Quiet means busy...
Quiet can often be a bad thing. Quiet here, however, means I've been really fucking busy!
So here's a quick update on what's happening.
First off, did a lengthy interview with the fine folks at Final Straw Radio recently. You can listen/download that in two parts.
Next up, Anything Can Happen is out now! This is a collection of essays from Fredy Perlman, originally published by Phoenix Press in 1992. Fredy has been a massive influence on me and the essays contained here are no exception to that. Working with Lorraine Perlman to work out all the now age-old errors and typos in some of the circulated manuscripts was an honor and a privilege. I'm really proud of how this one came out and to have written the introduction for it, which you can read here.
To purchase: click here.
Black and Green Review no 5 is in the final stages. I should have the pre-order information up within the next week or so. Those will mail out before the new year. This one is a serious banger, a year in the making. Our largest issue and the most content. I have some heavy hitters in this one. If you want to keep up on that, I strongly encourage signing up on the Black & Green email list.
My second book of essays and more is coming out alongside BAGR no 5 or quickly thereafter. Gathered Remains: Essays on Wildness, Domestication, Community, and Resistance. I'm finalizing that alongside no 5, so more info and pre-orders will be up sooner than later, but I'm really stoked to get this out there.
My first book, For Wildness and Anarchy, is now sold out. The second edition is under way, lots of editing that should have been done more diligently the first time, but, what can I say, the 2000s were a very DIY, "get it out there immediately" time. Live and learn. That should be out early 2018.
I had a first while working on this issue of BAGR, an essay getting way too long! When I was only about 15% through my flow of references and argument, it quickly became apparent that this massive undertaking was a book, not an essay. Mind you, my last two major essays for BAGR were both in the 27K word range (roughly 80 pages in print each), so my delineation is pretty liberal. But considering what this book, Of Gods and Country: The Domestication of our World, is covering, it's more likely that it would grow beyond what I had slated than not.
And it's covering a lot: the rise of religion as a diversion of our existence as grounded individuals within wild communities into tribal identities as surplus building hunter-fishers or garden/flock/field tending farmers. In the process, the restructuring of the world necessitated the creation of "Others" and, in the process, of the group identity. We see very early on in the domestication process how the patterns of xenophobia, nationalism, and a destructive relationship with wildness emerges with patriarchy and increasing hierarchy and specialization.
In short: it's a book about religion, patriarchy, and nationalism subverting the stories we tell ourselves as otherwise innately egalitarian people from a militantly spiritualistic anti-theist.
There are a slew of other projects in various stages too, but as soon as no 5 and Gathered are off to the press, I'm 100% back on finishing Of Gods. Then onward from there, maybe a night of sleep too at some point.
On why I'm not publishing much online these days...
So I've always been a fan of getting my work as widely available as possible, as quickly as possible. Never did the copyright thing. Mostly did a lot of zines and pamphlets with the intent that they'd be copied cheaply and handed out. So putting essays online used to make a lot more sense since people would print them out and distribute them.
Not so true anymore.
What happens now is that everything posted online just becomes more "content" for clicks, likes, or whatever it is. How much of it actually gets read and digested is increasingly less debatable: Nicholas Carr deflated much of that mythos a while ago, but many others have loudly proclaimed as well, and rightfully so, that when we're trying to read something on a screen, the amount of other pieces intentionally competing for our attention often win.
While putting anything online is now the way of the world, it means increasingly less. A lot goes into this work, my hope is that a lot can be taken from it. I'll continue to post some things online, but my work has been gravitating more towards much larger and in depth topics. Not only do I not encourage trying to read some of my newer work, essays like 'Hooked on a Feeling' and 'Society Without Strangers' (BAGR 3 and 4, respectively), on a computer, I'm not even prone to sharing them on there. I'm not interested in producing content. This isn't for clicks, likes, or even sales: it's about the depth and the arguments.
Sharing them on social media because of the title or having read a chunk or two is meaningless. A flash in the pan. Social networks aren't where things go to die, it's where they just flutter around lifelessly for a cycle on the news feed and then fade away forever. No interest.
It is increasingly likely that the projects I'm working on, most of which are books or for books, just won't end up going online. At least not directly. I do what I can to ensure it's all accessible, but there's clearly a technological problem going on in this society. I don't think we'll do anything about it just by throwing more content at it to not get digested.
Doing online fund raising and things like that, they take too much work and maintenance. They're built for content creators. Not interested. That said, all of this work, including Black and Green Review and all Black and Green Press projects, take a lot of money. If you support what I'm doing and want to help out, that's awesome. You can donate via paypal here by clicking here. Otherwise, you can use the info on the contact page and send a letter or email.
Really, the most important thing is spreading the word, reading and engaging it. Pick up the books, help get them out in the world. Talk about them in real life.
All for now.
For wildness and anarchy,