It Is Okay - Metropolarity
(SE 02)(EP 01) OCT 2014
journal of speculative vision +
critical liberation technologies
METROPOLARITY was born one pixelated summer, desperate for a space
where technology and community could intersect. We at Metropolarity
believe that those without power must take advantage and control of
the media outlets that we have access to. We choose science fiction
as our lens to manifest new worlds/identities/self paradigms, and to
destroy entropied, harmful ones.
Walk with us.
IT IS OKAY by Laura Pollard
WHAT DO WE SAVE WHEN WE SAVE THE INTERNET? (EXCERPT) by Ian Bogost
LIFE ONLINE WORKSHEETby Eighteen & Ras
p14...BATTLEFIELD REPLICA SYMMETRY RETROSPECTA by Moor Mother Goddess
THE 40TH ST. CON by Skribbly LaCroix
PORTRAIT OF THE ACTIVIST AS A YOUNG SUPER-HERO by Alex Smith
p26...CONSTANTEMIEDOCONSTANTE by Natis
BLACK QUANTUM FUTURISM by Rasheedah Phillips
p32...DISTRICTS by Aja Beech
p34...FLYBOYS by Billie Blazer
A YOUNG THUG CONFRONTS HIS OWN FUTURE by Ras Mashramani
by Althea Baird
from the crew
THEIR FINGERS WAS
BORN WITH IT — DRONE
ALL YR BODEGAS —
BOUT FUCK YR PENICILLIN
SCI FI IS NO LONGER
ONLY FOR THE FUTURE
SCI FI IS HERE ON YOUR
THIS IS A MEDITATION
ON THE FUTURE PRESENT
OUR SCI FI REALITIES
THE FUTURE IS NOW
AND ALWAYS HAS BEEN
WORLD WITHOUT END AMEN
RE AND TH
CAN’T PASS T
CT A DEAD
ND A W
THE KING FOU
ES AND M
CH KEEP B
DUE TO T
It Is Okay
It’s early in the morning. Your cellphone is shrieking music; vibrating so hard
you feel it through your pillow as a singer warns you about the noise over
an electronic beat. You hit it, not questioning if it’s safe to be hitting what is
essentially a smaller version of the glowing laptop sitting in the corner of your
room. You close your eyes. You don’t sleep. Minutes later, your phone repeats
it’s alarm. You close your eyes again, shutting of the alarm, so used to your
phone you can use it with your eyes closed. It is an extension of your body.
You get out of bed. You get back into bed. You stare at your closet, wondering
if maybe your mother is right, maybe you do need to buy some more colourful
clothing. You get out of bed.
It’s hot outside. You stare down at your chest. You stare at the drawer where
you keep the bra, the one that’s slightly too small, that flattens your chest. You
question why to be read as the genderless being you so desperately want to be,
you must make your body look like what a boy’s body should look like. You decide
not to bind. It’s hot outside. Instead, you chose a shirt that simply hides your
chest. Hides your gender. You correct yourself – hides your sex. Girl is not your
gender. It is simply the reason why your chest does not appear genderless to
the rest of the world.
You finish getting dressed. You are faintly aware of the sound of traffic outside
your window. You pull apart your curtains, expecting harsh sunlight. You are
greeted with grey skies. This faintly lights your bedroom. You go to your desk.
You pull on thin rings, enjoying the feel of the metal against your skin. You pause
for a moment. The metal looks so right on your hand, making it look not real.
You go to your mirror. The red lipstick smeared around serves as a reminder of
your failed juvenile attempts at femininity.
Black eyeliner no longer feels right to you. You don’t want to be dark anymore.
You want to look harsh and strange, but it’s not the right kind of harsh and
strange. It’s too human. You search for silver eye shadow, lamenting the stains
and streaks of assorted cosmetics appearing on your hands. You apply it to
your eyelids with your fingertips. You look at your reflection. It’s not enough. You
apply more. You spread it over your eyebrows, apply thick streaks down your
cheeks, violently press it to your lips, trying to make it stick.
You look in the mirror. Someone, something that is not you looks back. You
smile. You feel robotic. You look right. You are not a girl. You are not a boy. You
are not a human.
You feel afraid.
You realize you can’t go outside like this. You grab makeup remover, spilling it
over your makeup-covered hands while pouring it on tissue paper. You attack
your face with damp tissue, wincing as it gets in your eyes. You do this for
several moments, until you’re sure you look human, presentable again. You open
You look in the mirror. Your skin is now strangely shiny. It feels tight. You look
naked. You frown. It will do. It will have to do. You turn to leave. Something
catches your eye. Just below your right eye, a smudge of silver remains. It is
a reminder. A reminder that you are not a girl. You are not a boy. You may be a
human, but it is okay. It will do. You leave your room.
Time May be a Flat Circle, but This Circular Contains Deals You Won’t Wanna Miss!
(Platinum Drone Suite)
You’re already familiar with the HomeBasic edition of Xcorp’s
AutoFeline Remote Companionship System™, which received worldwide
renown after its honorable mention in the 2044 NASPCA* awards.
Well, prepare to familiarize the shit out of yourself with our
new expansion to that system, the Platinum Drone Suite! This
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products adds a dimension of social media capability never before
possible for the absentee cat owner. Yes, our sustainably produced
drones impose the FDA-mandated 4 hours a day of happy fun
calisthenics that you’ve come to depend on. And with the regularly
dispensed dry-food modules, the drones remain the reliable proxies
for busy cat owners that they have been for years.
But why settle for mere sustenance and exercise? The Platinum
Drone model takes things to the next level. The Cutetronic
motion-sensing camera is optimized to take cat pictures that are
scientifically proven to net more likes per post, and the constant
surveillance provided by our advanced moment-capturing technology
means you will never again miss the perfect cat photo opportunity,
since every moment will always be recorded, forever. The camera
has plug-and-play functionality out of the box, or users can
choose to program a specific mood preference to portray your
cat’s personality according to whatever distorted notion of reality
suits your mood at the time. Poopingly Affectionate, Disinterested
but Bitey, Aloof Vigor, Clownfully Dirty, Shedding in the Fridge,
and Unrepentent are popular mood preference choices. Believe me,
it works! I recently took a three-month long “business” trip, and
by the time I returned home, I found that all two or three of my
cats were basically alive. And although it was clear that they no
longer recognized me, I’m happy to report they barely mauled me
at all. Buy today!
*National Aeronauts and Spacemen for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
**American Psychological Association
You boot a browser and it loads the Yahoo!
homepage because that’s what it’s done for
fifteen years. You blink at it and type a search
term into the Google search field in the chrome
of the browser window instead.
Sitting in front of the television, you grasp
your iPhone tight in your hand instead of your
knitting or your whiskey or your rosary or your
The shame of expecting an immediate reply to a
text or a Gchat message after just having failed
to provide one. The narcissism of urgency.
The pull-snap of a timeline update on a
smartphone screen, the spin of its rotary gauge.
The feeling of relief at the surge of new data—
in Gmail, in Twitter, in Instagram, it doesn’t
The gentle settling of disappointment that
follows, like a down duvet sighing into the
freshly made bed. This moment is just like the
last, and the next.
You close Facebook and then open a new browser
tab, in which you immediately navigate back to
Facebook without thinking.
The hot fury of encountering yet another lowlife
online. Of knowing how the argument ends (badly)
but carrying it out anyway.
The sunburn of that fury hours later, the bleak
shadow side of ha-ha "someone is wrong on the
Internet" cartoon mockery in which you scowled
through dinner, because you are a person and not
a stick figure.
The comments, and reading them, and not reading
them. Knowing that response and reaction
responds and reacts to someone’s preferred idea
rather than the ideas proffered. If you are a
woman, knowing something much, much worse.
Notifications. Click me, read me, look at me,
"like" me, buy me, contribute to me, respond to
me, retweet me, for I am on the Internet.
Another day’s work lost to the vapors of
reloads, updates, clicks, and comments.
Realizing that you are hyperemployed by the
cloud, that you are its unpaid intern. Wondering
what you’d have accomplished if you had done
anything else whatsoever. Knowing that tomorrow
will be no different.
The weight and heat of your smartphone in your
pocket, silently whimpering for you, a glass and
metal kitten with a small, fragile body.
excerpt from What Do We Save When We Save the Internet?
We cannot champion Network Neutrality without admitting
that the Internet is no Utopia.
by IAN BOGOST - 15 MAY 2014
LIFE ONLINE: WHAT WE DON’T TALK ABOUT
((a worksheet for allied media conference 2014))
#lifeonline w/ Ras & Eighteen
~ Write, map, draw your responses ~
1) Describe an early or past experience you had online.
This can be a description of virtual place/s or space/s, an event, a
habitual occurrence, a feeling or atmosphere--anything!
2) "Where" was it?
Examples: A chat room, fansite, forum, MMORPG, message board, AIM/
Yahoo/MSN chat window, blog or journal platform, text exchange, etc.
3) What were the "physical" characteristics of the virtual space/s?
Examples: Design/layout & colors, event sounds, other users present,
4) What were the "cultural" characteristics in the space/s?
Examples: Etiquettes, community morals/rules, handle/screen name
conventions, in-jokes, taboo actions/behaviors, etc.
5) Did you choose to "be" someone other than who you were In Real
Life (IRL)? What was this virtual self (or selves) like? Describe
the personality, abilities, appearance, relationships, or anything
else you remember.
6) What were your actual physical surroundings like? Were other
people present? How old were you? What was the device you used to
get online like? Did you have rules or limitations for using the
device or being online?
Battlefield replica symmetry retrospectra
Moor Mother Goddess
The idea is to travel throughout
race riots from 1866 to the pres
time A speedy decapitation by ti
musk and thickness. Sacrificing
for ha te. making it to the fron
with ease like how mamma made bi
outa nothing, all while having
dope needle in her arm. The blue
provided by a black cemetery of
dead rattling their coffins with
cheer. A new type of happiness
happiness that’s filled with gr
how ending up at the portal in
with just your torso nothing el
mind just the innate wiring, of
dna, the processes of your chro
systematically forming to prev
own annihilation. I mean exterm
The labor of existence.
the first time you heard the wh
death /the death that has always
lingering/here with you /since the day
you were born.
heard it telling you/ that you must be both /
dead and alive
want us to be
dead when a man wants to beat us
when they wanna rape us
dead when the police kill me
alive when the police kill you
alive when it’s time to be in they kitchens
when it’s time to push out they babies
I’ve been bleeding since 1866
dragged my bloody self to 1919
and bled thru the summer
being slaughtered by whites
A klux of kaos came after an influx of terror from
German and Irish immigrants. Amerikkkan imperialist
wasted no time joining mobs of riots even the
descendants of the pilgrims still licking knives
clean from the trail of tears joined in to slaughter
All because of a feeling
an emotion/ fear
by the time I got to watts I was missing most of my
still had enough blood in my throat to gargle up 9
I resist to being both the survivor and victim
but I know the reality
and some of us did just die
under a boot/under a pounding fist
in the back of a car raped /our vagina mangled guts
some of us did just die while giving birth /(past
while protesting for the freedom of our sons/
Only god knows how I made it to ferguson
Renisha didn’t make it
Rekia didn’t make it
Aiyanna didn’t make it
Yvette didn’t make it
Pearlie didn’t make it
Shantel didn’t make it
Tarika didn’t make it
Tyisha didn’t make it
Kathryn didn’t make it
Gabriella didn’t make it
Miriam didn’t make it
Shereese didn’t make it
Sharmel didn’t make it
I was sure I was dead in Oakland after being
chained by my ankles to a pick up truck and dragged
miles in jasper texas where 81 pieces of me/my body/
was scattered across a back road. The white men
dropped me off at a black cemetery /see that’s how
I got over/here/the same place I was in 1866. A
bleeding black body blowing in the wind dripping a
ironic thickness of things never changing/time is a
balancing act that encompasses all things suspended
(reconstructing errors. )
DJ Haram ::airhorn::
Sass was a squat on 49th street just south of Baltimore
Ave in west Philly. A lot of very fucking excellent and very fucking
glorious, viciously smart queer and trans and brown and black and++ people
have called this place home over the years, making art and surviving. The
area Sass was in is being aggressively gentrified by the University of
Penn, University City District, the (duh corrupt) City of Philadelphia, and
the Cedar Park Neighbors association which is full of property owning redblooded American suburban tranplants who are married to cops and are very
concerned about the safety of these kids living in a house that should
very well be condenmed (and coincidentally don’t want it to bring down the
property value of their newly bought home which is attached to the very
unsafe looking property with those transient kids).
Sass was full of femmes of color in its last days. The interloping next
door neighbor (and home owner™!!!) harrassed them, the property owner, and
anyone else possible, till inevitably the crew was forced out.
This isn’t even the full story and we’re just filling you in on some recent
events concerning our friends & neighbors, but when you go thinking FEMME
DYSTOPIA is real cute, just remember this was Sass and meditate on it.
Time May be a Flat Circle, but This Circular Contains Deals You Won’t Wanna Miss!
Is “partying” a wedge in your chore wheel? Do you introduce yourself to new
people by offering to wait in the car? It’s time to renovate your socius,
and XCorp has just the thing! Meet the TurboStoop™, whose two variable-speed
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connect to your automatic sidewalk port, allowing you to decide both the speed
at which foot traffic cycles before your doorstep and the personality content
of the people filling those shoes.
Don’t bother wasting any more time deciding who to invite over, just hook your
computer up to our system and let the TurboStoop do the work. Syncing your
iPad with our architectural software is a synch. First make sure you are nearby
a reliable Wi-Fi hotspot, then slather your tablet device with a generous layer
of our patented e-Nut Butter Adapter Spread™ and leave it in your basement
overnight. If the moon was full that night, you will find your internet
browser data cache has been uploaded into the StoopCloud. At that point, our
sophisticated JambSync matrix will cross-reference the celebrity gossip blogs
you frequent with all relevant IMDb data on the Real Housewives who most
closely match the results of the IQ test you took in 4th grade. The results
of that process are combined with data we mined from the leaked databases
of Google Map’s Street View Facial Encyclopedia Vault, thereby allowing us to
find people in your area with satisfactory looks and enough social acumen to
compensate for your whatever inadequacies may have piqued your interest in
the TurboStoop™ to begin with. Worried about potential tension between you and
these strange interlopers? Well I’m not, and you’d better be ready to fight me
first if you’re calling me a liar.
But even if you do end up hating the friends provided by TurboStoop, there’s
no need to worry. Enter the new and improved Mechanized Goodbye™! All it takes
is the simple flick of a switch, and your party will instantly begin to die
down. No more messy attempts at party dispersal; no more awkward, drawn-out
departures — simply shrug and smile as your guests are violently ejected by
the patented Mechanized Goodbye. If this name reminds you a little too much of
your last ex, shit, me too! But fret not: this Nobel Party Prize winning marvel
of engineering is also available in a custom, limited edition pastel skin that,
while functionally identical to the Mechanized Goodbye, is still available in a
pleasant repackaging and with a much more pleasant name: The Hellotron 5000,
if you’re willing to fork over the extra dough to meet our immodest markup.
Save time and bundle! Hellotron ships in the OmniStoop Expansion pack alongside
our Cooler Bear (a teddy bear wearing a tinfoil hat, stuffed with dry ice) and
the Ash Puppy (four kevlar booties and an ashtray saddle for your dog, to cut
down on littered cigarette butts without compromising paw safety). They’re a hit
at summertime barbecues! Trust me, it only took half a Cooler Bear’s worth of
ice cold wine spritzers to numb the pain of my ex-husband and our most recent
mechanized goodbye, and since I was awarded the front half of the dog I in the
divorce, I can pretty much use the Ash Puppy. Act now!
the 40tH sT. CoN
(poem disguised as prose abt a Country disguised as a street corner)
S x L x
He hated books for taking his head magical places his
legs cldnt take him.
He got conned outta $90 once
trying to help some lanky Sudanese dude on 40th and
market. He thought that if he scrolled just fast enough
on his smart device he might thumb himself into another
world. A world with less obvious outcomes. A world that
was more like the bark black con man; subtle, lingering
around a bend in the street, all legs and feet. More
like all of Sudan standing on one corner in west philly.
At one fucking intersection taking one photo to send
back home. And they need a fisheye to get everyone in
it. So they send the man, the con man, the long slender
man, all legs and feet. Saying he’s lost on 40th. Hands
me a business card that feels like a worn dollar bill.
With a number to a church on it. His accent hangs from
his mouth, primitive and agile. He’s a dark hallway in
an abandoned school and he will get his way. And get all
his family in. And this fisheye will make it so that all
of Sudan standing in front of crown fried chicken, not
buying nothin will have a photograph to send home.
A black mass on a wall not some fuckass University City
mural. Sudan. All of it, standing across the street from
the projects and the bar and the gross ass cat smell
passing itself off as a corner store. They are bursting
through the tar seams in the streets and clogging the
subway entrance. At any moment the 40 will pass by and
it’s riders will cuss looking out from the windows and
talk shit abt how black it is on the corner that day.
Some will get off the bus and want chicken wings or a
beef pattie but that store is just a black wall now.
Sudan is there, they brought their own foods. Posing for
a photo. Poking out it’s chest. No one is saying cheese.
This isn’t a vacation. There’s plenty of sunshine back
home. This is something else. 40th and Market on a busy
Friday afternoon, sun beaming but covered in shade.
It will be different from now on. Less obvious. Less
obviously bullshit and more like that con man. The blue
black African moon man that acted lost. He pretended to
be homeless and needing shelter at a church he couldn’t
find just to take a photo of his family. And now they’re
standing on the corner of 40th and Market confusing
Once the photo is taken, they will send it to Sudan but
then they will stay put. And border agents will come.
And customs. And ICE. And DHS. And they will "canvas"
the area. And surround it. And "caution" tape it. And
get tired of negotiating before they even try. And
call the dogs. And brandish pistols and some will
have automatic weapons. And they will march towards
the black wall. And just as they get close
enough they will be sucked inside and trade
places with the ones they came to take away.
PORTRAIT OF THE ACTIVIST AS
A YOUNG SUPER-HERO
Warning! This article is not about the partisan would-be warriors of the northwest whose
loose interest in super-heroics have led them on a path of weirdness, towards the ancient
practice of police radio interception, night patrol hysteria. Their wildly uninformed and
uncreative endeavors into super-herodom is more than a misfortunate misstep; it’s a wildly
aggressive state of non-being, derived from a lack of cosmic, spiritual, or socio-political
guidance that makes super-heroics possible in the real world. Ultimately, the folks in the
so-called real life super-hero community are just banal constructs of post-cosplay western
lifestyle, living out their dreams in the wacky universe of their own mind.
But at least they’re doing something. Right? Well, consider what the first comment on the
youtube video "Top 10 Real Life Superheroes" suggests: "These are vigilantes, not superheros." What’s the difference? A vigilante is someone who operates within selfish, even if at
times well-intentioned parameters. Their motivation, much like the civilian border guards near
the US/Mexican border, the Michigan militias of the ‘90s, or even earlier, the Guardian Angels,
isn’t to serve or enlighten or empower the people or to even "fight crime" (which is, of course,
highly problematic in and of itself) but to participate in a self-congratulatory subculture, to
find something to grab onto and identify with, similar to say, punk rockers or juggalos.
With that said WE AIN’T GONNA BE TALKIN ABOUT THEM. Nope. Instead, this article, will
attempt to lay a predictive blueprint for the future of activism, particularly pan-African and
queer activism, as it relates to power and real possibilities of super-heroics. The future of
activism is wearing a cape.
Using the template set forth by the Black Panther Party and various groups of passionate
revolutionaries, one can derive a sense of history within the black diaspora for direct action,
all within a realistic context that makes super-heroing possible. The key elements of superheroes that will be essential for activism in the future will be 1. Self-defense 2. Infiltration 3.
Science 4. Spirituality 5. Imagination. These things on their own are self-explanatory, but how
do they relate to restructuring the well-worn tenets of activism?
For self-defense, we are interested in breaking through the restrictive idea that self-defense
is simply protest etiquette for uninitiated white children on a furlough. The make your body
limp" sort of compliance techniques of the ‘90s is perhaps dead, as is relentless blackblocking and sabotaging, breaking Starbucks windows during peaceful protests. If there must
be a confrontation, the evading techniques of Roberto Sharpe (look it up, youtubers), perhaps,
makes more practical sense. Further, we’re not concerned with going to firing ranges or
taking karate lessons as the sole means of our survival. Those are broken models. Our selfdefense is an active pursuit of constant preservation techniques that chooses to ignore the
apparent might of an enemy. Look, as Outkast said, "nigga they made them gats/they got some
shit that’ll blow out yo’ back/from where they stay at" so we’re not inclined to simply go to war
with some vague enemy or throw rocks at a barricade of armed police officers. Self-defense
in the future of activism will involve predictive strategies that will destroy the reliance on the
machine, thus crippling it’s will. The "hands up" protests are striking visually, aren’t they? But
they are passive. What a super-hero does is create new engines and practices her craft and
art in the face of this kind of teeming adversity. Ferguson, for instance, is ripe for this kind of
gearing up. Water, air, food, land; these things need to be seized first and then replaced with
the weaponry of true sustainability. The most powerful images of Storm in the X-Men are ones
where she controls the weather not as simply a destructive maneuver, but to give her people
food. How can this translate into the defense of a community?
Where science and spirituality meet, this will be a key element in reconfiguring activism. It’s
discouraging how little attention activists put on imagination. What can capture the minds of a
generation, of a people? We’d like to see an emphasis put on not just putting another politician
in office but on crafting a world (and we can start with a house, a street, a community and
go beyond) where the emergence of art, science and spirituality become the most palpable
factors of existence. It was said that during the post-World War rise of fascism, that Dadaism
was more suppressed and thought to be more of a threat than the so-called anarchists and
communists of the time, mainly because visually they eschewed conventionality and were
insistent on manifesting the world that they wanted to live in. This will be hard for a lot of
artists; we are taught to react to our surroundings and to protest and to make statements.
Rarely are we as concerned about creating a world that we actually do want to live in. With
super-heroism, we have that opportunity.
But science, not just art or aesthetic, is essential in this process. Although one of the key
arguments against Afrofuturism is that "blacks, being poor and oppressed, will never have
the money to join the space race", a simple understanding of our place in the scientific world
as innovators, inventors, healers, and spiritual practitioners will silence those critiques.
Furthermore, it’s not a simple matter of going into space, launching shuttles and trying to
compete with the western world. It’s about being in a better relationship with those around
us, creating a stimulating and eco-empowered environment here, now. We can borrow
from many current models of sustainability, from doomsday preppers to radical faerie
sanctuaries, and transform our lives through scientific discovery tempered with a reliance on
the spirituality that has sustained us in many forms since the dawn of time. The best way to
initiate a scientific aspect into black activism is to first imagine it, then get others to imagine
it. If we can apply the practical historical and scientific wisdom of the speeches and writings
of Dr Ivan Van Sertima, the visionary restructuring of society in the communal paraspiritual
dreams of Sun Ra, and the real world application of those imaginings embodied by Yumy
Odom’s Frator Heru Institute, which is quite uniquely structured program of learning that
resembles Yumy’s own creator-owned superhero universe, and by Heru Khuti’s Black Funk:
The Center for Culture and Sexuality, it makes super-heroing an entirely possible reality for
Understand, super-heroism isn’t just fighting crime, living in a cave somewhere, and beating
up badguys. It’s not about flying in the air, "stay safe, citizen", and it’s not about vigilante
justice. Many of the comic books we read are insipid and banal wish-fulfillment fantasies of
straight white men. Obviously, we want a world, a universe, that doesn’t reflect that anymore.
To best illuminate a more pertinent model, take the Legion of Super-Heroes, still a creation
of white dudes, albeit a relatively unknown super-hero team. They’re a band of teenaged
heroes from the far future, inspired by Superman (remember, Superman’s first appearance
had him beating up corrupt politicians, sticking it shady businessmen and stopping domestic
violence!), from different worlds, who came together to imagine a better, more sustainable
universe. This template is far more sincere to the super-hero idea than the pulp/vigilante
inspired anti-heroes of say, Batman, or the tethered-to-the-American-military oppression
of modern day depictions of the Avengers. This new world will consist of a black community
structured around semi-anarchic, visionary strongholds, bristling with light and harmony,
marrying principles outlined in Lorenzo Komboa Erving’s seminal text "Anarchism and the
Black Revolution" with the wildchild, free thought drugless psychotropia of Hakim Bey’s
"TAZ", creating tangible opportunities for not just survival, but for thriving, beautiful and open
invention. A world where young black geniuses like Stephen R Stafford use their engineering
prowess in concert with the time traveling and light experimentation of Rasheedah Phillips of
the Afrofuturist Affair, and all under the guidance of spirit mediums like Mami Watu, formerly
of Harmony House. Listen, we’ve tried this before with MOVE and we realized that being in
disharmony with the people is not practical. We have realized that technology is moving
extremely fast. We don’t have a choice anymore; we have to not only join the space-race, but
circumnavigate it. We have to take the flying suits and re-appropriate them from the jocks
and x-treme sports community and use these kinds of out there things for our own purposes.
Plus, our structures, bunkers, strongholds and bases must be able to disappear and
recontextualize themselves. We obviously run the risk of suffering at the hands of the state;
super-heroing is not a fantasy when applied to the real world. Therefore we must be freer in
the way we construct, must be willing to let go of structural attachment, living sometimes in
the crevices of the world only to reappear as pillars of shimmering, true gold directly in the
face of the monolith. We must live a cell-life, being malleable and amoeba-like, opening up our
hearts to the vastness of temporary autonomy.
With this autonomy comes a new way of defining our sexuality. Super-heroes are aliens,
mutants, paranormal manifestations; their idea of sexuality is essentially non-binary. This is a
must for the future of activism! We must be ambassadors for all worlds and to have a general
understanding of our relationship to the body. We can not demand rigidity based on our own
personal preferences. In science fiction and super-hero lore, many ways of experiencing sex
exists, many genders and sexes exist so as to render these concepts arbitrary. There isn’t so
much as genderlessness but a celebration of all possibilities of gender.
Influential afrofuturist musician Mike Ladd once posited, "Where’s my floating car/my
utopia/my mars colony." I’d say to him now that if we follow the idea behind the superheroes, creating our own models using our own attempts from the past injected with a new,
resounding fervor, we won’t need them; we’ll be the ones flying.
Vivo en esta dimensión paralela a eun
universo infinito, donde todo lo qu piens
escribo y digo se vuelve realidad. strofes y
Donde se desatan las peores catá
Donde mi saliva sirve para cauteriniza
heridas dejadas por las guerras tern
que nunca acaban.
Donde se pagan alimentos con beso
abrazos y canciones y un dólar te sir
para dejar notas de amor a tus enem
Se vive sin prisa, con pausa y júbilo.
Todos los androides han sido
Los arboles y sus frutos alimentanslas
masas que se reúnen en las plaza
a danzar en nombre de los dioses,ro
celebrando otro día, otra noche otad.
atardecer rodeados de prosperid alto, bajo,
Cada desplazamiento del cuerpo; regocijo,
delgado, obeso; es visto como un ecer
cada puesta del sol y cada aman de
es un tributo. Cada abrir y cerrar ita y
ojos es una celebración mas, infin
recurrente en esta dimensión.
Me gusta permanecer largos periodos de
tiempo en ella.
Donde soy una desconocida entre caras
Totalmente inexistente, una paranoia irrea
It was already dark in the east as Adara rode the train to her district. A sliver of orange light
loomed just over the horizon, flashing between the buildings protruding into the air in the
west. She heard not to stare straight at the sun, but sometimes she would, until it burned and
she saw black spots. It was too precious a sight to look away.
When she got off of the train, there was already a small line at the exit ID check.
A calm familiar voice instructed from the speakers overhead: “Please have your Police District
ID ready to secure a quick transition.”
Four men dressed in dark blue uniforms, thick with black bullet proof vests, stood on the
platform, their chests heaving. They wore carbine rifles slung around their backs and pistols
in hip holsters. Sometimes they laughed among themselves, lightly slapping one another on
the chest with the back of a hand. Much of the time they stood there, tense and motionless.
For days, these guards bristled at Adara, and took an extra moment to look her ID over. Today,
the tallest of them approached her in line.
“Come aside.” He said.
She stepped out of line and over to the inspection area just past the exit at the end of the
“Police and Congressional District IDs please.” He stood right in front of Adara looking
everywhere except directly at her and then leaned gently to whisper into her right ear. “I liked
your joke.” He said smiling, finally acknowledging her face.
“Excuse me?” Adara shivered with her answer.
“The joke.” He said to her, and then turned to yell towards the other guards, “Ey! Dashiell, what
was the joke in the email she sent?”
Dashiell stood with his head down checking the IDs at the gate. When he thought of the joke,
he smiled to himself and lifted his head to look over at Adara and the tall guard.
“The ‘urine trouble’ joke.” Dashiell answered. He thought about last week, when there was
first talk among them to look into her, and how he mentioned she looked too thin for him. He
thought about how small she looked just then and turned back to the next ID.
“Tell it to me.” The tall guard said to Adara.
“Really, I’m not very good at telling jokes.” She replied.
“Tell it, come on. You can write a joke in an email this morning but you can’t speak it to me right
They stood just next to where the platform met the tracks. She could still hear the train
rumbling in the distance.
“Um, what does a uh, what does a teacher say to the kid that pees himself?” She said.
“Urine trouble!” The tall guard yelled to the others and in unison, they all filled the platform
The sun was nearly gone and the few people left on the platform held their IDs out. They
moved slightly in place and hid under their hoods and scarves as long as they could to keep
warm, but were careful not to do much more. A breath of impatience too deep and any one
of them could be taken aside for hours, or days. The guards could see every note sent, every
word typed, at a whim they could pick any of them and know all they wanted: where they went,
when, whom they loved, and why. There would be no secret left in their lives.
Adara forced a smile. She felt as if her skin was so restricted by the cold that it slowly
crushed the bones of her face as she stood there. The tall guard gave her a wink.
“Go ahead.” He said and motioned his head towards the exit while handing her back her ID
She passed through the turnstiles and her shaking increased. Adara raised her shoulders
up as high as she could and placed her hands in her coat pockets with the IDs. She could
feel tears slowly glaze her eyes and reminded herself to keep an even pace, not to draw any
further attention. The guards, all four of them, stood at the end of the platform watching her.
She kept herself from looking back and wondered if tomorrow she would see the sun.
Down here there are a hundred over-educated flyboys, full of amazing ideas,
none of which are very good. Life is a board-game to them -- three boring
dimensions. They gather in buzzing groups and shoot down each others’ ideas
relentlessly, because they can. It bestows a sense of true power. Those hyperanalytic minds consume themselves. They light up when they smell money
and they only see depth when they look into their phones. Many of them were
funneled without detour or delay from well-to-do homes to ivy-league schools,
and on to neighborhoods whose streets are cleaned by the same people who
tidied up their parents’ lawns. The world is their birthright. You can see it in each
of their gleaming teeth. When things heat up, they won’t abandon their homes,
take only what they need, and move to higher ground -- they’ll just loosen their
collars and get out their phones. Surely someone can build a higher wall. We’ve
got bricklayers still -- don’t we?
The empresarios lurk in huddled clusters, planning future exploits for all of
their flyboys. They fancy that with their low tones and sleek new armor they can
cover up their schemes, but their plans are blazed in neon across their chitinous
The flyboys lick their lips.
Somebody has wandered in. His skin tone and dress are mildly startling, too
porous for this shiny world: hat too ragged, posture too slack, the face lined too
deeply. The curiosity in those stranger’s eyes belie an unfamiliar longing that
arouses looks of consternation -- confused furrowed brows. The empresarios
are openly repulsed. They have been distracted from their water-cooler
One of the screwed down flyboys greets him with a gigantic false smile, eager to
set things strait.
“Can I help you?”
He seems pleased at his own erudition and already knows the answer to his
facile question. No. He can’t help. He knows it with a pheromone surety. The
flyboy has known since he was carted off to the castles of learning that some
thorny unfortunate problems won’t succumb to his craft. Not to the Lorentz’
transformations or to multi-dimensional phase physics. Not to non-linear
Kalman filtering or Bayesian smoothing. He’s long ago dismissed such problems,
and the people who have them.
The unwanted visitor understands all of this with a reliable, well-worn logic.
“Is this where the white people hang out then?”
Scattered laughter. The non-white among the empresarios straighten their
backs and their antennae, faces stiffening and simultaneously collapsing,
offended by the supposition that they, too, are white, which clearly they are not.
The flyboy jumps to the rescue. “No. It is not. We are a technical cooperative. We
are contracted with the city-state to solve the water crisis.”
The old man looks around the room. Nobody looks very thirsty.
“Can I get some water then?”
There is a collective chuckle and a sigh of relief. The flyboy nods and turns
towards the water cooler. The empresarios part for him as he approaches, a
man on an important mission. The flyboy offers the intruder a tall glass of cold
filtered water. The mood in the room settles towards a sub-optimal hum.
The stranger stands there, drinks his water cooly. The currents in the room
shift, flowing widely around this new unexpected reef in the well-managed sea.
The other flyboys’ eyes, consumed by matrices and algorithms, twitch at the
corners, drawn towards the uncomfortable intrusion. The empresarios huddle
more closely, shells clacking, planning their next move.
They hadn’t bothered to check him for enhancements, confident that he was
a nuisance-level threat, and nothing more. The stranger soaks up the cold
clean water and the crisp conditioned air, that other thing inside him soaks up
everything else. Finished, full, he places the sweating glass on a nearby table,
nods to no-one in particular.
“Good luck with all of that then.”
He is studiously ignored.
He wanders back into the street and the blistering summer sun. The transit
swing scoops him up and he settles onto the scarred molded plastic bench.
The air vent blows tepid, humid air at his face. The wing accelerates and he
settles back for the long ride, cueing the buffer. He smiles as data flickers past:
leaky third-party encryption streams, cached innuendo-laden conversation,
hasty plans for poorly guarded neighborhoods. Secrets. Castles, he muses,
are notoriously drafty. It’s a rich load. It will fence easily and will fetch well.
Satisfied, he kills the feed and watches as the city spins off beneath him.
"Crytek has finally revealed what it’s doing with Homefront, THQ’s last
stab at a big-budget shooter: it’s turning it into a free-roaming guerilla
warfare FPS. On first impressions, it’s like Homefront meets Far Cry, set
in a future Philadelphia dotted with encampments of Korean occupying forces
to be photographed with smartphone cameras and disrupted with guns and
- Keza McDonald for Kotaku.com 02 JUNE 2014
A Young Thug Confronts His Own Future
I live in Long Beach California by Compton College with my big brother, my baby sister, and my
mom and dad. I am nine years old. I get into trouble by going out and not coming back all day,
doing stupid stuff with my brother and my friends. I be leaving because it’s hard in my house,
my dad is strict. He’s strict because he’s from Guyana, and mom said he had a hard life, so he be
beating us for stupid stuff. So I just try to get away from him. We do stuff like going to the liquor
store and one of us talks to the lady, and the rest of us just take the Mexican candy and put it in
our pockets. Or we catch fishes in the LA River, but you got to walk a long long way to do that. In
school they say don’t walk in the river cause if it rains you’ll get washed away, then they show
you all these videos of people drowning in the river when it’s raining. But sometimes the police
catch us and they bring me back home all the time, and that’s how you get a beating in my house,
when the police bring you home. I’m not afraid of getting put away cause I went before to a
residential after they found me during the riots taking Nintendo games from the game store up
the block. It wasn’t nothing though, and we still got the games.
Sometimes my brother won’t have time for me so I go down by the car wash to make some
money. I use the money to buy Mexican corn and candy and sometimes I save it to buy sneakers
cause my dad won’t get me new stuff like that, and I get clowned at school because of it. Three
times though I went down to the car wash and the dude who’s always there wasn’t there, and
this other old dude was there and he gave me 20 dollars to touch his thing. The second time he
gave me 20 dollars again to touch my thing. But the last time was bad, and I told my dad about
it and he just beat me. He said I didn’t have no business by the car wash anyway, so why am I
telling him all this. He poured some rice on the ground in the kitchen. He told me to kneel on it
and the rice was all in my skin when it was done, and there was blood coming out my knees.
That’s why I be riding the bus up and down Long Beach Blvd by myself sometimes, cause I’m not
tryna be home like that. That’s why I be by the baseball fields so I can watch the kids play, cause
my dad won’t let me play. He wants me to play the damn violin, and I’m like nah, I can’t do that. I
want to play baseball, that’s what I really want to do.
They’re gonna put me away when I’m 12, because I’m too much trouble and I keep running away
and I be drinking and smoking like my brother. And my therapist’s gonna be this white dude Dr.
Ferguson. He tells me all that’s wrong with me, and he tells my mom and dad all that’s wrong
with me. I got attention deficit disorder, and I got oppositional defiance disorder, and I got this
and I got that, man all I got is a dad who beats me and my mom, she don’t do nothing to help me.
So I’ma just stay in this hospital til they let me out and try to be good, and then when I get out
I’ma get away for real. When I get out I’ll find out they moved out of Long Beach to somewhere
safer. They forgot a lot of my stuff, and when I get out I feel fucking lost.
My big brother’s gonna die when I’m 13, and we find out in the middle of the night. Some gang
bangers shot him in front of our old apartment complex. Dad says I’m old enough to come
with him to the morgue. He says only the men of the house can go, and that’s just me and him I
guess. And I see his body. They shot him in the side, and the bullet broke his artery. Now my big
brother’s dead and all I got is a sister, who’s just a baby. And something’s wrong with mom. After
the funeral something happens to her, like she don’t live in real life no more. All she talk about
is seeing him in front of her bed, seeing his spirit with blood pouring out his side. And I hear her
talking to him. She tells him ‘You asked for a brother, you got a brother. You asked for a sister,
you got a sister,’ and then she’s crying. That’s another reason I don’t be in the house.
The police tell dad they can’t find the killers. Mom says my brother was only on the news for one
night, but when these white kids get killed you know their names for months and months. I hold
a gun when I go over my brother’s best friend’s house to smoke some weed. My brother’s best
friend says he got something for them cholos. He said they came from the Sans, all these streets
where the Mexicans live named San Dominguez and San Juan. They neighborhood is right
across Orange Ave. My brother’s friend said I can ride with him when he goes if I want. He says
I’m grown, so what’s up? I hold the gun for a long time and I see all its parts.
We’re gonna move away from Paramount to somewhere safer called Norwalk. I run the streets
with my Korean homies Danny and Mark here. Sometimes we get jumped by the Mexicans, and
sometimes we jump the Mexicans. We throw glass bottles in the alley behind our apartment
complex. I fuck Danny’s cousin Julie. I fuck Chris’s sister Monica. We fuck all these girls. I feel
like I can’t stop sometimes. We smoke wet. We huff paint. We choke each other out to get high.
We talk shit when we can’t think and that’s how I like it.
I’m gonna get in trouble at school for fighting this fat girl with a bald spot. The school cops put
me in a hold and bend my fucking wrist, and when the teacher tried to stop him the cop was
like ‘I will spray this shit down your fucking throat, who’s your supervisor?!’ And I’m like damn
Miss, be careful, these cops don’t play. But yeah they fucked my hand up, but I went to the police
station, not the hospital.
I’m gonna get in trouble at school for sexual harassment cause this white girl said I touched her
butt. So they kick me out, and I gotta go to this rehab program for teenagers over in Cerritos
behind the Home Depot. But I don’t mind it there really. They’re cool. But I’ma keep smoking shit,
The police are gonna kick me in the head cause I stole a Walkman from Circuit City. They put
the dog on me and put me away again, except not in a residential, in juvenile hall because I’m 14
now, and I’m a threat to the community. My dad hates me because they all gotta come up and
visit me and he says it’s too far but it’s not that far, only in Downey. It’s called Los Padrinos. This
kid name Marcos tells me it means ‘godparents.’ Where the fuck is my Padrinos right now? I
could use some of them. Marcos keeps the other boys off me cause he’s my roommate. Marcos
says he loyal to all his roommates, no matter what, cause we don’t got anyone else in this place
but each other. And I believe that.
When they let me out my dad’s not gonna have me back, so I stay over Mark and Danny’s house
across the way from our townhouse. I see my sister, and she be wanting to play with me and
follow me around. I know she misses me. It’s fucked up I can’t live in that house no more but I
guess I brought it on myself. Mark and Danny’s mom let us smoke in the garage while she mixes
kimchi right there, she don’t care. How come my parents can’t be like that. My sister tells me
mom is worse and worse every day, but I barely see my mom so I don’t really know. When I see
my mom she happy, but she don’t tell me to come back or nothing like that. Maybe this a good
I’m gonna be fucking this white girl, but her dad gonna walk in on us and she gonna start
screaming like I’m raping her. And they say I was raping her, so I hide out so they don’t find
me for a while, til my homie Greg mom snitches on me. Which, whatever, maybe I would too
cause I’m a fucking criminal already. Nobody wants a criminal in their home, not even your own
parents. In court, the white girl there crying and they talk about her vagina and semen and all
this shit, and my mom not there cause they had to put her ass away too. But my dad here, and he
had to bring my sister cause he don’t have childcare. Dad interrupts court when they’re talking
about all the sex stuff, and he asks if my sister can go in the back room and they say ok. But she
don’t even know what they was talking about, so it don’t even matter.
They make me stay at Los Padrinos for six months. That shit really fucked me up I think cause
I don’t sleep no more. I have to fight all the time since Marcos not here this time, and my
roommate just sleep all day. They said he going through withdrawal. My dad don’t really visit
like that, and they bout to send me up to the mountains, some place called Chatsworth. That’s
where they put juvenile sex offenders like me. I’m like who gives a shit. Maybe somebody’ll kill
me before I get up there. Some boy hung himself in the next room over. That’s how I be feeling.
They’re gonna leave me up here in the mountains by myself to rot for four years. All these other
kids got their family coming up for groups and therapy and activity time and shit, and my dad
stopped coming after like three months. The doctor banned me from seeing my little sister, so
my dad stopped bringing her. I know she gonna forget about me, cause I’ma be up here for four
more years. I try not to worry about it, but the doctor make me write letters to my dad to tell him
how I feel. I sent one, but he never calls so I don’t know if he got it. In the letter I was like, ‘How
come you stopped seeing me and stopped calling me? How come you don’t love me like a son?
Why do ya’ll always put me somewhere? What do you want me to be like?’ All these questions.
They keep me awake all night.
I’m gonna have a social worker who cares about me though. She tells me my strengths, and she
puts me in this program with computers, where I learn to fix them and take them apart. She
tells me I don’t need the family I was born in, and that I can make a new family when I’m out if I
want. And that I got some chosen family already, like Dave and Anthony who I knew since I was
like six. And I’m about to get out too, soon. They gonna move me to semi-independent living back
in Paramount. It’s like a group home for kids who age out of the system. But I’ma just keep to
myself and try to get in school or something like that.
I’m gonna go down Lakewood Blvd to my dad new apartment. It’s gonna be nice and gated
with a swimming pool and trees and shit. Like a good place to raise a kid. My sister is all the
way in sixth grade now. I like to help her out like buy her shoes or give her a ride to school or
something. Dad is very old, like he might die soon, or get sick. I don’t know if he remembers me
even though it’s only been four years or so. But he had remarried while I was gone, and now
Mom’s in Newark, New Jersey where her sister takes care of her. I try to give them what little
bit I have from financial aid and the shipping place. I try to buy some groceries and keep them
I’m gonna live in a garage behind this one lady’s house in Carson, and there’s gonna be a pitbull
in the backyard guarding everything. The police raid all the houses on this block, so I can’t keep
the weed around like I really need to. I just keep it on Lakewood Blvd with my sister. I take her to
see my girl in San Diego so she can chill with us and my girl’s niece, Aubrey. It’s nice cause it’s
a long drive and it’s like the fall, and you can see the beach all along the side of the car and the
wind feel good as shit. On the way back it’s dark and late and I know my sister had a good time
cause she sleep in the passenger seat with all this In-n-Out burger stuff all over her.
I’m gonna move back in with my dad cause he had like two major strokes, and he don’t even
leave the hospital bed no more. Lynette is his wife and that bitch is suspect. She probably thinks
my family comes from the devil, but my thing is, why you marry into this shit? Just to judge us?
My sister, I worry about her. She don’t talk to me like that no more since she started high school,
maybe cause she was like a daddy’s girl and he’s like all laid up in the living room looking dead.
I could see how that’s depressing. She just be in her room all the time. I wonder if she’s doing
I’m gonna leave California and help take care of my mom in South Carolina, cause my aunt said
she can’t handle her no more. Like she don’t listen to her and don’t stick to her medications.
Sometimes I call my sister to talk to my mom because she got more experience dealing with this
bipolar shit than I do. My sister dropped out of college and she’s mad at me about it. Or maybe
she’s mad at some other shit. And I can’t help her with nothing. I can barely help myself.
Mom’s gonna fall into a diabetic coma, and I’m gonna find her face down in the yard. They ask
me all these questions about what she’s been eating like I’m raising her. I try to call my sister
to let her know, but her dude is like she’s in the hospital and he gives me the number. When I
call her I have to wait for her to come to the phone. ‘Hey, shut the fuck up, I got a call,’ she says
to somebody. ‘Yo,’ she says and I ask her what she’s doing in there and she’s like ‘What do you
think?’ And I forget what I called to tell her cause I’m mad she’s fucking up like me and mom.
And I tell her that, and she hangs up the phone on me. She stops answering our phone calls for
I’m gonna be fishing one day on the Edisto River on my day off from the group home. I took off
cause it’s my 33rd birthday, and this is how I want to spend it. My cell phone is gonna ring and
it’ll be a 267 number. My sister is calling me from Philadelphia and it’s a lot of noise on her end.
I haven’t heard her voice in four years but I can recognize it, even though she’s older, even
though I can barely hear her over the shit in the background. Shit sound like bombs, honestly. I
try to ask her how she doing but she’s screaming over sirens and static ‘Can you hear me?’ I try
to tell her yeah, a little bit I can hear you. I ask her where she is. It’s like chaos over there. ‘You
were a whole life,’ she says, ‘Can you hear me?’ I look out over the black water confused like. I
think, I still am, and what is she talking about? I tell her I’m not dead, which is a fucked up thing
to say out loud in a boat in the middle of the swamp. ‘I’m not dead,’ I say again and the call is
I’m gonna have dreams that night I’m shot in the top of my head with my hands up. I’m gonna
wake up feeling for blood, hearing mosquitos all around my head. I’m gonna walk over to my
window and look outside, and the sun will be rising over the houses as tanks roll through our
streets, AIKEN POLICE painted on the sides. Something will tell me to stay inside with my mom,
who’s sleep. Something will tell me they’re coming for me. And that none of this mattered.
"The major linchpin
of the book is
and fiction. It
the entire book
as well as in
between the reader
and book seems
to break down at
with the inclusion
of chapters of
and especially in
one of the later
chapters, it seems
as if the reader is
the one to whom the
- Reese Francis
by Rasheedah Phillips
Available now at
Books ($12.95) + Prints ($10)
Poster image by Fabiola JL Photography
HOT LOCAL FRESH!
DISPATCHES FROM THE CREW
Since last we met, we saw through the Liberation Technologies sci-fi track for
Allied Media Conference 2014 with our neighbors KellyAnne Mifflin, Ash Richards,
Petra Floyd, and Jade Fair. We hope everyone who took part in that had a
positive time, let us know. After AMC we took a hot second to breathe. Rasheedah
put out a book (please get a copy!), is planning the 2014 AfroFuturist Affair
Ball (Nov 8th!), and is running a column for the Atlanta BlackStar, among other
things. Ras put out a zine (finally), did this lifegiving community potluck/
critical theory open mic night, Street Theory, and is steady on some subversive
tactics for the youth grind. Alex has been putting in work on several music/
performance projects, comic collabs, and his second ARKDUST zine. Eighteen won
a modest grant from Leeway Foundation to put out a book next year of their All
That’s Left series, with mad new stories and audiobook component. Oh and the
crew got this arts & culture feature in The City Paper, which was sweet cause
reach yo. Anyway, it’s been busy, more is in the works. Now it’s time for show
and tell with some media picks:
+ KAIBA by Masaaki Yuasa (anime)
+ Harmony by Project Itoh (fiction)
+ The Spook Who Sat by the Door by Sam Greenlee (fiction)
+ Her Smoke Rose Up Forever by James T. Tipree (fiction)
+ James Tiptree Jr: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon by Julie Phillips
+ Ghost in the Shell: ARISE by Kazuchika Kisa x Tow Ubukata x Production I.G.
Black Face White Masks by Franz Fanon (analysis/lit/critique)
The Coldest Winter Ever by Sister Souljah (fiction)
Another Earth by Mike Cahill (film)
Story Of Your Life and other stories by Ted Chaing (fiction)
oo and all these zines but ask Ras about it in person
+ Shutter by Joe Keatinge (comic)
+ The Mystery Traditions: Secret Symbols And Sacred Art by James Wasserman
+ Pitch Black Rainbow: The Art Of John Jennings by John Jennings (art)
+ Ganja Goons rap band and art by lead rapper Dogon Krigga (music)
+ The Magician’s Dictionary: An Apocalyptic Cyclopaedia of Advanced Magic(k)al
Arts and Alternate Meanings by E.E. Rehmus
+ The Esoteric Structure of the Alphabet and its Hidden Mystical Language by
Alvin Boyd Kuhn
+ Space, Time, & Medicine by Larry Dossey, MD
+ The African Unconscious: Roots of Ancient Mysticism and Modern Psychology by
Edward Bruce Bynum, Phd
+ Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman (!), Murder She Wrote (TV)
+ Sun Ra Arkestra, Pharaoh Sanders, Moor Mother Goddess (music)
up: our City Paper jawn
over: after Street Theory
below: at Rockers BBQ Weekend Zine Brunch
Laura Pollard (fiction, p5) "Sometimes I’m a girl, most of the time I’m
notagirl. I want to be a cyborg. It is Okay is loosely based on a real experience
before work one morning."
Grey Nebraska (sponsored content circular ad, p7,18) A child of
commodity culture raised by ad copy. went to school but spent too much time
studying the literature on the backs of cereal boxes and chip bags. heard enough
radio commercials that the voiceover guy took over the old voice inside my
head, can’t think straight ever again. the limited warranty on ms. nebraska’s
conscience expired last year, and they keep forgetting to renew their membership
card to the real anarchist community. can’t write poems no more because nobody’s
buying it. so they just sit alone in their room, troll forums and dream about
becoming an electronic music superstar.
Fred Pinguel (Gmail chat screencap, p6) is a homie to end all homies
(relative) and more on point than Robin Hood.
Azeem Hill (Facebook screencap, p12) says "Staycy is coming." Going from
hybrid cars and youth organizationg to being inspired by space thots. Peep this
yung page on twitter n stuff @herbiehandclap.
Moor Mother Goddess (poetry, p14) is a seer beatmaker, MC, and wordsmith of
the finest caliber. She runs a rock and roll scene to put yours to shame (ROCKERS
PHILLY). Roll to save.
DJ Haram ::airhorn:: (Instagram pic, p17) has that queen of swords aura.
Check yourself. https://soundcloud.com/djharam
Skribbly LaCroix (poetry disguised as prose, p20) [no bio]
Julia Rowe (photos, p21,22) Pedestrian extraordinaire.
jukiebot.tumblr.com + https://secure.flickr.com/photos/juliarowe/
Natis (poetry, p26) 31 years old, afroboricua, queer, Social science,
Anthropology and Museology graduate. Been writing poetry since middle school
about a bit of everything. Recently relocated to Philadelphia.
Carolyn Lazard (Instagram pic, 27) is a writer/artist/canary based in
Brooklyn. Look them up.
Phaesporia (screen still, p30,31) is a sci-fi feature starring people you
know coming soon.
Aja Beech (fiction, p32) is an independent author of poetry, essays, short
stories and the creator of Process Press. Since 2008 her poetry and short stories
have been published internationally, her essay and articles appear at Newsworks
and The Huffington Post. Her work focuses on personal subjects related to prison
issues, women’s rights, disability rights, war and militarization, art, and
In 2010, she was the recipient of a Leeway Art and Change Grant and in 2011, was
named one of Philadelphia’s Creative Connectors. One of her poems, for you women,
was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2012. An activist and organizer, Beech
works to address alternatives to severe imprisonment and capital punishment.
Billie Blazer (fiction, p34) is chaotic neutral and good with machines.
D.Soulface (‘Mecha’ collage, p37) a mixed media artist from the chicagoland
area. "My main focus is on collage, digital and analog. I am a dadaist at heart.
But I am an American and I am part of the african diaspora. With that said I have
created a new movement called SoulfaceDadaism, which umbrellas my work whether I
am creating afrofuturist works,surreal, or dadaist pieces."
Althea Baird (fiction/handform, p42) is one of the ritual energy
manifestors of SWARM (freakband), and sage in the arcana of body movement, earth,
and word order power.
SOME PEOPLE THINK SCIFI
ONLY MEANS DYSTOPIA
This issue took a minute to come together. We put out a
call for submissions online, extended the deadline, never
managed to post fliers locally, yet ended up with mostly
Philly contributors. We muse on this. We muse on time,
"production", and capacity in this our ongoing capitalist
apocalypse. We muse on the darkness of dystopia and the
lack of discipline(?) to conjure that which is joyous and
thriving. We muse through paradox, anger, and recurring
psychic death. Some of us gaze uneasily at the hologram
projections that are ourselves. Some of us work with magic
and small temporal spaces. How long should we go on Naming
that which plagues us? Shall we endure all the days of our
lives witnessing? What else is there?
WHAT ELSE IS THERE
All screencaps taken in summer + fall of 2014.
Zine compiled while listening to Drexciya.
Shouts out to everyone who submitted for this issue, even if you don’t
find yourself herein. We appreciate the love/intent.
Drop a line at [email protected]
Find more stories + media + events ++ at