Slingshot issue #122 introduction

Slingshot is an independent radical newspaper published in Berkeley since 1988.

We’re struck once again by the change in seasons and how the end of summer and the beginning of fall has an authenticity and tangible reality that the make-believe impositions of the system with its elections, its business trends and its new techno-toys lacks. The mornings in the Bay Area are moist and crisp and clear — that is real.

While taking a meal break, the collective tossed around ideas to sum up the state of the struggle. Capitalism’s world view is organized around constant growth, with each corporation, machine and individual striving, expanding and “improving.” Picture climbing up an endless mountain. But that isn’t the way the earth with its cycle of the seasons works. There are no infinitely high mountains. Rather, each life goes in a circle of birth, life and death. Reality isn’t about progress, it’s about watching the wheels go round and round. There’s just one earth with its own limits that we exceed at our peril. We need to ask “can you eat all that money?”

These realities are hitting us in the face but because the capitalist / industrial system feels like a runaway train that’s outside of our control, rather than summoning the strength to stop before we tumble over the cliff, many of us are getting caught up in confusion, psychological pain, fear and resignation.

So while NASA reports arctic sea ice receding at record rates and CO2 concentrations higher than they’ve been in millions of years, corporations respond by creating a phone app so you can watch the earth dying in real-time. The brightest minds are working on self-driving cars, when what we really need is to stop, breathe, and think hard about new directions. The forces killing the earth seem out of our control but that is fundamentally incorrect — it’s people killing the earth which means that people can stop killing the earth.

The same constant-progress myths spawned by capitalism infect radicals’ brains. We want fast solutions or to instantly solve all our problems with a revolution. But the cycle of the seasons points in a different direction, towards the struggle as a constant effort that needs us to stay engaged forever.

And yes it’s worth repeating that money isn’t real and corporations aren’t really people. The prison strike inmates are waging is real. When you learn to cooperate with others to pleasurably meet your needs and build something beautiful — that is real. We’re pretty sure paper is real, but once the electricity goes off, all those tweets may not amount to much.

Slingshot is always looking for new writers, artists, editors, photographers, translators, distributors, etc. to make this paper. If you send an article, please be open to editing.

We’re a collective but not all the articles reflect the opinions of all collective members. We welcome debate and constructive criticism.

Thanks to the people who made this: Amado, Dov, Eggplant, Elke, Fox-redwood, Isabel, Izzy, Jesse, Korvin, Matthew, Nadja, Thorsten and all the authors and artists!

Slingshot New Volunteer Meeting

Volunteers interested in getting involved with Slingshot can come to the new volunteer meeting on December 11, 2016 at 7 pm at the Long Haul in Berkeley (see below.)

Article Deadline & Next Issue Date

Submit your articles for issue 123 by January 14, 2017 at 3 pm.


Volume 1, Number 122, Circulation 22,000

Printed October 7, 2016


Slingshot Newspaper

A publication of Long Haul

Office: 3124 Shattuck Avenue Berkeley CA 94705

Mailing: PO Box 3051, Berkeley, CA 94703

Phone (510) 540-0751 • • twitter @slingshotnews


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Circulation information

Subscriptions to Slingshot are free to prisoners, low income, or anyone in the USA with a Slingshot Organizer, or $1 per issue. International $3 per issue. Outside the Bay Area we’ll mail you a free stack of copies if you give them out for free. Say how many copies and how long you’ll be at your address. In the Bay Area pick up copies at Long Haul and Bound Together books, SF.