SLINGSHOT #124, free, 8 ½” x 11”, newsprint, 12 pgs.

Sep 20, 2017

I never knew that the Slingshot pocket organizer people had a publication, but they do, and it’s a foldout newsprint reader with thoughtful lefty content and a few practical resources, like news on what info shops have opened or closed since that last planner got printed. The summer issue had a couple jargony reads like “Active Autonomous,” a manifesto-ish call for “a new world view,” that I was too much of a lumpen to process. I can tell you that it involved communes. My favorite two reads were Jane’s article about rape culture (“Disturbance in a Safe Space”) and Michael Frank’s piece about discovering that the white power movement and enlistment in the armed forces were not for him (“I Was a Fascist”). From Jane’s piece, I learned some sad but enlightening statistics about survivors of sexual violence and how a lot of people, rather than supporting victims, ignore or shame them. It’s not a purely depressing read—the author ties in a personal anecdote about (a) teaching folks ways of being more receptive to victims and (b) how-to guide for those who don’t know how to help. As it is, “communities are full of people,” she writes, “not robots,” and you have to meet people where they are and educate accordingly. Frank’s piece has a pretty cool sense of compassion, too, in that he recalls what factors cultivated his racism—being bullied, needing someone to bully in turn—and how that led him to join the army and eventually discover that he was a late-blooming anarchist with a whole lot of love and readiness to leave the armed forces and get activisting. Enlightening reading, and free! –Jim Joyce (Slingshot Collective, PO Box 3051, Berkeley, CA 94703)