The Volatile Utopian Real Estate Market

by Pat "the bunny" Schneeweis

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This is a short batch of solo songs, prompted by my ongoing reflections on anarchism. I'm still quite young, but most people who get involved with anarchist circles are not still around by the time they're my age (at least in my experience of anarchism in the United States). There are innumerable factors that contribute to this phenomena, but these songs are most generally about the sense of escalating difficulty I experience in determining what the point of anything I do as an anarchist is supposed to be. And I can see how that would be a major factor in people drifting away from anarchism as they grow older.

The revolution is not going to happen, at least not the way people wrote about it in the 1800s. "Building the new world in the shell of the old" demands investing inhuman levels of energy into establishing more-or-less effective models of alternative social values so that they can be stripped for parts by recuperators before being demolished entirely. The charity work anarchists often undertake (Food Not Bombs, bike co-ops, etc) is all nice and friendly stuff, but it is harder and harder for me to convince myself that it is related in any way to the overall project of establishing a world without domination.

Anarchism penetrated my thinking twelve years ago, and no other conception of life has threatened to supplant it since. Yet there is no apparent path from this world to another. I have no solution to this dilema. So these are songs about sticking it out anyway--probably not due to any rationality on my part, but also not just out of stubbornness.

Perhaps what I'm trying to communicate with these songs is that I became an anarchist the way one falls in love, not the way one balances competing arguments in a debate. To be so in love with freedom that everything becomes worth risking for it requires the madness of romance and lust, not the reason of a logician.

Turning away from it all now would be to live a life knowing what passion is, but never permitting myself to experience it. There are many good reasons to believe anarchism is stupid, but I'm not sure anything would be more stupid than living like that.

(Pat "the bunny," November 2013)

Quotes listed with the lyrics of the songs are from texts available on

except for the Andrea Smith quote at the beginning of track four, which is from a talk available to listen to at

This won't come out on CD-R, but it will be pressed onto a new CD collection of all three post-Ramshackle Glory solo releases by Pat "the bunny" (Die The Nightmare, The Mark Inside, plus this one). That CD will come out on New Year's Day.


released November 20, 2013




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Track Name: Times worth living (the tension)
"Anyone who thinks about what freedom actually is, even for a moment, will never again be able to content themselves by simply doing something to slightly extend the freedom of the situations they are living in. From that moment on, they will feel guilty and will try to do something to alleviate their sense of suffering. They will fear they have done wrong by not having done anything till now, and from that moment on their lives will change completely." (Alfredo Bonanno: The Anarchist Tension)

It's too late for me, my friends. Once I gave refuge to the notion, even for a moment, there was no turning back to comfort again. Only a lifetime of defeats, more or less spectacular, so I'll march on to your court dates. I'll gather court dates of my own. I'll miss the ones in prisons and the ones who never made it there.

The ones who said: "Onward, comrades!" to our death, with ruin on their breath, the weight of centuries on their tongues, loading failed manifestos in their guns. As if defeat, repeated often, could someday mean we had won.

Our history's a vacant lot littered with empty bank accounts, sobbing parents, broken bones, glorious songs, lengthy prison terms, a handful of moments that were truly our own, in between desperate gasping for air worth breathing and times worth living.

In between desperate gasping for air worth breathing and times worth living in.
Track Name: Let's take a ride like we used to (the loathing)
"A definition of nihilism could be the realization that conditions in the social organization are so bad as to make destruction desirable for its own sake, independent of any constructive program or possibility. This exposes one of the greatest idealistic flaws of modern activism: The articulation of the specific world-to-be as a result of your actions does not guarantee that world’s creation." (Aragorn: Nihilism, Anarchy and the 21st Century)

Came to this world a loaded handgun, firing at random. Hit the people who were closest, not the ones who deserved it and some of them still don't talk to me. Can't say I blame them for a second. I'll try to aim more carefully, but it's too late for that, I reckon, but not too late for regret.

I'll walk barefoot and smoke inside any chance I get, but in the mean time: come on, let's go for a ride like we used to. Pistols drawn, screaming "liberty or death," although I think we wanted both somehow--but we'll take the cash instead.

Stack it high, my friend, until it reaches to the sky, and us and god can call it even, and look each other in the eyes like you did to the county prosecutor. Told him that you were the shooter, but they'd never take you alive. Grabbed his pen, and stabbed him in the eye, ran off never to be seen again.

When they strike, hit back harder. If you can't just hit back meaner. Everybody's got a name, and an address, and fragile bones to protect what's beating in their chest. Lash out, and vanish into mist. Gumshoes can take one in the head, same to anyone who's ever seen a cop and didn't bludgeon them to death, same to anyone who's ever had a job and didn't hang their fucking boss off the roof at the post office.

So come on, let's take a ride like we used to. Daggers drawn, screaming "liberty or death," although I think we wanted both somehow. Came in this world a loaded handgun. I'll leave it empty, or not at all.
Track Name: Someday I will (the longing)
"The secret is to really begin. The present social organisation is not just delaying, it is also preventing and corrupting any practice of freedom. The only way to learn what freedom is, is to experiment with it, and to do so you must have the necessary time and space." (Anonymous: At Daggers Drawn with the Existent, its Defenders and its False Critics)

Someday when I'm a better man than this, I'll listen to this stack of folk punk demos. I'll be eating apples and vegetables and shit by then. I'll breathe in more oxygen than smoke. I won't reference books that I haven't read, or that I read so doped up that I couldn't talk. I'll learn to like animals, even your fucking dog. Dah dah dah. Dah dah dah dah dah dah dah.

Someday when I'm a better man than this, I'll tell this cop to his face that he's a fucking pig. I'll be pulling jail breaks and shit, sending nail files in your birthday cakes, metal spoons to dig a tunnel bit by bit. I won't be able to give you a ride to work because I sold the car to print consent zines for every high school kid in the country. Dah dah dah. Dah dah dah dah dah dah dah.
Track Name: We'll get arrested, or shot (the defeat)
"If anybody really knew how to end global oppression we probably would have done it by now. So let's just admit that we don't really know what we're talking about, and we're just going to try stuff out and see what happens. Try an idea, let us know if it works." (Andrea Smith: The antiviolence movement and the non-profit industrial complex, transcript)

We'll dig up concrete to plant vegetables across the street. Neighbors and tweakers passing by will stop for something to eat. We'll set up milk crates as a free box, then we'll get arrested by the cops. And if we fight back then we'll get beaten and arrested on felony charges by the fucking cops.

We'll lock down to gates and buses, we'll block off the streets, because nothing else has worked to stop those fuckers in BP (Border Patrol). We'll clog up the system, we'll grind Streamline* to a stop, then we'll get arrested by the cops. And if we fight back then we'll get beaten and arrested on felony charges by the fucking cops.

Seize entire cities, yeah, whole regions of a country. Abolish all police, religion, private property. We've done it before; united, we cannot be stopped! Then we'll all get lined up and shot by fascists, or just Communists and liberals who've been waiting all along to become the fascist cops.**

*Operation Streamline is a system for mass court convictions of undocumented people in Arizona (where I live). There is ongoing resistance to this process, and recently protesters actually shut it down for a day. You can read some about all of that at, although I'm sure that there are much better write-ups about those actions from sources that I am not finding easily while posting this at 1:36 AM.

**This verse is about anarchists in 1930s Spain, who put many elements of anarchism into practice in large regions of the country during the Civil War. They also got slaughtered by most every other faction involved in the war. Fascists, Communists, and partisans for the elected government that had been overthrown in the military coup--i.e. liberals--could actually agree on one thing, which was shared animosity towards anarchists. Spain 1936 is widely agreed to be the high water mark of anarchism in the 19th and early 20th centuries, and it certainly seems like it was to me, but the fact that our "greatest victory" was just a particularly spectacular defeat is telling. Aside from all that, it's a fascinating story. Here's a sweet documentary where they talk to elderly anarchists who were personally involved:
Track Name: For the sake of the ashes (the darkness)
"It seemed to me that the last human beings were dying in prisons and camps and would leave no heirs, while a horrible mutation of the species was taking place outside. I thought of committing suicide, or of finding a way to return to my prison cell so as to live out my days among comrades and die among human beings." (Fredy Perlman: Letters of insurgents)

This morning I can't tell if I'm nihilist, or religious, or if there's even a difference. If god made the West Texas highway, guess there probably isn't. There's a darkness in my bones. It reaches all the way down to the mud. There's a spark that's in your eyes. It catches flame, and it burns all through my blood.

And every friend locked up or raided, it's reason enough to go all in, to raise the stakes, to call the bluff. To burn all the world down for the sake of the ash. For the things that we've got coming through the storm of gasoline and broken glass.

This morning I can't tell if I'm anarchist, or religious, or if there's even a difference. If I'm waiting for the right time to act, well, guess there probably isn't. There's a darkness in my bones. It reaches all the way down to the mud. There's a spark that's in your eyes. It catches flame, and it burns all through my blood.