Saturday, December 27, 2008

Burn the money and dance!

a text by the Madrid Surrealist Group and their friends
translated by Bruno Jacobs & Eric Bragg

A group of about 40 people joined the gathering in Madrid against the G-20 summit in Washington on Saturday, the 15 of November, with the intention of telling capitalism to fuck off, criticizing through action the cornerstone of its filthy artifice: money, that bloody trash which won’t survive the fall of the system and of which it is its totem and taboo. Therefore we burn it in advance of future bonfires that will sooner or later purify the old world, and we distribute the following leaflet in order to contribute as best we can to starting that fire.

Burn the money and dance!

Now they tell us that there is a crisis and they lie to us, just like when they announced prosperity from mutant cows fattened with transgenics, chemicals and plastic. Because economic recession and expansion are a farce, these two movements of growth and contraction of the same wave of servility, exploitation and fear which knocks you over and strangles you, me, us, wage-slaves, who live a crisis that is eternal, as to live means to pay for every realized act and for every nurtured dream, and from this we must dare to desire and act outside and against the market.

Now they will tell us that the crisis has a concrete and reasonable cause, that only one part of the system failed, that greed broke the bank and that to err is human, but it doesn’t matter because the biblical wiseman Balthazar has arrived with his bag full of promises in order to reforge capitalism and repaint the bricks that lead to the Emerald City; and then Oz and its spectacle must continue, and this is entertainment. And they will continue to lie to us because there is no cure for capitalism: it is the crisis that reproduces itself, destroying men, women, cultures and continents until the ultimate consumption of the planet.

Thus it is necessary to destroy once and for all this recession, the prosperity and the economy that preoccupy certain people to such an extent. Therefore we burn money, totem and taboo, heart and blood, capitalism’s ultimate abstraction and reality: so as to accelerate the crisis that destroys the wealth of their nations, so that the recession recedes until it suffocates in its own financial vomit, so that the economy dissolves and that life reappears. Because the currency that is so highly worshipped is just as false as everything else – a pestilential cloud that we will have to dispel until the daylight returns.

Maybe it will be said that this money doesn’t belong to us, that it is part of the gross interior product of the national income and of the state treasury, those cursed monstrosities that overshadow what were once human relationships of collective production, of exchange and of gifts. But haven’t we perhaps earned it from the sweat on our brow? Isn’t it ours in exchange for the work and the time that we have sold for cheap? Therefore we would like to grant ourselves the happy luxury of destroying it, a luxury, however, that is within reach of any pocket because it is only a matter of getting fed up and of daring. And if we grant ourselves the free caprice of destroying it, it is simply because we haven’t found a better use for it or that it is worth the trouble, and everything that could be done with that money, saving or investing it in order to make it grow and multiply as if it were a virus, or spending it in order to buy state of the art trash, consuming insipid distractions, earning laughable pensions, paying blood-sucking mortgages or financing campaigns in order to demand lamentable reforms are just so many other excuses that tie us to the economy and strengthen it at the same time. The time has come to cut such an umbilical cord: we deny capitalism and therefore we reject its money.

Thus we burn it, casually incinerating the economic train together with the pieces of paper that form its freightcars, and all its commerce. And we take leave remembering, as if there were any remaining doubt, that there will be dancing but not money in the world that we always keep within our hearts.

Crisis! More crisis!

1929… 1973… 2008… the third time’s a charm!

Burn the money and dance!

The Chronic Critics

Click here to read the original Spanish version of this text.

Friday, December 12, 2008


The ne plus ultra of social oppression is being shot at in cold blood.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


Cliquez ici pour lire ce texte en français.
Haga click aquí para leer este texto en español.

The phantom of liberty

always comes with a knife between the teeth

The ne plus ultra of social oppression is being shot at in cold blood.

All the stones, torn from the pavement and thrown at the shields of cops or at the façades of commercial temples, all the flaming bottles that traced their orbits in the night sky, all the barricades erected on city streets, dividing our areas from theirs, all the bins of consumer trash which, thanks to the fire of revolt, came to be Something out of Nothing, all the fists raised under the moon, are the arms giving flesh, as well as true power, not only to resistance but also to freedom. And it is precisely the feeling of freedom that, in those moments, remains the sole thing worth betting on: that feeling of forgotten childhood mornings, when everything may happen, for it is ourselves, as creative humans, who have awoken — not those future productive human machines known as “obedient subject,” “student,” “alienated worker,” “owner,” “family wo/man.” The feeling of facing the enemies of freedom — of no longer fearing them.

It is thus for good reason that those who wish to get on with their business as if nothing happens, as if nothing has ever happened, are worried. The phantom of liberty always comes with the knife between the teeth, with the violent will to break the chains, all those chains that turn life into a miserable repetition, serving to reproduce the dominant social relations. Yet from Saturday, December 6, the cities of this country are not functioning properly: no shopping therapy, no open roads leading us to work, no news on the government’s forthcoming recovery initiatives, no carefree switching from one lifestyle TV show to another, no evening drives around Syntagma Sq. etc., etc., etc. These days and nights do not belong to merchants, TV commentators, ministers and cops: These days and nights belong to Alexis!

As surrealists we were on the streets from the start, along with thousands of others, in revolt and solidarity; for surrealism was born with the breath of the street, and does not intend to ever abandon it. After the mass resistance before the State murderers, the breath of the street has become even warmer, even more hospitable and creative than before. It is not in our competence to propose a general line to this movement. Yet we do assume our responsibility in the common struggle, as it is a struggle for freedom. Without having to agree with all aspects of such a mass phenomenon, without being partisans of blind hatred and of violence for its own sake, we accept that this phenomenon exists for a reason.

Let’s not allow this flaming breath of poetry to loosen or die out.
Let’s turn it into a concrete utopia: to transform the world and to transform life!
No peace with cops and their masters!
All in the streets!
Those who cannot feel the rage may as well shut their traps!

Athens Surrealist Group, December 2008

Wednesday, December 03, 2008


“Strike a man across the knee
and watch him twist in pain!
These are the things that give me joy,
and these are the rules I live by.
If I can't have a poke, give me 70p,
and I'll buy you laughter for free;
but open your pants, and I'll promise you this:
That you won't be a sailor no more, no more,
No you won't be a sailor no more.”

Whenever Betty sang me this tune, I turned my face to the Sun, letting it dry the sweat upon my brow and rejoice in its supremacy. But I wasn't a religious man, so it gave me no pleasure to worship a celestial body, great as it was, and she put her hand in the trifle when I wasn't looking. She licked it off while I wiped myself down, so we were both of us left with the remnants of two very different, but equally sticky, bodily fluids. It endeared her to me immediately. Some labelled our friendship as fake, as being based only on a mutual love of biscuits and toast. I didn't hearken such toss-pottery.

When we were 17, Betty and I fucked each other for the first time. First her, then me. She needed courage, an example to follow; so I gave her the thumbs up and we fell into the world, together. That was a lifetime ago, before she fired rockets at bat caves on a midsummer's night, before she found ecstasy in sculpture and boredom in rice. I couldn't fathom her any longer and made my own fun, and, after a while, I sought a Betty-less world, for all time.

Oh, laugh now, laugh at my stubborn idiocy, then laugh at my madness, my empty, pointless soul, and please, do spit in my face, too, for luck, won't you?
We all do foolish things: boiling chips, eating one's feet, throwing acid at rocks: it's a conundrum and a peculiarity of us humans. But you're letting me stray from the point.

Point is, or was, that in a world without my Betty creature, everything was shit. Shit food, shit feet, shit rocks. I carried that burden of shit for nigh on fifty weeks. Then one day I found her floating face down in the local fish pond, tights around her neck, the stupid bloody fish nibbling her toes. I killed them, took out her body, exhumed it, mummified it, had a grand tomb erected, put her coffin in there, and began my new life, tending her in life forever more, fending off invading rodents, keeping the air nicely cold, cleaning graffiti, crying silently into her overly-elaborate coffin. I was existing, but at what cost? I was no better or worse than a Vestal Virgin who lost her virginity to a girl wielding a cucumber sixty years ago. I had my memories but I didn't have my mind.

I resided there a total of 5 years. My beard and nails grew long, like statues of Hitler. Butterflies and even jesus feared me. My power was growing too. Five power points, eight...ten...I could hardly keep count. No rats came near any more. They knew. Rats always know, don't they? Clever little bastards.

Josie Malinowski

The Illusionist

by Patrick Hourihan

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Chance report

Last night I dreamt that I was with a Lamia. It looked exactly like a small slender cat, but was really a snake, which is how I knew it was a Lamia. It bit my finger and, with its teeth still in me, turned into a lamprey. The bite hurt like hell and bled a lot.
Then I was looking for a bus stop, or else I had got off the bus at the wrong stop, and was walking around a north-western English town. I went up a steep hill and saw a group of middle-aged women washing their laundry in cold water in the open air. The water was in shallow stone pools which lay at the level of the women's hips. I thought I would be able to get past the women and back onto the road in the right direction, and so began to walk along narrow alleys with brickwork on either side, but found myself walking through cold water up to my waist, and I realised that I would not be able to get through that way and would have to turn back. Away behind the women I could see a great expanse of open water all the way to the horizon.

When I went to bed last night, I had not seen the news about the flooding of Venice. In fact I suddenly remembered this dream this morning only when a friend mentioned to me the images of people in the Venetian piazzas, walking through water "up to their waists".



The Night Lady

Once upon a time there was a home in the old Italy countryland,
Where by a wall, there was a cupboard filled with plates and
That used to most times of the year, shake without any grace
And let drop every plate and glass on it against the floor to break.
That house, who everyone in town thought to be possessed by
Became one time the home of a man,
Who in time, at the shaking and breaking became scared,
Dreamt that by that wall was a Lady Woman imprisoned,
She being therefore the cause of the terrible shaking and breaking.
So then that man, without fear, took with him a large knife and inserted with fiery into the wall and left it there.
But soon one night he dreamt again with the Lady Woman,
And she beg him to release her from the knife and she will go.
The man then did so: the knife that stayed inside the wall got taken away and the Lady Woman flew away and there was no more since then any more shaking or breaking. End.

The Glove

Once upon a time there was man who walked by the river side of town
Every afternoon in the summer.
But one day he saw a body floating close to the bank…a dead man body.
The walker man hurried up and called up the police and the police came and the walker man helped the policemen to retire the dead body out of the water and to bring it to dry earth. In sort, the body was taken away and the walker man never forgot about the happening. What the walker man did not forget was that the dead man wore gloves on his hands.
Many weeks after the occurrence that became news everywhere, the walker man went outside his home to cut the grass, and by his surprise, he found a glove, and that was the very same glove that the man at the river bank was wearing! The walker man took it and threw away in the trash wishing not to see it again. Many weeks again after that, the walker man cut the grass in his garden again and found a glove, the very same one that dead man wore! Then feeling sacred and supersticious, then he took the glove with him and decided to go to the river bank to return possibly the glove where he thought it belonged. The glove flew over the water and felt on it and shrank. The walker man returned home and he never ever ever saw the glove again. The end.

This story is a real story told by a retired History teacher who happened to be the Walker Man.

Carolina Díaz San Francisco

Monday, December 01, 2008


The contributors to this year's Festival album are:

Alana Dill
Andrew Torch (St Louis Surrealist Group)
Aniano Henrique (SLAG)
Annie Bonnin (Paris Surrealist Group)
Apio Ludicrus
Ayşe Ozkan (SET– Surrealist Action Turkey)
Bill Howe (Leeds Surrealist Group)
Brad Walseth
Bruno Jacobs
Bruno Montpied (friend of the Paris Surrealist Group)
Carolina Díaz San Francisco (SLAG)
Cins (SET– Surrealist Action Turkey)
Dan Stanciu
Daniel C Boyer
David Nadeau (La Vertèbre et le Rossignol)
David Ruhlman
Dominique Paul (Paris Surrealist Group)
Eric W Bragg
Fantom (SET– Surrealist Action Turkey)
Gale Ahrens (Chicago Surrealist Group)
Guy Girard
Iulian Tănase
Ivan Horáček (Prague Surrealist Group)
J Karl Bogartte
Jan Richter
Jan Švankmajer (Prague Surrealist Group)
Jill Fenton
Joanna Gerson
Joel Baird
Johannes Bergmark (Szczecin Surrealist Group & Stockholm Surrealist Group)
Josie Malinowski (SLAG)
Juan Carlos Otaño (Surrealist Group of Río de la Plata)
Kateřina Piňosová (Prague Surrealist Group)
Kathryn Paulsen
Mair (SLAG)
Marianna Xanthopoulou (Athens Surrealist Group)
Marie-Dominique Massoni (Paris Surrealist Group)
Martin Stejskal (Prague Surrealist Group)
Mattias Forshage (Stockholm Surrealist Group)
Meghan Andrews
Merl (SLAG)
Michaël Löwy (Paris Surrealist Group)
Michel Zimbacca (Paris Surrealist Group)
Michèle Bachelet (Paris Surrealist Group)
Miguel de Carvalho
Mike Logan
Nacho Díaz (SLAG)
Nano (Szczecin Surrealist Group)
Nikos Stabakis (Athens Surrealist Group)
Noé Ortega Quijano (Madrid Surrealist Group)
Onston (SET– Surrealist Action Turkey)
Oscar McLennan
Parry Harnden
Paul Cowdell (SLAG)
Perşembe (SET – Surrealist Action Turkey)
Přemysl Martinec (Prague Surrealist Group)
Rad (SET– Surrealist Action Turkey)
Radim Němeček (Prague Surrealist Group)
Rafet Arslan (SET – Surrealist Action Turkey)
Renay Kerkman
Richard Burke (St Louis Surrealist Group)
Richard Waara
Rik Lina
Ron Sakolsky (Inner Island Surrealist Group)
Sasha Vlad
Seixas Peixoto
Shellie Sclan
Stephen Maddison (SLAG)
Steve Davies
Susan Burke (St Louis Surrealist Group)
temi rose
Valmonte Sprout
Vicente Gutiérrez Escudero (Madrid Surrealist Group)
Wedgwood Steventon

The next Festival is scheduled for 2010.