Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Anarchism & Decadence (5)

Direct Action Decadence
- Carrie Bradshaw, The Queen City of the Plains (and don’t you forget it!)

In our great philosophy of big dreams and bigger hopes, is it too much to ask that anarchists carry themselves with grace and elegance? If I think back to all the time I’ve spent as an anarchist, my fondest memories are the ones where we managed to combine anarchy with the absurdly decadent. The feasts that took three days to prepare, the dance parties in decrepit palaces, champagne in that sketchy-ass hot tub, or the general un-governability of passionate hope (and by passionate hope, I might mean idiotic optimism!). Those times, when against our better judgment, we gambled it all and won!

Anarchists Need Decadence:

Yes it’s true. Anarchism is too wet and wild to turn into another moral caveat or a code of behaviors! Unfortunately, anarchism is stuck in the box of aesthetic dirtiness and homebum soup (and whose to argue with fashion!) but let’s step it up a little! Adventuring doesn’t have to always be macho-macho-manarchy, nothing’s wrong with an elegant adventure - frolicking in a field or something, and by field, I mean free store! Anarchy has a long history of celebrating beauty and artistic freedom, sometimes we just forget it. Decadence forces us to get off our pedestal and frolic in the streets. Basically, no one frolics anymore.

Decadence Needs Anarchy:

Without a pragmatic approach to creating a world without hierarchy and authority, decadence is only another choice of consumption patterns. Yes it’s delightful to appreciate a fine wine and an exquisite cheese, but there’s nothing decadent about indulgence for indulgence’s sake. It’s meaningless, worthless, and in a word, base. Decadence has so much more potential to be thrilling and liberatory, but it needs to be placed in a radical context. Otherwise, instead of a dandy, you’re a yuppie, complicit to a system of strict moral codes and behaviors. There is nothing decadent about playing by the rules, or, for that matter, rules at all, is there?
Direct Action Decadence, a Primer:

1. Anarchist Vomitorium: The Romans created the delightful community building activity of eating, drinking, and fucking until everyone pukes into a trough of flowing water. People, now is the time.

2. DIY Spa: Spa refers to a water-centered medicine, which makes your own diy spa, easy breezy covergirl. Most spa recipes involve hot water and some soothing herbs, and if you are interested, you can always check out a book or two from the library. Give yourself a foot soak! Rub a little olive oil on your tootsies and soak in hot water, with herbs if you so desire. Afterwards, lugubriously rub lotion on feet and put on some cozy socks!

3. Tea Parties: No more f’n potlucks! You can still bring your burned peanut butter lentil mush but we’re drinking tea and champagne and eating cakes, no if ands or buts, just f’n butts!

4. All Night Dance Party: Self-explanatory, but here’s a few words of advice. Food not Bombs turns trash into fine dining, so try turning trashy music into an amazing dance party! Think Latoya, Just Wanna Dance. You absolutely must set the stage! Gone are the days of high school dance parties where everyone awkwardly shuffles around, in full lighting, whilst leering at one another. Eliminate the problem, in this case, light. You will need to either turn-off all the lights, or make a disco ball out of dumpstered cds that have been cut up and glued to a sphereical item, strapped to a slowly rotating motor (probably stolen from a craft store) and illuminated with a flashlight. It’s just got to happen.

5. Sex in Public: Be safe, be courteous, when you RSVP to a party, always be sure to come.

6. Art Swaps: These days plenty of a-political hipsters have these, but they were once an anarchist mainstay, something to look forward to and give you incentive to make something beautiful. You know you have some crappy painting of a deer with a banana in its antler sitting around somewhere, so why not trade it for something worth a damn!

7. Combine them all and see the beauty, touch the magic!


Daniel Owen said...

I'm against all decadence. Capitalism is decadent -- I want no part of it. Cultural decadence is a sure sign that a culture has lived too long and is ripe for destruction and resurrection.

Daniel Owen said...

"Basically, no one frolics anymore."

People still watch "The Sound of Music." Perhaps you've watched it one too many times, eh? ;)