Introduction – slingshot issue #110

Note: our computer is not allowing us to include apostrophes in the text, so we have removed all apostrophes from the following text:

Slingshot is an independent radical newspaper published in Berkeley since 1988.

Oppositional politics is both boring and, right now, plentiful. What is more rare is searching for a window into new values, motivations, assumptions and sources of meaning. The new world has to give us something to live for. Our alternative projects can thrive, but only when the process of building something revolutionary is as fun, nourishing and meaningful as the end result and when our projects feed our own lives. Politics without heart is just perpetuating the mainstream systems we re trying to topple.

The new ways of living we re creating transcend the consuming and owning we re used to and bring us closer to a way of living that s ecologically sustainable — tracking the rhythms of the seasons and our own hearts, not 60 megahertz computer circuitry. We are forced into straight lines and easy-to-follow storylines, but when life is really important and intense, it is usually random, taking wild and absurd twists and turns. Some of the wild times we all go through is reflected in some of the pages that follow.

And another thing. Given the increasingly strange weather recently — tangible evidence that human emissions of greenhouse gases are disrupting the earth s climate — shouldn t there be riots in the streets or blockades of oil refineries and coal mines, or some hint that folks are worried and demanding a transition away from fossil fuel dependence? Instead, private industry is leading a massive oil, gas and coal investment boom while efforts to build solar or wind alternatives are declaring bankruptcy. The market won t save us, and in fact its increasing domination is bringing ecological collapse.

The will to fight like our life depended on it comes from giving a shit about the people and eco-systems around us and the simple pleasure of being alive to enjoy a warm afternoon. What s it gonna be?

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This issue we debated a proposal to get a Slingshot twitter and facebook account. We have not been first-adopters of new technology because most of the time the newest thing is just another tool used to make us dependent and numb. We re committed to doing as much as we can to emphasize human beings, human needs and human passion. This means being engaged with ourselves, face-to-face with others around us, and with the earth. We ve noticed that always staring into a screen doesn t make us feel happy. . . .

It is hard to figure out the right balance in the modern world. We don t want to be forced to rely on each new gadget, but the point is to enrich our lives and empower people, not mindlessly strive to be some kind of techno-purist. At what point are tools so integrated into society and so helpful that avoiding their use is just silly?

Some folks in the collective argued that if you hate malls, you don t want to open a store in one — it gives credibility to the mall. After going around and around, we decided against facebook, but for getting a twitter account as an experiment to see if it helps us communicate in new ways. Let us know what you think or how we should use these tools.

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The center poster depicts a tree-being escaping from the splint of state conditioning proclaiming the splendor of an eternal struggle — à la the Arab Spring and beyond. Revolution never stops.

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, Ben, Claire, Darin, Eggplant, Gina, Holiday, Jesse, Joey, Jonathon, Kathryn, Kazoo, Kermit, Nuclear Winter, 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 August 26, 2012 at 4 p.m. at the Long Haul in Berkeley (see below.)

Article Deadline & Next Issue Date

Submit your articles for issue 111 by September 15, 2012 at 3 p.m.

Volume 1, Number 110, Circulation 19,000

Printed April 13, 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. (8 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.

Other 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. We also have surplus copies of the 2012 Organizer available free to a good home. Email or call us: / Box 3051 Berkeley, 94703.