Slingshot Introduction: Issue 111

Slingshot is an independent radical newspaper published in Berkeley since 1988.
Slingshot isn’t like other papers. In the mainstream press, you’ll find glossy articles about things that already make perfect sense. They feature fake controversies that mislead us into believing that we don’t have the power to enact change ourselves, but that we must go through the “proper” channels, like voting, writing letters to the editor, etc, instead of taking to the street. We are not the rulers of the world — we are not in charge — our narrative is broken by the limits of our power. We are engaged in projects that are not yet complete — projects that are being actively blocked by those who have accumulated wealth and use their power to control everyone’s lives while running the planet towards destruction.
We aim to be edgewalkers; working on projects at the edges of capitalism — radical squats, experimental farms, urban guerilla collectives — while striving to extract our psyches from the sway of consumerism. Every few months, we take a break from these projects and come together to create Slingshot. These are the ideas that come to us as we lay awake at night, dreaming of new spaces, reflecting on what we have accomplished.

Our articles can be rough at the edges, the arguments incomplete, but grappling for insight. The arrows of inquiry are shot out into the void, but don’t always reach a target — they burn up in the atmosphere, like so many meteors that never reach the earth.
A number of articles in this issue struggle with identity and privilege in different ways. With each voice, different assumptions are made. Often words of an author become mired in complex tangles that cannot be so readily teased apart. Not every person in the collective nor in our readership identifies with these pieces, but we present them to open a conversation about real positions in our world.
At one point while making this issue, one of us exclaimed “I detest this article!” but as we discussed it, other people saw things in it that were important, and in the end it went into the paper unblocked. We hope that, if you feel strongly, you will join the discussion by sending us an article for the next issue.

The centerfold poster was inspired by poetry Sean Swain sent us from his prison cell:
A Handful of Leaves
A prayer for the children of the next Neolithic,
That we leave to them
A field of lilies where a WalMart once stood,
Salmon upstream from the ruins of a dam,
Kudzu vines embracing skeletons of skyscrapers,
Cracked & overgrown ribbons of nameless
That you may lay entwined in fields of lilies,
Sustain yourselves on sister salmon,
Climb the vines of kudzu to shelter,
Salt meat on the remains of the highway,
and use this poem for kindling at sundown
So you can spare a handful of leaves
Where the gods write poetry of their own.

As the paper went to press, we unpacked a huge truck of 2013 Organizer calendars, which is how we fund this paper. Last spring, we decided to make a version of the Organizer for smart phones since so many people use them instead of paper calendars nowadays. We have a good idea of how we want it to look but we’re still looking for someone to write the code, so if you know how, contact us. We need someone with follow through and the time and skills for a paid gig. Target completion date; Jan. 1, 2013.

Slingshot is always looking for new writers, artists, editors, photographers, translators, distributors, etc. to make this paper. If you send something written, please be open to editing.

Editorial decisions are made by the Slingshot Collective but not all the articles reflect the opinions of all collectives members. We welcome debate and constructive criticism.

Thanks to the people who made this: Angie, Ant Claire, Coleen, Dana, Darin, Enola, eggplant, Gnatalie, Jasmine, Jesse, Joey, Jonathon, Julia, Kermit, Lew, Kilroy, Samara, Sandy, Solomon, and all the authors and artists.
Slingshot New Volunteer Meeting

Volunteers interested in getting involved with Slingshot can come to the new volunteer meeting on Sunday December 16, 2012 at 4 p.m. at the Long Haul in Berkeley (see below.)
Article Deadline & Next Issue Date

Submit your articles for issue 112 by January 19, 2013 at 3 p.m.

Volume 1, Number 111, Circulation 20,000
Printed September 28, 2012

Slingshot Newspaper
A publication of Long Haul
Office: 3124 Shattuck Avenue
Mailing: PO Box 3051, Berkeley, CA 94703
Phone (510) 540-0751 • • fucking twitter @slingshotnews

Circulation Information
Subscriptions to Slingshot are free to prisoners, low income and anyone in the USA with a Slingshot Organizer, or $1 per issue or back issue. International $3 per issue. Outside the Bay Area we’ll mail you a free stack of copies if you give them out for free. Each envelope is one lb. (9 copies) — let us know how many envelopes you want. In the Bay Area, pick up copies at Long Haul or Bound Together Books in SF.

Slingshot Free stuff
We’ll send you a random assortment of back issues of Slingshot for the cost of postage: Send $3 for 2 lbs. Free if you’re an infoshop or library. Also, our full-color coffee table book about People’s Park is free or by sliding scale donation: send $1 – $25 for a copy. / Box 3051 Berkeley, 94703.

If last issue on mailing label says #111, contact us or be deleted!

Please note: If you handwrite an address here and drop it into a post box, it will not magically get delivered for free. Instead, it will get returned to Slingshot and the post office will charge us $2.50 per copy.