Footnotes for Theses on the Philosophy of History in Asheville, NC

May 6, 2009

Asheville, NC – Mayday

. . . thumping beats are calling to us—seducing us closer as they increase in volume. “Is this  the space!? Oh my fucking god this is the space!” A three-story monolith is consuming every body that nears its margins. We follow the most fascinating haircuts as they are sucked into the event’s singularity. An enormous banner drapes across the building’s exterior exclaiming, “Reclaim space to reclaim our lives!” and “Occupy everything!” . . .

1. Capitalist time is the irreversible repetition of non-events. The regime of this time is a relationship made material and intelligible through the subject/object fiction. Which is to say, the playing out of you and I being this or that identity; functioning by all the rules we are supposed to abide by. On a given weekend it is reasonable to kick back, to have a few beers, to go to a party, to engage in an interesting conversation, to get laid. In each of these, there are moments of potentiality, where the normal course could continue forward, and where it could be interrupted by an exception. Our task is to caress this potentiality.

2. Language is increasingly incommensurable. To speak is only to make intelligible the taking place of language. The gesture is the form of vocabulary that must, at all costs, be wildly practiced.

3. Any day can become a holiday, any holiday can be put to use. The eventness of May 1st must be freed from 1886, 2001, and 2009. To protest the management of society without attacking the relationship of being managed and managing others is to leave both management and society unscathed. A demonstration that remembers our fallen heroes of the past without passing over to a wild use of the present plays out the sadness of yet another funeral dirge.

10:12 pm Friday, May 1st 2009: We are becoming-unicorns because we are an image from a terrible, magical future, where our inhumanity is given a place. We are analogous to swine flu and other pandemics because we practice the dissolution of society into communes becoming-unicorns, becoming-cats, becoming-pandas, becoming-werewolves, becoming-that which attacks critical arteries. We are parasites, a static noise of collapsing selves, which act with care but without remorse.

PARK! We are at the vortex, subcultural capital is fully spent. For once, having dreadlocks is not the worst idea, yet giant traveler packs are still a fashion “don’t.” Each body is antsy, vibrating with potency and anxious to receive the promised “secret.” There is a circle of bodies—it speaks, “Get into groups of ten to fifteen!” There are no police at the park—we thought there would have been police. Where are the police? Groups begin diffusing into Asheville’s nightlife. Each of us is swept away in different lines of flight. We play at being party-goers, students, hippies, those who appreciate the typeface Gotham far too much. We pass police occupied with the arbitrary enforcement of law at a gas station. Whispers, murmurs, intrigue. I know little of whats going on, but I wish I knew less. How lovely, to be fully kidnapped by the eventness of the event.

Thumping beats are calling to us—seducing us closer as they increase in volume. “Is this is the space!? Oh my fucking god this is the space!” A three-story monolith is consuming every body that nears its margins. We follow the most fascinating haircuts as they are sucked into the event’s singularity. An enormous banner drapes across the building’s exterior exclaiming, “Reclaim space to reclaim our lives!” and “Occupy everything!” A monstrous image of a galloping unicorn accompanies the text. A friend of mine wears the image of Satan’s unicorn on his forearm. The unicorn, is often associated with queer practices. Widely circulate and appropriate: the unicorn is that which is swift and has an edge. the unicorn is fantasy, armed.

At the door, we are greeted by our most cherished friends:

“Welcome to the party, this is an occupied space. It’s totally illegal and stuff, would you like a gift bag?”

Before its even possible to consider the use of the contents of the bag—a pretty explanation of the event, a mask, some condoms, a dental dam—we are entering through another door of judgment. The electronic music is turned up to eleven. There are free expropriated beers and bottles of water. Exuberance, post-ironic cheers, and the terrible motions of bodies losing inhibitions—some moving sharply, some with composure—form nothing less than the harmony of rupture after rupture that fills the content of clicks and buzzes and droning bass thrust out without regret from speakers.

We dance, yet share a collective intelligence that the police will soon be here—either in uniform or in the form of the dancing bodies returning to their roles as activists or punks or community organizers or hipsters or steam-punks. We are prepared for just that occasion.

They are inside the fortress! Police are pointing their pathetic flashlights, making it clear that they see what naughty things we are doing. We are out the back door, the crowd has formed again. Smiling mischievous faces whisper, “The party’s not over.” The sound system emerges. How did it get outside? The police emerge again with their stupid gestures of surveillance. The speakers come to life. The crowd goes wild. The police grab the sound-cart. A voice shouts “Lets party without music!” The crowd goes wild. Moments later, the police are left to deal with an object in a shopping cart—we enter into a rampage against the past and against the future.

We feed alongside the other forces consuming capitalist society. We are inhuman. We illuminate this fact to everything in our path, “Swine flu! Wrecking You!” “What comes up must come down, burn the cities to the ground!” “Negate! Negate! Affirm! Negate!” We give an intelligibility to our methods of communication, adding gestures to “A…Anti…Anti-Capitalista!” Objects are given new places and given flight. We make small obstructions and interruptions in the arteries of the petite metropolis. Things are thrown against plate glass and plexi-glass. Many bounce, some make it to their new home. What is achieved is a technological intercourse with forms-of-life and objects. What is achieved is a passing through our own limits to face and press up against thresholds.

The feast of destructive gestures is not a matter of punishment for the evil of this or that business, but rather a rupture with the normal relationship of capital. It is the small businesses that employ many of us, and exploit every ounce of our potentiality. To attack not only what we hate, but also what we like: what holds us in this impoverished existence without experience, and these miserable conditions of hostility where we never get to give the gift of our submission, is what is at stake in the destruction of capitalism and in the violation of the sanctity of property. It is always a strike, but the point is always to go beyond the strike that can have an intelligible demand to power to the strike that spreads power as a collective and sentimental intelligence.

There have been no cameras, none of us have stopped to forget the present yet. We have no media to wash our vulgarities, but the police are beginning to catch up with us. The old world of identities and their policing will soon come wagging its finger and the future world of boots on faces will soon align us in its sight. We cannot completely reduce the police to our object just yet, so we run faster.

Some are caught on the worst street in Asheville, a terrified police officer wants to arrest everyone, but can do so little. Another officer is genuinely confused and wants to know why and what just happened.

Everyone leaves.

After everyone has fully dispersed, a police officer identifies some of the ignoble on another street. In a very disappointed tone he attempts to shame them, “Good job guys… I mean congratulations on destroying a lot of personal property.” We add exclamations to his sentence, and spread the good news.

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