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Mar/Apr 2001 issue (#50)


'60s Dream Lives On

Party Troopers

Suit Filed Against George W. Bush

"Friends in High Places"

Baby Bush Bombs Baghdad

Don't Put the Utilities Back in Charge

Biblically-Grounded Movements For Progressive Change In Washington

How to Run for City Council

Mad Cow: Coming to the U.S.?

Monoculture and Mad Cows

Itching to Ride Light Rail

Is Work Killing You?

Escaping the Globalized Gym

Seattle's Clattering Poets

A Puppetista Manifesto

Living Outside Empire

Don't Put the Utilities Back in Charge

ACORN's Falling

Social Transformation Explained? Technogod

Spokane Free-speech Battle


Reader Mail


Urban Work

Media Beat

Nature Doc

Rad Videos

Do Something!

Reel Underground

A Puppetista Manifesto

Itinerant garbage theatre for cultural insurrection

from AgitProp free email newsletter

I. Against the backdrop of the tightly controlled consumer compliance industry and the unilateral bombardment of corporate mass media, the arts become commercial commodity, or, if they refuse to serve this system, criminalized, incarcerated, or destroyed.

From the quagmire of complacency and the garbage that it produces, the puppet emerges and finds its poignant paper mache voice.

II. Puppetry has existed for longer than anyone cares to remember.

It is an anarchic art, rooted in mockery, a ridiculous gesture towards the absurdity of the established order. It is the unique ability of the clown to laugh in the face of the king.

It is equally rooted in the Festival, where a community comes together to present for each other a Pageant—an enactment of a common struggle. Effigies are created representing otherwise abstract adversaries: thunderstorms, institutional industrialization, drought, biotechnology, famine, and corporate global domination enforced by a constantly expanding military complex; beasts that terrorize and induce fear.

Through a ritualistic confrontation with these elements, citizens are empowered to take on these forces, psychologically, and then physically, while acheiving a spiritual elevation that resonates into daily existance. With the newfound power acquired from the Pageant, the citizens have rehearsed for the inevitable uprooting of the evils that threaten their livliehoods.

III. Puppets are intentionally ugly against the glittery status quo, and inherantly worthless in the eyes of the money economy. They are summoned from the garbage to serve a purpose, ultimately returning to the garbage.

Cultural insurrection will never aspire to the narrow confines of the vacuous pit of the standardized, easy-to-swallow arenas of the entertainment machine. On the sidewalk, in the basement, behind the couch, cultural insurrection utilizes any acceptable or illegal venues for the proliferation of its radical puppetganda. The streets are littered with potential puppet shows and potential puppeteers.

IV. By rescuing puppet theater from the shiny black boxes, by returning it to its roots as a theater of action, we are able to reimagine the possibility of life instead of mere survival inside of the system.

The authorities of the media/cop state have been uncharacteristically correct in their portrayal of the puppet as a weapon, for the puppet is indeed a powerful tool to reshape individual minds, and by extension, an entire society.

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