Why I wrote a fake Hakim Bey book 1/3

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


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

Subject:Why I wrote a fake Hakim Bey book 1/3

WHY I WROTE A FAKE HAKIM BEY BOOK
AND HOW I CHEATED THE CONFORMISTS OF ITALIAN "COUNTERCULTURE"

by Luther Blissett

A. The wonders of creation

...In order to get on and improve the relations between the masses and the=
leaders, we must keep the valve of self-criticism open, we must enable the=
soviet men to scold their leaders and criticize their failures, so that the=
leaders do not become presumptuous and the masses do not leave the leaders.
Josif Stalin, 1923=20

Since last April all good Italian bookshops are selling A Ruota Libera -=
Miseria del lettore di TAZ [more or less: "Loose from all restraint - On=
the poverty of the TAZ readership"], a collection of pieces by Hakim Bey=
published by Castelvecchi (Rome). Multitudes of fans of that notorious guru=
of 1990's counterculture bought the book (which has quickly sold out). The=
left-wing press reviewed it enthusiastically. Concurrent publishers have=
gone off their nuts and charged the publisher and the editor/translator=
(the mysterious Fabrizio P. Belletati - born in Caserta 1969, now living in=
Nottingham, UK) with "uncorrectness" for having copyrighted "texts freely=
circulating on the Net". None realized that A Ruota Libera is apocryphal,=
nay, no more euphemisms!, it is FAKE.
"Fabrizio P. Belletati" doesn't exist. I, Luther Blissett, wrote A Ruota=
Libera. It is not a mere parody of Beyan writings, rather, it's been a way=
of testing how gullible and tardy is the average buyer and/or reviewer of=
cyber-crap, and how believable is the output of an overestimated "santon"=
whose anal orifice, just as anybody's butthole, spouts ordinary shit=
instead of gold.

A Ruota Libera includes:
--- A preface by "Belletati". ('This book is a selection of articles and=
essays by Hakim Bey, written during the period 1993-95, previously=
untranslated into Italian [...] Why have I "invented" for the Italian=
market a book that does not yet exist in the USA? Maybe I had to wait for=
the author himself to improve and collect his writings, didn't I? As=
always, the reason is one of the several "Italian" anomalies, i.e. the=
surprising untimeliness of Bey's critical success in Italy [...] Shortly=
before, during and immediately after the publication of TAZ...Hakim Bey was=
actually without interlocutors: the reviews of his major theoretical work=
were marked by an uproarious "greed for novelties" and a passive admiration=
of Bey's syncretic acrobatics. The main result was a depressing=
banalization of his positions, which in many ways were mistaken for those=
"cyber-gnostic" ideas which Bey explicitly detests. Bey appears to be the=
first person to complain about these foolishly new-agey or pseudo-cyberpunk=
interpretations [...] Luckily enough, this trend has recently been=
inverted. An useful, indeed indispensable critique of Bey's theories is=
revealing itself and retro-acting on his latest texts [... quick overview=
of the things written by John Zerzan, the Neoist Alliance, the London=
Psychogeographical Association and the Berlin-based magazine Super!=
Bierfront...] Apparently, this is only the beginning: Hakim Bey is no=
longer so awfully trendy, he isn't deemed as an untouchable santon any=
longer. This doesn't mean that his bias on the countercultural debate is=
going to end; rather, the understanding of his next pieces will be easier=
than before, also thanks to the rudiments of "immediatist self-criticism"=
which he is inserting. And as to Italy? Here is necessary to bring the=
debate up-to-date, because we're still facing the long rambling speech on=
the TAZs: "Geez, this party really seems to be a TAZ!", "Hey, won't you=
come down at the TAZ in the squatted centre?"...That's why I decided to=
publish these texts...which provide us with a complete picture of Bey's=
theories, here and now, without enervating and useless waits.')=20
--- A few lark-mirrors, i.e. true and "serious" (as well as questionable)=
Bey's texts: "PAZ", "Media Creed For The Fin De Siecle", "Primitives & Extr=
opians";
--- Some true, ludicrous Bey's texts - shameful bullshit, newagey nonsense:=
"Evil Eye", "Moorish Weather Report".
--- Some interesting (as well as questionable) apocrypha, things that Bey=
would write if his ideas were clear enough:
a) "Fart Strike", in which "Bey" suddenly changes his (banally=
pro-situationist) position on art and the Art Strike 1990-93;
b) "Albigensis Postscript", actually "A Conspectus On The Evolution Of=
Cyberspace", a text by the London Psychogeographical Association, with such=
ludicrous inserts as a reference to one Lee Mortais (which sounds like "Li=
Morte'!!!" [...your deads!], i.e. a Roman insult meaning "[Fuck] the souls=
of your dead parents!") as well as a mega-stupid final roller-coaster ride;
c) "On The Poverty Of The TAZ Readership", which does not break the promise=
of its title. Since I imitated the style of Italian translations of Bey's=
writings, any translation "back" into English would betray the text. It's a=
pity. Anyway, the piece is a radical critique of Bey's fans.
--- apocryphal crap, indifferently swallowed by the readers, which proves=
that the "new underground" conformist posers would believe anything:
a) "An Immediatist Self-criticism" (actually a 1926 Stalin's speech, which I=
had slightly altered without softening its arrogant, authoritative tone);
b) An appendix to "Evil Eye" entitled "Toccarsi le palle" [Touching One's=
Own Balls], which I couldn't comment without getting sick of my own laughte=
rs!
c) "Outdated Media", i.e. a hasty critique to the Internet which culminates=
in a ludicrous yearning for the good old smoke signals and carrier-pigeons;
--- A real piece by John Zerzan, 'Hakim Bey, Postmodern "Anarchist"'.
In one word, a crapbook.

I parodized Bey's style (which is one part Hippy bullshit and cheap oriental=
trinkets, one part post-Structuralism and pithily intricacies, one part=
cyber-crap), forced its ambiguity, made use of any banal rethoric=
expedient. I also stuffed the texts with fake translator's notes (pointing=
out various untranslatable puns) and persian and arabian words. At last, I=
created "Fabrizio P. Belletati", who sent all the stuff to Castelvecchi.=
Castelvecchi deemed the texts as "extremely disputable, but worth=
publishing" (not too bad if Luther cheated even one of his/her publishers=
and spokesmen: not even Gerry Adams knew that the IRA was going to explode=
the Canary Wharf bomb!). As an ultimate hoax, I copyrighted the texts -=
Italian "translations" of unexisting anti-copyright English texts.=
Eventually the book has been published and positively reviewed, the prank=
was successful. As a side effect, the entire operation raised panic in the=
"underground" scene.

B. It's the press, baby!

A "white radical" is three parts bullshit and one part hesitation.
Up Against The Wall Motherfucker, 1968=20

The left-wing press welcomed A Ruota Libera with fanfares and flourishing=
trumpets. On Friday, April 26th B.V. (Benedetto Vecchi) reviewed the book=
on "Il Manifesto" (whose heading contains the phrase "communist newspaper")=
and published several excerpts from "Media Creed For The Fin de Siecle".=
Here is the end of B.V.'s masterpiece, which was entitled: 'Hakim Bey:=
Self-consciousness of the "underground" scene' : "...This Bey's book=
published by Castelvecchi replies to fans and detractors. Bey's=
provocations are the right way to take a different look at this 'too-late-C=
apitalism', which is how he describes the post-modern age. A book worth=
devouring, thanks also to Belletati's introduction, which describes in=
details what happens to that jovial Sufi master".

To be continued... 1/3

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Emergence della Wo/Men Gemeinwesen

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