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Episode Twelve – To Put it Delicately

The Brilliant Podcast
The Brilliant
Episode Twelve - To Put it Delicately

In this episode, we respond to some of the wonderful feedback, suggestions, and questions we’ve received from listeners – there is actually so much that we weren’t able to get to all of it in this episode and will follow up on it in the next. We are asked about issues of race; discuss how we have very different backgrounds related to this issue; and end up talking about the importance of, and our frustration with, the way discussions of race are framed in North America. Bellamy addresses some feedback about how FRR was better than his current podcast, leading A! to talk about what it looks like to do meaningful projects in our context. A! responds to criticism of an essay he wrote in the past, connecting it to genocide. Finally, Bellamy escapes a dramatically read critique by filibustering.

Recorded on November 13th, 2015

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0:45: Bellamy’s same old intro – new one on the way for #14.

2:27: The gap of alienation didn’t actually close; torpor – A!’s lack of support for B

3:10: This episode is for the People because the People speak

4:45: Response to e-mail asking us about race; Bellamy complains about local humans; A!’s piece “Non-European Anarchism; limits of North American conversations about race and the term POC; A! “put[s] it delicately”; growing up with good old-fashioned justifications for genocide.

15:00: Beginning conversations about race differently; accusation as time-management; realpolitik vs. complex conversations about race; Bellamy: honkey phallosopher; A! Gets heckled IRL for blogging; framing trumps actual discourse and ideas in most conversations.

22:06: Some friendly trash-talk from The Unterrified; Bellamy already a setting sun at age 28, alongside the ossified A!; The Brilliant is “artsy-fartsy”; How could someone doubt us!?! We are doing things!!; we are not those people, the terrible people with the terrible ideas; Bellamy went from authentic to pompous.

31:55: Benett Freeman on A!’s “Locating An Indigenous Anarchism”; A! gives his first performative reading; Geist and racial realism; genocide as lack of knowledge, death of stories.

38:55: A! gives a second dramatic reading, clearly enjoying himself; Tecumseh, well-known critic of Bellamy; Bellamy gives a near-monologue of seven minutes(!); you might say I’m a casual reifier, not a professional one; ideas as raising banners or being angry about them; A! not-so-subtly implies his perspective is more mature, nuanced than Bellamy’s ardent, naïve one.


@news on episode 11
Non-European Anarchism
Locating an Indigenous Anarchism

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  1. Some clarifications and an addition:

    1. When judging The Brilliant, I was doing so only on the basis of the first 4 or 5 episodes. I have since revised my opinion, and find much to love and hate in nearly all subsequent episodes.

    2. The site ‘Consentient’ is the work of myself alone, and so people should not judge Entito Sovrano by anything I write there. Most of the judgments discussed in the above episode of The Brilliant are only the opinion of myself and not him, just as in the last episode of The Unterrified, Entito seemed to accept Bellamy’s position about gender where as I do not, and am happy to be labelled as sounding binary on the matter.

    3. I used the term ‘artsy-artsy’ to mean that I couldn’t really see the point in the podcast, and that I perceived it as mired in references I had no context for, and none was really offered in the podcast. I realise now that one of the reasons I couldn’t understand it was that it is, as proclaimed above, very much a locally-relevant project. I had little or no knowledge of the ‘US anarchist milieu’ outside of publicised events and published writings. Based on my existing knowledge of it, I had never previously desired to know more about it, and after listening to A and B’s descriptions of it, and reading threads such as those that fell out of the Bob Black/Eliot debacle, I feel even less inclined to explore it. If I had to summarise my (perhaps wholly ignorant) impression of US anarchism in general, I would say that it is too focused in on what it perceives as its milieu, without resolving any of the seismic differences in values and principles.

    So when I listened to the early episodes, especially the first two, I found myself similarly lost as I am when engaging with the likes of Baudrillard, Foucault, and (sometimes) Debora, where I either don’t understand it, or don’t see the point. Again, I don’t really feel this way anymore.

    The term had nothing to do with the use of music or production values, btw.

    4. Re: Aragorn’s quoting of my response to ‘Indigenous Anarchism’, I’m afraid you’ve misunderstood my meaning completely. I don’t think that ‘Africans’ should be relocated to ‘Africa’. I think both concepts are meaningless. There are no features common to all those labelled as ‘African’ that are not also common to some labelled as ‘Swedish’, and there is no clear boundary between the territorial polity known as ‘Africa’ and any other neighbouring one. Therefore, to my mind, let’s look at actual referents, and try to move past geist. Geist is tearing ‘Africa’ apart. If we look at ‘Kenya’ as one example, we see tribal identities (Kikuyu, Masai, Lamunian), religious geists, neocolonial relics, and other strange and fantastic heists being evoked in almost any conversation about ethics and behaviour relating to this area. And no improvement can be made in the lives of any of the individuals concerned as a result.

    Therefore my aim (which I clearly failed at) was to suggest that THERE ARE NO AFRICANS, OR ‘NATIVE AMERICANS’. There are just people. I don’t understand the reification of indigineity at all.

    Or perhaps I’ve totally misunderstood it, after reading the essay, a few related ones, and listening to long monologues from Aragorn on the matter?

    I’m someone that heavily prefers direct communication to citation and implication, which is why I wrote several messages to you (Aragorn) long before I ever spoke about you to anyone else. That you did not reply (presumably due to being too busy) was not a factor on my lack of interest in the first four episodes, or on my enjoyment of the later ones, but it did mean that we did not have a chance to discuss these ideas directly and therefore I think it was a missed chance for both of us to not misunderstand one another.

    5. I know that you tend to inject a lot of humour into the topic headings, but do you really thing ‘trash talk’ is appropriate? My understanding of the term (also largely American in usage) is that it represents words spoken so that the recipient does not perform well in a game, be it football or basketball or poker. I promise you that I wish only good things for both A and B.

    I look forward to Episode 13. 🙂

  2. Fanon Fanon

    Hey Bellamy,

    are you aware that John Z. mentioned you in the latest anarchy radio show and scoffed at your death drive remark? Has your relationship with him changed as well?

    • Yeah, calling someone ‘goofball of the week’ is pretty stupid, really.

      • Rufous H. Byrd Rufous H. Byrd

        One of my favorites he replays, paraphrased a bit:

        B: what we call ‘ego’ is a host of relations in the world…

        JZ: If, as Bellamy says, there’s nothing but the free-floating ego…

        JZ seems incapable of listening, much less hearing through the ideology. But then again I’m probably acting out a ‘textbook case’ of nihilistpostmodernegoistindividualist just for noticing.

    • Bellamy Bellamy

      Yes, I am aware. Since it started several months ago, JZ has and continues to find fulfillment in taking my comments out of context and/or making strawmen out of them. He ignores my efforts to speak to him directly. I don’t understand any of these choices, as I’ve told him and stated publicly – it seems to be a perfect example of the bad faith inter-anarchist communication he regularly decries.

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