The following is an assortment of the negative comments I’ve received about the book, in no particular order.  I will also be adding my own commentary to the critiques, as I actually addressed a few of them in the final draft.

  • Hi Brian, i’m just writing to say your book su**s, and that you shouldn’t make it.  My suggestion is that you go back in time and stop yourself from making it, this will fix the whole problem.  Cheers

This was my favorite critique, because I love discussing time travel.  However, the first time I read the email, I felt very sad.  At first I kind of laughed, but then realized that someone took the time to send me a personal email that was condescending and insulting, and that really hurt my feelings.  This was quite different from reading a negative response on an anonymous message post.  But I ended up contacting the person who wrote this, and had a couple very good email exchanges.  In the end, this person had some very good critiques, and was much more helpful than this original response.

  • “Rewilding” is an utterly stupid concept that probably originates from the hippy/new-age movement somewhere.  It has no place in anarchism. It has no place in rational thought.

Actually, rewilding has a place in “Green” anarchism, which is a type of “anarchism”…  Perhaps the commenter thinks Green Anarchism is not a valid form of anarchism, which I would not want to discuss in this tiny space here.

  • Trainhopping. What is it with crimethinc-type’s obsession with non-car non-plane travel? They gush about how bikes and trains and boats are so ~romantic~ and ~liberating~, but really I think they just haven’t associated them with business travel.

Okay, I was searching for a “T” word I could easily draw, and there’s this anarchist I love who travels the country by train-hopping sometimes.  Then I heard an interview with a woman who hopped trains for much of her life, she described the freedom she felt, and yeah, the beauty and amazing things she’d seen and experienced.  If I were to rewrite/redraw, I might search for a better “T” word, which is why there’s a “suggest” page on this little website.

  • I hate most of the things you’re calling anarchism and don’t see them as being anarchist, this is a manual for privileged white american lifestylism. I’m still a little taken by it.

To be fair, I don’t call anything “anarchism”, I was trying to focus on the more general “anarchy”.  I know I didn’t achieve perfection, but the goal here was to offer a glimpse of various aspects of life that have the flavor of anarchy, things that conjure the concept of “no masters”.

  • My main problem is the language. Some of the things (particularly gender) are written in language that is not just far too technical for kids, but too technical for people outside the anarchist ghetto.

My feeling is that kids are really intelligent, and will learn words that adults use.  I do agree that the text is not totally awesome sometimes, but I also made the conscious choice to use big words.

  • The fact you didn’t put “C is for Class war” makes you a horrible person.

Class War was on my shortlist, so was Class Struggle.  In the end, I had drawn an image of people on bikes, I’ve known a number of anarchists who go to Critical Mass events, and I felt the structure of the CM groups fit into the general idea of anarchy (Decentralised organisation with a fluid-like leadership/nonleadership component).  I do see now the need to get the concepts of Class War or Class Struggle into the book.  Although I don’t think that omission necessarily indicates I’m a horrible person, just imperfect.

  • “Decentralised organisation with a fluid-like leadership/nonleadership component” is just fancy talk for “I don’t want anyone to put limits on my freedom to do as I wish” and “if there’s no ‘leaders’, then me throwing my weight around and acting in an authoritarian manner is OK.”

I think there are some unresolved issues with this one.

  • B is for bulls***.

this could mean many things, unfortunately we may never find out more…

  • C is for Critical Mass – Which has nothing to do with anarchy, and everything to do with trying to force bicycles onto roads where they don’t belong.

I’m not sure how you determine where bikes belong, but every place I’ve been allows (and encourages) bicycles on the roads.  Check your DMV driving manual to see the rights of drivers, cyclists and even pedestrians.

  • N is for Nihilism – If you are a nihilist please leave the anarchist movement. You aren’t contributing anyways, and if you are, it is pointless.

yes, of all nihilists would please return their official anarchist membership card that would be swell.  Also their official anarchist decoder ring.

  • R is for Rewild – Because some do***es would like to turn us all into hunter gatherers under the pretense of anarchism.

douching would not be considered primitivist by the way.

  • L is for Lifestylism, the fetishization of subcultural activities and substitution of them for revolutionary activities.

When I concieved of this project, I admit I was unknowingly immersed in a fairly crimethinc.-heavy / activist-heavy bubble.  Lifestylism, I see now, is a good thing to be aware of, I see it as allowing an ideology to overtake one’s life.  So, perhaps I dwelt too much on such “lifestyles” as the Critical Mass, Food Not Bombs, and train-hopping stuff.  But I disagree with the concept that any involvement in the activities labeled as “lifestylist” is a fetishization.

  • C is for Cliche.

I wish the person was more specific here, I started this project because I couldn’t find anything like it anywhere.  All the drawings are original, with lots of redrawing and suggestions taken from anarchists and non-anarchists alike.  Perhaps I’m missing what’s cliche.

  • the book is trash seriously.

I felt sad reading the above comment.

  • Seems like you’re trying to profit by exploiting anarchist ideals.

If by “profit” you mean work tirelessly for two years, fronting all costs for art supplies, drafts and postage, all without receiving a dime, then yes, “profit” away!

  • File this under F, for F***ing Stupid.

😦

  • It might be cute for adults, but most of this stuff is just promoting anarcho-activist c***.

I’m still not sure if the commenter here would rather I promote anarcho-inactivity.

If you have any more negative feedback, feel free to post.