Anarchists being politic?
At one point, one of the members of the collective -- Panda, I believe -- stepped forward to define anarchism. They defined the term in the broadest possible way as an effort to minimize hierarchical control and maximize personal freedom. Throughout the conference, one of the anarchists, wearing a tie, kept yelling at the reporters to not shout their questions out of order but to raise their hands and wait to be called upon. Another pointed out that the reporters needed to identify themselves and which media they represented before they asked their questions. The maximizing of hierarchical structure at the cost of personal freedom -- there at the Anarchist Convention press conference.
I love television, but it is always horrifying to realize how well we've all ingested its stylistic language when even some twentysomething anarchists can manipulate a press conference as effectively as any old Democratic or Republican political operative. I have big trouble with the anarchists because too often their confrontations are more about their own self-righteous entertainment and less about any kind of moral or ethical message. Besides, anarchists are against big business and big government, but if you get rid of the latter, what's going to control the former (as little as it is controlled)?
Most of the vacation was a lot less ideological, despite the presidential conventions. Mostly it was about friends, family, and relatives, about sun and ocean and about a lot of seafood.
Lee Nichols, who has ably handled the Chronicle's press coverage in "Media Clips" for a while now, is stepping down from that job. Lee is still staying in the Chronicle family, only with shifting responsibility. New Politics editor Louis Dubose will face the immediate question of the future of our media coverage. Welcome aboard, Lou!
This is issue No. 51 of volume 19. Next issue will be our last official issue of Vol. 19. Vol. 20 will begin with the issue dated Sept. 1, 2000.