John Zerzan, Adam Lanza, Theo Slade, Reed Coleman & Ilana Masad
Adam Lanza’s Call to Anarchy Radio
The Anarchy Radio episode that Adam calls into (12-20-2011)
Anarchy Radio episode after learning the shooting was a caller (01-21-2014)
On 20 December 2011, Adam Lanza called in to a talk radio program, AnarchyRadio, broadcasted on KWVA 88.1 FM out of the University of Oregon. The show is hosted by John Zerzan, a writer described by The Atlantic as “an intellectual leader of the anarcho-primitivist movement, an ideology that regards technology as a destroyer of human communities.” The reason for Lanza’s interest in Zerzan’s writings is plainly evident in the call itself; Lanza calls to share a story about “Travis the Chimp,” a domesticated chimpanzee that in 2009 “snapped,” and viciously attacked 55-year-old Charla Nash, a friend of the chimp’s owner. The attack was seemingly random, nearly cost the victim her life, and ended when the chimp was shot by police. Lanza outlines how the chimp’s violent episode can be explained by his upbringing “as if he were a [human] child,” and argues that Travis’s “civilized” upbringing was what led to his attack.
Here's the full episode to give you a sense of the type of program Adam was calling into. But, if you want to skip straight to the call in, click here.
The Anarchy Radio episode that Adam calls into (12-20-2011)
[audio] Kathan here. My excellent Arizona trip (viz. O'odham benefit event). Facebook, end of privacy, digital imperialism. Fine Travis the Chimp story, Occupy updates, action news.
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Ronald Reagan: A message from the uscca. Let me tell you just a. Little something about the American Indian in our land. We have provided millions of acres of land. For what? Are called the preservations or the reservations I should. Say they from the beginning announced that they wanted to maintain their way of life. As they had. Always lived there in the desert and the plains and so forth. And we set up these reservations so they could and have a Bureau of Indian Affairs to help take care of them at the same time, we provide education for them. Schools on the reservations and they are free also to leave the reservations and be American citizens among the rest of us and many do some still. Prefer, however, that way of that early way of life. And we've done everything we can to meet their. Demands as to what? They how they want to live.
Maybe we made a mistake. Maybe we should not have humored him, in that wanting to stay in that kind of primitive lifestyle. Maybe we should have. Said no, come join us, be citizens along with the rest of us as I say, many have many have been very successful. And I'm very pleased to meet with them. Talk with them at any time. And seeing what their grievances are or what they feel they might be, and you'd be surprised if some of them became very wealthy, because some of those reservations were overlaying great pools of oil and you can get very rich pumping oil. And the. So I don't know what their complaint might be, might be, might be.
Music: I've been trying to find. Gotta be. I gotta get away. I'm having inner vision of a place where no sin of prisons, real freedom, no inhibitions, life in abundance, no domination. Life lives amongst us. How it once was. Be and work with the trees of the storm coming just from the breeze till the wind. Blowing rain falls upon your skin showing. Realize how that man has been knowing the. Crime deterred us. Since I find the primal urges a place where no African nation not hear the dirt screaming bring down civilization, let me take shape to this land that you have made way from the valley to. Great, they I hear the stories of the place where everything is in the. People of majestic eagle. Sorry yes. Just give me your taste. I wanted to feel it. The bed. I gotta get away now. For extensive purpose no more than like you're less deserving. No more being intentioned service, every water for your toxins no more wants to keep us boxed and. No need to see. The exhilaration of the hunt, the deep emotions of the lovers touch are these instincts that made dawn. While our minds have nearly pink falling in this system, that's straightforward. I listened to the wise elders, they showed me the path where the lies led us. They showed me how to get back to the start, but first I'll have to end up with my heart. And no, then I'll hit my mom. They said it's worth the battle. Go for a child that Earth is fragile. Take what you need up with the earth of balance.
ZERZAN: Anarchy radio… on this deepest, darkest, longest night of the year. I'm not getting any volume on this thing.
CARL: Well, that’s cause you turn it way down cause because like you like.
ZERZAN: Oh, right, so you can turn it down. And now I can do it.
CARL: The music the music is.
UNKNOWN: So loud.
ZERZAN: I'm good sensitive ear pains.
ZERZAN: Yeah, that should be good.
ZERZAN: Thank you. Thank you very much. Carl always fixes everything Kevin is here.
KEVIN: I am here. I hear me in the headphones.
CARL: That was good luck for me.
ZERZAN: Or, you know, you can hear. Myself in the headphones, therefore I exist.
KEVIN: That's right.
ZERZAN: Well, first of all, thank you to Shane and Brian. Good good reports. They got bibos. They're probably rivaling us in the Meebo race.
CARL: Probably there were a lot of them. Last week, and let's get down. Here we'll be on Meebo here in. Just a second.
ZERZAN: OK, all right and let's see Cliff. Will be here. Next week and the website was down for a while. The domain name expired. And it was really gratifying that several people. We're aware of that and let me know so I can be aware of that and that, but apparently. They somebody couldn't just take the website name. Is it 30 day period or something like that? Or but I had no idea what's. Going on.
KEVIN: Which website yours whoa, you almost lost.
ZERZAN: John, there's another. Derek Johnson doing that? It just disappeared and people wanted to, and by the way that there was no recording. If you went to the website to catch last week's show December the 13th. For Shane and. Brian apparently wasn't a part. For them to do that, so we don't actually have it 5413460645. You know I wasn't here last week because I was in Tucson with Dan and Sharon and just want to say a few words about that. I just really am still. A glow over the. Over what went down there specifically on Saturday, Saturday night at Dry River Anarchist collective, December 10th. A really special occasion. It was kind of a dinner and then speakers afterwards in the courtyard by the fire. Ophelia Rivas and her brother. Julian, who is an elder. And there was Julian Connie, who is who was. The chair of the African Studies Department at Arizona's a professor of classics. And he gave an amazing talk. Kind of a history talk. And brought us up to date with the situation of the Old Town. This is a benefit for them. They're facing corporate mining and now just very recently, this is another really ugly thing from Homeland Security of little project called the Integrated Fixed towers. And it's the office of technological acquisitions and innovation. Part of Homeland Security. 14 This is the idea here that apparently they've already got the tribal governments to sign on to. 14 surveillance towers with all kinds of capacities, cameras and sensors, and. The whole thing. And it's a funny thing that half of these seven of these towers are in a district where. Ophelia lives and it's. It's going to be peering over her shoulder. The police state to looking on even more. Well, the event was was just terrific. It was just a really special thing. I don't. I do not remember being at a more important event. What Churchill? By the way, couldn't make it. He did not arrive. He had minor surgery earlier in the week and thought he'd be able to fly. From Denver after that, but he wasn't ready to do it so. And everybody expressed their concern and missing him. Here's something I wanted to. Then we go into this a little more next week, but censored news, which is a really indispensable source of information about what's happening with the. With indigenous struggles in North America, Brendan Aurell does that, and this is, I think this was yesterday. A little editorial thing that she put in. She just added this and she's a. Former full time journalist or I mean, a professional journalist? And now she does this this alternative project since IT news there's nothing that terrifies the powers that be more than when the anarchists and traditional Native Americans team up. It's the news media had not been so terrified by the topic it would. Have likely made national news. First, there was the fine-tuned. As in Phoenix at Alec is about 10 days ago, now two weeks ago, organized by Navajo and Walton, where they were pepper sprayed pepper sprayed 2 days later. They pulled off a class Act protest of Salt River Project water stealer and coal-fired power plant operator. Native land, then there was the Docupace autumn lands event in Tucson. At Dry River, which I just referred to, she's well aware of the way the media works the corporate media. And there are recordings of the talks. And the part. The the kind of beginning and ending that will fill you. Is is really something worth listening to and? You can go there. Just Scroll down a little and you'll get it censored news and this. Is the I. Was able to. Say a few words about to me, the absolute primacy and the central importance of this kind of alliance. Between indigenous folks and. Because then they may be black block or or whatever the what is building there. And I think this is the thing. That spills over. In effect with this question of dear cupi or decolonized is the. The name change proposal or challenge to the Occupy movement, and I think that's going to be taken up. We talked about that a little bit. Two weeks ago would be more than. That I think. Just a couple of real quickie new things, you know. The usual deal there with some of the. And don't worry, there's there's going to be action later. It isn't all doom and gloom here, but. For one thing, this huge flooding in Mindanao in the southern Philippines, another one of these weather events that's unprecedented in terms of the course it took. And several other aspects are probably going to be 1500. Dead when they. When they tally that up, it's quite a surprise. They're certainly flooding in in Southeast Asia, but this is a of a different kind apparently, and what has been predicted for a while? Temperature rising trouble in the arctics is the New York Times talking about the permafrost thawing. In Alaska and Siberia, and so forth. Now it's happening. It's bubbling up there, the methane as the as that is melting in a big way, and. Oh, that's some major things happening in the Adirondacks of Upstate New York. No more bogs and moose. They'll be vanishing Texas the entire oyster crop has been wiped out by massive algae blooms and at the same time this is reported today year long drought in Texas. Has claimed as many as half a billion trees. In Texas, and here's something today. There was a book actually in 2007. No way home the decline of the world's great animal migrations where there's new studies and reports. This latest one from Wildlife Conservation society. About aerial migrations and land migrations from elk and all kinds of birds. And so forth well. The long distance migrations are not happening anymore and they are crucial to keeping these species and extant in the world, so it's about survival. Dozens of migrations and the latest update on that. Yeah, when you interrupt that because there's no habitat. It's just. In one way or another, interrupted by the industrial onslaught. What happens to these annual migrations? And of course, this last weekend pretty much the last of the American forces in Iraq where were pulled out some number is in Kuwait, and. The sick. Commentary by Obama. I think it was Friday about how glorious it was forgetting there was based on lies forgetting about black water. Bougrab torture over 100,000 dead Iraqis and so on. And it yeah, quite sickening more. Bush couldn't have done better with that. And also last week he announced that there will be no. Problems with this detention bill. Indefinite detention. We're talking about the police state this is a huge reach on that, and now you know, I've got to say something about shootings. I've been gone for two weeks, Irwindale, late last week. Three did it it so Cal Edison? Office in LA. Two dead shooters shot himself, two others wounded in in a tiny Eastern Illinois farm town. Five people shot to death, including a baby and two children. And you know what I'm noticing? This one of these didn't even make the papers, and did so belatedly. It was a Friday so maybe that's part of the reason, but it's just becoming such a commonplace. It's not. It's not actually such news anymore. And just one more thing. Just a little culture deal here we get to the end of the year. People's critics chime in with their 10 best movies of the year, for example. Well, Stephen Holden and New York Times, the resident movie critic. He's talking about the. How striking it was that there were so many big dark movies eschatological mood in times? Type movies and I've seen I've seen a couple of these. Yeah, I wonder when that would be using that.
KEVIN: Well, you missed. You missed the best part, the title of the article is riding off into civilization sunset.
ZERZAN: Exactly, that's the smartphones.
KEVIN: That's right, that's the punch line.
ZERZAN: That's a great title civilization Sension, let's hope.
KEVIN: There you go. Yeah, bold type. That's right.
ZERZAN: How are you?
KEVIN: Doing hey pretty good, pretty good.
ZERZAN: Thank you for coming down.
KEVIN: Hey good to be here. When you were going through the demise of many species and migratory patterns and things like that. I've got from the New York Times again for us humans, life goes on and on. The fine Ray Kurtzweil, author of the Singularity, is near when humans transcend biology. An article on longevity in humans and that kind of contrast humans and are expanded life lifespans. And with technology allegedly contrast quite a bit with what we're seeing with the poor poor elk.
ZERZAN: No species is exempt, so now.
KEVIN: No species and then going on with their wonderful technology. The whole rise of the New York Times celebrating the the sensor on how we've learned from the intern. Get to get physical. The Internet likes you really likes you now this whole year maybe. People know this even on their own computers at this time of year where what they've looked for in the past now comes back to them as an ad targeted towards them. So this whole. Two way using a so-called computer intelligence and and surveillance of your habits and your activities to come up with the profile. Well and try and sell, you sell you something or what else you know. No, if you don't buy then what happens?
ZERZAN: Well that I think I believe soon the Supreme Court is going to decide the case about. Listening devices, electronic listening devices. That could be, say, slapped on a bumper of a car or something so so that they would have 24 hour information about anyone. And I think it sort of hinged on whether they needed any prior judicial.
KEVIN: Any authorization?
ZERZAN: Yeah, yeah. And one of the arguments. And this has not been decided. But but I think, as I understand, the main argument was. You don't need any of that because nobody there is no privacy. Nobody expects any privacy. That's you're. You're talking about the past. In other words, they don't even bother with the legal sort of part of it, it's just that that's a that's come and gone.
KEVIN: Right, right?
ZERZAN: You know it doesn't even.
KEVIN: How can you?
ZERZAN: Make an argument about right to privacy when isn't.
KEVIN: It right, right? And I mean, when you said that about adding listening device? Well, already your phone is a tracking device. Your GPS, you know. It's like we can find out where you've been by check. This little chip here and there that you had no awareness of. Even in your. Clothing, you know?
ZERZAN: Oh yeah, that's coming on, yes. Yeah, in fact there's a. There's an outfit called optimize apps and the CEO of Optimize apps. Thomas Murphy is making a virtue out of that. Of course it's complete transparency. If you're doing something that's good to be. Doing doesn't matter whether.
KEVIN: Right, right?
ZERZAN: Or not, we see you doing. It isn't then the Nazis say that. That kind of thing or or any American. And I suppose. Yeah, we we live in a in a society where we need to be comfortable with the fact that there are probably electronic guys on us at all times. Like it or not, today's kids are the document generation and with that fact comes certain responsibilities. We're empowering this generation with the tools to record misdeeds. That's life with technology. That's life as. We've created it. Boy, yeah that's kind of.
KEVIN: So it's empowering to be surveyed all the time.
ZERZAN: It's empowering.
ZERZAN: And it doesn't even matter if it's not, because that's just the way it is. Like Sherry Turkle, that's not enough. What can I tell you it? It doesn't matter. Your quibbles are irrelevant. You know that's just to some other plan that you're talking about. That's that's really the. I don't know. I think the scariest kind of. Bottom line part of it. But you know, I wanted to ask you this. I was reading a piece here. This is Wednesday last Wednesday's New York Times, the Facebook resistors. While the site has surged and actually there are 500 bills. And Facebook monthly views. And it was only 100 billion only 100 billion in 2009. So in a couple of years it's 500 billion. The way the point is, while the site has surged, some are content to sit out, and it's about people who are defecting their their. I don't want to do. Facebook do you know anybody like?
KEVIN: Anybody who doesn't?
ZERZAN: Yeah, he's dropped out of it, he's.
KEVIN: Do you exist? If you don't do Facebook? Yeah yeah. I I don't. Know us somehow? I don't seem to appear on Facebook, but I don't have microwave either, but I'm not sure I exist.
ZERZAN: So you ignore. Kevin Tucker
KEVIN: That's what we're talking about.
ZERZAN: No, if you yeah therefore I exist.
KEVIN: Yeah yeah, maybe not on Facebook.
ZERZAN: Kevin Tucker has dropped out just just above the two was reading this last week about and their feet. One of the people here. It says that this is pretty cool, I wasn't. Calling my friends. Anymore, said Ashley Elsa 24, is in Graduate School in Charlottesville. Virginia was just seeing their pictures and updates and felt like that was really connecting to them. And then the bones that are. It isn't, is it? So she's cancelled her Facebook. He's a guy in Oregon. Jason Balcom is college student in Oregon. It looks like the maybe the park license stop stopped using Facebook saying its effects were maybe a little unhealthy.
KEVIN: Oh, he stopped.
ZERZAN: Maybe this is a tendency.
KEVIN: I mean it will. Will it go over 500 billion or will it decline?
ZERZAN: It will decline to zero very shortly. Erica Gabel of Brooklyn says Facebook is virtual clutter. She doesn't need. I'm not into it. All right? Maybe it's just a little ripple, or maybe it's it's better than.
KEVIN: Yeah, yeah no. I I fear those kind of stances will be illegal.
ZERZAN: We'll be forced to do it, huh?
KEVIN: You must be on Facebook.
ZERZAN: Seeing Facebook as essential or essentially vapid? That's another slide bar in the article.
KEVIN: But that you know, I mean the the sad thing to me is really if you look. Is 890 year olds or you know this iPhone the talking to the phones and all of that? I mean, it's nice they're talking to the phones because at least there's some voice at some point. But the Facebook really the having to have it in text only text people. They don't even use the cell phones. The younger they are, it's texting, so the dehumanization the like totally vacate the senses. You know you can't. I don't even want to hear your voice over the speaker. Please just send me those little 26 letters arranged in order to communicate all ideas.
ZERZAN: Yeah, yeah, that's right, that's a further step.
KEVIN: And prefer I mean at certain points in time and ages and all. Right now there's an initial love affair with that way of communicating.
ZERZAN: Maybe it wears off though on the initial.
KEVIN: I mean, that's what's hopeful is like, yeah, it it wears off or it collapses. It's just not available. And then what do you do? You got to look at the kid next door and talk to him. Whoa, yeah, yeah, what happens now?
ZERZAN: Wait a minute. It's going strong in so many ways, not just Facebook. Is there a thing running against this psychiatric hospital in Istanbul? This is another. Is another clinic for Internet addiction and they just opened in their. They're looking to expand. Most stumbles towards the modern city turnkey. But it's but it's, it's everywhere. The the people that. Get pulled into that is a substitute for.
KEVIN: Just picking up still on this. The Facebook technology stuff. When you talked about the flooding in the Philippines, I went to I think I was in OfficeMax or something and they have a little placard on the desk that says some kind of software or something. To the flooding in Thailand, now there's some problem in the whole global supply that some will niche in it with Thailand that's causing problems and I don't know what it is exactly that was produced there, but it's a big, you know it's a significant.
CARL: Right, right? Breaking parts.
KEVIN: That the flooding now is interrupted.
ZERZAN: Industrial parks so-called. Of the capital city. And yeah they it's it's a web, it's a network that's very very interdependent and interlocked. And yeah, put them out of business just to underwater.
KEVIN: Right, but a lot that you know, like it seems to me like, well, so there's some connections to be made here. OK, there's all this bizarre flooding happening now is that related to something happening to the climate of the Earth because of what we're producing, and you know, blah blah blah.
ZERZAN: Oh yeah.
KEVIN: The way we live. And then. So the flooding. You can't get the pieces to make your parts, and the only way I can communicate with you nowadays is by texting you through this piece of technology that can't be reproduced because we've trashed the planet. You know, it's like there's a catch 22 going on here that some people just aren't quite. They're little slow to catch on.
CARL: Causing the flooding.
ZERZAN: It's getting red. Yeah, because sure, there's there's flooding. There's there's storms and so forth, but they they know that over there, and yet they're they're. Vulnerable, and it's yeah, it's a soul free producing thing. Yeah, my teacher is an app. You know, the Wall Street Journal piece about how more kids than ever are. Just they're just plugged in, that's their, that's their educational experience. So and again, the privacy thing. How much do people worry about the loss of online privacy? Privacy in the digital age, you know what's that? That's what that's a meaningless. That's kind of an oxymoron there the same. If you immerse the whole culture in that, then of course then the result is what you've done away with it so.
KEVIN: All right, it's an outmoded concept, you know, privacy that doesn't.
ZERZAN: Yeah, that's that's for sure. We're going to take a music break pretty soon. We might have somebody on the line.
UNKNOWN: OK, I'll put you on right before. The break.
CARL: Then all right this second.
ZERZAN: Cool and then we get to occupied. Maybe too. Huh, hello there somebody there?
Speaker 8: John, yeah hi, it's keeter I'm doing fine.
CARL: Yeah, thank you doing.
Speaker 8: I hope you are a little while ago on one of the programs I listened to. It's actually called on point. They had a whole hour long thing about drones and how much Obama has used them to kill. 30 thousands of people but one of the aspects of the drones along with the surveillance issue that you were talking about a little while ago, is that apparently the technology is developing very quickly for drones to be able to stay in the air for a long time. And they're miniaturizing them to the, you know, like the to the size of insects that will literally be able to fly into your house. You know, hover at your window. Keeping an eye on people. And that it's gradually happening. And that's something that we all may really want to try to pay attention to. And then I want to make sure that folks are aware. I heard on local FM station a little while ago that apparently the City Council. Maybe last night or today. On a five to two decision decided to revoke the exemption from the camping ban and the so-called homeless camp. The Occupy Eugene protest site.
ZERZAN: The agency meeting today an unannounced emergency meeting at noon, and I think they're they've just heard, beginning to dismantle it.
Speaker 8: So apparently the police.
ZERZAN: Yeah, once again, what's that OK?
CARL: He shuts this down. Did you see that? They shut some streets down there.
ZERZAN: They are blocking it off.
CARL: Yeah, yeah, it looked like they shut Jefferson going South.
ZERZAN: Another one there's.
Speaker 8: And apparently they're putting a lot of garbage containers over there, so I guess who knows whether or not they're going to be doing that right now tonight. I'm not sure what's up, but I just wanted to pass that along.
ZERZAN: Thanks a lot.
Speaker 8: Skinner yeah, take care.
ZERZAN: Thanks for calling. You know another real crazy thing about the drones. We saw this we we picked this up. In Arizona and Montana, senator, now that it's open season on wolves again use the drones to shoot the to kill the wolves. It's not just Arabs, you can murder them, you can. Kill anything isn't.
KEVIN: Anything anytime. Yeah yeah well on that.
ZERZAN: Happening yet, but that was a that. Was a brilliant idea.
KEVIN: Big production of drones. Up hood. River way up in. It's a local, you know. I mean, there's significant defense contract is totally in their neighborhood in your backyard. Produced up here and then just along the same lines you can see lovely picture Iran displayed one of those ugly, ugly death defying sick machines made that you know that's the drones. It reminded me when they announced that. This just may and and Obama asked for it back. I guess because that was the best he could do. Was you know? Would you please return my draw? It was just like the atom bomb, right? Oh, we made it. We produced it, you know, to end all wars or whatever and then pretty soon everybody and their brothers producing nukes. So now we brought the world drones you know and 66.
ZERZAN: Well, yeah, technology never goes backwards and everybody's going to get it sooner or later despite whatever political stuff goes on. It's that's the March that shows. What we're going to do about it? I guess we're going to take a little music break and just a short 13460645. There we go.
Adam Calls In
JOHN ZERZAN: Here we go . . . hello. We got the collapsible headphones here but, uh, we’re back.
CARL: [Unintelligible] . . . we’ve got Greg on the phone.
ZERZAN: Oh, Greg, okay, how’s it going?
ADAM LANZA: Hi, good. Um. I’m a fan of your writing. Um.
ZERZAN: Thank you.
LANZA: I’m sorry to [bring up?] such an old news story but I couldn’t find anything that you said about the topic, and it seems relevant to your interests, so I thought I would bring up Travis the Chimp, do you remember him?
ZERZAN: I don’t!
LANZA: Well, he was the highly domesticated chimpanzee who lived in a suburban home in Stamford, Connecticut.
CARL: Oh, yeah.
LANZA: And he was raised just like a human child, starting from the week he was born. By the time that he was fourteen years old, which would be somewhere around age twenty in human years —
LANZA: — um, he slept in a bed, he took his own baths, he dressed himself, he brushed his teeth with an electric toothbrush.
ZERZAN: [laughs] Really? When was this?
LANZA: Um. Well, this happened in early 2009.
LANZA: He ate his meals at a table and enjoyed human foods like ice cream and he used a remote control to watch television and liked baseball games. And he even used a computer to look at pictures on the internet.
LANZA: And, [chuckles] it goes without saying that Travis was very overweight. He was two hundred pounds when he should have been around the low hundreds.
LANZA: And he was actually taking Xanax.
LANZA: I couldn’t find any information about why he was taking it, but it just seems to say a lot that he was given it at all. And, basically, I think Travis wasn’t really any different than a mentally handicapped human child.
LANZA: But anyway, one day in February 2009, he was acting very agitated, and at some point grabbed the car — his owner’s car keys, went outside and started beeping from car to car, apparently wanting to go for a car ride, and he was acting very aggressively, so his owner called her friend over to get her to help him to calm down and go back inside, and once she arrived he immediately attacked her and his owner tried to stop him but couldn’t and she even resorted to stabbing him with a knife, but nothing worked. And she said that after she stabbed him he looked at her as if to say, “Why’d you do that to me, Mom?” Because appar- ently that was what the relationship was like, no different than between a human mother and a human child.
LANZA: So after the stabbing, she called the police, who arrived twelve minutes after the attack, at which point her friend was pretty close to dead. And once the cruiser came up, Travis went over to it, tried to open the locked passenger door. He smashed off the side-view mirror, went over to the driver’s door, opened it, and the cop shot him. He fled back into the house, where he went to his playroom and bled to death.
ZERZAN: Hmm . . .
LANZA: And um, [chuckles] this might not seem very relevant, but I’m bringing it up because afterward, everyone was condemning his owner for saying how irresponsible she was for raising a chimp like it was a child. And that she should have known something like this would happen, because chimps aren’t supposed to be living in civilization, they’re supposed to be living in the wild, among each other.
LANZA: But, their criticism stops there and the implication is that there’s no way anything could have gone wrong in his life if he had been living in this civilization as a human rather than a chimp.
ZERZAN: Ah, indeed.
LANZA: [And?] I’m so interested in Travis, um, because he brings up questions about this whole process of child-raising. Um.
LANZA: Civilization isn’t something which just happens to gently exist without us having to do anything, because every newborn child — human child — is born in a chimp-like state, and civilization is only sustained by conditioning them for years on end so that they’ll accept it for what it is. And since we’ve gone through this conditioning, we can observe a human family raising a human child, and I’m sure that even you have trouble intuitively seeing it as something unnatural, but when we see a chimp in that position, we [visually?] know that there’s something profoundly wrong with the situation. And it’s easy to say there’s something wrong with it simply because it’s a chimp, but what’s the real difference between us and our closest relatives? Travis wasn’t an untamed monster at all. Um, he wasn’t just feigning do- mestication, he was civilized. Um, he was able to integrate into society, he was a chimp actor when he was younger, and his owner drove him around the city frequently in association with her towing business, where he met many different people, and got along with everyone. If Travis had been some nasty monster all his life, it would have been widely reported, but to the contrary, it seems like everyone who knew him said how shocked they were that Travis had been so savage, because they knew him as a sweet child. And — there were two isolated incidents early in his life when he acted aggressively, but summarizing them would take too long, so basically I’ll just say that he didn’t act really any differently than a human child would, and the people who would use that as an indictment against having chimps live as humans do wouldn’t apply the same thing to humans, so it’s just kind of irrelevant.
LANZA: But anyway, look what civilization did to him: it had the same exact effect on him as it has on humans. He was profoundly sick, in every sense of the term, and he had to resort to these surrogate activities like watching baseball, and looking at pictures on a computer screen, and taking Xanax. He was a complete mess.
LANZA: And his attack wasn’t simply because he was a senselessly violent, impulsive chimp. Um, which was how his behavior was universally portrayed. Um, immediately before his attack, he had desperately been wanting his owner to drive him somewhere, and the best reason I can think of for why he would want that, looking at his entire life, would be that some little thing he experienced was the last straw, and he was overwhelmed by the life that he had, and he wanted to get out of it by changing his environment, and the best way that he knew how to deal with that was by getting his owner to drive him somewhere else.
LANZA: And when his owner’s — owner’s friend arrived, he knew that she was trying to coax him back into his life of domestication, and he couldn’t handle that, so — he attacked her, and anyone else who approached them. And dismissing his attack as simply being the senseless violence and impulsiveness of a chimp, instead of a human, is wishful thinking at best.
LANZA: His attack can be seen entirely parallel to the attacks and random acts of violence that you bring up on your show every week —
ZERZAN: Mmm . . .
LANZA: — committed by humans, which the mainstream also has no explanation for, and —
LANZA: — and actual humans — I just don’t think it would be such a stretch to say that he very well could have been a teenage mall shooter or something like that.
ZERZAN: Yeah, yeah.
LANZA: And —
ZERZAN: Wow. Thank you, Greg.
LANZA: Yeah, I —
ZERZAN: That’s quite a story. Yeah, that’s, uh, really apropos, isn’t it.
ZERZAN: Travis the Chimp.
LANZA: It’s just that I’m a little surprised that I never heard you bring it up at all because [chuckles] maybe I’m just seeing connections where there aren’t any, but —
ZERZAN: Not — I think not, no, I just, I didn’t catch that one, I didn’t, uh — maybe I was out of the country or something, I don’t know but I missed it. Thanks very much, man.
LANZA: Thank you. Bye.
ZERZAN: Take care. Wow. Very well articulated, I think. Okay, well, uh, uh, I guess we better move on . . .
Some Action News in the early hours of Monday, December the 5th. The nearly completed but still. 50 Chicken Factory farm in Lower Saxony in Germany was destroyed to the tune of 50,000 pounds fourth time in Lower Saxony at such a. I don't know what you. Call it farms. Seems inadequate, but anyway 4th time. Arson attack in the last year. Wednesday, December the 7th police station attacked. With two canisters of gasoline and a fuse in Kirkkonummi, Finland. And last Wednesday night. The infra scutti part of Rome. Destroyed with a Sledgehammer, 6 windows in the ATM of UniCredit UniCredit bank. The unit credit agency. The circle way. And blazing in the building last Wednesday night in Melbourne at the Sydenham Train Line station subway station. I think various machines were sabotaged. And the the communique is good. About cramming ourselves into these stool teen tubes to be ferried to work subjected to constant surveillance and how sickening and humiliating it is. Last night, December 12th in Athens, riot police were attacked with. Gas land bombs outside the culture ministry and yes, the Exarchia district. This is shortly after a standoff of a demonstration at Korydallos Prison in western Athens, involving support for imprisoned anarchist prisoners. And China, this is really the big story I guess of the past 10 days or so. The village, which is now surrounded by the military, the uprising. Maybe this is the Chinese spring. This is Wukan. If it's the name of the town or the village, just northwest of Hong Kong and east, against the backdrop of all kinds of rioting against land seizures and industrialization. Also, outrage about air pollution, the the haze and the smog in the cities is just unbearable. And the government puts out these lies about. How it's improving? Yeah, the backdrop of that 21 of the world's the world's most polluted cities. 21 of the 100 most polluted cities. So the derision and the contempt for the government. Has been rising on a number of fronts. And of course this thing with the Chinese village is still ongoing. They have surrounded it. The thing I read today was that they were heading for another village to try to spread the revolt. They have not managed to stop this one. And they've stopped the development. They stopped the seizure of lands because of the because it's been stopped by the Chinese and evidence there last Thursday night. And this is, yes, a little bit out of order bit in Brussels. There was action taken against Vinki, which is a company that constructs nuclear plants, prisons, airports, high speed line. Surveillance cameras were messed up, locks filled with glue. Chain attached to block the entrance and other other sabotaging efforts. Here's something from Mexico, just a couple of these are not action things and just a couple of quick things here. This is from, I think this was translated and published at War on society. I hope I have that right. It's either war on society or angry news from around the world from Mexico. A statement signed by 11 different groups, including Luddites, is the English translation Luddites against the domestication of wild Nature Free, Dangerous, Savage and incendiary individuals for the Black Plague. Former members of the Eco Anarchist cell for direct action. And one or two others with similar. Primitive misleadings I would say, and this is a. This is a wonderful statement. We were against all domination and they tried to. Spell it out. And they in Arizona I was talking to somebody. As to whether they knew what was new in Chiapas, what was new, with the Zapatistas? Easier when it's been quite quiet and she she. Had the same impression. Haven't heard from this sub coming down to you or anything lately. Anyway, these people are not afraid to bring it on to call it what it is. They referred to the other campaign. Now try companion of a few years ago. Supposedly I created to confront the electoral charades in Mexico. Well, they point out that the sub commandante now is registering absolute silence toward the new. Politico Guy named Lopez Obrador who's an ex PRI guy. They had called the easy land called this guy a corrupt rat at the service of the powerful. But now apparently they look at him as the Mexican Chavez, Morales, or Castro. Thus they view with profound distaste the extinction of unmanageable anarchism. It worries them that contagion is spreading. That's again, that's in reference to. The easier one. These eleven these 11.
ZERZAN: So they say if there's a rat, it's from the left or the. Right? Either way, and they're against all authority, so they're calling they're calling the easier rental racket. And I'm not in a position to say that's totally correct, but you know, I've been kind of voicing my questions a little about that. Well, one more thing, this is just this is maybe not even worth it, but at a infos who it's a service not to be confused with infoshop, but you know they're known for their hatred of primitivism, so they're publishing a little thing that came from somebody who tabled little for little black cart up at the Humboldt anarchist. Book fair. About 10 days ago. And I just thought, you know, come on now it's there's a real snarky little thing there there. There's kind of laughing at these rooms up there and unable to. Who wear flannel? Have no fashion sense. They don't have well flannel, by the way, but and you know this is this is a bunch of primitives so. You know it's just a kind of lot of it just strikes me as so perfectly urban hipster ish and kind of nihilistic. Yeah, maybe you got to get out of the city once in a. While stead of making yourself seem kind of moronic. And maybe there's there's some humor here. I shouldn't take it too seriously, but it kind of found it annoying. And of course any infos was very happy to publish it since it was trashing on. On primitivists, wherever they might be found anyway, they are sort of unidentified, but. Sorry, I didn't really score. Well, geez, yeah, you're going to say something. The Chinese thing I'm not giving you.
KEVIN: Ohh no you.
ZERZAN: The chance I'm sorry.
KEVIN: Hid it on the fishing village you. You you can. You hid it.
ZERZAN: Well, one I got one. More thing. Talking about the technology. This is from the times of December 14th hospitals and doctor's offices. Hoping to curb medical error. Have invested heavily to put computers, smartphones and other devices into the hands of medical staff for instant access to patient data, drug information and case. But it goes on to say, but the doctors and nurses are so focused on the screen and not even the patient even during surgery and so forth and during surgery. For example, making personal calls, checking their messages, and somebody's on the table there. I mean, it's just it's. So yeah, it's working out really well. It's just distraction. You walk around the hospital. What you see is not funny, said Doctor Peter J Papadakos. In New York, they're just glued to their computers, phones, iPads. You don't notice the people there in front of you? Yeah, that's exactly just like it is in the rest of society, it's. Boy, there's 4 pages of this stuff, it's. It's almost funny.
KEVIN: Well, the article on the sensors to put the hospitals in as G is working on on developing sensors, maybe several cameras in the hospital patient room to check and see the movement of the doctors and the nurse and the facial expressions of the patient. And all of this better, better living through through technology so that. That'll back up too, you know, always improve. They're not paying attention. Well, let's survey them.
ZERZAN: Yeah yeah we can.
KEVIN: Get it on camera.
ZERZAN: Maybe we can look at the screen and then looking at the screen and the patient is expiring in the corner somewhere they don't know they don't care.
KEVIN: Yeah, it's there you go, so it sounds like Occupy Eugene is going the way of the other camps a little later than.
ZERZAN: Boy yeah they and another one of these unannounced politicians meetings. The emergency meeting today at noon here in Eugene. Sure, boy, there was a they fought back. There was real action as they were evicting, trying to evict people in Denver. We were talking about. That they there was some broken teeth and. They were for real and they said this. This is where you don't always make a phone call does not always guarantee your bail. In other words, the charges. There's some heavy charging that they were fighting the pig.
KEVIN: Oh, heavy charges and there was that a park occupation or was. That a squat.
ZERZAN: It's at camp, so I I had thought that they had gotten out of that because of the, you know, temperatures and everything a while back, but I guess they come back or some people come back.
KEVIN: Close down the camp, right?
ZERZAN: We're not about to leave without a fight, so as you were saying, it's a mixed bag that there's a lot going on that doesn't always match the media frame, right to tell you what's really up.
KEVIN: Right, right, the media is having a grand old time from what I see building this construct of an occupation movement that can be marching around Pioneer Square. They're seeking electoral reform or or some bizarre type things. And meanwhile, if you check on the Internet and different anarchist sites, you'll see them quite a few squats going on. Banks being, you know, bank machines being glued up and a lot of. Under the radar activity so that we'll see what next year bring. You know it's an interesting, interesting development from 2011.
ZERZAN: Hope to see you next year next month.
KEVIN: There we go.
ZERZAN: Hope you can make it in January and Cliff will be here next month. Thanks for coming on down and thanks to. Carl and Chase for helping out when we had when you had Shane and Brian here.
KEVIN: And thanks to our callers and our listeners and Ho ho ho.
CARL: And evidently thanks to rotten and Bill here for.
KEVIN: Off we go.
ZERZAN: Request request flight is always open.
CARL: Real request, yeah, for the decade of Steely Dan.
MUSIC: Feed us some hungry reggae. Tonight, as long as the this right. Music that treats you right.
Zerzan on CNN
Anarchy Radio episode after learning the shooting was a caller (01-21-2014)
[audio] Kathan co-hosts. Sandy Hook killer's call to Anarchy Radio/ mediantics in "Age of School Shootings." Message from Serbia. Action news, calls about chicken lobotomies, despair. Domestication uber alles.
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Advert: In the streets below, traffic had stopped. Pedestrians were lying on sidewalks and curled up in doorways so there was no sign of violence, no wrecks, nothing like that. It was if the people in New York had simply decided to stop whatever they were doing and pass out. Ice coated my stomach. The invasion that started to find out what happens next with Percy Jackson. Olympians by Rick learn, explore new worlds and check out more cool books at your local library and visitread.gov brought to you by the Library of Congress and the ad Council.
ZERZAN: The views expressed in this program are not necessarily the views of KWV radio or the associated students of the University of Oregon. Anarchy Radio is an editorial collage providing analysis and opinions of John Zerzand the community at large.
Ted Baker Music: The night. It's like a lovely team. Take care. Constant moon. That can't be seen. For the. When you locked imagine. Much too close to mine…
ZERZAN: Ted Baker toward the end of his career, toward the end of his life, Catherine is here with us tonight.
KATHLINE: Again on my 7th year I think on this regular guest hood.
ZERZAN: Beautiful yeah Co host food.
KATHLINE: And happy New Year right 2014 here we are.
ZERZAN: Right? Let's have a better. Well, we're going to just jump into whattracted a bunch of mediattention last week. It's all about the Sandy Hook shooters. This just full of bitter ironies, and anyway, just to give you a little. Background on this.
On Wednesday the 8th, I think it was. I think it was, yeah, about 2 weeks. Ago there's a Blogger has a blog called The Sandy Hook Lighthouse. I would have never seen this, but the Blogger. Let me know he was about to post about to publish a story about the Sandy Hook shooter, the one who killed 20 little first graders and half a dozen teachers and his mother and himself. A year ago last month, so the story, such as it is, was that he called this show. Two years ago, two years ago, last month. In other words, a year before the carnage at Sandy Hook. And so I was talking to the other Anarchy Radio folks about what to do about this if it became a media thing. And it didn't for a whole week and I was thinking, well, the other shoe is not going to drop and we'll just forget about. It's not a story anyway and…
KATHLINE: Well, you were you were kind enough to inform me because you and I both recall the. So and yeah, and I had expressed to you. I was hoping that I'd be present when it was discussed. Neither of us were in a hurry to contribute to what . Who knows what would develop so…
ZERZAN: Right, so I didn't say anything about it last week on the show and I didn't really see what there was to say. Anyway, it struck me kind of right away that the point of this in terms of media would be the titillation of hearing this guy's voice. It would be just the sensationalist kind of level of. So he called the show. I mean, what's what's the story? I mean, what's what is what is very interesting about that? We don't screen the calls. Who knows who else he might have called in terms of truck shows or whatever?
KATHLINE: And yeah, and I mean, I would say my response was very much alarmed that any association of anarchists and baby killers would, is like distrust of mediand great concern about what . There's no screening of the calls and. What's going on?
ZERZAN: And of course, the possibility that. If some media outlets or some editorial decision. It's not inconceivable that they would have tried to use this, as, oh anarchists are down with this sort of massacre. Of course, well it didn't happen. Let me just point that out right away. But one of the ironies it struck me is that I have I. I think this valid to say no one has talked about this phenomenon as much as I have. Anguished over it. Pleaded and demanded that the denial stop and we start having the conversation in society about what is this growing. Incredible phenomenon saying about about civilization at this point about mass society. About this society in particular. Of course it never happens, it just so this was going to be possibly a case in point, and I mean it could have gone any which way. Anyway, last week last Wednesday I remember this quite specifically late afternoon. Last Wednesday the 15th. The shoe did drop and it was just an avalanche until late afternoon the next day, as it was almost exactly 24 hours. I think everybody from Good Morning America to CNN USA TODAY all the local TV stations and one Portland TV. Et cetera. It's just and I made the I was trying to keep in touch with you guys, but you weren't right. They're available anyway. But I decided that speaking for myself, I would. I would try to tackle it and make the effort there in this with this kind of context to bring it up. And one of the earlier ones that happened this. This not exactly unpredictable. Here I was bursting right away with look. I don't. I'm not interested in all these questions. Well, how did that feel? What was his voice like? What did it? You know that sort of thing? How about the larger glaring question? And so I would try to go right into that. And the first one of these first ones was. Good morning. America, was it just a big network? Coffee clutch, sort of nothing, nothing. This kind of show in the morning. Lot of people wake up to it I guess. So I. I tried to get right into that right away and he said we're going to lose this tomorrow morning. And then when I started into my wrap, there's this kind of pause and it goes. I don't think we're going to use this tomorrow morning, so. Instant lesson as if I was surprised by that. No, we don't want to hear that. We just want to hear some triviabout. Will the shock of it over there's something in his voice or. Such a normal guy. Yeah, whatever I mean with the and still avoid the enveloping thing that we're seeing. And then anyway, it kind of went on that way and. You know I have to. Say, and no one can. No one can make this out to that anybody. Of us has any sympathy with this almost incredible event that. And these? The killings that morning was that the call was actually very articulate in terms of anti civilization anti domestication thing. And it was and how. How to make sense of it? I don't know. I mean don't ask me, I just can't even. You know, but I’m stunned by this whole thing and the media thing is just the slightest part of it.
KATHLINE: You know my comment would be really, I thought I was grateful. It seemed to be only second rate news media. The talk shows and. New York Daily News, which was the one that broke the story, is a sensationalist rag, pandering to the lowest base. Of ideas period. I was greatly concerned that you would be quoted. You would be cut and pasted in unpleasant ways and I was actually pleasantly surprised to see an AP wire where actual quotes. Address the phenomena of mass shootings rather than specific episode. You know specific episode and dwelling on. Irrelevant, what's the word spurious kind of considerations, but on the whole I was. I took it as a good sign actually, that more widespread news sources just had no interest. I felt there was certain. A certain amount of just kind of. Refusing to go. There, which is, where the media wanted to go with this, which I felt maybe that's not a good phrasing, but I'd . I certainly was just very, very alarmed about association with horrific acts. As such, and it seemed to be that there was the reception was so cold that it didn't ignite, that it didn't go any. Anywhere and maybe that's a overly positive outlook, but I was highly skeptical that any media would be promoting anti sieve message or any critique of this. The mass shootings that are taking place.
ZERZAN: Yeah, yeah, and I don't want to be too positive either, but I felt like there was a. Not only did they not try to somehow demonize US anarchists with it, but there was a little bit of, as you say, that AP piece. And got hooked up with CNN with Don Lemon who's. Through a live hookup here at the university actually and I got right into the. The more fundamental questions. I thought and. In lemon off. Off air right afterwards said that was really good, and then maybe he says that to everyone and he was very brief. I didn't, they didn't give me much time, but that's all I talked about. Is is what is it telling us and how far gone is? Are we in mass society at this point and stuff like that? And they didn't? They might have they. Did cut it off, but I don't know if they cut it off. In the in the in the political vein. As much as just, they didn't have much time planned for it anyway. And anyway, Lemon thought it was worth saying. He said to me anyway, I don't know. Maybe we'll it's conceivable that we're getting a little closer to some of this stuff. Just cracking, cracking out, like how much. These these things have to just. Go on and on and on and know. One makes any sense of it even remotely goes there.
KATHLINE: Well, yeah, and I think also just some kind of comment on mediand how how are people getting their information or how has that changed to a certain extent. And I know at the time of Obamas big elect. And there was, Jon Stewart was given credit. As this where the news. This where the upcoming generations are getting their information what's going on now the last decade easily. You know I'm not hearing that and I don't see that's the case, but I do feel the news sources that. The 6070 generation, the so-called baby boomers, are not listened to that much, and I don't think that is the source. You know that is the source of news. That, and to even call it source of news, is a little a little bit out there. Because It’s an ideological, way of what you need to be thinking about. And I think that was the one thing I did feel good about. Was that nothing ignited from this sensationalist approach to. Yeah, just seem to fall flat. Like you said it, it was a very short window, a little flurry, CNN. It featured it. I actually visited a friend in Olympiand she had heard it and was, had heard CNN saying something and any number of my female friends and. When they hear, they just turn off, they do. Not want to hear. The specifics of any of these of the specific gory details of horrific crimes of. Horrific of the terrorism of affluent societies and, and that's what I like to, I'd to launch off on their discussion here. Into into some kind of. For their probing of what what is the real terrorism and? And yeah so anyway.
ZERZAN: Yeah, I think so. And if it's always to be kept out or treated as a kind of a fringe thing, how how is that eternally possible? In other words, you see these stories all the time in age of school shootings locked down as new duck and cover that was. The New York Times piece at the end of last week not about this particular story, but just the reality.
KATHLINE: No, no very true and I will say I was talking to my granddaughter first grade and she just spin.
ZERZAN: That's the important thing.
KATHLINE: Yes, is not fire drills. It's not duck and cover. It's locked down and I'm also. So why are they locking the doors? You know what, what? Why do you have to be there? You know you probe the what's the kids idea of what's going on and it's like. Well then there could be a bad guy. Could be a bad guy out there.
ZERZAN: The age of school shooting and of course, the context. Yeah, a mand two kids dead at a Fort Hood, TX residence on Base Fort Hood this afternoon they weren't disclosing much. Except they were military dependents and one dead at Purdue University this morning, and the family slaughters in this past week. I mean, it's not just schools as we all know. 5413460645 if you want to come in on this or anything else.
KATHLINE: And let me just go pulling my New York Times from the Sunday edition terrorism and in an editorial in depth editorial. In the opinion pages from the Kenyan about terrorism and tying tying it to poverty, and poverty and terrorism and we see. And we live with this all the time. Islamic terrorism, fundamentalist terrorism and all that, but the mass shootings. The Fort Hood is that referred to as terrorism. But ask the first graders. Ask the kids . Lockdowns, that's the terrorism mall shootings and school shootings are the terrorism of civilized society, and that's the real danger that terrifies people. For it's the fear nowadays.
ZERZAN: And of course, it's all. It seems to be largely lumped under random. The things that are not assigned anything, which is what we're talking about, which is the phenomenon random. As if reality is just random, society is just random, don't don't you just that's a move to just put it in some other otherness that can't be explained.
KATHLINE: Random, random, and that's also denial.
ZERZAN: So it means like what accidental? It just keeps happening and it happens more and more just by random. That's not true. I mean it, it's it. Can't be true. There’s got to be. There's got to be an explanation, and the and the explanation lies in what society is.
KATHLINE: Regularity, regularity, regularity, and location right there. Walls and schools. Why why these locations? Why schools, what societies turn on their own peers on their young? You know what? Show me any non civilized pre civilized . Sure throw the virgins in the volcano. Hey they volunteered. For it, . I mean, not to be not to be loose and facetious with it, but it's just like this whole distortion and shift of. What is the terrorism? What is the real fear in it individuals lives in this society? And sure poverty, material deprivation is the peace homelessness. You know the economics. But in terms of real terror? If your kid goes to school.
ZERZAN: Well, just some quick news here. Perhaps at the end of the week last Friday, Obama gave a speech about mass surveillance and the only thing that Speaking of reality or linked to reality, he referred to a world that is remaking itself at a dizzying speed. Getting to the technological part. And of course, he gave this slippery slimy. Address, which means that they're not going to be any checks on it, and on a deeper level there aren't any checks on technology. I mean, that’s the most fundamental thing, and it and last week's National Security Agency announced that their software can penetrate any computer, even those not connected with the Internet. I mean, it's just forget about it. It's got to wake up to the political reality of technology, . Well, we've talked about that a little more and at the same time, this a story today from Mcclatchy Washington Bureau trains and spilled more oil in 2013 than in the previous four decades. So the frenzy to keep this machine running, it's just well. And the. Enbridge Energy yesterday reported that their Alberta Clipper tar Sands pipeline is being shut down because of all the leaks they've spilled over. 5000 gallons of oil. And this just the latest one. Well, and I've got a list of them. I won't. I won't bore you with the with. We've talked about them from time to time as they've come up. Meanwhile, California, most of it is the driest conditions on record. Today, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced 2013 the 4th largest on record and Mississippi River levels are dropping critically. On and on with all that Australian water quality. Is dropping precipitously due to the drought mainly? All of the all of this picture, and this this going to be the feature of the week. Little clip of the week. Sent by two or three friends of this station. Did you see this one? What they're doing at Tiananmen Square in Beijing?
KATHLINE: No, no I didn't.
ZERZAN: Well, they've now they have these big commercial TV screens, enormous screens and they broadcast the sunrise and the sunset because you can't see the sunrise or the sunset. You can just watch it on the screen and as a friend said, Can you imagine a more dystopic image and that's the other side of the coin. Besides what's happening in society, what's happening to the physical world? Of course it's that just was so, and I saw a photo of it too. You could, it looked like you. You could hardly see across the street, so. I guess you got to get close to the screen for that matter to even see it on TV incredible.
KATHLINE: As we talk here in air, thick fog that is new to the areand never seems to leave like what is that?
ZERZAN: Oh, but there is. And here's maybe this a runner up story China watch kind of story from the South China Morning Post. We can somebody named you Shou Kai has come up with this solution. These the answer to all of this horrible air pollution, namely spraying water from skyscrapers and towers. That would get the nitric acid and the sulfur dioxide and all the rest of it out of the air. But wouldn't that create acid rain obviously? And then he says, oh, and by the way, you kind of skipped over that one. And the problem of that they're running out of water to fuel industry. I mean, industry is that. 99% of water is used industrial. He says, let me just collect. You can collect the water and reuse it. Really, the water that's acidified by this horrific. It's unbelievable that somebody could say that, and they would print it as something to be.
KATHLINE: Something that will serve us right?
ZERZAN: It's no breaking, yeah, if it's even common sense blows it out of the water in 2 seconds. You know, they collect it and reuse it. Oh yeah, of course, why didn't they think of this before? Probably make things worse.
KATHLINE: Well yeah, yeah, yeah. And you have to have to throw in about sources of water in Charleston and the 300,000 without any because of the same what you referred to earlier. The oil and coal spills and devastation of the groundwater. And we're not even talking fracking.
ZERZAN: No, it's picking up speed in Fukushima. Yesterday, highly radioactive water. Building up, they've got a new leak at one of the crippled reactors. No surprise. Yeah, when you think of the logic of the whole thing, the impetus, the gathering speed and the question of technology. What is it right on it? It depends on the whole industrial base. And the madness that has to keep that not only rolling, but increasing itself, that and even. They even claim that it's got to. We've got to meet the challenge. We've got to have more energy. That's what quote energy means. All of these disasters. And then this kind of interesting from Sochi as we get closer to the Winter Olympics at 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi and in the South of Russia. Well, lots of stories about the, the squalor, the environmental waste. And now the. The Olympic construction waste all these people. These poor people in the area. Homes are sinking into the Earth because of it. It’s a disaster and somebody named. I've never heard of this guy. Frankly, you have Guinea. Vitis petisco is an environmental activist and critic of the whole. When a games development, which is usually it's disaster of one kind or another, the development itself again three years in prison. Oh, no gaze and put the gaze in prison. This guy has got three years for opening his yap about it. And of course the real terrorists will be there. I mean some of the real terrorists will be there too.
KATHLINE: Right, the ones we will name and look at right acknowledge to be terror and yeah.
ZERZAN: Right the ones the only ones. We quote insider. Well, maybe we should take the music break now. Maybe we'll get some calls.
ZERZAN: Radiohead of Chris stuck here 10,000 years. They're anti civ band.
CARL: There's Motorhead.
ZERZAN: Motorhead, right, right. How did I get that wrong? Oh well. Motorhead.
OK, some Action News we just we don't have a ton of it, but some pretty good stuff. And again, some of this only recently disclosed and we hours of January 5th. Door of the Church of. San Marino and Sevilla, Spain was attacked with Molotovs and anarchist graffiti. For the churches, collaboration with state power. In terms of largely in terms of imprisoning anarchists, I think, and the statement part of the statement says not one step back if you touch one of us, you touch all of us. Pretty good and I preferred to Burgos Spain last week which is a little north of Seville. And the riots that began on the 10th in January 10th. About the gentrification of the working class neighborhood gamonal in Burgos and there were riots for four consecutive nights and it and they went on too. I don't know where it's at right now, but on the 16th. Protests turned into riots in Barcelonand Zaragoza in Barcelona. Masked protesters. Smashed over a dozen banks luxury hotel, Starbucks, Burger Kings and other businesses. Oh, I hope they trust that Burger King on the on, the Ramblas, there's one unsightly. All the junk is it's just ugly and bright and all the dumb tourists hang out there. It's the only one on the whole Rambla Blvd thing. And maybe they closed it up for good. I hope setting and setting fire to a number of them. Pelting police with trash bottles and unprecedentedly potent fireworks that set the police jumping in a city where riot police don't flinch when quarter sticks of dynamite go off at their feet. They're used to some action from anarchists. They're not protesters, they're. Last Friday, the 17th police cars at a pig substation in Bloomington, IN were attacked with rocks in solidarity with anarchist prisoners in Mexico and striking prisoners in Westville. Indiana it's a prison there. Up in what's called British Columbia luit. Members of First Nation angula to set up a blockade near the Fraser River. This the Cayuse Creek that I think empties into the Fraser River. They're they are stopping. There's they're stopping development which is destroying fish habitat, and they're only holding the contractors. Going to the work site so Hwy 99 is not closed to everybody. And Saturday the 18th in Durham, NC. This a long running thing too. Stems back to November. Jesus Huerta was. Thrown in with police cruiser and shot. They claimed that he shot himself with a concealed weapon. There have been several. Several forays several attacks on police substations. In fact, the third, the third one of these was this past Saturday where neighborhood people broke Windows spray painted police cars. So that's that, continues over the. Over that cover up over that murder Brazil. This kind of a. This a. There's been stories in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times about. Thousands of kids. Going on raucous excursions through these new shopping malls, this Sao Paulo specifically. Brazil's class struggle is going to the mall is the way the right wing Wall Street Journal put it? About the deep divide between the rich and the poor, it's some say this just consumerism, but it has much more of a. Subversive aspect to these parties that they don't seem to be able to control. And of course, what's happening in Kiev in Ukraine? Last night and the night before Sunday and Monday, really amping up really accelerated. One of the features. The this the anti government thing and the stakes of which are not horribly interesting yet, but it's getting there. In the past two months they built a. A 10 foot tall catapult. Piled with bags of cobblestones, this could go. And they've been throwing fire bombs, beer bottles and gasoline. The cops. This could throw cobblestones 200 yards downrange onto the cops. This really becoming an all out thing. It's hard to. It could be contained in totally reformist grounds, but I think we've gotten to the place where it's way past that. We'll see today. Alf partisans broke out some big front windows at a McDonald's in Tel Aviv. Yeah and OK. Dark Knights #39 is now out news from anarchist prisoners and direct Action News and 325 that's the issue. #11 is coming out soon and one last thing the Red Coronado Tour has been firmed up. Thursday the 30th in Denver, Friday, the 31st in Seattle, February the 1st in Portland. Yes, you can. You can find these. The details also Sunday here in Eugene Sunday, February 2nd on campus at the McKenzie. The McKenzie Building Room 221. Nice to see Rod back at it.
PETER: Hey John, how you doing?
PETER: Good evening.
ZERZAN: We're good, what's up?
PETER: Yeah, that's nice to hear. First of all, I'd just like to just. I just like to comment on the news articles trying to smear you. I think that's a name, so I hope you endured that. Quite well, but yeah.
ZERZAN: I wasn't really aware that there were so. These are anonymous blogs at Anarchist News maybe. Huh, where it's not interesting, really, but I'm guessing anonymous blogs and anarchist news. These would be the naysayers.
PETER: Sort of, yeah. I guess.
PETER: Well, yeah, I just wanted to talk about the article I found interesting few days ago. It’s about a proposal and there are people lobbying for this. Apparently that the solution to animal cruelty specifically in the poultry department is to remove the. Brains of chickens.
ZERZAN: Oh no.
JUSTIN: Well, not.
PETER: Their entire brain, but their frontal lobe and whatever. Other sections make enable them to feel pain and I just I just found that completely inane. Like completely, completely laughable, because especially since a lot of no crusading animal rights. Activists like Peter singer. Oh God Peter Singer, the utilitarians say that the main reason why animal cruelty should end is because animals can feel pain and then they're like, oh, this a great idea. Just remove, remove their brain so they can't feel pain and pain and don't do anything about the domestication part like.
ZERZAN: Finding the bottom is the chickens.
PETER: Yeah so.
ZERZAN: Pretty preposterous.
PETER: Yeah, and it has a good chance of being realized because it's economically efficient to some degree.
ZERZAN: Domestication marches forward.
KATHLINE: I mean, yeah, this cancelled here. How is that much different than having the pregnant woman the dead brain dead woman kept as the incubator alive in Texas? For a 12 week old fetus, I think chicken, the bottom, maybe, maybe. Maybe that we can joke about that, but let's get down to reality. And what's happening here and now? Right now the partially out of what constitutes life and what's valuable, and what we reproduce. What we put resources into this quite alarming. You know, so sure. Cheap chicken lobotomy is on the list, but let's get our lists straight.
PETER: That's that's also I wasn't aware of that's pretty important as well. OK, thanks for your time John and. I just like to my friend Kaz is high so.
PETER: All right, thank you.
ZERZAN: Take care.
PETER: You too bye.
KATHLINE: So well, I brought. I brought a number, just kind of commentary on the mood of the New Year. You know some excerpts on things. Do you think we have time for that? There there was an art show by American Academy in Rome, some exhibits and they titled one the concrete ghost. They based it on some text. And I thought the concept the concept in some of the writing on this show was pretty pertinent to how I felt coming into the year. 2014 The text that they used to come up with the idea of the concrete ghost is a diffuse. Sensation of suspension permeating the present moment the. Embodied Ghost is the precise opposite of a vanishing body. It's a ghost possessed of a body, senses sensuality in a brain that comprehends. Anyway, just compared to the technological society and the screen, the virtual reality, the removal, the prosthetic bodies that are being created, the left coloring is lobotomized chicken kind of thing. That there is, I just thought that was. That's a good concept. And the idea of suspension permeating the present moment. I think we you had a letter from a friend in Serbia who described a similar kind of thing, and I'd like to quote from his letter, because I thought it was a nice way to start the January. My January appearance. And our friend says it was a pretty. Tough year for. All of us, but everything continues in many ways. The present situation is rather strange. There is some sort of quieting in terms of discussion and questioning, at least among civilized anarchists. But I think something is different than five or ten years ago. In October I was in Zurich to give a lecture about my publishing experience and my view of anarchy. And there I could see that once again. Then if ten years ago one had to spit the blood to explain what's wrong about technology, mass society, or with the very concept of society today, we could show that in a more precise way, but also with more help of others. I was confronted with the usual. Typical questions by some leftists, but after some initial remarks I was accompanied with the whole Greek chorus supporting my theses and.
ZERZAN: Ohh boy, that was worth reading so.
KATHLINE: Alright, I think we have a call here.
Music: Yeah, we have a Justin.
KATHLINE: Hello hello Justin.
JUSTIN: Hello hi John. So I've been,, listening to your show., for quite some time now and reading some of your books. And I was just wondering how you guys deal with the kind of the spare that comes with. All the forms received civilization in today. So yes, I had two questions. That was the first one.
KATHLINE: How we how a person deals with the despair of today?
JUSTIN: Yeah, like how you guys deal with all the things you talk about on your show. And I mean it just. It's really sad and especially for someone here. Yeah, how do you guys deal with the person I because.
KATHLINE: Yeah, I I guess I stepped back a bit and because I would say not that long ago, I think John read his essay on why Hope and so I don't want to negate that. Actually I feel a certain amount of hopefulness in. In participating in this show in the future I, I think the situation we're in terms of the planet in terms of the environment, I could say, yeah, the technology marching forward, that despair might. Is an adjective that relates to that, but at the same time I think there is resistance. I think there is definitely more awareness by individuals. Maybe the last quote from my letter from my Serbian friend. You know is more about that. Hope that in small political circles there's something there may be a lot of trolling going on, a lot of irrelevant comments, but I would say in. The affluent society as a whole. I'm looking here at this National Geographic with a picture of big title defenders of the Amazon taking on the modern world and winning and the article itself is like, . It's the God, its strengths and its weaknesses, but whether it's National Geographic or it's the movie theater and the idea of her, which is a kind of light hearted critique of. Human relations being operating systems, but I would say don't. I would encourage people. Don't be despondent and don't take the spare from their show. I would, I would say hope is the watch word.
ZERZAN: I want to 2nd that, there is a, we see a level of energy of resistance and you don't really see that. I mean, there are times when you don't have that. And the other. Thing to me, why I don't despair is that. The prevailing system. The When it's still raining is so threadbare it just doesn't have any answers. It's completely, it's just blurry in every way. There's no I, I just can't see how I can't see the strength, ideologically or otherwise, of the system which is failing so incredibly enormously. You know that’s. To me, that's an upside. It's not like it's sailing along. Working just fine, there’s. There's nobody that believes that so there you have something to start. Worth right there, it seems to me that's very vital.
KATHLINE: Justin, let me just throw in one more thing to just be a little concrete. Also, because I would, I would say the whole idea well then again, revolution in everyday life or attention to the everyday life, the present moment. So I think that also to me. Gives hope I have friends, I have grandchildren. Their daily life finds some.
ZERZAN: What about you, Justin? What are you mostly grabbed by the. By the negative thing we've confronted with or.
JUSTIN: I am yeah. I tend to. I tend to just be I don't know. I mean your work kind of is very misanthropic in a way, and I mean I try to make the changes in my personal life and I'm like right at that point in my life where I'm. You know trying to live more sustainably and that whole thing, but I don't see any of my peers making the transitions that we need to be making. We want us to arrive in this, planning the. Long term.
ZERZAN: Where you could also consider whether your personal consumption is much to do with it. That's pretty good. Kind of crudely, maybe, but that could. That would lead me into despair if I thought my recycling was going to change the world or something. That's that's really not what it's about. I don't think.
JUSTIN: I mean, but even myself I feel so domesticated and not enticed by the idea of civilization but of.
ZERZAN: It is unfortunately.
JUSTIN: Of just growing up within it, so I. Mean I use. A computer every day and I use. I mean all the appliances and I mean everything, and so it's I mean there is that contradiction of what you talk about and how you live, because obviously we're not reliable there. Any like anything like that ?
ZERZAN: Well, that's true, but it's not our choice. It's not exactly freely chosen to just. I'm on the computer a lot too. And I despise the whole the whole setup, from top to bottom and what choice do you have it, ? I don't think it helps to be guilt tripping ourselves about that. Well, thanks very much for calling.
JUSTIN: Yeah, thank you.
KATHLINE: Alright, trying to let sometimes it's hard to keep a track flow going with phone calls, though I really really do appreciate the callers.
ZERZAN: Yeah, it's great. Well, there was one thing I was. That was don't read this all the time, but in the current issue of The New Yorker, the January 20th issue, the big long story called Death Dust, which is about valley fever. And not just the Central Valley of California, but that's that was that's the focus of San Joaquin Valley. I know someone who died of it, and it's a big long thing about where that's at and how. How many fatalities there are. This has been around for quite a while, and it's. It's not doesn't get a lot of publicity. The Valley Fever minutes is the subtitle. And it goes in depth in this to quite a large degree, and one of the things. And maybe it sounds like this. Broadcast project is strictly about domestication and nothing else has any bearing on anything, which is certainly not true. But anyway, you have to read this very carefully to notice something that's quite obvious until they started scalping the San Joaquin Valley. And now it's just dust. You know, that's because they just keep plowing the whole thing. There are no birds. You know you can go 300 miles and not see a single bird or hear a bird. I mean, that's what happens with that level of industrial agriculture and they talk. About hydro mulch. Soil binders that they’re getting kind of close to because Valley fever. For those of you haven't heard of it. It’s some kind of a spore that gets into the air when you disturb the soil. In other words, in this massive powling thing going on and now and they talk about the solar. There's a huge solar project there. 3.7 million solar panels. I think it's near. Well, it doesn't matter where it's here, but it's in the valley. And these solar workers are now. Coming down with this and it certainly can be fatal and they, but the backdrop the whole that it says the disk problems go back for decades. Well, they certainly do. What is it that goes back to decades? It's an unfortunate fact of life. In other words, you just accept the very context that creates this. I mean, I don't. I really don't think that the that the first people that were there were. We're swallowing dust. I mean, they weren't doing that, they weren't just, upsetting the whole thing that Dust Bowl comes to mind you. What isn't connected there with these with these mega problems? I mean . It’s that simple. But they sort of mystified and get lost in the details, although they kind of as they said, they kind of come close. To it in this piece.
KATHLINE: Well before we close out, I do want to announce that in Portland, we're going to start off the reading group before this month is over. So next Saturday, January 25th at 2:00 PM, we're going to start Reading Madness and. Civilization by. Pro and discussion see where we go with that. So anybody who wants start your new year out right show up at the red and Black Cafe, 2:00 o'clock Saturday.
ZERZAN: That's a great note to end up with Katherine. Thanks, yeah, very good. I hope that relief flies. Well, I think it'll just be calling me next week. I was thinking of maybe reading the animal dreams essay. Last thing I've finished up and. Maybe a two-part reading or something? But maybe much more exciting things will happen than that so. Maybe I won't.
KATHLINE: Well, I think that might be pretty cool. Animal dreams.
ZERZAN: And right here with some Austin Lounge Lizards.
Austin Lounge Lizards Music: Which I believe you. Said you can't afford to grow no more. You say you. Can't afford bread no. More well, this ain't no charity store. Say your kids are hungry too. I got good news. For you, you can eat that food. You really ought to try it.
You can think to see it. You can deep fry it, flip it all over, cook it anyway. Eat a lot. Three times a day. Let comes in a bag or a cake. Perfect game for working man. If you're down on your luck just now, it'll get through the day. But if you eat it in the afternoon. You might feel like howling at the moon. Buddy, you're complaining too soon. This all I got to say. You can eat. No, you really ought to trying. You can fix it. You can deep. Fry it, flip it on. You're getting away in a long room. Three times a day.
That is. Find yourself a vacant lot, lay in the garbage on the little spot. Ask the neighbors you can open up a can. Make patties like swell folks too. Have yourself little BBQ. Let the fun begin. We are trying, you can. You see, you can be fired. Three times a day.
You really ought to try it. You can bring a. Seed you can deep fry it.
It's its own gravy.
Zerzan on a small YouTube channel
Do you worry that you validated and perhaps encouraged the irrationally violent desires of the school shooter who called your radio show through your shared desire for de-industrialisation?
Ishkah: You talk a lot about school shootings on your show and it’s such a horrific thing and it’s a sign of atomization, and culture being fragmented.
You had a weird case of someone phoning your radio show who years later committed a school shooting. And there was a CNN piece…
Zerzan: Adam Lanza, yeah that was pretty incredible. He acted out the very thing that he was trying to raise awareness about, the chimpanzee attacked its owner in a very horrible way and you know he said that’s us, we’re forced into these impossible unnatural ways of being and people are gonna snap, like the chimpanzee and then he snapped. I mean talk about incredible irony there.
Ishkah: Yeah, I mean it’s a really difficult one, have you thought about how you maybe would have handled it if you had the amazing foresight of interpreting what he meant or what his state of mind was.
Zerzan: Well that would have been really nice, but he struck my co-host as kind of a quiet troubled high school kid, but picking up on on the reality of life in late civilization and how bizarre it is and the pressures one’s under.
We both said yeah exactly, thanks for the call, I mean it certainly did not occur to us that he was part of the very thing he was warning about and I guess that was about a year later that that happened. That would have been awfully nice, but we didn’t, we thought that that’s quite a good insight, that’s quite a good parallel that you’re making and you know that was it, there wasn’t any dialogue, we didn’t even… he was just trying to bring out that point and bothered to call and yeah, ‘thanks for the call’ and that was that.
If only we could have or seen that he was actually going in that very direction, it would have been nice, we could have tried to do something, tried to engage him in terms of where he was at, with how his life was, in his own life.
Ishkah: Yeah and I mean I know primitivists in my own life and I know a lot of them get a lot of value from it, when they get into the philosophy and they start an allotment and they feel more connected to the earth and all the stuff and maybe work on a food no bombs stall and stuff, they’re often very much part of campaigns on the left.
But, saying all that, I’m not a primitive so I know that if if I’d had that call I might have tried to challenge him a little bit on domestication and how inevitable violence is, even if you feel pushed to an extent through bullying in school or something, like whether I don’t know… I guess my fumbling over my words now shows that it’s hard and I wouldn’t necessarily have the perfect words to say, but I don’t know, I wonder if there wasn’t someone he could find with a shared philosophy of de-industralisation and he’d phoned up someone who had challenged him a bit, that it could have been a turning point.
Like with the CNN piece, the doctor of criminology they had on at the end said:
“the subtext of what he’s [the school shooter is] saying is violence is innate and instinctual to humans, and really should not be punished because it’s their natural basis, that’s the message I think he’s trying to get across, and the parallel to himself is obvious, he feels possessed by this need, this compulsion to commit violence.”
So do you agree with that? Do you think that he was saying something like that or…?
Zerzan: It sounds very, very off base, that people are innately homicidal, is that what he’s saying?
Ishkah: Well, I think the criminologist was saying that Lanza was bringing up the story because maybe he felt those impulses within himself because of domestication, because of like bullying at school, and so if there wasn’t domestication, it wouldn’t have happened to him, so then his violence is justified in some way.
Zerzan: Well yeah, that seemed to be the lesson of what he phoned the show about, you know that’s what you get, that’s why this chimpanzee freaked out and attacked its owner, I mean precisely because of the domestication control, the so unnatural and painful, and it just caused the animal to snap. And you know he was saying of course that corresponds to the situation in society, it’s so unbearable really and I bet there was quite possibly bullying in the picture. There have been other cases of mass shootings where there was in fact bullying and then that’s part of the you know the onerous life that somebody’s living and they… it’s intolerable so yeah…
Ishkah: I mean still I would have liked to try to challenge him or challenge anyone who talked about violence as somewhat inevitable, I would have tried to say it’s not acceptable the way schools are structured at the moment, the way bullying is allowed to happen, and the way we are domesticated by technology to a degree, but I just worry that because there’s a sect of like nihilist primitivism of the ITS variety, that think nature is violent in some way, rather than nature just being destructive, that think they are justified to do it, so if I came across someone like that, I would hope that I would try and talk them over to a kind of personal low tech lifestyle, but to see that like there’s a future in building better schools and not being justified to take violence in that way.
Zerzan: You have to see… I mean is somebody coming from an anti-authoritarian point of view or not? You know that’s kind of basic. Or to put it another way, is this person an anarchist? Are we starting out with the same sort of general approaches or values?
I don’t know, some of this stuff is just off the table, like this ITS stuff, that just strikes me as completely unworthy of making any contribution at all. I was just appalled that people like the Little Black Cart folks were saying ‘oh we can learn something from this’, really? Murdering random people? No, it’s not, that’s just sick and fucked up and if that’s what passes for being an anarchist, no thanks. You just have to distance yourself from shit like that.
Ishkah: Cool, okay yeah, definitely agree on that.