What a bizarre, intense and upsetting month it’s been, hasn’t it?
I wanted to give you all a brief update on my life and work.
I’m pleased to announce the upcoming publication of a new zine, “Beyond the Concrete Milkshake: Tactics for Dealing with Media Trolls & Grifters.”
At the beginning of the year, I announced on Patreon that one of my goals for 2020 was the creation of a zine. I’ve made great progress and intend to publish by late March or early April.
One side effect of the first few years of the Donald Trump administration, with all its associated increase in far-right activity, is a hijacking of Leftist tactics for use by fascist causes. One clear example is the banner drop. Once beloved primarily by far left activists, this technique now sees regular groups by nazi and hyper-nationalist fascist groups. So too it is with the media grifter.
This is just a short note to say thank you to all my supporters. I’ve just upgraded this homepage, Approximately 8,000 Words (a.k.a. kitoconnell.com), to a dedicated Wordpress hosting plan.
What this means is that my website should be faster and more reliable, with less downtime. It also gives me room to grow, if I decide to expand the site. I hope to bring you a lot of important, exciting, and enlightening stories in 2018 and I’m taking some time this month to take care of some behind-the-scenes fixes like this.
I couldn’t do this without the backing of my supporters. Thank you so much for making it possible to bring you my words and my reporting each month.
Austin has many street artists, but few of them are as ubiquitous as “Sleep.”
Sleep, also known as Sleep is Famous, appears everywhere you look on our streets. His iconic image, an old-fashioned TV with rabbit-ear antenna and tiny stick figure feet, clings onto road signs, subverts fossil fuel advertising, and escapes from fires on Walmart emergency exits.
The artist behind Sleep is Famous remains mysterious and anonymous by choice, but he was willing to answer a few questions by email after I approached him about my Gonzo Giveaway. Sleep moved a few years ago from Seattle, where the very first Sleep TVs were doodles he created while he struggled in an artistic rut.
Are you part of The Cats Cult?
If you pay attention, and you know how to look, you can almost see their feline mind control rays washing over us, embedded in the WiFi signals. Every time your friend shows you an adorable cat .gif, the cult sinks its tendrils a little more into your consciousness.
I discovered The Cats Cult the way I discover many of my favorite artists — while on a long walk around Austin, a city that is highly decorated with graffiti, wheatpastes, murals, stickers and all forms of street art. The bright colors and psychedelic style attracted me to the image: an orange tom cat, third eye open, apparently wearing a red t-shirt and taking a selfie, all framed by a mystical triangle and the hashtag #catscult.
Don’t say I never give you anything.
My friend, the anarchist author scott crow, recently approached me to let me know that he has copies of his books to give away, and I realized this would be a perfect holiday gift for my Gonzo Insiders.
Anyone who signs up on my Patreon as a Gonzo Insider (or at one of the higher levels) before December 1st will get free copy of “Emergency Hearts, Molotov Dreams: A scott crow Reader.”
This 2016 collection brings together fascinating interviews about a range of topics that are more current than ever, including anarchy, cooperatives, police brutality, prisons, animal liberation, environmental justice, surveillance and political movements. Also included is my conversation with scott, originally published at Firedoglake, where we discussed the rise and fall of the Occupy Wall Street movement and the lessons that can be learned by future movements.