Monthly Archives: February 2013

Microcosm (is) Totes (awesome!)

In our latest effort to flirt with you, we’ve designed these tote bags. They are lovingly made by the woman-owned Envirototes in New Hampshire (yes, like all of our things, actually made in the U.S.). Then they printed our name on one side and a fancy graphic proclaiming about how reading and ideas change the world on the other side. These bags are specifically engineered to make it easier for you to flirt with other people on the bus or your bicycle. Erik (pictured here) is quite tall so the bags are larger than they appear. We tested and the largest book in our store fits in there (and it’s like bigger than any book I bet you own—it’s a box set of two oversized Gary Panter hard covers). And since we can’t think of anything else worth carrying around besides radical literature, you should be all set with one of these! Totes awesome!

New Girl Law

When Moore, a writer and independent publisher, brought her experience in the American cultural underground to Cambodia on the cusp of the global economic meltdown, she intended to share a skill that would allow young people the opportunity to archive their own stories. Instead, the second generation of Khmer Rouge survivors she worked with ended up rewriting history.

The Cambodian Chbap Srei is a 17th-century book that intended to establish a code of conduct for young women. Staunchly traditional, but repressive and frustrating, the first large group of young women in Cambodia decide to rewrite it with Moore. The year-long process culminates in a grand discussion of human rights and gender equity, and a hand-bound book for all participants. Tragically, the completed book was banned and censored in both Cambodia and the U.S. But what these bold young women learn next about when they are allowed to speak, and to whom, is chilling.

Maps to the Other Side

Part mad manifesto, part revolutionary love letter, part freight train adventure story—Maps to the Other Side is a self-reflective shattered mirror, a twist on the classic punk rock travel narrative that searches for authenticity and connection in the lives of strangers and the solidarity and limitations of underground community. Beginning at the edge of the internet age, a time when radical zine culture prefigured social networking sites, these timely writings paint an illuminated trail through a complex labyrinth of undocumented migrants, anarchist community organizers, brilliant visionary artists, revolutionary seed savers, punk rock historians, social justice farmers, radical mental health activists, and iconoclastic bridge builders. This book is a document of one person’s odyssey to transform his experiences navigating the psychiatric system by building community in the face of adversity; a set of maps for how rebels and dreamers can survive and thrive in a crazy world.

Here at the ‘cosm …with the CIA.

Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope all you lovers out there were out lovin’.

We’ve been active around here lately. Tim is heading down to Austin for Staple, our store continues to evolve, we’ve got lots of bright ideas for the future, and we’re adding lots of new titles on the website!

If you haven’t read the new CIA Makes Science Fiction Unexciting yet, you should. It’s creepy. It’s disturbing. It’s angering. Some parts are downright sickening. But it’s also exciting, enticing, and undoubtedly interesting. It contains minimal speculation and maximal research. Much of the content is admitted by government officials and operatives themselves. And the book compiles it together to let you see more of the big picture. And it’s not a pretty one. Not only does it bring un-skewed history to light, it’s a time capsule that you can send to friends and family to provoke thoughts and conversation. Even if they don’t want to believe most of it, it’s provocative so they can’t help reading it anyway. If you’ve read the original zines, you still want this, because it’s all been updated.

Stay safe out there!

  CIA book

2013 Slingshots are still here!

For those who haven’t seen a Slingshot, it’s a pocket calendar and day planner. It includes space to write your phone numbers, a contact list of radical leftist groups around the globe, a menstrual calendar, info on police repression, and extra note pages to record all your important revolutionary ideas. It also lists popular activist and alternative cultural holidays. The highlight is how to say key phrases in multiple languages; phrases such as “freedom and mutual aid” and “where is the library?” If this wasn’t enough, it also serves as a fund-raiser for the Berkeley radical newspaper, SLINGSHOT

CIA Makes Sci-Fi Unexciting: 1950-Today

These five case studies offer a chilling glimpse into the negligence, greed, murder, and at times comical disorganization behind some of the CIA’s most controversial secret operations. Science fiction could not have invented the influence the CIA had in the assassination of Martin Luther King. Jr, the AIDS virus, the killing of the leader of the Puerto Rican independence movement, the PATRIOT act, and the Iran-Contra affair. Smith makes radical claims, but instead of coming across as a raving conspiracy theorist he uses facts to write a believable, accessible alternative to mainstream histories that helps readers to contextualize current events and the anti-American backlash worldwide.