Thursday, August 03, 2006

Don't worry - I fixed the glaring typo on the poster below before printing. Leaving out the 'w' in 'Brunswick', so that it became 'Brun - sick': a Freudian slip that reveals my repressed inner-eastern suburban disdain for actual, you know, workers, and people of ethnic origin, naturally. As my sister said when I told her this: "Oh, you have got to try this! Goat's cheese and pear [darling]."*

Putting together flyers in the old-fashioned way is quite good fun. 'Satisfying' would be the better word, actually. Ending up with a tangible block of bold, well-designed slips.** Not to mention the process of putting things through the guillotine. That's what the distribution of information on the internet misses out on: putting your hands on things, seeing them in a delimited way. And then devoting hours to travelling time... Printing requiring leg work, for better or worse.

It's a pity the ISO - and indeed most Socialist groups around these parts - aren't more, well, cyber. Selling print newspapers and giving out photocopied flyers: I mean, sure it's valuable to get out of one's 'comfort zone' (ugh what a phrase, its horror could never be constrained, no matter how many quotation marks I use) and be present in the city or, er, Carlton, lest someone wants to know more. But by and large, the truth should be told, that I think we look both silly and implausible when standing around like this. Petitions and rallies and shouting and ... It seems so freaking old-fashioned and inefficient. And 19th century. And reactionary. Best to treat it like compulsory school dancing classes, I think: learning to dance was never the actual aim, merely something the school pretended we were doing while they knew all along that it was the bonds that came from the exercise that were important.

My ideal revolutionary army, were I to found one, would of course look something like this:

* The 'darling' was silent, but present all the same.

** The credit for the design does not lie only with me, I might add - I had the help of a certain Melbourne University Art History student, who shall remain nameless.


Blogger Mark K said...

Catherine, I couldn't agree with you more about this. The old method of public newspaper sales is, I think, now proven to be ineffective, not to mention time-consuming and unnecessary. Of course, much of the working class aren't exactly net-savvy, but then most of the working class aren't buying SW or GLW from street vendors. The Healeyites have been expanding noticeably in Sydney, and I think this is probably entirely due to the quality of their web presence (WSWS), and the fact that they can hand out offprints of the website at rallies for free without charging anything, which is clearly going to mean more propaganda gets distributed.

I used to think the ISO in Aus had an awesome website, but they've recently redesigned it to look more like the SWP's, which has been stuck in the same horrendous format since about 1995. They also commit the horrendous practice of giving access to SW articles only by downloading the whole issue as a pdf.

4:54 am  
Blogger Mike B said...

Yeah the WSWS site is good, their analysis is impressive, until the last few lines of every article. Just unfortunate the strategy they advocate invariably amounts to joining and building their party.

Catherine, selling papers has always been a deal-breaker for me whenever I've thought about joining a group.

12:58 pm  

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