(Eng) MADNESS

Jay (jay@user1.channel1.com)
Mon, 12 Feb 1996 02:12:50 -0500


Hi,
I think that someone on the a-infos list may find the below
information interesting. The following is info about a completely
non-capitalist (no $$$ involved) Web project that I (an a-infos lurker) am
in the process of kicking off. There aren't many graphics on the site yet
(since I have less graphics ability than a squid) and the "community" aspect
of the site is very much in its infancy. I haven't done any sort of
publicity yet, so this will the first time that anyone other than my
immediate circle of has heard about it. I'm sort of hoping that you will
help by populating the community so that it can become something worthwhile
or by adding your two cents in any other way (you'll see what I mean below).

Just so you don't have to ask "who *is* this guy?," my name is Jay
and I'm an organizer, writer and musician who currently lives in Boston. I
used to live in Philly where I was involved with Empty the Shelters and the
other Up and Out of Poverty Now groups there. I also planned a few
political concerts for the Society of Progressive Musicians (SPaM). In
Boston I'm biding my time with Homes Not Jails and will soon be making a
living as a medical guinea pig. I have bushy brown hair, my dad's rotten
sense of humor and a beat-up old Guild hollow body electric guitar that's
nearly a decade older than I am. I've never put together a Web site before,
so please let me know what you think!

Looking forward to hearing from you and PLEASE forward this to
anyone and everyone,

Jay (jay@user1.channel1.com)

***Announcing: MADNESS--a WWW radical political community***

MADNESS is a new, completely free and entirely open political community
on the Web dedicated to expanding the discussion of left-style politics and,
more importantly, to breaking political information free from cyberspace and
using it to achieve real-life social change.

At the center of MADNESS is a metaphor: a weekly story--the Web's premier
work of collaborative, episodic hypertext fiction--in which an apolitical
post-grad moves to NYC to find himself increasingly involved in a fictional
(well, loosely based on fact) East Greenwich Village underground movement
called "the Cabal." The story will be fictional environment in which you
are encouraged try out some of your more progressive theories and contribute
to our characters' political education. Add some background to one of the
characters; create a character's home page; join a group that will write its
own stories based on the main plot. Try out some of your political notions
at "the Node," the organizing center of the Cabal. Every week there will be
a new installment. Every week there will be new ideas and new contributions
by anyone who wants to take part.

In order to encourage real-life discussion of some of the issues that the main
story will address, MADNESS is inviting anyone and everyone to
become part of the MADNESS Web community. I believe that the best
discussions come between folks who know each other personally, and that
one of the best ways to develop a personal contact on the Web is to have
ready access your soon-to-be-friend's home page. MADNESS is therefore
inviting you to allow us to add a link to your home page on our community
list. If you don't have a home page you can create one with my internet
provider's easy-as-pie automatic Web page generator--you don't have to
know anything about HTML--and MADNESS will maintain your page for
you. When the community starts to roll, MADNESS will open several
WebBoard and WebChat discussions of the political issues addressed in the
story or anything else that community members want to talk about.
MADNESS will also be asking the other left-leaning chat areas that I've
come across to let me link them into our discussion so that we may expand
the exchange of information, rather than compete for it. There's no charge for
any of this--MADNESS isn't a closed service or an internet provider or even
its own server. Think of it as a single, personal, mega-home-page. Anyone
may access any part of the story, any of the community members' pages or
any of the discussions. You may *certainly* link your home page to
MADNESS if you belong to any other internet community, and you're
encouraged to link your organization's main page as well. The more the
merrier.

In order to remind us all that the ideas we discuss must translate into
ACTION if they are to mean anything at all, MADNESS is also developing a
"Direct Action Home Page" ("http://www.channel1.com/users/jay/hpdirect.htm")
that will serve as a central database cataloging all of the real-life direct
political action you and I can possibly unearth. MADNESS wants to focus its
energy not on what's wrong with the world but on the ACTION people are
taking to change it. Even if you don't read the story or become part of the
community, MADNESS is asking you to send in information about your
organizations' past, current and future protests, marches, housing
takeovers, street theater, fax-blasting and any another direct action you
take on any front--environmental, human rights, anti-poverty, anti racism,
etc. You may use the form located at
"http://www.channel1.com/users/jay/dirform.htm" to submit the date, time,
place and primary issues addressed in your action. You and your organization
may sometimes feel lonely in what you're doing; you may sometimes feel like
you're the only ones who are taking action to bring about change. The
Direct Action Page will assure you that you are not.

SO, become involved in MADNESS in any way you can. Read the story,
make a home page, add info about your action and, as the good book says,
"Tear down the walls!"

For more info check out MADNESS at

"http://www.channel1.com/users/jay/welcome.htm"

or e-mail Jay at
jay@user1.channel1.com

SPREAD THE WORD!!

P.S. I'm *really* looking for you to help develop the Cabal into something
cool by helping put together its mission statement, resource list and
organizing manual and by conceiving some direct actions that it might take.
All will be fictional, of course, but I believe that giving schemes a dry
run in an ideal environment can only help focus real life organizing efforts.

P.P.S. ***There is but one possible end for he who wants to change the
world: Madness!"--Anonymous***