I;ve recently been asked to take down two articles I’ve written for Palgrave Press; a history of the Boxer Rebellion and a biography of the Algerian revolutionary Ahmed Ben Bella. Palgrave has given me the opportunity to write for the Encyclopedia of Imperialism and Anti-Imperialism, which I appreciate. I’m working to obtain permission to repost the articles but, in the mean time you have a lot of other stuff here to read.For now the links are still up but they are inoperable.
I am continuing to write. I recently finished a book review for Socialism and Democracy and I am working on a slightly twisted autobiography. I may post excerpts here when I’m further along. I will be unlike any other autobiography you’ve ever read.
For a little over three years I worked for a telephone fundraising company in the Boston area, the Share Group. The job started off as fun but quickly became like something out of a horror movie. Okay, perhaps I’m overstating. The place wasn’t exactly “Texas Chainsaw Massacre”, more like “Sean of the Dead”, but I think you get my meaning. Intense and viscous office politics, both among management and employees, abusive supervisors, interspersed with mind numbing boredom. Its a story which includes a SWAT team raid, political assassination, heroin addiction, dill pickles, Trotskyist politics, and the films of Goddard, Bertulluci, and Tarkovsky. Not to mention of course half each workday day spent having people tell me to “not fucking call me again”? Good times.
Anyway, this is a novella of sorts of some of my experiences there. Its a work in progress, part of a larger semi-autobiographical project I’m working on. Most but not all of the names are real.
After leaving Share I “felt the need for closure”, in pyschobabble jargon. I had to get it out of my system. For what its worth I wanted to smash the myth of a “progressive company fundraising for non-profits”. Of course I realize many, maybe most other work places in the US today are in a similar situation; a two (or three) tier wage system, a national union which crushes democracy in the local to help impose horrible contracts, work speed ups, abusive working conditions. From what I hear this is everywhere now. Share is just a microcosm.