Why I wrote a fake Hakim Bey book 3/3

Robert (101607.2566@CompuServe.COM)
14 Aug 96 03:36:01 EDT


---------- Forwarded Message ----------

From: Luther Blissett, INTERNET:nav0243@iperbole.bologna.it
To: (unbekannt), INTERNET:INVISIBLE-COLLEGE@JEFFERSON.VILLAGE.VIRGINIA.EDU
CC: (unbekannt), INTERNET:AVANT-GARDE@JEFFERSON.VILLAGE.VIRGINIA.EDU
(unbekannt), INTERNET:AUT-OP-SY@JEFFERSON.VILLAGE.VIRGINIA.EDU
Date: 13.08.1996 19:39

Subject:Why I wrote a fake Hakim Bey book 3/3

Summer 1995: Ripostes announced they were going to publish Adelfio's=
translation of Radio Sermonettes. According to some informers, ShaKe got=
pissed-off and hastily translate the same book. November 1995: bookstores=
got the two editions on the same day! Peter Lamborn Wilson a.k.a. Hakim=
Bey sent an undated fax to the Salernitan guys:
"Dear Ugo & Romano (et alii), ...thanks for a marvellous job on Immediatism=
- It's very weird to me to be taken seriously! - I wish I could read the=
apparatus criticus..."
I got a copy of this by Ugo. At the beginning of 1996, Gomma & Co. were told=
that Adelfio was translating Pirate Utopias as well. They contacted Wilson=
and urged him to intervene. Wilson sent another undated fax:
"Dear Ugo...please communicate with ShaKe in Milan because they are also=
working on Pirate Utopias!!! Talk to Goma [sic] or Sid. I'm sorry this=
confusion arose. Maybe you can work together! Sid just started work on tran=
slating..."
I got a copy of this by ShaKe. (They made a lot of stuff public in order to=
claim their exclusive "right"!) Anyway, at that moment, Ugo was aware that=
ShaKe had cut out a passage of the book, so he didn't want to cooperate=
with any of them. On April 24th, Wilson sent a fax to ShaKe:
"Dear Sid & Goma [sic]...you can tell [Adelfio] - or anyone - that you are=
the only authorized translator and publisher of Pirate Utopias in Italy.=
Any other translation or edition is unauthorized & I will take legal steps=
to prevent its appearance or sale..."
Consider that the text we're talking about is anti-copyright! After ShaKe=
received this, they forwarded it to Ripostes attaching a similar threat. At=
last, Adelfio sent a fax to Wilson:
"Dear Peter... Our intents are not connected to copyright and we want to=
stigmatize the disquieting behaviour of neo-copyrightist paranoid Italian=
publishers. We don't want to start a merchandising war. Our intentions are=
clear, the cure for our version of Immediatism! demonstrates it. [The=
omission of your definition about Che Guevara] shows what they really are:=
red fascists, ther usual passe' expression of Italian leftist hegemonical=
cultural control disguised as alternative cyberpunk!...For this reason we=
did not want to cooperate with them...Are you a sponsor of the=
neo-copyright movement?".
Wilson never replied. In plain words, Bey was ready to bring to court people=
whose only fault was having "taken him seriously" and put into practice all=
the 1990's idle talk on anti-copyright. Accidentally, they had found out=
Wilson's opportunism (stalinoid self-censorship - I hadn't gone so far! :))
Again, is it my fault if ShaKe didn't realize that A Ruota Libera was a=
fake? Those guys used to brag of their direct link with Hakim Bey or=
pontificate as if they knew the Internet like the back of their hands...And=
yet they didn't notice that "the original English versions of these texts,=
which circulated only via E-mail" (as "Belletati" wrote) simply DON'T=
EXIST! Why didn't they ask to the supposed author? Why didn't they search=
for the texts on Alta Vista, Yahoo and the likes? No, Sir, they only wanted=
to slander, calumniate, backbite Castelvecchi and Adelfio, insult=
"Belletati"... They FORCED me to con them, so I contacted Luther Blissett=
of the Nottingham Psychogeographical Unit (COM3FASSID@ntu.ac.uk) and=
proposed him to play "Belletati". He began to write and/or ring up Gomma,=
obnoxiously trying to tranquillize him, then insulting him. Gomma would=
wail over that behaviour, that's why everybody kept believing "Belletati"=
to be a real person ("Who the fuck is this Belletati? His letters are total=
crap! He's gotta be mad!"). Every complaint by Gomma became a further pound=
of shit thrown in the fan.=20

D. The scam exposed

...A little more like Italy where only drivers who sharpen their skills surv=
ive.
Jello Biafra, 1987

The previous three sections of the text you are reading are an English=
translation of the communique by which I revealed my scam in the second=
week of July 1996. I sent it via fax and snail-mail to as many zines as I=
could, then put it in digital form on many BBSs and mailing lists. I sent=
it to the press as well. Many "post-cyber-anarcho-situ-hippie-punk-bullshit=
" clap-trap leftist poseurs in the "alternative scene" freaked out, many=
more started laughing and haven't yet stopped! When the first article=
appeared on a national newspaper ("Una beffa a ruota libera", by Loredana=
Lipperini, on La Repubblica, 7/20/1996), some said that "the dirty linen of=
the movement shouldn't be washed in public" (which sounds like a sort of=
Mafia ideal). The most stupid victim of the prank, that is Angelo=
Quattrocchi, got totally out of control. Soaked in his lofty anti-tech=
dream, he was the only journalist who didn't bump into my communique.=
Someone passed on him a copy of Lipperini's article, which he got as the=
only gateway to my prank. Instead of taking the piece as a secondary=
source, he assumed that was an anti-communist scam by his colleague,=
indeed, a vile provocation by "the bourgeois press", maybe favoured by=
Luther's verbal incontinence.=20
On Wednesday, July 24th "Liberazione" published an ultramoronic article by=
Quattrocchi [entitled "C'e' Stalin in un testo underground e allora 'La=
Repubblica' gode" =3D "La Repubblica is excited in finding Stalin in an=
underground text"]. Geez! Quattrocchi wrote that A Ruota Libera was not=
fake and attacked both Lipperini (whom he also mispelt as "Lipparini") and=
Blissett for "having craped in his nest" (uh?!)! On the following day,=
Lipperini replied and demolished Quattrocchi: "[...] Everyone approved at=
the prank on Mondadori. Should everyone take offence now that Luther has=
given a blow to counterculture? This is an unpleasant signal [...]". Two=
days later, "Il Manifesto" published a whole-page article on the prank by=
Alberto Piccinini [entitled: "La beffa e le miserie di Lee Mortais" =3D The=
prank and the poverty of Lee Mortais], which exposed the whole matter of=
censorship, anti-copyright, conformism etc. The article contained this=
passage: "[this prank] is a further proof of Luther Blissett's fascinating=
and admirable capability of keeping his "fifth columns" [i.e. spies] in the=
media".=20
Many "representatives" of the Italian "radical scene" said that my prank was=
"beneficial", at least "useful" in order to destroy "some putrescent=
mechanicisms of myth-making and literary criticism" (S. Dazieri). On August=
9th, during an interview on the public radio, Bifo criticized some aspects=
of the prank but added that "Blissett's operation is extraordinary". As to=
ShaKe, they reacted bearing a deep grudge against "me". Gomma was sighted=
in a Milan social centre yelling: "I think I know who had a hand in this!=
I'll smash their faces in!". Well, "we" can physically humiliate him at any=
moment. Choose your seconds and come tomorrow at 5 o'clock behind the=
graveyard. I've chosen (and already used) the weapon: your touchiness. =20

Luther Blissett, August 1996

End 3/3

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