it is like bright SUV head lights on a country road. Scaring the earth defenders from the brush like wild deer. They head straight into court, and turn state’s evidence. They smile tightly and turn on their fellow activists like hungry rats. Such was the case with the so-called Green Scare of the 2000’s. The F.B.I. was let loose to find and arrest countless earth warriors who forgot to wear gloves and keep their mouths shut. Now the Democrat Party Federal Police – with a corrupt legacy of not stopping 9/11 but ably persecuting Congress-wandering Trumpists – manages, in their own inept way, to rid the landscape of earth liberationists. Look around you and ponder the fact of almost zero direct actions in America. Earth Last is a joke, Greenpeace sold out long ago, “green” energy is raping the land with lithium mining and giant windmills of death, and there is little hope of a new front in the war against nature.
Folks, I have bad news. The Green Scare never ended. The court rooms may be mostly empty, but that is because the defenders have fled, like Elvis leaving the building. There are no heroes left to martyr. The Trumpists have center stage in that arena. No, earth defense is at an impasse, in a recess even. Sure, there are plenty of hard left anarchists going wild and being arrested/imprisoned/martyred in Europe. For purely political reasons. Where are the Elves of America? Cascadia and Appalachia need their warriors. Sadly, the representatives of earth defense, of rewilding and anti-civ, are happy to sit back and let their tame diatribes against easy targets be published in favored zines, online, or in expensive small press magazines or books no anarchist could afford. The “green scare” is that it is mostly over. The hawk got into the chicken house and is still licking its talons. Elvis the chicken has left the building.
Now at this point an optimist would say “but what of the new generation of activists, surely they will save us!” You mean Greta, who gets her teleprompter talking points from globalist goons? What happened to Obama, the political darling and savior of the left? How many foundations can one fraud run? Or is it libraries? Where do they even get the money? Maybe his wife knows where all the bodies are buried. Speaking of useless leftist politics, remember Mad Al Gore? Wasn’t New York supposed to be under water by now? Didn’t he make $300 million off of scaring people into buying toxic solar panels? Takes a lot of “activism” for these frauds and shills to earn that kind of scratch. The state-sponsored Bidens have a few luxury estates too. Ain’t Democracy grand?
No, we need a new generation all right, but not politicos or poseurs or angrier zine scribblers. The earth is groaning under the weight of human industry, has been for hundreds of years. All those bright, burning screens viewed intently by Generation Z or whatever cost a pretty penny to produce – and a lot of lives, animal and human animal. Lithium mining – indeed all heavy metal extraction – is abjectly toxic. It costs lives, cultural and spiritual and literal. Native Americans need the jobs. Out on the rez a solid paycheck is as important as the old ways. But old ways give in to new tech, and each generation is mesmerized by the latest ware, soft or hard. So what if millions of gallons of water are wasted with mining and shale oil extraction, producing poisonous pollution and a nice helping of cancer for grandma down the road. Greta doesn’t live on the rez. Barack has how many mansions? Meet the old “activist,” same as the new one. Except the new ones — of they exist at all – are more into funny cat memes on their Iphones than climbing an ancient tree to save it from corporate logging. They might craft a quick email complaint to their favorite jeans company complaining that “my fave black jeans have been replaced with charcoal, dudes.” We need a generation of truly human beings. In touch with the earth and sky, not obsessed with Googletube and dancing pandemic nurses. Gaia requires of us a multigenerational effort, an armed desire, not a Masters degree in Liberal Group Think. Each age, each and every one of us of every background, must take up arms. Today’s anarchists – green or otherwise – need to be rebels against the future (again). That future we rebelled against folks. It’s here. We let it happen. New heroes need guts, they need strategies, and they must act accordingly. Voting is not revolution. Consumption of goods and services will not save you. We must welcome – and assist — a return of the Elves, right quick. Pointy sticks, not pointed ears, please.
When you look back on all of it from your cozy battery pod in the matrix circa 2043, will you shed a tear for a technology-free past? Your lovers and children and cousins and animal friends long dead from toxic pollution or earth-scorching wildfires or state armies of hate, will you weep for the tomorrow that never was? Look at the reflection in the recycled plastic in which you are imprisoned. That is the villain. Right there. You are guilty of treason against all life. Because you did nothing. Because you willed this all to happen with a stroke of a keyboard, subscribing to Netflix instead of packing a go-bag and heading out into the cover of darkness to burn it all down.
Primal off-green anarchist, sub rosa-primitivist, anti-civ reject, all-around badass former suburbanite and citizen journalist emeritus.