Dear Asheville 11,
First off, thank you so much for doing your action! You are an inspiration for anarchists everywhere! You totally got it right, May Day is not a time for moralizing about timing, targets or tactics, it’s a celebration of upheaval and not to sound like a 90′s grunge cover band, but absolute negation. Without these moments, our gardens and free stores are meaningless do-gooderism, and the opportunity for anarchists everywhere to help your case and cases like you is not only about the money but about realigning our communities around the concept of mutual aid, so once again thank you! And as much as it’s unfortunate that your celebration ended as it did, and that the world has to meet you all in these circumstances, what’s done is done and let’s get down to business and talk about how you are the Fresh Faces of 2010 Southern Anarchism. That’s a big responsibility, and one that you shouldn’t take lightly, which is why I’m writing to extend a few fashion pointers and my services as anarchist fashion consultant! Up with fashion! Down with the state!
The thing that separates anarchist fashion from cop fashion is eroticism. Cops want to blend in, to normalize their power, to emphasize legitimacy, efficiency and dedication to the state whereas anarchists do exactly the opposite, we have no state loyalty and fashion in court or otherwise is another tactic in our arsenal in undermining all systems of power whether it’s whiteness, heteronormativity, patriarchy or authoritarianism. We achieve this through self love, taking Ru Paul’s axiom “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love someone else” to extremes. The stereotype of the vain, chain smoking anarchist, sitting and pouting in cafe’s and speakeasy’s couldn’t be more true. Vanity is one way that we declare our treason to the invisible systems of privilege and oppression that want us accept alienation and self hate as a normal part of life. These systems demand that we look and act like off-duty cops, citizens of the nation, the seers not the seen, ready to serve. Eroticism is the enemy of ‘be prepared’ it is the act of luxuriating in our selves and our community, it is giving testimony that the people around us that we get dressed for are more important than flags, races, genders or brands.
Anarchist eroticism is never compulsive, we wouldn’t know a real man or real woman if our lives depended on it. To us, our bodies are the only consideration, what do our bodies want to be, what do they say, what are we drawn to and what repulses us. To be ourselves, to create a world where that’s possible without getting raped, killed or beaten is one of the goals of all anarchist destruction.
Assuming you won’t be taking interviews, your fashion in court is paramount. You’ll be speaking to millions of potential anarchists and potential enemies, and nothing does the trick better than a confidant sensual adult that isn’t afraid be seen. Our fashion role models in court are endless because it is our eroticism which both captures the imagination of the public and infuriates our detractors. From Oscar Wilde to Angela Davis, anarchists and radicals have always used fashion as a tool to show our agency and how utterly beyond their laws we are. No doubt, fashion is the last thing on your mind right now, and since the perfect outfit can be challenging, I want to offer a few strategies for you and the invitation to contact me personally if you have any further questions.
- Start by making a list of your personal fashion role models and what you like about them. Be extensive and include how they make you feel and the effect their clothes give the viewer. This will be your fashion bible, something that you can return to again and again, so be thorough, and be sure to add to this list as new ideas or inspirations come to you. It’s important to keep this list to yourself though so that you can be completely honest and not feel compelled to conform to any group pressures.
- After making your list, try to become more aware of what the people around you and on the street are wearing. Compare that with your list of inspiration and think about how you can achieve your desired effect. It’s also helpful to take time to flip through fashion magazines, don’t worry they’re not going to corrupt your mind, anyone that’s brave enough to smash up their town can navigate a little magazine.
- Start collecting clothes, ask to look through your friend’s closets and be particularly mindful of the friends you have with the same size shoe. You might need to make new friends with that snappy dude on the bus or the pouty barista, most people are happy to lend their clothes, it’s complimentary, so don’t be afraid to ask. If you have access to a free store, perfect, if not then it’s up to you, but remember, every piece of second hand clothes you acquire will need to be tailored to fit your unique and special snowflake frame. EVERY SINGLE ITEM.
- Some don’ts, especially for the mansies: no irony, no steam punk, no ill fitting jackets, no ties (unless they are so good it hurts), no t-shirts, no text, no sport shoes, no corduroy, no blue jeans, no patterned shirts, NO PLAID, no striped shirts. (You can do it, I have complete faith in you!)
- When putting together your outfits, get collective feedback and don’t get lazy! Expect to spend 3 hours trying on clothes before you find the perfect look! It’s worth it! Accept nothing less than perfection, you want the court to be breathless when you walk in!
- Accessories. Yes, I know you’ll be going through a metal detector, isn’t that all the more reason to wear those 15 necklaces, 7 rings and bejeweled belt? The goal is to really show ‘em, right?!
So yeah, you all are amazing! Thanks once again!
[to support the Asheville 11 please check out their website or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.]