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Last Exit Magazine « Issue 14 Editors' Note

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[published: April 16, 2009]

Issue 14 Editors' Note

Revolution

The most famous line attributed to the feminist/anarchist Emma Goldman is some version of the statement, “If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be in your revolution.” The exact wording of that line changes depending on the source, but it never loses its power. There’s something strangely mystic about its sentiment. It makes a rebellion both transformative and romantic seem possible.

Unfortunately, Goldman never actually said it. Instead, a portion of her writing was extracted, condensed and made perfect for t-shirts and bumper stickers and buttons. Oh well.

Even if she never actually said it, there’s still something great about the most famous line we wish Goldman had uttered. After all, a revolution is in many ways a celebration. At the anti-war march on Wall Street earlier this month—one of three protests we documented for this issue—demonstrators were dressed in costumes, playing horns, banging drums and chanting. At times it felt like a protest interwoven with Mardi Gras. At the protests of the G20 summit in London, photographer Armando Ribeiro describes a “carnival-like nature” of the “G20 Meltdown” protest group.

Revolution is not always violent. It is not always bloody. It’s about a triumph of spirit. It’s about overthrowing the old ways, sure, but it’s also about rejoicing in new ideas, new voices, a new future.

James Ledbetter doesn’t think the renewed interest in Karl Marx signals an impending move towards socialism. But he wonders whether people are afraid that Marx might have been right all along.

Berlin-based photographer Gordon Welters documented the clash between demonstrators and police at the protests of the 60th anniversary NATO summit in Strasbourg, France.

In New York City, photographer Jon Vachon followed protesters as they marched on Wall Street to mark the anniversary of a famous anti-war speech by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Armando Ribeiro found the “Financial Fouls Day” protest that preceded the G20 summit in London to be mostly peaceful, despite media warnings that it would be wrapped in general chaos.

Last Exit co-editor Keach Hagey speaks with Zachary Mexico about the Far East bohemian underground that he details in his new book, China Underground.

Though she appreciates a lot of the work featured in the New Museum’s triennial show, The Generational: Younger than Jesus, Cynthia Daignault feels the “focus on the inspired genius of the young, gifted and beautiful” is getting a bit tiresome.

Count Anne Dailey among the foodies who are embracing homemade sauerkraut, not just for its bold flavors, but also for the way it is helping to usher in a new way we think about eating.

David Grocott explores the history of public relations in terrorism and traces its origins back to a hijacking in 1970 when Richard Nixon lost a PR battle to Palestinian rebels.

—The Editors