Sunday, December 28, 2014

Ammon Hennacy: Questions and Answers

This post is a continuation of the "Heroes in Their Own Words" theme that started with a translation of the Zamenhof's Declaration of Homaranism. Basically what I'm doing is finding and posting texts in which people who I consider to be heroes briefly describe their core beliefs. Ammon Hennacy was a self-described "Christian Anarchist". He spent 18 months in solitary confinement for resisting the draft during WWI, and was arrested over 30 times for picketing and tax evasion. Like Zamenhof, Hennacy lived a life that demonstrated a high degree of moral courage. He lived a life consistent with his ideals, and constantly propagandized against war even when it was obvious that his propaganda was incapable of effecting any major changes in the world. For this post I transcribed chapter 19 of Hennacy's autobiography, "The Book of Ammon" (pdf link). The book appears to be self-published and contains no copyright notice, and it is almost certain that Hennacy would not object to my transcribing and posting it. The chapter, called "Questions and Answers," is basically an FAQ of Hennacy's opinions in the period from 1950 to 1964. I don't agree with all of Hennacy's positions, but I think they are all well worth reading and contemplating. There's nothing in the world as valuable as passionate people speaking on topics they're passionate about. What follows are not my words, but those of Hennacy (there are some spelling mistakes in the original that I have corrected without note, hopefully without introducing too many new ones at the same time):

Monday, December 22, 2014

Poetry as a force of destruction

This is an essay about the limitations of poetry and the potential for the poetic process to destroy the information it intends to preserve. I think the ideas could also be applied to other forms of art. I wrote it in January of 2011, and revised it just now. I don't think this is by any means the last word on this subject (it's barely even the first word), and I welcome discussion.