Electronic Beat #4 Amerika Online

In the Factory: Cultural Workers Do Their Thang

Mark Amerika

So the message is loud and clear: raise consciousness, or as Nancy Peters said in a panel called "The Factory: Poetry Tomes & Hagiographies," "make it personal-poetic-political." And not neccesarily in that order (any order will do, as will creative amalgamation).

Whether you're brewing ideas in the groovy Beatnik kitchen or raising consciousness-cane in the wild fields of cyberspace, the objective of all Cultural Workers is to develop a continuous, do-it-yourself, grassroots campaign for optimum actualization of our Bill of Rights. The Beats and their various branches of the Cultural Services Office have always been leading spokesmen and spokeswomen demanding us the right to say, act, do and be whatever the fuck we want to. Gregory Corso was right when he said Ginsberg is amazing in his ability to freely express his love of young boys without the least bit of backlash from the moral cops who continually try to imprison us in the dark recesses of their fundamentalist hell. This fight will grow even more now as the Big Convergence in our Telecommunications Industry begins to become a living, breathing, right-in-your-face reality (no longer Virtual, but Consciously Seductive).

This is Amerika and consciousness is going on-line. Your audience, the other Cultural Workers who make this space the most important free-thinking zone ever documented in the history of civilized society, will want to navigate their way into the repository of work you have stored at that vanity domain you came up with so as to share your creative workscene. The names I usually use to attract attention to my hyperdocuments are Amerika, Avant-Pop, Black Ice and Grammatron. Ginsberg called his filing cabinets things like FYPC (an acronym for faded yellow press clippings), Dope and Death & Asshole. What will your public access files be called?

The big lesson about the Ginsberg conference/party trib-fest is that changing the curve of culture is brought about by changing consciousness and changing consciousness is achieved by challenging the norms of thinking, creating, acting, being, doing, etc. Smoking pot is one way to decentralize your uniformed vision. Sexual experimentation, whether you're rolling around the football field with some exotic wrestler or sucking as much cock and pussy one mouth can handle, will also change consciousness. It will change your politics (and if you have a negative reaction to the way it changes you you can always go Republican).

But more important than all of this is what you create, produce and distribute and how you go about it. One of the main reasons the Beats were able to flourish was because the underground print scene was so hot, it was hard for the mainstream media not to try and put their hands all over it (were the media trying to cool it down or were they just branding themselves and their generation something countercultural?). Now, whereas it's true that the underground print scene is still active and interesting, it is not quite as hot as it was then. EVERYONE knows that the battle for free-expression, all in the name of expanding consciousness, is happening in the electronic pop media, that is, digital culture.

As we begin to focus our attention on the upcoming software and programming releases from the huge multi- national corporate conglomerations, we need to keep in mind that right now, at this very instant, we, the people of the United States of Amerika, are writing into law the policy rules and (de)-regulations that will determine whether we're about to enter an age of heretofore unheard of free- thought expression, or are falling into the abyss of techno-fascist mind control (perpetrated by the likes of all your Religious Right friends taking over the Republican Party!).

Even as I write these thoughts down in the form of some self-actualized internet domain-rant (Alternative-X), I can see that some of the things I've been suggesting here veer toward the judgmental and I'm not comfortable playing that role. So it's always wild to see how the world is never quite as clear as we'd like it to be and that just when you thought you had it all figured out, something throws the Entire Process back into question. For example, the one self-described Republican at the Ginsberg conference, mother of three with happy hubby at home somewhere out of state, was clearly the most promiscuous attendee of the event. She was alone and said she was only interested in making physical contact with strangers. As many strangers as she could find. And apparently she found many to interact with.

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