review of Brian Gentry's "Adventures in Ontological Dissonance or Why I Have No Money""


2106. "review of Brian Gentry's "Adventures in Ontological Dissonance or Why I Have No Money""

- the complete version of my review

- credited to: tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

- published on my "Critic" website on September 11, 2022



review of

Brian Gentry's "Adventures in Ontological Dissonance - or Why I Have No Money"

- tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE - August 26 - September 10, 2022

It was before December, 2017, that Brian sent me a pdf of an early draft of this bk. Since I'm mentioned in it & since I'm knowledgable about some of the things he writes about he was curious about what commentary I might provide. I read the ms w/ great interest b/c it describes a journey thru, & participation in, various 'undergrounds' that are extremely important to me & that few people have experienced as many of as Brian has. On Dec 1, 2017, I wrote a commentary called "Vetting Gentry" & sent it to Brian by email. Brian then sent me a revised pdf that I intended to read but never set aside time for since I'd already read the ms once & had, therefore, more pressing priorities.

Eventually, Brian published it in this form: it has no ISBN & it's not available on the internet (unless someone's selling a used copy). I don't remember (or may've never known) what Brian's reasons are/were for choosing this publishing option but it is consistent w/ how things have generally been done by zine publishers, something that Brian's been. In other words, the bk's not really intended for a commerical market - it's something that Brian probably mainly gives away to people that he trades w/, to fellow travelers who are, hopefully, likely to read & appreciate it. It's also something for his kids & other family & friends & loved ones to learn about him thru. The life he leads now is different from the life he describes in "Adventures in Ontological Dissonance" & this is a way for people who only know his current life to understand where he's coming from, as the expression has it. I'm fortunate to've known Brian then & now.

B/c I'd read the early ms & b/c I don't like to repeat-read it took me awhile to get around to reading this in its 'finished' form. I'm very glad I did. It touchs on things like Neoism, The Church of the SubGenius, Squatting, & Anarchism - all subjects of profound meaning to me as revolts against the ordinary, against oppressive norms - mostly things that I've been deeply involved w/ w/ a dedication that many wd consider maniacal. I know of very few autobiographies that address all these subjects at once - in fact, Brian's writings & my own might be the only ones that I know of. So, YES, this bk is IMPORTANT to me.. What others not directly swimming in these currents might make of it is unclear to me.

The 1st right-hand page visible when one opens the bk reveals an explanation of the title:


Of or related to the study of being


Inconsistency between the beliefs one holds or between one's actions and one's beliefs

"Ontological Dissonance

Internal conflict resulting from fluid and shifting beliefs and attitudes about the nature of one's being and one's subsequent actions in the world" - p 1

The above definition of "dissonance" seems to be taken from the 1st definition provided by the online Mirriam-Webster ( ). Far be it from me to quibble w/ such an august source but, putting musical definitions aside for the moment, one of the 1st online definitions that apears when I search is:

"a tension or clash resulting from the combination of two disharmonious or unsuitable elements.

""dissonance between campaign rhetoric and personal behavior""

That strikes me as slightly better b/c it's a bit more general. Still, that too is unsatisfactory b/c it uses the word "disharmonious" wch is something that from a music theory standpoint seems highly questionable to me.'s 3rd definition is this:

"disagreement or incongruity." -

That almost works for me. Why do I even care?!, one might ask. I call myself a "Cognitive Dissident", wch I define as a thinking being who is in disagreement w/ what one might call 'cognitive norms', i.e.: ways of perceiving things that most people subconsciously take for granted as axiomatic that, from my POV, are anything but. The 'problem' for me is that if "disagreement" is considered as "disharmonious" then there's an implied unacceptableness - "harmony" is generally accepted as a desirable goal. &, yet, if everyone's in agreement then there's no dialectical interplay, no honing - homogeneity is the death of imagination. I don't want war but I also don't want peace accomplished thru conformity. The notion that, to now use musical terminology, harmony only consists of a simultaneity of only a limited set of certain frequencies is anathema to cultural plurality. John Cage, whose work I deeply admire, was a person who presented a possibility of simultaneity alone as a type of harmony.

Therefore, while Brian's definition of "Ontological Dissonance" as "Internal conflict resulting from fluid and shifting beliefs and attitudes about the nature of one's being and one's subsequent actions in the world" might be an excellent one for his autobiographical purposes, I think I'd prefer something more along the lines of 'a vibrant coexistence of significantly different internal thought processes resulting from fluid and shifting beliefs and attitudes about the nature of one's being and one's subsequent actions in the world' While my opinion on this might be irrelevant to a review of this bk I mention it b/c I feel that Brian & I have often been preoccupied w/ parallel philosophical & pragmatic considerations & I like considering the different points that we reached as being complimentary.

One thing that's worth pointing out from the get-go is that the author has a self-deprecating sense of humor. The sign of an introspective person is a knowledge of one's shortcomings. No matter how much of a brilliant polymath one is, no matter how accomplished one is, there'll always be areas of lesser accomplishment, of lesser ability - even if these limits are attributable to a lack of interest in being exceptional in those areas. People who're capable of poking fun at their limits are people much less likely to be dictatorial megalomaniacs, people who're much more likely to listen, to be open-minded. These are characteristics I value highly. In a recent conversation, Brian & I talked about absurdism. For me, absurdism is something that turns misery on its head & shakes the spare change out of its pockets.

The 1st chapter is called "Pre-Preamble Otherwise Known as a Pre-Ramble" - that sets the mood of self-questioning, of a willingness to acknowledge that one's self-expressions aren't always as concise as one might wish.

"The first involves looking at my earlier internal propensities and external influences that formed a topographical landscape in which I was embedded (yes, I actually talk like this, too). The second is an inadvertent and inherently limited partial documentation of the cultural and political underground of the 80s and 90s." - p 3

It's this latter that I'm particularly interested in. There've been various bks that've explored this subject. I'm sure I'm not aware of many of them, maybe even most of them. I think of "Semiotext(e) USA" (1987) (edited by Jim Fleming & Peter Lamborn Wilson), "Apocalypse Culture" (1987) (edited by Adam Parfrey), the Reverend Ivan Stang's "High Weirdness by Mail" (1988), Stewart Home's "Assault on Culture" (1988), "The Fringes of Reason - A Whole Earth Catalog" (1989), Greil Marcus's "Lipstick Traces - A Secret History of the 20th Century" (1989) (I still haven't read that one), Bob Black's "Beneath the Underground" (1994), etc..

"I never aspired to normalcy, though I have certainly succumbed to it at various points of my life. In any event, I have been fortunate to have been repeatedly associated with the non-normal type of person. I have benefitted greatly from their own perspectives, guidance, friendship, input, reality-checks, and love. These stories involve a good number of incredibly talented, creative, and brilliant people. In the end that was what I was really seeking - community with people who embodied these qualities and who I admired, respected, and loved in one capacity or another. And I found them." - p 4

Who can't relate to that?! I mean it's such a clear-cut sensible goal.. Oh, but that's right, almost no-one can relate to that, right?! B/c people are too busy conforming to the norms so that they can feel protected while they lead their utterly banal, unimaginative, & cowardly lives. Better safe than sorry? More like: Better Safe than Alive.

"Adventures in Ontological Dissonance" is chock-full of images, all small. This might've been a layout choice, it might've been a choice made in the interest of keeping the expenses of the bk lower. I wish the images were at least 4 times as big. My eye-sight's good but I still find the images too small to give me the level of detail I seek.

"I moved to Stony Point, NC, a town of about 800 people with no stoplight, when I was in the 7th grade. My father was a Presbyterian minister" - p 10

Now, THAT's a small town! When I lived in rural CacaNada at ages 40-42 the closest town had a population of 80, no stores, & a gravel-paved road leading to it. My mom was a Presbyterian Sunday School teacher. In other words, I can relate. When a person was raised Catholic & is no longer religious or Catholic they're called "lapsed Catholics". I wonder if there's an organization of "lapsed Presbyterians"? If so, I'd like to party w/ them.

"Though I was drawn to the energy and anger-management aspects of punk rock and hardcore, in the end I was looking for something else. Punk rock had opened the door for many, many unusual and offbeat artists and ideas to enter the culture because of its "anything goes" attitude. It allowed more marginal elements that had already been festering to sneak through, as well as inspiring many young people to seek out and create new things on their own. These were the people who were looking for what I call the interstitial spaces, the spaces in between well-defined cultural genres and categories. These were people in art and politics who utilized this opening to jump in, or who somehow found themselves suddenly in some demand, however small. It was these elements that I found the most appealing." - p 18

Again, I can relate. Sure, I hung out at (punk) rock clubs in the late '70s & early '80s & there were plenty of things about the energy & social scene that were appealing, in the early days the non-conformity was fairly authentic, but the music was formulaic & uninspired & predictable - the avant-garde classical music was where the real weirdos were at. I'll be mostly passing over the bands that Brian mentions b/c they really didn't do much for me but I'll tell a few relevant stories: Brian mentions the Dead Kennedys. I thought their music was boring but I liked their politics. I liked Crass more than most.

Anyway, the DKs came to play at some all-ages warehouse space in BalTimOre & I went w/ Onyx Azza (Valerie Favazza), my ex-girlfriend & probably the most visually stunning punk singer in the city at the time (if not of all time). I remember getting DK written on my hand w/ marker so that I cd get in for free - after all, I was an anarchist, the DKs were supposedly anarchist, I was very poor & working for a living & I usually charged extremely low admission for my events & let people in for free. It seemed to me that a similar spirit shd prevail at a DK concert. Weeellllll, I was told that what I was doing was not cool by someone connected to the concert & I thought that was a pretty good indication of how little the DKs were probably really anarchist.

I think it was that night that some moviemaker who was touring w/ the band asked Onyx & I if we wanted to be in their punk documentary. We were probably the 2 most outlandish looking people there. I just looked at an online DK tour site & didn't find the gig I'm remembering but it seems likely to me that it was in 1982, 1983, or 1984. By that time, the punk anarchist conformist non-conformist uniform of all-black w/ band patches was already in place. I was probably wearing a tattered white linen suit w/ pictures of lepers on it w/ my hair cut in a circle that went around my head so that it was in front of my ear on one side & behind it on the other. My hair wd've been something like this: or this: . I had no desire whatsoever to conform to the norms of the punk subculture that were already hardening the arteries. Onyx was close to these norms but she pushed them to such an extreme that it was beautiful.

This wd've been in the early to mid '80s. I'd already long-since decided that punk rock wasn't even worth being associated w/ so I sd no to being in the doc. Onyx sd yes & I think they shot a scene of her getting dressed & putting her make-up on before going out. This was something like a 3 hr process - her look was very elaborate.

"Not everyone appreciated our newfound sense of openness and sense of exploration, however. I recall getting confronted in restaurants and being yelled at and having things thrown at me on Hillsborough Street by rednecks in passing cars because I looked different. My friends had similar experiences, with the women facing serious sexual harassment on top of the freak factor. The tendency towards androgyny that many of us cultivated was simply not acceptable at that time. At one point, I got so fed up by being harassed by rednecks and frat guys that I made a shirt that said, "I Don't Like You, Either," on the front and simply "Fuck You" on the back. That's punk rock, baby." - p 20

Indeed, that's punk rock at its best - but it started before punk rock. When I started growing my hair long at the beginning of 1968 at age 14 in the area where I lived that resulted in a fairly constant stream of abuse whenever I'd appear in public that included not just verbal abuse but people swerving their cars at me as they drove past & throwing their garbage out the windows at me. Then there were the 'classics': Are you a buoy or a gurl?!; Manson!; Jesus Christ!; Faggot!; Hare Kirshna!; Clown!; Weirdo!, etc. I was literally harrassed & threatened thousands of times - not to mention the sexual predators who somehow thought that my penis was going to provide them w/ a good time if only they'd say the magic words. & this went on for at least the next 20 yrs. But, in my case, it wasn't just the frat boys & the rednecks, it was almost everyone: even the artists thought it was open-season for abusing weirdos - after all, having an imagination was taboo. Possibly the only ethnic group that never abused me were Asians. Blacks certainly felt free to insult & threaten me on a regular basis. I had a pair of pants that I altered so that a large patch of the Disney character Goofy was over my asshole - that was to beat harassers to the punch by declaring myself to be a goofy asshole.

"Four notable and influential cultural phenomena that I explored in those years were: Midnight Movies, the Church of the SubGenius, the Residents and Ralph Records, and Industrial Music and Culture." - p 21

Again, I can relate. Midnight Movies? Well.. I like movies. Period. I make them. I am, as far as I know, the world's most prolific moviemaker in the entire 127 yr history of moviemaking ( ). So, yeah, any movie presentation phenomena that results in increased opportunities to experience the obscure is a BIG PLUS. The Church of the SubGenius? Well, I'm a 'Saint' in the church & I attended the 1st 3 conventions (1981: Dallas, 1982: Chicago, 1983: BalTimOre) & other such things. Some of the greatest work I know of has been produced in its name - esp by the Reverend Ivan Stang. The Residents & Ralph Records? Well I was impressed enuf by the Residents's 1st record to write to them in the 1970s under the name of Elvis Presley for a catalog. I outgrew them pretty fast, by the time I witnessed their 13th anniversary tour I was long-since no longer impressed. Still, I have a permanent fondness for them. Industrial Music & Culture? Throbbing Gristle & SPK were investigating areas of great interest to me but so much of the rest of it was drek. One thing that I encountered recently was an interview w/ Genesis P-Orridge-Breyer for an in-progress post-punk documentary project in wch GPOB explained how the editor of Re/Search artificially created the phenomena of "Industrial Culture" by cobbling together scraps of interviews to make it seem like a more unified mvmt existed than actually did ( ).

"In my opinion, industrial music was a much more thorough assault on normal culture than punk rock. This was due to the fact that industrial music and the development of so-called Industrial Culture drew inspiration from several radical, avant-garde, and fringe artists and art movements. Dada, Futurism, Surrealism, and Viennese Actionism were fundamental influences." - p 26

Musically, punk rock has always been rock music in wch emphasis has been laid on an egalitarian approach: anyone can play it & shd play it rather than be just a passive consumer. I can agree w/ that but it never resulted in much of interest to listen to, for me, but more of a social scene of active people. Industrial music was more imaginative & innovative & far more interesting to listen to, for me, but was still, by my standards, pop music (albeit the 'lunatic fringe' thereof) & had been preceeded by avant-garde classical music such as John Cage & David Tudor's realization of Cage's "Cartridge Music" (1960) & J. K. Randall's "Mudgett: monologues by a mass murderer" (1965) & Robert Ashley's "Purposeful Lady Slow Afternoon" (1968) - wch significantly predated Industrial Music & were more innovative. What those works 'lacked' was the rock'n'roll theatrics.

"One such periodical was RE/Search magazine, founded and produced by V. Vale, a writer and musician who pioneered an early punk zine called Search & Destroy." - p 28

&, yes, RE/Search was important to me too, although I was old enuf (& creative enuf) to be ahead of its curve) b/c as the issues came out they were on subjects that were still fresh enuf to be of interest. It wasn't really until the "Modern Primitives" issue that I started being critical. For one thing, a photo of me getting my 3D brain tattoo on my head (1987) ( ) was scheduled to be in it.. but wasn't. That was a big disappointment.. - but then it struck me how much of a trend-setter RE/Search was & how much that ruined things for me. When I started getting tattooed in 1986 tattoos were still uncommon, it was mainly soldiers & bikers that had them - I had a hard time finding a tattooist even willing to tattoo me on my head. THEN, when "Modern Primitives" came out in 1989 getting tattooed suddenly became fashionable. THAT was really a drag - now look at what we've got: the most ordinary thoughtless people have tattoos. I'm almost relieved when I meet someone who doesn't have them or whose tattoos are, at least, something intensely expressive of who they are instead of just pre-fabricated subculture signifiers.

As if that wasn't bad enuf, RE/Search then came out w/ their "Incredibly Strange Music" & "Incredibly Strange Films" issues & that was that for me. I didn't find the music or the films "incredibly strange" at all. Everything I was creating in those areas was far more strange than anything presented in the magazines but I knew that it wasn't 'incredible strangeness' they were presenting but the watered-down pop version of it that the normies cd relate to & get a slight thrill from w/o having to be actually challenged.

"For some reason I have thankfully blocked out, I decided during the show that it would be a good idea to heckle the band by calling them hippies. Perhaps it was P-Orridge's Hendrix-style guitar solos complete with feedback and a smoke machine. To my surprise, P-Orridge stopped the band and asked who had yelled out. I identified myself and he called me up on stage. He gave me the mic so that I could say whatever it was I needed to say to the audience. To my horror, I went completely blank and stammered" - p 29

Of course, P-Orridge knew exactly what he was doing. He knew that Brian's courage was rooted in his being in the audience & that as soon as he'd be put on the spot he'd probably fail to equal P-Orridge's stage presence. I think it's very much to Brian's credit that he tells this story honestly. At any rate, I think this was a good strategy on Porridge's part - either way, whether Brian was up to the challenge or not, the show was improved. I did something similar at the First International Anathema Party Takeover (the One Millionth Neoist Apartment Festival), Chameleon Bar, NYC Akademgorod on Flaming Wednesday, November 23, 1988, by inviting people who were heckling me to come on stage. They livened things considerably - but the critic from the Village Voice, C. Carr, walked out when they started yelling things like "Die Yuppie Scum!" or some such. That was ok w/ me, I thought it was funny.

Brian writes about Art Decco (whose last name I spell w/ 2 "c"s & Brian spells w/ 1).

"He was the first person I met who self-published his own radical political magazine called Twisted Imbalance. In addition, he had attended the first North American Anarchist Gathering in Chicago in 1986, which also made him the first self-described anarchist I had ever met." - p 30

I was at the Haymarket Centennial too, that was when anarchism in the us@ really seemed to get rolling after its subsidence in the mid-20th century - one of things that this bk is such a good source for is info about those anarchist gatherings that Brian later had such a direct hand in. One of my super-8mm films, "6-Fingers Crossed Country T.Ore/Tour", has footage of the Chicago gathering starting here: . That was the 1st anarchist gathering I ever went to & it was an amazing feeling for me - I'd decided I was an anarchist over 16 yrs before when I 1st ran across the word but had barely ever met anyone else who was similarly inclined - & here were <hundreds> of anarchists! Alas, even then some were weekend warriors & poseurs but it was still wonderful anyway.

"It was during this period that I also began to collect and read books such as Life Against Death and Love's Body by Norman O. Brown, One-Dimensinal Man by Herbert Marcuse, The Politics of Experience by R.D. Laing, and The Making of a Counterculture and Where the Wasteland Ends by Theodore Rozak." - p 37

I'm always interested in what people read. I've heard of all those authors & never read any of them - except for, maybe, short excerpts. Strangely, they're all authors I've had very little interest in except for Laing, whose anti-psychiatry I've always figured I shd bone up on eventually. What is it about them? I have no good reason whatsoever to reject them, perhaps I have the impression they're too academic. Brian describes these bks as "in many ways the culmination of the leftist counterculture critique that had developed in the 60s and 70s" (p 37). It seems that I've always gone straight for more direct action / media trickster works by people like Abbie Hoffman & Emmett Grogan & Timothy Leary, works more about doing than works about theorizing.

"Raleigh had its own prominent presence in the underground press world. Art Deco produced Twisted Imbalance and Lee Johnson published the provocative Eat My Shit."


"Michele had become my girlfriend by this point and we shared a strong interest in writing and publishing and began to work together to produce our own publications, which eventually resulted in our mish-mash zine Controlled Abandon."


"In the spring of 1987, Michele and Art went to a SubGenius Convention in Boston, stopping in Baltimore along the way." - p 39

NOW, that gives me a chance to reproduce an entire, otherwise unpublished, text of mine about going to the Boston Bobalon in 1987 w/ Michele & other friends. Strangely, I don't remember Art being w/ us:

"The Boston Bobbielon"


- January 23, 2022E.V.

I attended the 1st Church & Foundation of the SubGenius Convention in Dallas in 1981. Some footage of this is in the SubGenius movie "Arise!". I got into trouble with the police then because a group of us went to a hotel bar near the convention site & were thrown out because the management said that they'd "had trouble with Hare Krishnas". We hadn't actually done anything other than be affable paying customers. I, in particular, was singled out for this harrassment because I was 'too weird looking'. But that's another story.

I attended the 2nd SubGenius Convention in Chicago. I was, as usual, the weirdest looking person there. I was traveling with my girlfriend who was a pathological liar &, essentially, what's known to some people as a 'coke whore'. I'd been invited to make "anti-music" with Drz for "Bob" so I came prepared with flicker-outlets to make the power go off & on for the amps. I thought it was an excellent contribution, something that would prevent the good Drz from being able to make music, at least in their ordinary ways. This wasn't appreciated by Rev Sterno Keckhaver, a generally excellent human being that I'm still fond of to this day, & he & I got into a physical altercation in which I hit him over the head with one of these little plastic & metal flicker devices. Making myself even less popular was my plan to give a performance where my girlfriend was to piss in my mouth on Buck Naked's bed. She'd prepared for this by taking a medicine that she didn't need for health reasons that changed her urine to purple. Buck wasn't having it. I can't say I blame him.

My girlfriend & I didn't have a room, I left, wandering the streets all night dressed in a sort of Russian Futurist clown costume with my head shaved in a circle framing my face, going behind my ear on one side & in front of it on the other. I was hoping to sleep under a bush somewhere but they were all occupied by homeless people. My girlfriend stayed in the hotel, probably snorting coke & trading my 8mm movie camera (with film still in it) for drugs - & trading herself for a room to sleep in. She was the one with the car so she left me in Chicago with no money. It was my 29th birthday. Byron Werner made a comic, with my permission, in which I was the Tylenol killer. I wasn't & I don't know who was. In the comic I looked far more 'normal' than I actually did.

In 1983, I coorganized the 3rd SubGenius Convention in BalTimOre with Sam Fitzsimmonds. This was an amazing time. Our Con coincided with a Sci-Fi Con that some of us also attended. More or less immediately after the SubG Con I organized Apt 7 - the 7th International Neoist Apartment Festival. For the 3rd SubG Con I presented "T he Poop & Pee Dog Copyright Violation Ceremony" in an in-use train tunnel at 3AM. This 'ceremony' was calculatedly designed to produce sensational 'news' overkill if I was caught at it. I was & it became international 'news' in which I was a 'cult leader'. This was probably the 1st instance of the mainstream mass media paying attn to the SubGenii. Many SubGenii were very dismayed, they preferred their safe & staid lives. This established my reputation for good as a 'dangerous person'. I was, & still am, quite nice (IMO) - I'm just not a poseur AND I have an imagination that goes beyond graphics & into the (un)real world.

I didn't attend the next big SubG event, the one in San Francisco in early 1984 at which "Bob" was assassinated. I was poor, as usual, & couldn't afford to get there. Furthermore, I was busier with neoist festivals - the 8th one happened in London in the spring of 1984 & I managed to get to that. In the next issue of The Stark Fist of Removal, the excellent SubG aperiodical, the SF SubG event was given prominence over the BalTimOre Con. It was my impression that the Church was moving in the direction of 'entertainment' & away from the 'lunatic fringe' that I was more of a proponent of.

As I recall, it wasn't until 1987 that another big SubGenius event was organized - this time in Boston. I heard from friends there that there had been meetings to decide whether I 'was to be allowed to attend'. That, to me, was a pretty good indication of how low the Church had sunk. The Church of the SubGenius was now entertainment for college boys & girls who considered themselves to be wild & wacky if they said "Praise "Bob"!" every once in a while. I was told that my friend who was a Tufts radio DJ & writer Bob Black, who I was still friends with at the time, had defended my coming.

I decided to attend. I was in a menage à trois at the time with Laura A. Trussell & Martha Peterson. We were joined for the trip by anarchist Michelle Estebon who might've been living in Richmond. We stayed with Owen O'Toole, a dear friend who was an excellent filmmaker & free-form DJ. All of us dropped acid before we attended the 1st night of the Bobbielon.

The Bobbielon was initially held in a university auditorium. There was a bar in the hallway outside it. There were many police in attendance. I was disgusted that there would be cops at a SubG event. It was clear to me that the days of the Church as an underground phenomena were over. The auditorium had a raised stage where the 'performers' were to be. Alas, the people were now divided into the 'entertainers', on stage, & the 'audience', seated in the auditorium. Bye-bye to egalitarianism. I, of course, had NOT been invited to perform - the organizers were too afraid of what I might do. I'd come prepared with joke shop 'exploding' golf balls. These looked like regular golf balls but expanded into a puff of smoke under pressure. They weren't dangerous, they were a novelty item meant for playing pranks. I brought them to throw at the stage.

Janor Hypercleets, the LIVING TONGUE, was the only performer I remember although I'm sure that Reverend Stang contributed his usual brilliant & hilarious self. Janor had been trying to transition for years from being a stream-of-consciousness ranter to a more mainstream comedian performing shorter bits. All of his material was inspired but I preferred the longer rants. I threw the 'exploding' golf balls at the stage curtain behind him as a reference to The Bloody Head of Arnold Palmer Head Launcher's Society that Janor was a part of. Hence, puffs of grey powder 'exploded' around him. I'm not even sure he noticed.

Boston's laws specified that the event & the bar had to shut down at 1:00AM & the police were there to enforce this. I was in the lobby, by the bar & surrounded by 5 policemen. I didn't have any plan but I was in the mood for doing something subversive because I was so disgusted by the early shut-down & by the police presence. The cops were asking the bartender when he was going to shut down the bar & he replied "I'm just waiting for the guy to take the money." That was my inspiration. I picked up the money box & walked away. It was never my intention to steal the money, this was an experiment - I wanted to see what would happen. Given that there were 5 cops literally just a few feet away from me I didn't expect to make it very far. The bartender stammered "He-he's not the guy who's supposed to take the money!"

I'm sure the police were very confused. Who would be so insane as to take money & calmly walk away in the presence of 5 cops?! I'm sure there was a significant moment of cognitive dissonance - which was exactly what I was aiming for. I walked into the back of the theater. Since it wasn't my intention to steal the money & since I didn't have a plan but was following my trickster inspiration & intuition I paused. The bartender came after me, accompanied by the cops. I said "You know why I'm doing this!" - although I'm not so sure that he did. I should say that the bartender was an intelligent guy, I don't think he was out to destroy me. I made a kick in his direction & then went to the back of the auditorium. I opened the money box & threw the money up into the air & shouted "Why don't we all take the money!" I was trying to induce a sense of anti-capitalism into the event.

The auditorium was almost empty so very few people witnessed this. Having not taken a single penny for myself & being, as usual, financially desperate at the time, I leaned over to pick up a $10 bill from the floor. When I did, a black cop tackled me from behind shouting "He attacked me! He attacked me!" In other words, he pulled the usual cop trick of lying to pave the road for any violence that might now occur to me as well as to justify pressing charges against for me for assaulting a police officer & resisting arrest. Who would believe a tripping maniac's word over that of an upstanding police officer?

Fortunately for me, there was a young woman that I didn't know still in the auditorium witnessing the whole thing. She must've been a political activist or a person of some sort of integrity because she rushed right up to the cop & wagged her finger a few inches from his nose exclaiming "NO he didn't! I saw the whole thing!" Whoever you were, if you're still alive & reading this, please know that I love you & that you have my deepest appreciation for having had the courage to intervene. By this point, the poor policeman was thoroughly confused: What the fuck was going on?! Again, fortunately for me, he had the sense to realize that this was no ordinary 'crime'. He'd probably been warned to expect eccentric behavior but not at this level. He ushered me out of the building under the condition that I was NOT to return. On the way we passed a very distraught Bob Black who was obviously regretting that he'd defended my coming.

Outside, I was joined by my 4 friends & we went on our merry way having a very good laugh about it all. My friends understood exactly why I did what I did & respected it. They had a similar critique of the event.

I was so disgusted that I had little to do with the Church after that for the next 26 years until 2013 when I agreed to participate in a Devival in Pittsburgh in honor of a friend's birthday. Stang was in attendance & I was delighted to be able to see him again after such a long lapse. He was as brilliant & funny as ever. I still have a deep affection for Stang & Janor & Sterno & Reverend Onan Canobite & a few others. No doubt there're legends that I 'stole' the money despite my not having taken any of it but having, instead, thrown it up in the air as my uninvited & unwanted 'theatrical' contribution to the evening. No doubt there're also legends that I was somehow excommunicated from the Church of the SubGenius. That's also not true. I chose to have nothing further to do with it because I felt that the heyday of the SubG as a lunatic fringe anti-conspiracy had been coopted into something that posed no significant threat to the status quo. I've never begrudged Stang making money off it - he worked like a maniac & deserved every good thing that's come his way, he earned it.

I imagine my terrifying reputation still lingers on. I tried being part of a SubGenius Facebook group in recent years but people were upset when I posted a link to a slide show of mine that has an image of my penis with HSV2 written on it in braille. Apparently that pushed their envelope too far & people felt uncomfortable & were worried about getting in trouble with Facebook censors. I decided that that group wasn't really the place for me so I left it. They were more shock jock than they were living tongue. Even my local SubG friends have turned out to be disappointing. The world is full of conformist non-conformists, subcultural anarchists - but actual anarchists & non-conformists are few & far between. At age 68, I'm not even sure that I have the fierce energy for the struggle any more but somehow I keep going anyway.


"I am not one of the people who was there at the very beginning and cannot be credited with starting any of these phenomenal milieus. I am, however, a quick study. I was also fortunate enough to find the real thing and to participate when I got the chance. I was not a spectator or a tourist. I was drawn to the energy, the vibrancy, and the vitality of the people and events that I encountered. These movements spoke to my iconoclasm, my deep-seated sense of the absurd, my simultaneous joy and disgust at being alive, and my understanding that something is very wrong with our society." - p 40

& here Brian addresses a somewhat difficult issue & he addresses it honestly, wch I deeply appreciate. I'm approximately 12 yrs older than Brian. That means, in a sense that I had a 12 yr headstart on him. For that matter, John Cage was 41 yrs older than me, hence a headstart of 41 yrs for him. When I was in my early 20s & just starting to become aware of Italian Futurism & Dadaism & Surrealism & Fluxus I was very impressed & inspired by them. I, too, wanted to be part of a paradigm-shifting mvmt struggling against the death-trip of mainstream society - but I didn't want to do it by jumping on the bandwagon of already existing mvmts, I wanted to up the ante by creating mvmts of my own or being in on the beginnings of various cultural zeitgeists.

I was profoundly driven & inspired to do this but I was doing what I call "swimming up-dam" in the process b/c most of the people around me were content w/ being "artists" & liberal political thinkers - just about everything I was envisioning was too 'extreme' for my friends (& enemies) in BalTimOre - even my being an anarchist was too 'extreme' for them - but when I got to the point, in the mid-1970s, of saying that art is an outmoded context for creativity my friends, even the closest ones, were highly offended: they had alot invested in being artists & there was no way they'd ever accept a critique of that.

SO, I started creating contexts of my own - beginning, perhaps, w/ t he Nuclear Brain Physics Surgery's Cool in the fall of 1978, a school that one cd sleep thru a lesson (or "lesion") of in order to get a rather over-the-top meticulously made diploma of my manufacture. Learn more on the Internet Archive here: .

My main collaborators in those early days in BalTimOre, Doug Retzler & Richard Ellsberry were deeply inspired & energetic creative people who were also more or less completely opposed to my philosophy. Nonetheless, those were amazing times when we cocreated B.U.T.N. (BalTimOre Underground Telectropheremonic Network) [see these 3 relevant movies: "Quasi-Documentation of Testes-3's End of Library K & M Series" : ; "TESTES-3 Coming-Out Party / Sleep Deprivation Therapy School" : ; "Telectropheremoanin'quinquennial" : ] & B.O.M.B. (BalTimOre Oblivion Marching Band) [see this relevant movie: "3 Mile Island" : ] - Richard being the main catalyst for the beginnings of B.U.T.N & B.O.M.B.. - & there was much, much more going on that was innovative & challenging & imaginative & community-building. By 1980 we had so much happening it was truly amazing. But for everyone involved but me it was "art" & I was trying to get away from the "art" context.

Then, in late 1980, "Blaster" Al Ackerman sent me some materials thru the mail that were relevant to the Church of the SubGenius. This was fantastic, it was funny, downright hilarious, & a thorough challenge to a duel w/ the conspiracy-that-was-mainstream-society. I loved it. It had been founded in 1978 but was really getting rolling in 1980. I became a Saint by early 1981.

At around the same time, Monty Cantsin (Istvan Kantor), the founder of Neoism, sent an invite to a Mail Art show in post-card form to Richard. One thing led to another & Monty came to BalTimOre at the end of 1980 to promote a merger between the Krononautic Organism (our time-travel society, again founded by Richard) & the Neoists (based at that time in Montréal). "Monty Cantsin" was, hypothetically, a collective identity name but only Istvan was using it. In BalTimOre we had a collective identity name of "David A. Bannister" that I hadn't created but that I used along w/ the 3 friends who did create it. During Monty's visit he signed a piece of paper that sd something like "Monty Cantsin is David A. Bannister". The BalTimOre scene was larger & more productive & better organized, IMO, than the Montréal scene was but Monty & I were much closer to being on the same page regarding a rejection of the art context. At the time, we thought of Neoism as a "Cultural Conspiracy" - hence I was anti-conspiracy in the Church of the SubGenius & a conspirator in the Neoist Network.

I participated in the early events of the Krononauts, the SubGenius (I coorganized the 3rd convention), the Neoists (I organized the 3rd (a movie of wch is broken into 9 parts starting w/ the 1st day here: ) & 7th ( ) APT Festivals & the 1st Nonexistent Neoist Festival ( )) - in addition to participating in the Haymarket Centennial & many other things. Unlike Brian, I was generally there at or near the beginnings & was heavily involved in creating what was to follow.

So that brings us back to Brian: when he was growing into the underground, these things were still very vital - was he to reject them & cofound something even newer or plunge into them in their early middle yrs? I had had the advantage of Italian Futurism & Dadaism & Surrealism & Fluxus being already old school by then - I still loved them but the time was ripe for a new direction - but for Brian, all these things were still in progress & there was plenty more to be done in their name(s). For that matter, Anarchism had been around for a long time & none of the living participants cd make any claim to founding it - but it was still vital for us & a cause worth keeping going. The important thing is that, as Brian says, he "was not a spectator or a tourist", he was a person who threw himself into things w/ gusto.

Therefore, when Brian writes "I am not one of the people who was there at the very beginning and cannot be credited with starting any of these phenomenal milieus. I am, however, a quick study." both statements are true & important - while in many respects I am a person who can be credited w/ either starting or cofounding or contributing significantly to the early days of "these phenomenal milieus", Brian is a person who deserves more credit than he gives himself for plunging in & committing himself deeply - there're areas where he went further than I have & I want to give him credit for that.

Brian cofounded a music/performance group called The BeatlesS. This was the 1980s, aguably the beginning AND height of the Home Taping era. My very bare-bones beginning of a website about this subject is here: . I'm fortunate enuf to have a copy of a The BeatlesS tape of a concert of theirs. I tend to think of the spelling of their name as leading to a pronunciation like this: beat-less - but listening to the tape I hear it pronounced just like The Beatles. The BeatlesS were influenced by Industrial Music, as were many of the home tapers of the time - & probably to this day. I remember that when I got this tape originally I wasn't impressed by it for that very reason: the Home Tapers who imitated Industrial Music were never as good as those they were imitating. Still, listening to the tape now, decades later, it's obvious that they were crowd-pleasers, there's an enthusiastic audience audible. They're also far from 'beat-less', the beats play an important part & they're not as simple-minded as many typically are.

"We played recordings of Jim Jones, the infamous leader of the fanatic religious cult who induced his followers to drink poisoned kool-aid, among other sources, just to add a bit of levity and provide a positive message for the kids." - p 44

In fact, many home tapers who were influenced by Industrial Music used recordings of Jones & Charlie Manson. At the time, I found that annoyingly predictable. Nonetheless, even I used recordings relevant to both: e.g. I have a tape labelled "Jonestown (NPR version)" & another called "Post NPR Jonestown Talk Show". I don't want to relisten to those now to stimulate my memory of them but I remember one of them, probably the latter, having LeRoi Jones (aka Amiri Baraka) making thoughtful points about how many of the people who moved to Jonestown were poor blacks who had sensibly moved there in hopes of a life better than what the USA had ever offered them.

Using tapes as source material in live performance was something that I'd be interested in reading a history of. I'm sure that those few of us (or many?) who did so searched out & accumulated tapes in a simultaneously haphazard & scholarly manner. I still have 4 boxes of such tapes, more than 2 of these boxes are of 'Conspiracy Theory' Radio Shows sent to me by Howard Parker, a correspondent in California. Spread the word.

Other tapes are spoken letters sent to me by correspondents of interest. E.G.: I have 11 tapes from DJ @ FOMT in Northern Ireland of him documenting a Saturday as he gets progressively drunker. That might seem like a bore to many people but I find it fascinating. I also have a tape marked "Chrononautic Society - 2nd Annual Meeting of the Board" & a tape from Rev Stang about the Krononautic "Party for People from the Future" in BalTimOre on March 9, 1982, an event Stang attended. Many of these recordings were on cheap tapes & might not play anymore. I tended to make my recordings on higher quality tapes I bought in bulk to try to insure a longer aRCHIVAL life.

When I think of the use of recordings in live music I think of John Cage as the pioneer. His "Imaginary Landscape No. 1" (1939), "Credo in US" (1943), & "Variations IV" (1963) are fantastically inspired pieces. As such, I can't be considered a pioneer of using recordings in live performance any more than The BeatlesS or other performers using recordings in that way, such as Car Part #20035 featuring Kevin Wilson on tape collage, in the 1980s. Starting in the mid-1970s, Throbbing Gristle probably, once again, deserve more credit than most.

Nonetheless, the 1980s Home Taper era probably does deserve some credit for advancing this work in some way. That was the era when people were having more access to cheap audio cassette recorders & who were taking advantage of that to record & copy more things, to publish them, & to trade them in their network. The tape label I'm associated w/, initially called "Widemouth Tapes", was founded in January, 1979, by Chris Mason of the Merzaum Collective. I wrote the 1st review of their 1st publication, contributed what became tapes 8609-8612, & took over the label in the summer of 1981. The WIdémoUTH website is here: . My 1st tape published independently from WdmU was "Usic - 1" (1980). During this time magazines started to flourish that wd actually review cassette tapes - this was before the commercial market completely pulled the consumers back in w/ CDs.

What, I wd argue, distinguished this era, was the egalitarianism of it. Cage's pieces using records were fantastic & wonderful & extremely innovative but they were made before an era of much wider access. That may seem musically irrelevant but it's central to my sense of the history. W/ this in mind, The BeatlesS may not've been "there at the very beginning" of using recordings in live performance, any more than I was, but The BeatlesS were certainly in the thick of the Home Taper era of such things. I'm working on getting some The BeatlesS footage to incorporate into an interview movie I'm making w/ Brian but I don't know if I'll get it. In the meantime, here's info about 3 relevant movies of mine from my own participation in that era (potentially still ongoing if anyone wants to trade):

My 1st Concrete Mixing action at the Galaxy Ballroom, the Congress Hotel, BalTimOre, January 24, 1984. This does have the afore-mentioned "rock'n'roll theatrics", including a more flagrant sexuality that Cage wd've eschewed:

"booed usic @ t he Telectropheremoanin'quinquennial" {version 4}

- w/ titles & credits added September 15, 2017

- computer file

- 29:27

- on the Internet Archive here:

One of my favorite guerrilla booed usic presentations at the Murraygate Shopping Mall in Dundee, Scotland, on August 13, 1988:

"Murraygate Busking"

- additional PXL-2000 shooting by Laura A. Trueseal

- directed, edited, & otherwise altered by tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

- 13:10

- '88/'89


An UNCERT in wch I was phasing out using tapes (even tho I've continued to use them far past this date):

"Something That Dissolves the Shadow of Something That was Next to Something that Combusted Once. Twice."

- shot by Joanne Bernititus (moving camera) & Austin Newsome (fixed camera)


- 1/2" VHS cassette

- 30:00

- november 4, '89 (etc..)

- on my onesownthoughts YouTube channel in the context of "VAUDIO" here:

Robert Anton Wilson & Robert Shea's popular "Illuminatus! Trilogy" brought the Discordians to the attn of many.

"We had recently read the Illuminatus! Trilogy and the Principia Discordia and attempted to interpret it musically, though the latter term is a bit of a stretch. To my knowledge, this is the only performance based on this material of its kind, which is probably a good thing in the long run." - p 45

I don't know if other people used such material in performance but I do know of a recent recording that waxes Discordian on "Bromtol Largesse Anniversary" on Bandcamp: . More specifically, track 41, Peter Because's "The Cut Up Catma" (3:43).

We reach "Summer 1987":

"I began to long to see the rest of the country, however, and find adventure in the way championed by the 50s and 60s counterculture-the road trip. Not to stay in motels or hostels and visit museums kind of road trip, but the seat of your pants, figure it out as you go, see what you can get into kind. It certainly turned out to be just that, full of more surprises than even we had anticipated."


"The four of us set out for the Rainbow Gathering in Mike's 1967 Pontiac Tempest. The car sported a bumper sticker from the band Wasted Youth that said, "Fuck Authority" which, along with out clean-cut appearances, made us very popular with local police everywhere we went. Of course, I was reading On the Road, because I wanted to read it while actually on the road. Now how clever is that, people?" - p 49

Again, Brian is being self-mocking here. I imagine that reading Kerouac's On the Road while traveling has probably occurred to many people. I remember that I read it after I came back from hitchhiking across the US in the fall of 1972 when I was 19. Given that I'd spent a mnth on the road w/o anything other than the skimpy clothes I was wearing, no backpack, no canteen, no food, no sleeping-bag, little or no money, & given that I'd had adventures, I was none too impressed by On the Road, wch I found paled in contrast to my own life at the time. I wonder if Brian feels the same way about his trip?

But, once again, I'd have to give Brian credit for being more "there at the very beginning" than I was vis à vis the Rainbow Gathering. Even tho they're reputed to've started in 1972 & even tho I wd've known about them by 1987 I admit to having been very wary of them & didn't go to one until the 2000s when a friend who loves them took me to a regional gathering. A regional one, being smaller, was less intimidating to me but I still felt uncomfortable & wd probably never go back. TOO MANY PEOPLE. I prefer groups of about 20 co-conspirators, thousands of people is too many. For that matter, I went to a Burning Man in 1999, when there were 'only' 15,000 people - & even tho I found the artwork phenomenal the crowds made me never want to go back again.

"It was at this gathering that I first met a person by the name of Vermin Supreme when he led a disco ball procession one evening. I was to have more contact with Vermin in the following years and there will be more on him later. My friends and I set up a Church of the SubGenius campsite by posting pictures of J.R. "Bob" Dobbs as well as various SubGenius slogans. We got lots of inquiries, many of them quite suspicious, concerned, and even a little annoyed about just what it meant. This of course made us proud knowing we were irritating people. It's the little things in life, you know." - p 50

As I hope you've figured out by now, Brian has a sense of humor, thank the Holy Ceiling Light. Even Vermin, a Rainbow Gathering stalwart, had only starting going to them probably no earlier than 1986. As for the SubG? As I explained in my "Boston Bobbielon" article above, for me, it was already past its prime - still, putting things in a hindsight prespective, I can appreciate the precociousness of setting up a Church camp at Rainbow in 1987. Attendees were probably afraid that it was a cult group.

"the next morning Chris and I obtained a Driveaway for the rest of our trip out west. Driveaway is a service for people who need to transport a car long distances without paying a professional driver. At the time, you had to be 21 years of age, have a driver's license, and a good driving record. We paid a $50 deposit, I showed my driver's license, and we were given the keys to a car destined for California." - p 51

I, too, have used driveaways. Even tho it enables poor people to travel long-distance cheaper than a rental car I don't necessarily recommend it. For one thing, the drivers are restricted to the amt of mileage they're allowed to put on the car. As I recall, that didn't give me much leeway for going where I might want to go. The drivers have to pay for gas. It's a good deal for the companies, as long as there's no problem w/ the driver(s), b/c they get pd but don't have to pay out. As I further recall, I had to drive something like 8 hrs a day to get to the destination by the deadline. If you're a weirdo the company is going to be suspicious of you & might keep you waiting for days while they check into yr background. I remember getting a driveaway from a car dealership in Boston. It was obvious that the sleazebag dealer was deliberately keeping us waiting so that we'd be desperate. It seemed likely that the receiving car dealership at the other end was paying for a delivery by a professional driver & that the sending dealer was pocketing that payment for himself. My friend & I certainly didn't get any of it. I informed the receiving car dealer of this.

While traveling, Brian was lucky enuf to become a houseguest of 'incredibly strange' filmmaker Ted Mikels. This, in itself, is a very special story.

"Among the many weapons and other unusual items was a throne with a skeleton on it. It was there that I first saw posters for his movies, which included I Crossed the Color Line, The Bone Grinders, and Angel of Vengeance. It was then that I realized I was in the home of a legendary, super-low budget, exploitation cult film director. This was the kind of person you only read about, and we were staying with him. Imagine our luck."


"For example, his classic Astro-Zombies was made for $37,000, $3,000 of which went to pay John Carradine." - p 53

Ok, here I go again, tooting my own horn. Whenever I read about most of these Incredibly Strange Filmmakers & their "super-low budget" films I tend to mentally cringe (does that mean my brain shrinks?) b/c I've made 208 feature-length movies for less than $37,000 for all of them together: . Now, that's low-budget moviemaking. Of course, it's not "exploitation cult" moviemaking so there's not much there for anyone other than the geekiest of movie-watchers. Try my movie "bent":


- shot at South Bass Island, Ohio, from Sunday, September 5, 2021, to Saturday, September 11, 2021

- edit finished by Sunday, September 19, 2021

- 1080p HD 29.97p, Stereo

- 2:33:25

- on my onesownthoughts YouTube channel here:

- on the Internet Archive here:

I probably spent about $1,000.00 for that one & that's expensive for me. Admittedly, you (whoever you are), probably won't make it thru the whole thing & will find it quite boring b/c there're no special effects, no murders, no car chases, no impossibly gorgeous & talented characters, etc, etc. Nonetheless, I think it's a GREAT movie - but then it's obvious that I must be deranged & delusional.

Anyway, I think I might've started watching Mikels's "The Corpse Grinders" & gotten so bored so fast that I didn't make it past the 1st 10 or 20 minutes. Still, I think I might appreciate his movies more now that I'm more 'mature' (hahahahahahahahahahaha) so I think I'll give him a 2nd chance.

"As I passed a club, I saw that Screamin' Jay Hawkins was playing that night. I came back later for the show. To this day, I consider it is one of the best shows I have ever seen, and luckily I just wandered by it." - p 54

Amazing. I have concert-envy. To've witnessed Screamin' Jay live is something I wish I've done. & even tho I gave away Hawkins's "What That Is" record that I got way back in 1972 b/c I found it too musically monotonous & gimmicky I'm sure I wd've found him impressive enuf live to make it to my "Top 100 Concerts" website: .

"This trip was very significant to me primarily because it was my first taste of real self-directed adventure." - p 55


"It should be clear from this quick synopsis that the Situationist's hyper-academic exposition of meaninglessness and alienation is more fun than a barrel of monkeys. What more could a would-be self-important cultural revolutionary ask for? It is also an effective social lubricant and great way to make friends and entertain people at parties. There's nothing like a good diatribe about the spectacle to break the ice in awkward social settings. And for those who find Situationist writings to be labyrinthine, convoluted, and obfuscatory, I would ask if this represents a failure of intellectualization or the intellectualization of failure? That's a Situationist joke, itself an oxymoron." - p 59

Ha ha! The thing about so many of these cultural things & my reactions to Brian's recounting of them is b/c I had this "12 yr headstart" & b/c of how quickly my interests changed I was already bored w/ certain things before Brian discovered them. It wd be idiotic for me to demean the Situationists who, obviously, had great substance but I 1st ran across their txts when friends of mine in a performing group called CoAccident used such txts in performance around 1977. Then, by 1984, I had a copy of the Ken Knabb edited "Situationist International Anthology" (1981). However, when I tried to read it I found it so wooden that I stopped doing so & gave it away to a friend who enthusiastically wanted a copy. (I've since replaced that but STILL haven't read it all) I even corresponded briefly w/ Knabb who was generous enuf to trade me a copy of his autobiography entitled "Public Secrets" - probably for a copy of my "Usic minus the square root of negative one" record. That more or less put him on my good side forever. I DID read his bk.

Even tho I respect the Situationists I even find Guy Debord's movies boring. The Situationist movie I've liked the most is René Viénet's "Can Dialectics Break Bricks?" (1973) (on YouTube here: ) & that's probably as much b/c of the Korean original as it is b/c of Viénet's repurposing. The point is that by the time everybody & his underground pet toad started referencing the Situationists in the mid to late '80s I was already over them & annoyed by how trendy they'd become. What further annoyed me is that many publishers of SMILE ( ) were treating it like more of a Situationist thing than a Neoist one. Didn't they realize that Neoism was where it was at?! Apparently not.

"During Michele's trip to the SubGenius Convention in the spring, she was exposed to another radical cultual tendency which proved influential to us both. This was Neoism. By design, Neoism is essentially impossible to define. On one hand, it is an applied philosophy or strategy of subversion of the normal confines of life. On the other hand, it is a network of radical and fringe cultural nonconformists who engage in extremely experimental modalities. It utilizes pranks, plagiarism, paradoxes, and a sense of self-critical playfulness to not only examine the structures upon which our society is constructed but also to turn them on their heads." - p 60

Aahhh.. even as a staunch Anti-Neoist ( ) I find that a breath of freshly putrid heir. Still, birth, as a one-time staunch Neoist ( ) I must take exception & run w/ it. "The problem eez," wheezed the dodderer, "wif zat creep, ze Home. Him & zat play-jism biziness jest ruined ze everything. It gave all ze people wif a kneed to ze understood some oversimplified cow bollocks to crap onto & zat waz zat, history she waz ze written, ze coffin was she nailed."

"Gaining connections to these people, especially John Berndt and tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE from Baltimore, MD, proved to be pivotal to both Michele and my outlook and output." - p 61

Aw, shucks. What possible problem cd I have w/ that?!


Given that Stewart's idea of calling multiple magazines SMILE conceptually coincided with the Neoist idea of people using the collective identity of Monty Cantsin & doing 'everything' in the name of Neoism, the Neoists immediately adopted SMILE as a Neoist magazine & began promoting it far & wide through the Mail Art network that most Neoists, except the young Stewart, were very active in. I wrote an explanation of Monty Cantsin & SMILE in a call for participation in a proposed all-transparencies assembling SMILE to be put together a year later in 1985. This English explanation was translated into German, Italian, & Farsi, & distributed internationally."


"SMILE was a magazine that Michele and I both produced, separately and together, and was an important element in the development of my thinking and interaction at that time." - p 62

"We had contributions from prominent Neoists "Blaster" Al Ackerman and John Berndt, and other friends. We had collages, various Neoist and other radical and fringe manifestos and rants, SubGenius propaganda, a long article on the secret history of the CIA by John Stockwell, and other plagiarized materials." - p 63

Of course, "Blaster" considered himself to be a Sal Mineoist & not, strictly speaking, a Neoist.

"The ability to direct my own education proved to be incredibly valuable to my explorations of what it means to live intentionally and authentically. Researching different aspects of political, artistic, and philosophical radicalism opened my mind to new ways of viewing and being in the world. For me, here was the nascent discovery of entirely different trajectories, including their own obscure histories, that I was not likely to discover in college. And studying it in the classroom was not going to grant me access to active participation. I preferred learning by doing and educating myself as I went along. This is an approach I have retained to this day, for better or worse." - p 63

Definitely "for better" from my POV. IMO, autodidacts learn how to learn from everything instead of stunting their spontaneity & openness w/ a mentality that one primarily learns in environments stated to be for that purpose (where the subtexts might be far more learning-stunting than is immediately obvious).

"Winter 1988"

"The highlight of this stopover was staying with tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE. Michele had met tENT the previous year, but this was my first encounter with him."


"While there, we were fortunate to become graduates of his "Nuclear Brain Physics Surgery" school, which consisted of sleeping with tape recorders under our pillows playing all night in order to absorb the lessons directly into our unconscious. It may very well be that this prepared me for my future career as a physicist." - p 65

Brian & Mitch (Michele) slept thru the lesion made by the 2nd graduating class, 9 minutes each from 10 people who never even listened to their own lessons - as was the case w/ all graduating classes, of wch there were only 5 total. The lesion that's linked to earlier in this review is the 1st one wch I made alone. All other lessons were made by the graduates. Hence the grads from the 1st class made the 2nd lesion, etc. The people who made the lesson that Mitch & Brian slept thru were:

Giddy Gayle 26/X "Bunny Luv" Enhansonment


Alfred E. Neuman

Cecil (Peema & Alec's cat)

Peema Tartoon



Some Queer

Charles & Robin

Robin & Charles

34 yrs later, I've still never listened to this tape while awake. Before I die, it's my intention to make all the lessons audible online. One impediment to this is that the 1st 2 lesions were made on 8-track cartridges & I can't find those anymore. They're from 44 yrs ago. Since I knew what the content of lesion 1 was I had to recreate it for the online version. I'm sure the recreation is adequately accurate. While writing this review I looked for & easily found lessons 4, 5, & 6 (incorrectly marked on the packaging as 3, 4, & 5) wch were all on audio cassette. Since B & M slept thru the 3rd lesion I'll make the lesson that those graduates made public. [In fact, I've interrupted the writing of this review by a couple of days to do just that: "Nuclear Brain Physics Surgery School - 3rd graduating class: the diploma they received & the "Lesson 4" they made": on my onesownthoughts YouTube channel here: & on the Internet Archive here: ] I like imagining that Brian's future career as a biophysics professor was stimulated by this but I'm sure that the connection is obtuse to the point of silliness - not that I mind that one whit.

Brian & Mitch went to England & Europe.

"Eventually we made it to our friend's house in Lewisham. It was a former squat that had been given "official" status by the city council" - p 67

The 8th International Neoist Apartment Festival in London in the spring of 1984 was in just such a former squat: the movie of this is on my onesownthoughts YouTube channel here: . I wonder what the next step in this "official" process was? Were the residents eventually evicted after they spent years improving (or deteriorating) the places?

"Punk rock shenanigans aside, our primary reason for going to London was to attend the Festival of Plagiarism in January and February of 1988, organized by Stewart Home and Graham Harwood. The festival had ongoing events for two months, and we were able to attend for the month of February. Being a relative newcomer to Neoism and its connected parts, I was largely unaware of its origins and the series of interactions and events that led up to the festival." - p 68

In my commentary on the ms pdf that Brian originally sent me I had this to say:

"I'm restraining myself here but I 'have' to comment on "I was honestly somewhat confused at the time, because I did not understand the art world and did not expect this to be such a part of it. My impression of Neoism was that it attempted to break down the barriers between art, politics, audience, participants, and personal experience", personally, I don't consider the Fetival of Plagiarism to have been a Neoist event & I'm not even sure that Stewart did. Also, to say that it was influenced by "Fluxus festivals of the 60s, and particularly by individuals like Gustav Metzger, Henry Flynt" is really pretty insulting to all of those. I think if you knew more about those subjects you'd understand what I mean. I don't even think that event would've qualified as Neoism Lite or Fluxus Lite."

To clarify my comment: Stewart Home split from Neoism b/c his ego had been bruised by neoists Pete Horobin & Herr Stiletto Studios at the 9th International Neoist Apartment festival in Ponte Nossa, Italy, in 1985, & b/c he felt poorly used & abused (probably justifiably so) by Istvan Kantor (Monty Cantsin). He founded his own offshoot of Neoism partially inspired by a similar situation amongst the Situationists. The Festivals of Plagiarism were his attempt to co-opt the Neoist Apartment Festivals & to reorient the public perception of Neoism solely around his extremely oversimplified manifestoes of plagiarism. This latter reorientation was very successful b/c it was simple-minded & derivative & cd be 'understood' more easily than the much more complex confusion of Neoism as practiced by all Neoists prior to Stewart's arrival. Stewart wanted to be a popular art world mvmt guru & he basically got what he wanted.

I didn't attend or participate in any of the Festivals of Plagiarism both b/c I was too impoverished to afford the travel & b/c I wasn't in any way interested in them. I saw thru Stewart's transparent career motives. I did, however, get reports about them from my then-BalTimOre-based friends who attended: Scott Larson & John Berndt. Scott contributed a painting bought at a thrift store. Both friends confirmed what I expected: the festival was essentially an <art exhibit> that was unremarkable except for the theorizing that was being used to try to get the attn of the art world. Such machinations were repulsively antithetical to what I perceived as the best aspects of Neoism, wch had very little to do w/ trying to establish art world careers & very much to do w/ stimulating contact between highly inspired & driven cultural conspirators. Furthermore, the actual Neoist APT Fests were primarily performance-oriented & NOT exhibits of artworks. It's worth mentioning, though, that I have no criticism whatsoever of Graham Harwood whose motivation I take it to've been quite sincere.

Brian quotes Home's post-event promotion of it as a 'success':

"Not unexpectedly, exhibitions and events in Central London were far better attended than those located in 'fringe' areas of the city (where audiences tended to be more 'local' in composition). Despite this, it was heartening that at least some of the participants visited most of what constituted the Festival. On this level, Mark Pawson and Scott Larson (who contributed to the 'Apocrypha' show) proved themselves to be as supportive as Ed Baxter. Others (such as Ben Allen, John Berndt, Franz John, Brian Gentry, Michele, Malcolm Dickson, Karen Strang and Kenny Murphy-Roud) visited all the exhibitions and events which co-incided with their visits to London and in doing so showed a considerable depth of engagement with the issues raised by the Festival. - p 69

"Upon arriving in Calais the next day, we began hitchhiking. We were not having a lot of success, and some guards at the border of Belgium gave us pointers on how to make signs and the best places to stand to get a ride." - p 70

Helpful border guards!

"Our intention was to rendezvous with Graf Haufen, a well-known mail artist and Neoist with whom we had corresponded while in Raleigh." - p 71

Graf was also the co-organizer of the 1986 Neoist festival in Berlin & probably the most prolific of the Neoist publishers.

"We were hoping to meet the Italian mail artist Vittore Baroni with whom we had had some correspondence." - p 78

Vittore being another extremely prolific publisher.

Their trip wasn't exactly smooth & didn't go as hoped but Brian (&, presumably, Mitch as well) managed to get a 'life lesson' from it.

"The sense of discovery and change of perspective I gained convinced me that I did not want a life of work and drudgery, of uninspired rule-following. The trip was in no way a vacation, and I was determined that it was not to be a pause in the normal routine of work and life to be fondly remembered as "that time I got away from it all." It primed me to leap again, to jump into the new and exciting experiences I was about to have. But no, it was not a journey." - p 81

&, indeed, this might be where the reader meets one of Brian's most remarkable characteristics: his ability to continue to take risks & to grow. In this sense, it doesn't matter whether he "was there at the very beginning" b/c he was always making his own beginnings, a rare quality, IMO.

"Given my previous trajectories of self-exploration, self-education, and examination of social dynamics and power, I was drawn to post-left anarchism from among the many different tendencies that I discovered." - p 84

Once again, I can relate. People who espouse post-left anarchism have been extremely rare in my life. It seems to me that what I call "subculture anarchists", i.e.: anarchists who're 'anarchists' more b/c they embrace the conformity of a subculture that calls itself anarchist rather than b/c they deeply understand being w/o rule-by are too close to the norm. This is something I've seen in punk anarchists where conformity to a certain look, to certain 'opinions' & lifestyles, is really the guiding factor more than anything else. Even worse, are the subculture 'anarchists' who've embraced big brother, the medical police state, censorship, & even globalization during the time of the QUARANTYRANNY, wch they seem to whole-heartedly believe in w/ a religious fervor. These are all 'anarchists' who 'think' anarchism is just the left of the left rather than something free of such ideologies.

Gentry quotes Voltairine de Cleyre, a lesser-known anarchist:

"Anarchism, to me, means not only the denial of authority, not only a new economy, but a revision of the principles of morality. It means the development of the individual as well as the assertion of the individual. It means self-responsibility, and not leader worship." - p 85

"Contemporary anarchism formed in the 1960s and 1970s in the context of student anti-war activism and the rise of the counterculture. These newer anarchists rejected then-fashionable Maoism, Stalinism, and Trotskyism because they believed they would only lead to more control and more repression. This revived anarchism began to grow in the 70s, and when punk rock came along in the mid-to-late 70s, it helped to promote anarchism to many, including myself. I first heard the word "anarchy" in a Sex Pistols song. Despite the sometimes shallow and macho approach of punk rock anarchism, it did expose many people to these ideas." - p 85

Interesting. My own experience goes somewhat contrary to the history above. I wonder what Brian's source(s) are for it. I'm willing to believe it might be accurate. My impression of the 1960s & 1970s, wch, after all, I was alive during, is that, while it might seem anarchistic in retrospect, it was really something else, something driven more by activism against the Vietnam War, a new variety of feminism, & the popular culture of drug use & rock'n'roll. In other words, I don't think the philosophy of anarchism was known by many involved w/ the cultural revolution. I encountered the word anarchist or anarchism in 1969 or 1970 & realized that that was what I was but I don't remember meeting another anarchist until 1976. Now, ok, I probably wasn't crossing paths w/ the right people but, still.. As for punk? I liked the Sex Pistols b/c they were an anarchist punk group - but I wdn't say that there were many other anarchist punks around at the time. To me, that became more common in the late 1990s. I was around BalTimOre's punk scene more or less from its beginnings. One cd say that Da Moronics were anarchist - or, at least, the lead singer/guitarist was - but many of the other groups were either politically neutral or leaning more toward Fascism. They were more united by sex & drugs (except for the DC straight-edge folks) than they were by political philosophy.

"And so we arrive back at the journals,Anarchy: A Journal of Desire Armed and Fifth Estate. I subscribed to them and anxiously awaited new issues each month. These publications were central in many ways to post-left anarchism, which took the ideology of negation to new depths, deeply criticizing even the foundations of civilization." - p 86

It's interesting to me in retrospect that of the many anarchist publications these were 2 of the ones of the least interest to me. I was mainly interested in the anarchist magazines that I got in trade from the editors, magazines (& I prefer "magazines" to "zines") where I felt like I had a personal connection. Perhaps Anarchy & Fifth Estate seemed too much like commercial products. I've had the closest connection to the anarchist magazines that I published:

DDC#040.002 & Street Rat(bag)

to the ones that I contributed to the most:

Factsheet Five, Popular Reality [was that anarchist?], & Reality Sandwich

& to a few others that didn't have the longevity of Anarchy & Fifth Estate that may or may not've been entirely anarchist:

The Monthly Me@nder, Mad Woman, Krylon Underground, Black Eye, Awake! - the second yearly report of !po-po!, Guinea Pig Zero, Green Anarchist, & at least a few others.

Ones that were also known to me that I never contributed to were: Love & Rage, The Match, Eat My Shit, a New England based publication inspired by Lysander Spooner, an Appalachian-based Earth First type publication, etc.. At this point, there're too many whose names I've forgotten.

Brian moves on to anarchist gatherings, 2 of wch he helped organize - wch is more than I ever did (although I attended some of them).

"the first being held in Chicago in 1986 to commemorate the one hundredth anniversary of the Haymarket Riots. The second was held in Minneapolis. This one, called "A Survival Gathering," was held in Toronto, and it turned out to be rather eventful." - p 89

I was at the Chicago one, some low quality footage from wch is in my super-8mm film called "6 Fingers Crossed Country T.Ore/Tour" starting here: . I was excited to be at the Haymarket Centennial (I don't really think of it as the "Haymarket Riots"), it was the 1st time I was ever around hundreds of anarchists, prior to this I'd probably never been around more than 1 or 2 at once! It was one of the few times in my life when I felt like I was part of a community.

"The next thing I knew my friend and housemate Art, along with many others, ran in and jumped on a cop in an attempt to unarrest Johnny. Unfortunately, another cop made Art into a cop sandwich and they just kept piling on. The cops were in action now and looking to snatch us all, and I responded in the only logical way. As a nearby officer turned to single me out, I backhanded him in the face as hard as I could with a rolled-up newspaper. I gave it my all and succeeded in royally pissing him off. I still remember the look on his face. He was stunned, partly from the smacking and partly from the fact that some scrawny little anarchist had just crossed the line. He just pointed at me as a signal to his fine colleagues to move in. I had a profound "oh shit" moment when I realized I had just swatted a riot cop in the face with a newspaper. Had I been able to think quickly, I would have said "bad cop, no donut!" Instead, I ran as fast as I possibly could. And I almost got away." - p 91

As we all know, everyone admires & respects the audacity & the courage of anarchists. After all, we're trying to save the world n'at. You'll just have to read the bk to find out what happened in this exciting story of conflict & resistance.

I remember when I was at the Haymarket Centennial & some anarchists who had just expressed themselves at Neiman-Marcus were being chased by police & I was right in their path I simply stepped off to the side & the police just ran right by me. The people getting chased got caught & arrested. I expected to be arrested too but simply by getting out of the flow of the chase-traffic it was as if I'd ceased to be in the equation. & there are other stories w/ happy endings enabled by unexpected sources.

"And here is what happened next. There was a man in a suit at the desk speaking very rudely to the front desk officer. He was clearly drunk, and it turned out that he was an immigration lawyer who had been called away from his evening's celebration of another successful day striking fear into the hearts of immigrants everywhere. He was not happy having his reverie disrupted and was being snooty and condescending towards all the police officers. There was clearly a class issue afoot, and the cops did not like this guy. As he harangued them, the officer escorting me did something most unusual. He took me to the double doors while the desk cop and the Suit were busily engaged in a tense and heated exchange, and he said, "I'm going to put a smile on your face." And he opened the door and let me go. As I left, he said, "Remember, we're not all bad guys." The other Americans were held for nearly two weeks and were transferred to a medium security prison. What did I do to celebrate my newly restored liberty? I got the hell out of Dodge." - p 92

If that doesn't warm the cockles of yr heart it's probably b/c you don't have any cockles in yr heart.

Brian was an enthusiastic participant in the Festival of the Swamps in Madison, WI, yet-another thing that he was part of that I missed out on.

"After several days of intense activity, the FoTS came to a close and the participants began to drift back to their other lives. We all agreed that it was a truly remarkable and well-organized event that maintained a coherent vision without rigidity. It managed to be fun and not take itself too seriously even as it challenged the confines of normal experience and expectations, which is an amazing achievement in and of itself. For me personally, the festival and my experiences at the Avant Garde Museum of Temporary Art were life-changing." - p 97

For once I wasn't going to promote my own footage - but a cursory search online produced no footage of the FoTS so I hereby provide footage shot at Dreamtime Village, the sucessor to the Avant Garde Museum of Temporary Art - this time from 1992, a few yrs after what Brian wrote about: "Official Tour/Ture - '92" @ Dreamtime Village:

"These events and happenings permanently changed my outlook on life. As a result, my deep-seated sense of things being out-of-kilter had evolved into a fuller critique of modern capitalism and dominant culture in both theory and practice. In short, I began to more fully embrace a path of ontological dissonance in which I sought out or generated internal conflict in my belief systems about the nature of my being and my actions in the world through the deliberate shifting of their foundations. Wait, do I sound pretentious?" - p 98

The ending of chapters w/ an italicized poking-of-fun at himself is basic to the structure of the bk. Gentry's sincerely willing to distance himself from himself enuf to be able to see that he might, indeed, seem to be pretentious to some people. I, however, see him as not in the least pretentious. Instead, he's being introspective & trying to get an accurate handle on what's going on in his life & the process that led to it.

We come to squatting. I've always seen squatting as an act of what I call Criminal Sanity. There're abandoned bldgs everywhere. They're mostly abandoned b/c the owners are no longer capable of or willing to take care of them. They're usually allowed to rot rather than deal w/ the upkeep. Along come people who move into them. Some of these people keep the bldgs going by at least keeping the weather out. Some squatters are more ambitious. Some footage of some lovely folks of this sort is part of my "Don't Walk Backwards": . Brian & his friends are also examples of this type. Some squatters just need a place to crash while they & the bldg descend into oblivion together. For me, the most inspiring squats are those that turn into cultural centers. Here're 2 examples:

"UNDERAPPRECIATED in the trash(Xploitation festival in Paris, France)":


"Our newfound place of residence was a squat on Baltimore Avenue. For those unfamiliar with squatting, it is the process of illegally occupying an abandoned building. At that time, Philadelphia had some 80,000 abandoned buildings, not including HUD (the Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development) houses, reportedly more than any other city in the U.S. There were dozens upon dozens of abandoned properties in West Philly, huge stately old houses just left to rot. Pizza squat was one such building.

"For those of us (mostly) young white kids who were politically motivated and somewhat full of ourselves, we saw the opportunity to do what I called "living in the cracks."" - p 101

I admire squatters. I've never done anything squat-related other than be on the fringes of them. I rehearsed in a squatted apartment that I was provided the keys to in Berlin. Partially since I have such a huge aRCHIVE I've always sought the protection of being a renter &, when I got into my 50s, a home-owner - I wanted my aRCHIVE to be preserved. Squatters are best off & most flexible when they aren't encumbered by such concerns. It takes chutzpah to be a squatter. I admire chutzpah.

At a more basic level it just makes sense - capitalism makes things so that somebody always has to make a profit while somebody else always has to suffer. The person making the profit doesn't even have to have any valid claim on what they're profiteering from. There's a whole world of lawyers out there specializing in making specious claims - they can be slumlords attaching liens to properties just to make it harder for anyone other than them to get them. They can be copyright lawyers trying to own something made by someone long-since dead. Squatters are a thorn in their sides, a monkey-wrench in their death machine.

"Our culture puts a high price on normalcy, and this extends deeply into our bodies. I had a sense that our movements are very constrained and that moving in different ways could help to break up this internalized control and change our ways of thinking and feeling.

"So I experimented with odd, unusual, atypical, and uncomfortable movements. I would walk across the room making odd jerks and sudden movements, in no way smooth or graceful. I would change suddenly and be down on the floor, shaking and writhing. I would switch it all up again and again" - p 107

Once again & again, I can relate. I keep linking to movies of mine b/c I know of no better way to illustrate what Brian's discussing: "made 4 tv version of Attempt 2 Score Sum Action 4 Daily Living" - on my oneownthoughts YouTube channel here: - on the Internet Archive here: . The correlation being that the actions undertaken by the participants were chosen using abnormal criteria that then resulted in abnormal behaviors.

"I have to say that this was the one and only urban ghetto drug stronghold that I have ever visited. I noticed immediately that the front door sported a tremendous number of locks, was about 3 inches thick, and had a narrow slit cut into it at eye level. It would take the police, or anyone else, a long time to get through that door. I was escorted upstairs, where I had a nice conversation with the main dealer, despite the loaded pistols that were lying on the coffee table. After all, these were the ambiable, friendly sort of Philly dealers, not the angry Baltimore or L.A. types you see portrayed on shows like The Wire. Being a Good Samaritan and a generally helpful sort, I agreed to help them steal their electricity." - p 109

I stayed w/ a friend in NYC at about 10th & D (if I remember correctly) in the early 1980s. Puerto Rican drug dealers dominated the neighborhood at the time. The bldg I was staying in was a high rise, maybe 8 to 10 floors? I don't remember an elevator. The story was that drug dealers who wd only sell cocaine, who refused to sell heroin, had controlled the bldg but that a rival group killed them so that they cd sell both drugs out of it. SO, the bldg had 2 very steel-reinforced doors on the entrance w/ viewing slits. The doors were left open from daybreak 'til about 5PM. Then the dealers moved in & the doors were closed. One gang member wd be stationed at a nearby corner to be a lookout for police or rivals. Another was stationed at the front steps. Another was stationed inside. The dealer had baggies full of white powder laid out on the steps. If you were a resident of the bldg, they politely let you in, swept the baggies of drugs out of the way so you cd walk up the steps, & were friendly & non-confrontational. They were there to do business - not to have trouble w/ the residents.

"I cut two short sections of copper pipe, hammered them flat, and inserted them into the clips using lineman's pliers. This connected the circuit and bypassed the meter, providing free electricity." - p 109

& when I lived in a 200 yr old house in Fells Point, Baltimore, in 1976, a house w/ no heat until I installed an illegal gas heater, there was electrical power that a previous resident had installed that bypassed the meter. Something like half the power for the house came from that. At one point a meter reader from the gas & electric company came to get a reading. He saw the extra electrical & asked me about it. I may've given him an honest answer. Whatever the case was, he chose to ignore it - as if he hadn't seen it. Maybe that was b/c the rm we were in was EMPTY, it had no furniture - I was obviously not leading the high life. In fact, I was so poor at the time that I got an order of "Dutch Fries" from the nearby market for 50¢ every day as my meal to wash down w/ water.

"The house did, however, have gas, which our friend Moth helped us to pirate. We even hooked the meter up backwards, so it would run in reverse and there would be no record of the gas we used. We actually paid for the electricity there because we could not pirate it. Sometimes you just have to make do." - p 138

I think it was probably 1974 that I lived in a house that was reputed to've been known as La Mancha in an area south of Baltimore known as Manhattan Beach. The name was supposedly inspired by the houseful of musicians being likened to Don Quixote, tilting at windmills, people out of touch w/ reality. At the time I tried to get unemployment or some such & was told that "musician" was not a job category. I did eventually get a job at the Naval Academy washing dishes. Anyway, our gas must've been turned off for non-payment so a friend visited & turned it back on in the same way - so that the meter ran backwards.

"The Philadelphia planning meeting for the upcoming San Francisco Anarchist Gathering finally took place on October 16-17, 1988." - p 111

Brian wasn't standing still. After all, in the neighborhood where he lived standing still made you an easier target.

"Both Mike and Jenny decided they did not want to be part of the urban violence and stress that was an integral part of the Collective Chaos scene and so they returned to Philly. The warehouse was right next door ro a convenience establishment known locally as The Honky Death Liquor Store because a white guy went in there once and was promptly shot in the head." - p 115

Welcome to life in Philly (or was that Oakland, CA?). Brian once sd that I had it worse, as far as violence goes, in BalTimOre. I replied that I think he probably had it worse in Philly. Both places were war zones. I had a friend who went to the liquor store close to where he lived in BalTimOre that only had black clientele. He was white so he was promptly stabbed, I'm told the wound was quite deep. He managed to stagger back to his place from wch he was taken to the Emergency Rm. He survived. Welcome to life in BalTimOre.

"As with most of my intellectual explorations outside of physics, I tend to follow both my intuition and the threads to which I'm exposed. This often results in my putting the cart before the horse and learning about various topics and theories in reverse or mixed order rather than starting with a firm grounding in a particular analysis. Thus, there are many holes and gaps in my knowledge base and my worldview is informed by the mish-mash of disparate elements I have encountered and pieced together. This situation is a product of my self-directed and self-authored approach to most of my learning. I have learned to appreciate and value it, and do not think I could have done it any other way." - p 120

Brian Gentry is both an autodidact & university-taught. I identify very much w/ the above, esp his mention of intuition, wch I think is underestimated. I appear to be a more systematic autodidact than he is but, still, as autodidacts we're both motivated to always learn from whatever's around us. As such, our learning is well-rounded: both practical & theoretical.

"We helped with a CISPES action that involved printing a fake newspaper front page that implicated the U.S. government in Central American deaths. The "fake" stories (which were actually true) were printed on thousands of sheets of actual newspaper so as to be identical to a regular paper. We drove around San Francisco shortly before dawn after the morning papers were stocked in their boxes and added the new front pages to the ones in the boxes. The next day thousands of San Franciscans got some real news for once.' - p 125

A similar thing happened in BalTimOre on January 20, 1989, as explained by Mike Bardoff in an interview I did w/ him: .

"Perhaps the best demo I participated in was the 10th anniversary of the White Night Riots. These riots occurred on May 21, 1979, when Dan White was essentially acquitted of the execution-style murders of Harvey Milk and Mayor George Mascone." - p 125

Well.. "essentially acquitted" means found guilty of manslaughter, wch was ridiculous, & sentenced to 7 yrs in prison, only 5 of wch did he serve. The crime was clearly premeditated murder. He committed suicide w/in a few yrs of being released. I think Gus Van Sant's film entitled "Milk" gives a fairly even-handed acct of the whole tragedy except that he erroneously states that no-one was ever prosecuted for the White Night Riots. Actually, Peter Plate & a young codefendent were prosecuted but Plate got off & his codefendent unfortunately committed suicide under the strain of postponed trials & other deliberate psychological abuse that he suffered at the hands of the injustice system. Footage of Plate can be found in my movie "6 Fingers Crossed Country T.Ore/Tour" here: .

"The fourth and last North American Anarchist Gathering was entitled Without Borders. Regular planning meetings for the upcoming event were hosted by the collective" - p 127

It's strange to think in retrospective that I attended the 1st & last of the only 4 North American Anarchist Gatherings, held over a 4 yr period.. & that was that. It was truly an amazing time, a time of a revolution that most North Americans were probably oblivious to. Did I take the gatherings for granted? Perhaps I did.. & I reckon that's a 'life lesson': you might be living in the midst of something completely extraordinary & not even realize it until it's gone.. if you EVER realize it.

"Unbeknownst to us, we had a police informer in our midst. While I have no direct proof of this, when the advance team was set to enter the building the day before the occupation to make preparations for the larger numbers to follow, the building was already blockaded by police. Somehow, they had discovered our plans in advance." - p 132

Given that anarchist planning sessions are often open to widespread participation & that the attendees are also often friendly it's easy for the police to place undercover agents. I'm sure that my phone was tapped during the TESTES-3 days (1979), it seems likely that a guy who started hanging out w/ my group of friends a yr later (1980) was an undercover cop, the FBI came to my house in 1986 or thereabouts b/c of a petition that one of my roommates was circulating, 2 undercover cops posed as union carpenters during the preparation for the Puppestista interventions at the RNC (Republican National Convention) in 2000 (to read about this read this interview w/ Amy Kwasnicki here: ), an undercover cop had 'infiltrated' a group of us when we were planning a May Day parade in 2001.

To see my short parody of undercover cops & mass media lying check out this movie I made w/ Rich Pell, "TV 'News' Commits Suicide", here: . Don't be frightened by the suicide warning that YouTube blocks yr viewing of this w/ - there's no actual suicide or even a realistic simulation - the warning is put there as an act of algorithm stupidity &/or as censorship of political content. The meaning of the title is that it wd be 'suicide' for TV so-called 'News' to ever tell the truth b/c its existence depends on the financial & legal support of the vested interests of the powers-that-be.

"The boneheaded behavior displayed by some of attendees, though certainly a minority, was particularly irksome to the organizers. In a series of discussions, plans for the next intercontinental gathering originally proposed to be held in Mexico were cancelled due to lack of enthusiasm and commitment." - p 133

The "boneheads" that Brian's referring to trashed their warehouse. I remember that when I attended Without Borders a guy started hanging out w/ me who proudly displayed a gun he was carrying. As an example of his 'revolutionary fervor' he knocked over a trashcan. I don't like guns & wd certainly never trust anyone who carried one in a protest situation where there's a high likelihood of arrest &/or a high likelihood of innocent bystanders being struck by a bullet. Knocking over a trashcan just results in some working class person having to clean up the resultant mess. I don't consider either of those things revolurionary. What wd be more revolutionary wd be endangering other people's lives less & making less work for other people by being more responsible for oneself. It's quite possible that this guy who was hanging around me was an undercover provocateur. He made some sort of comment about only my films being revolutionary, that I wasn't, personally, revolutionary. That seemed to be an attempt to provoke me into doing something stupid. It didn't work. He claimed that he was going to arrange a screening of my movies. That never happened. Be wary of people like this, people who try to incite you into doing something nasty for a dubious purpose.

"North American anarchism itself was to take a different turn from this point on. Gatherings were scaled down and became regional and local. A new model of cultural engagement that centered upon info shops came into existence, and people shifted focus. Info shops were an updated version of the anarchist bookstore that still centered upon alternative publications but now embraced a broader set of activities, including the then-emerging computer networking and the internet. They functioned as social gathering spaces, cultural and political event venues, alternative public libraries, print and video publishing facilities, and organizing centers." - p 134

This is another excellent observation on Gentry's part. In 2001, in Pittsburgh a group of us founded "The Big Idea" to perform such functions. That still exists, run by volunteers, 21 yrs later. Amazing. By 2003, there was a great community center of sorts called "Project 1877" that provided things like free clothes & large indoor walls for mural painting & computer access. The number "1877" was chosen as a yr of great labor organizing. Unfortunately, the landlord decided to evict the community space, wch served hundreds of people, & to replace it w/ a dance studio for a dancer group that served the TWO grants-funded dancers. I doubt that these dancers were even aware of the forces that they served. Such people disgust me.

Lest you think that I'm 100% in agreement w/ Brian, I find that it's incumbent on me to criticize the following:

"My friend Jackrabbit had also recently returned to Philly we decided to reopen Hell Squat and make it not-hell. The problem was that a particularly gnarly old white guy names Patches lived in the back of the first floor. Patches was a bit of a crackhead, and not the most savory character I have ever met. Nonetheless, we were determined to live in this fine house and hatched a scheme to take over the upper floors of the building. We gained access to the building through the roof of the neighboring house, crossing over to the dilapidated squat, and down inside via a skylight. We then proceeded to seal Patches in the back of the first floor by nailing a hallway door shut and reinforcing it with scavenged boards." - p 137

"Our strategy was to move more people in and eventually it got to be too busy for Patches. One day we suddenly realized that he was gone, without so much as a card or flowers." - p 138

Patches was there 1st. No matter how "gnarly" he was that made the place more his than it was Brian's. Brian & friends essentially evicted him - thereby acting more like landlords than squatters. For all they know, he left & died.

"Jackrabbit and I worked to improve the building as best we could. It badly needed major repairs hat we were unable to undertake, but we were able to mitigate the ongoing damage due to years of neglect. Jackrabbit tracked down the owner and in an emotional plea asked him to give us the building, so we could keep it from completely deteriorating. Rabbit informed him that we had gotten crackheads out of it, were keeping it safe, and wanted to restore it to a comfortable dwelling. The owner declined the offer, and basically said he could care less about the property and the neighborhood." - p 138

I'd love to know what the owner's history w/ the bldg was. Had he lived there when the bldg was still in good shape, when the neighborhood had been prosperous & safe? Such a personal history might explain &, to a certain extent, justify any later bitterness &/or apathy.

"About a month after moving back to Philly I started studying a Chinese-Vietnamese Kung Fu style named Than Vo Dao. It is perhaps the most dancelike martial art I have ever seen, with both hard and soft movements and a characteristic flow practically like no other. I fell in love with it immediately, and knew I wanted to devote as much time to its practice as I possibly could. That was, in fact, what I did. Than Vo Dao became central to my life for the next 11 years." - p 139

I admire martial arts & respect martial artists. In particular I respect what might be a romanticized perception of the self-discipline involved, of the self-restraint. I respect people who're self-confident w/o being arrogant. I also respect the dancer qualities that were a partial attraction for Brian. I never had any interest in martial arts movies until I saw "Drunken Master" w/ Jackie Chan wch I think is one of the best dance movies ever made. It also involved mvmts similar to the way I danced when I was young. I've since learned that some famous Chinese martial arts actors started w/ ballet training. Michelle Yeoh is an example. Bruce Lee was a cha-cha dancer.

"There are several significant ideas from the Fourth Way that had lasting impact on me. According to Gurdjieff, we live in a state of unconsciousness, a kind of active sleep. We assume we have will and can do what we intend, but in fact we do not. Things happen to us largely by accident, despite our best intentions. Qualities such as will power can only be ascribed to someone who is fully conscious, and there are few who are. This is largely because we forget ourselves and cannot stay completely aware that we are in the present moment. Incidentally, these ideas are also found in Taoist, Zen Buddhist, and Sufi teachings." - p 141

Interesting. These days, I have the extremely unpopular opinion that most people are just acting & speaking in accordance w/ what's essentially a script that's predetermined for them by oligarchical interests. People simply conform to subcultural norms, believing that these norms are rooted in verifiable objective data when, in fact, they're just opinions given a semblance of factuality by the pretenses that they support: pretences of higher intelligence &/or morality, e.g.. As such, I think most people not only don't have a will, they don't even have their own opinions - they're simply puppets. I, on the other hand, think I DO have my own opinions & will. This, of course, is b/c I'm phenomenally conscious, extremely brilliant, & an all-around good guy who happens to also be a part-time misanthrope. Who can blame me?

"This space was the initial locus of performances for Big Mess Theater. Big Mess was a local collective that put on fantastic drag cabarets, charging a mere five dollars for two- to three-hour shows. They were hosted by drag queens, such as Heda Hair, and performances by other local greats like Amanda Reckonwith and Carlotta Tendant." - p 147

I saw the Big Mess perform at the 14 Karat Cabaret in BalTimOre. I loved them. The funny thing is that I don't even remember them as a drag queen group.

"Around 1990 some elements of Industrial Culture began to be picked up by a wider audience in the underground scenes of big cities like Philadelphia. RE/Search had released Modern Primitives about a year before, and some of its subject matter moved out of the fringes and into the margins, though it would take another 10 years to reach the mainstream. I first began to notice people with tattoos and piercings at this time. Tattoos became "artistic" and moved out of the strict biker, sailor, and Japanese categories that had previously dominated the art." - p 150

That doesn't seem to bother Brian. It bothered me more at the time. Now tattooing has been so ruined by its 'normalcy' that I barely even care any more. To quote myself from above: "it struck me how much of a trend-setter RE/Search was & how much that ruined things for me. When I started getting tattooed in 1986 tattoos were still uncommon, it was mainly soldiers & bikers that had them - I had a hard time finding a tattooist even willing to tattoo me on my head. THEN, when "Modern Primitives" came out in 1989 getting tattooed suddenly became fashionable. THAT was really a drag - now look at what we've got: the most ordinary thoughtless people have tattoos." For a history of my own tattoos, go here: .

"I was once menaced by young kids with aluminum baseball bats at midday in Center City, not far from where the Convention Center now stands. The kids, around 12 years old, laughed as I crossed the street to avoid them." - p 153

In Baltimore there was an author named Jerome Dyson Wright who wrote a series of bks the 1st of wch was entitled "Poor, Black, and in Real Trouble". I'd read this 1st bk of his & found it very good. Wright was born in 1938 & describes fighting back against racism growing up. There's one incident, e.g., where a white bartender denied him service b/c he was black. Wright pistol-whipped him. I don't blame him. Unfortunately, the author spent entirely too much time in prison. In the early 1990s, when he was in his 50s, he set up a table in the financial district in downtown Baltimore, a block away from where I was living in a warehouse, to sell his bks.

Since I lived nearby, I passed him frequently & talked w/ him. He was usually there during the day. I told him I'd read his bk, that I liked it, that I was sympathetic to much of what he'd done, & that I was sorry he'd had to do so much prison time. He was a nice guy & I enjoyed our conversations. One night I was walking home, across the street where he was usually set up in the day, & a group of kids started following me. I don't remember any more whether they had baseball bats but I remember that around this time some kids w/ bats had chased a guy around the same area. The guy was running after a bus, desperately trying to get the bus driver to stop for him, to save him from a beating. The bus driver ignored him - presumably using the excuse that he wasn't at a bus stop.

Anyway, I was about a block from my warehouse & I remember calculating whether I cd make it home before being beaten by this group of kids, probably 8 to 10 of them aged 12 to 16ish. whose purpose in following me en masse didn't seem too promising for my health. Then I heard a deep voice from across the street: "Leave that man alone!, the voice shouted, & those kids immediately turned around & went the other way. I turned around & saw Mr. Wright in the shadows across the street. I waved at him & he waved back. I'd rather have friends than a gun.

"Essentially, we discussed everything. Most non-anarchists do not realize just how much time anarchists spend in meetings. Some of our house meetings went on for hours, though we learned to be briefer over time. How many anarchists does it take to change a lightbulb? All of them." - p 160

Of course, what Brian's talking about here are meetings in wch consensus is aimed for. Reaching consensus is easy when the subject being decided about is non-controversial - but when you're trying to create a new society w/o <rule-by>, w/o coercion, it becomes more complicated. Every participant brings their own personal experience to the meeting & that experience can be intensely in one direction. Sometimes people can drop out of the decision-making, disagreeing w/ the majority's decision but not wanting to block consensus. In rare instances, someone might feel that their experience is essential, that their personal insight is so strong, is so knowledgable, that blocking consensus is basically a civic duty to prevent the majority from making a dire mistake. Or, then again, maybe the person blocking consensus is just giving in to their contrarian nature w/o adequate justification. Whatever the case, blocking consensus can lead to meetings being much longer as the pro-faction argues w/ the blocker. I've never blocked consensus but I'm glad it's there as an option. Majorities can make egregious mistakes.

"Cindergarten and Knot Squat soon became the locus of anarchist activities in West Philly. We started a local anarchist community center called A Space. It is a social and event venue that hosts political meetings, speakers and discussions, art shows, meditation and yoga, music, and craft making workshops. It also houses Books Through Bars, which provides books for the incarcerated." - p 162

Once again, Brian & his friends were far more "there at the very beginning" of setting up such spaces than I was. It wasn't until 2001 that The Big Idea & Book 'Em & Free Ride got started in Pittsburgh & I only had a very little to do w/ the 1st 2 & nothing to do w/ the 3rd. I did make a documentary about the early days of Book 'Em, an overly shortened version of wch is here: . Having just looked at that to see whether it's still there I discovered that it's now scrunched into the upper-left corner & is monetized. I didn't put this online so I'm not responsible for either of those things but I hope that it gets corrected.

"The local authorities, including local politicians, certainly knew who we were. The headquarters of NOW was located at the other end of our block, and at one point they dubbed us the white MOVE houses. Our housemate Kat commented on the ridiculousness of this comment, suggesting that we all change our last names to Europe." - p 162

Again, I can relate. I was once lovers w/ a former president of a state NOW. She was asked to write something for an arts magazine, she wrote a description of our having sex as a rape fantasy. Given that I'm not a rapist I can't exactly say I found her fantasy appealing but I figured that was her business. The arts magazine declined to publish it. Heaven forbid that a feminist wd be so honest as to admit to rape fantasies.

As for MOVE?! For those of you not familiar w/ their persecution I highly recommend studying up on their complete oppression. The mass murder perpetrated against them (& the Branch Davidians to be fair in my history here) was absolutely horrific. I hitchhiked from Baltimore to Philadelphia for their trial in 1978. I arrived at the courtroom wearing a vest covered with metal buttons. The cops manning the metal detector got a good laugh out of that one. The MOVE folks, who all used the last name of Africa (hence the Europe joke above) were banned from their own trial b/c they'd been 'disrupting' it. Sheesh. Why on Earth wd they not disrupt such a flagrantly kangaroo court? The day I was there, the trial was all ballistics evidence. I didn't understand a word. What I did understand is that when 9 people were sentenced to long prison sentences for the shooting death of ONE police officer, quite possibly killed by 'friendly fire', that the MOVE 9 had rc'vd no justice whatsoever.

"We hosted out of town guests and made many new friends. There was a sense of community and belonging that was fulfilling and deeply rewarding. It's enough to give you the anarchist warm fuzzies." - p 163

& some friends of mine & I were recipients of this hospitality when we went to Philly for a regional anarchist gathering in 1993. I remember going w/ my ex-girlfriend Jake T. "Unclean" & probably at least 1 or 2 or 3 other BalTimOre friends. Given that I've often hosted people visiting from out-of-town, I may've taken it for granted that these Philly folks wd be happy to host me. However, when I got there I remember the people who didn't know me being somewhat wary. It was obvious that they'd been burned at some point or another. As far as I remember, we were perfectly nice & considerate. I hope so.

"In 1993, some Philly folks decided to host a regional anarchist gathering. The stressful experience of the San Francisco convention had convinced many anarchists that local and regional activities would be more effective and helpful. We wanted to scale down and focus on issues most relevant to our communities. For us, this primarily meant big East Coast cities like Philly, New York, Baltimore, and DC." - p 174

I presented my "P@rty Prop@g@nd@" movie as my participation. That wd've been the 1st time it was ever screened & the only time that particular version (either 1 or 2) was screened. The 3rd version has only been screened once, in Pittsburgh, & is on the Internet Archive here: . I'd originally posted it on YouTube but they blocked it there. It was originally objected to b/c I used excerpts from "Triumph of the Will" in it. "P@rty Prop@g@nd@" uses three 20th century propaganda films w/ critical intent & contrasts their philosophies w/ footage from more playful events that I, personally, have participated in. When I objected to YouTube's blocking it for using a 'hate speech' movie (or whatever they called "Triumph of the Will") I pointed out that I detest "Triumph of the Will" & was using it to criticize it. I found it weird that they didn't object to my use of "Birth of a Nation", an American film that I find similarly despicable. The YouTube censors accepted my counterargument but then blocked it for using the soundtrack to "October" despite any copyright on that being many decades out of date - if, indeed, there had ever been one that was legally valid in the 1st place (wch I doubt).

One of my memories about this screening is that a polite young woman asked me if the volume cd be turned down & I told her that I preferred it at that volume. In retrospect, I think I shd've turned it down. My belated apologies.

Another memory of this gathering is from when I was sitting near the entryway when a guy w/ a camera came to the entry desk. There was a modest fee of something like $15 for access to 2 or 3 days of events in a large bldg that the organizers presumably had to pay for or otherwise negotiate. The fee seemed reasonable to me & I probably pd it even tho I was a participant. I certainly didn't expect or request a cut of the door. I was contributing to the event at my own expense, despite being poor, as a way of furthering communal anarchist goals. The guy w/ the camera tried to bully the woman at the desk saying that he shdn't have to pay b/c he claimed that he was "the world's leading anarchist filmmaker". After she managed to repel him, she turned to me & quoted his claim somewhat in disbelief at his arrogance. I sd something like "I didn't know there was such a thing." Kudos to her for not letting a con man like that into the gathering to exploit it. Surely, he cd've afforded the cost of admission. Surely if he'd been an anarchist at all (wch I doubt) he wdn't have used such a ridiculous argument in the 1st place.

"One of our guests in those years was none other than the anarchist celebrity Vermin Supreme. He had been given our contact information by tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE and visited us for a few days. It was wonderful to have Vermin around as he always livens up the environment. Vermin has carried out mock election campaigns for many years, and in those days, he was campaigning for Mayor of the U.S. Since then, he has run for president multiple times, as a Republican, Democrat, and Libertarian. When I met him, his slogans were "The Friendly Fascist" and "A Dictator You Can Trust." His platform has been to pass a law requiring all people to brush their teeth, preparation for the zombie apocalypse, and the guarantee of a free pony for every citizen. He wears a boot on his head and carries a bullhorn." - p 164

& that gives you a pretty good idea of how deeply trustworthy I consider Vermin to be. By 1986, I'd been 'Mail Art' networking for 8 yrs & had accumulated a HUGE contacts list. I made a copy of that & gave it to Vermin. As I recall, he'd just started participating in Rainbow Gatherings & traveling around a fair amt & was looking for kindred spirits. He is the ONLY person I ever shared that complete list w/ & will probably always be the only person to have that distinction. Anyone else dropping my name trying to appear credible as a house-guest shd probably not be trusted. I remember Brian phoning me when Vermin asked if he cd stay w/ them to ask me if he was AOK. That was a sensible precaution. I gave Vermin high praise, Brian & friends welcomed him, &, as you can read from the above, they didn't regret it. People w/ Vermin's integrity (& sense of humor) are very rare indeed.

For those sad beings whose 'reality' is only determined by TV 'News' & who, therefore, have very little or even NO idea of who Vermin is I suggest the following website & 3 documentaries that I had something to do w/: "Vermin Love Supreme": ; "VerminSuprememeaversarry, day one" (on my onesownthoughts YouTube channel here: - on the Internet Archive here: ); "Vermin Supreme, His Humble Beginnings" (on my onesownthoughts YouTube channel here: - on the Internet Archive here: ); "Vermin Supreme Campaining for Mayor in BalTimOre, Tuesday, October 22nd, 1991E.V." (on Vimeo here: ). I suggest that you bookmark all of those b/c even though there're MANY documents from Vermin's tireless campaigning all that internet freedom that you may take for granted now might very well disappear sooner or later for our own good. NOT.

Brian, like any self-respecting autodidact, seeks information where it can be found - rather than where we're told it can be found by people w/ ulterior motives that claim 'objectivity' but who're more likely just fronts for power-interests. That led him to John Judge.

"He famously said, "I'll consent to being called a conspiracy theorist if you call the other side Coincidence Theorists."" - p 167

Brian's autobiography gets up to 1992, a chapter subtitled "Hippies, Yet Again".

"The Radical Faeries are a fascinating blend of queer culture, pagan spirituality, environmentalism, and radical countercultures. They are not only politically radical but also tremendously fun. In urban protests or marches I would always stick close to them because they brought a dimension of levity and celebration to political events. Their presence opens the social space for greater possibilities, something I have great respect for." - p 173

Having watched the documentary entitled "Hope Along the Way: The Life of Harry Hay", (2002) by Eric Slade, I'm a bit wary of the Radical Faeries b/c I got the impression from the doc that they pressured Hay out.

"Influenced by the publication of the Kinsey Reports, Hay conceived the idea of a homosexual activist group in August 1948 which later became the Mattachine Society." -

As I recall from the documentary, Hay was essentially forced out of the Mattachine Society for being too radical as more conservative gay men started controlling it. Later, Hay cofounded the Radical Faeries.

"Their conference, set for Labor Day 1979, was to be called the "Spiritual Conference for Radical Fairies", with the term "Radical Faerie" having been coined by Hay. The term "Radical" was chosen to reflect both political extremity and the idea of "root" or "essence", while the term "Faerie" was chosen in reference both to the immortal animistic spirits of European folklore and to the fact that "fairy" had become a pejorative slang term for gay men. Initially, Hay rejected the term "movement" when discussing the Radical Faeries, considering it to instead be a "way of life" for gay males, and he began referring to it as a "not-movement". In organizing the event, Hay handled the political issues, Burnside the logistics and mechanics, Kilhefner the budgetary and administrative side, and Walker was to be its spiritual leader." -

HOWEVER, according to the Wikipedia page, Hay wasn't kicked out of the Radical Faeries.

"At a winter 1980 gathering in southern Oregon designed to discuss acquiring land for a Faerie sanctuary, a newcomer to the group, coached by Walker, confronted Harry about the power dynamics within the core circle. In the ensuing conflict, the core circle splintered. Plans for the land sanctuary stalled and a separate circle formed. The core circle made an attempt to reconcile, but at a meeting that came to be known as "Bloody Sunday", Kilhefner quit, accusing Hay and Burnside of "power tripping", while Walker resigned. Walker and Kilhefner formed a new Los Angeles-based gay spiritual group called Treeroots which promoted a form of rural gay consciousness associated with Jungian psychology and ceremonial magic. However, despite the division among its founders, the Radical Faerie movement continued to grow, largely as a result of its egalitarian structure, with many participants being unaware of the squabbles. Hay himself continued to be welcomed at gatherings, coming to be seen as an elder statesman in the movement." -

However, Hay was controversial w/ other gays. To quote from "The Trouble With Harry Hay - Founder of the Modern Gay Movement", a 1990 biography by Stuart Timmons:

"Even in his old age, Harry sometimes marched alone - and with substantial impact. One solo protest started innocuously, but ended up among his most newsworthy feats. It began at the 1986 Gay Pride Parade in Los Angeles, a march sponsored by Christopher Street West (CSW), in honor of the street where the Stonewall riot took place in 1969." - p 295, "The Trouble With Harry Hay"

"Choosing another gay cause that had been cast out over contested morality, he added to the back, "NAMBLA Walks With Me," thus bringing into the parade another taboo entity: the North American Man/Boy Love Association. NAMBLA, of which Hay has never been a member, advocates eliminating age-of-consent laws and has been barred from marching in the gay parades of several cities."


"To those who self-righteously condemned his support of NAMBLA, he told the story of Matt, his 25-year-old first love when he was only fourteen, and pointed out that "having molested an adult when I was a child until I found out what I needed to know," he had a different perspective on the issue."

- p 296, "The Trouble With Harry Hay"

I have mixed feelings about this. As an anarchist I don't ultimately support any laws since they all have to be enforced by coercion. On the other hand, I support the idea of being responsible for one's actions. Can sex between an adult & a child be responsible? I think not. Harry Hay may've been exceptionally sexually precocious at age 14 but that doesn't generalize to everyone. I have many friends who had adults initiate sex w/ them when they were too immature to be ready for it. The result has consistently been Arrested Development & a tendency to drug addiction & alcoholism. Acting like every child is ready for sex at any age is grossly irresponsible & repulsively self-serving for the adults promoting the idea. If there were a publication exclusively from children promoting such ideas that wd have some credibility - but that's not the way it works is it? It's always adults pretending to be spokespeople for children & these adults have highly suspect motives. On the other hand, I recognize & respect that Hay was a person who had the courage to question many things that other people wd find taboo to even talk about.

Brian ends up back in college after a long hiatus - thusly starting yet-another phase of his life.

"My teacher was not able to learn the healing arts while in Viet Nam, so I decided to study Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to compliment my martial arts training. After investigating several TCM schools, I discovered I needed several pre-requisite college courses, including Anatomy and Physiology. I decided (after much prodding by my chiropractor) to sign up for this course at Philadelphia Community College. To my great surprise, my experience in that course was nearly ecstatic and I absolutely loved being back in a college class. I realized I was quite good at college and aced the course, enjoying every minute of it." - p 179

"it took me 3&1/2 years to finish my undergraduate degree and I took most of the courses that I intended to take for the interdisciplinary major anyway. These included biological anthropology, graduate level neurobiology and electrophysiology, an independent study in nonlinear dynamics, and a graduate course in philosophy of mind, plus the full physics major. Let's just say I had a lot of extra credits." - p 180

"In 2000, I graduated from Temple and enrolled in the Center for Nonlinear Dynamics at UT Austin in the fall. However, life was to take more turns, and I would get married and leave for Germany with my wife and graduate advisor in 2002, spending the next 10 years in Europe. Seven were spent in Leipzig, prominent city in Saxony, formerly socialist Eastern Germany, where both of my children were born. I finally and painfully obtained my Ph.D., earning the coveted right to say, "That's Dr. Asshole to you."" - p 184

"My focus at the time of this writing is to promote systems thinking as a paradigm shift for a species on the brink of self-destruction (that's us, folks)." - p 185

& one of the many reasons to be happy to write this review is that Brian's the only person (other than myself) to've written a review of my bk entitled "Paradigm Shift Knuckle Sandwich & other examples of P.N.T. (Perverse Number Theory)": . Go to the near the bottom for his review.

Another of the reasons why I'm happy to review this bk is b/c I honestly think it's IMPORTANT. It deserves to be read by people who'd read anything by Abbie Hoffman or who'd read Emmett Grogan's "Ringolevio - A Life Played for Keeps". This is a rare look at the life of a person who has dedicatedly tried to transcend the oppressiveness of society &, IMO, succeeded. I'm very happy that Brian exists & continues to thrive.






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