Sunday, June 28, 2009

Huge Book Sale!

From AK Press:

Friday, July 3rd: Fuck the Fourth Sale!
4–10PM, AK Press warehouse

It's that special time again! Everything in the warehouse 25% off, with hundreds of titles marked down to $1–5! Snacks and refreshments on us! Tell your friends!

I'll have my daughter that day, so I won't be there, but if you are in the Bay Area and you consider yourself politically minded, you owe it to yourself to check it out. Sounds to be spectacular.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Investigating The Walk

Talking the Walk: A Communications Guide for Racial Justice is an important book with a lot to say if you are involved in any kind of activist group (race-based or not), but I have to wonder if its message is a little lost.

The book, edited by Hunter Cutting and Makani Themba-Nixon, gives activists the tools to effectively deal with issues of race when it comes to things like dealing with the mainstream media. It teaches people how to fashion the debate, how to get issues into the public eye and so on. Honestly, I could see this AK Press book being used in colleges, as it is that thorough and set up to do that very thing. Any questions about the book's validity are also addressed by the use of examples where the described tactics clearly worked. But, again, does it matter?

Now that Obama is president, I've actually heard people say the country is no longer racist. And then there are those who use his race as the butt of jokes (which I've covered on the Cancerous Zeitgeist blog). These two groups are the extremes. There are those who think racism is gone, and those for which it will never go away. Yes it is important to get both groups to hear messages that racism exists and it should be eradicated, but you have to wonder how you can effectively get it through their heads. This book claims to show activist groups how.

On one hand, repeating a message over and over will eventually cause it to sink in and become effective. That's something this book understands.

On the other hand, you spend a lot of time and effort appealing to morons. Time spent on them is time not spent on something else.

Racist messages in the media and from the government must be fought and countered. I don't think any progressive thinking person would argue otherwise. Knowing how to fight and counter is essential, hence the need for the book. I just have a problem taking the fight to idiots.

I am conflicted when it comes to this book. I can see its importance (and it is very well written), but it is not something I would pick up for casual reading. (I actually got it because I'm a Friend of AK Press, which is something everyone should look into.) The only parts of the book that actually interested me were the media situations that were presented (such as Katrina) and how they were dealt with by activist groups. That was interesting.

I've always been a firm believer in letting people drown in their own stupidity and ridiculous beliefs. I understand that when it comes to issues such as race, that stupidity becomes a huge problem for other people. On some level, however, it becomes a gay marriage problem.

The gay marriage problem is simple. Homosexuals want to be treated like heterosexual couples when it comes to marriage. They want assimilation. I would argue that assimilation is a bad thing (look at how well it worked for Native Americans). Equal rights, freedom, and all that comes with it is important. Assimilation destroys cultures. Asking for the right to marry isn't as effective as somehow taking it. Asking to be treated as equals when it comes to race, isn't as effective as demanding it. That's why I always loved the Black Panthers over say King, Jr. When you demand, you don't lose your sense of self. When you ask, it's akin to begging your master for a treat.

This book walks that line, but it often strays into the demanding side, which is why I feel it was worth reading. I just wish most of the focus would've been on creating your own media instead of using the enemy's.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

More Book Sales

I was walking through Borders today. It's not my favorite book store, but it does in a pinch, and there is far too much stuff I want in there. Anyone who loves books feels that way at just about any book store. Too many books. Not enough time.

Anyway, I went by the local author section, where my book sits on the shelf. Lo and behold, I've sold a few more copies. That's always a good feeling, though I've already seen the royalties from the copies our Borders purchased. Still, if it sells out I can only hope the store would order more.

I got to tell you, it's kind of cool to walk through a book store with your kid and have her say, "There's the book you wrote!" I can't even describe what that is like. It was neat seeing it there for the first time (and it was just as cool learning it was the #8 best selling gaming book on Barnes and Noble's website), but to have your kid acknowledge it is amazing.

I hope to get this cannibal manuscript published next. That would really make me happy, as this is one of my babies. I think it would sell better than the poker book, and I think it would be generally well-received. Hell, I'd even do an in-store signing for this one, unlike the poker book.

Here's to hoping ...