Friendly Fire

Hermetic Library Fellow T Polyphilus reviews Friendly Fire [Amazon, Internet Archive, Local Library] by Hermetic Library Fellow Bob Black.

Black Friendly Fire

Friendly Fire is a pugilistic potpourri of texts by Black, with the author’s resilient animus as its only continuous thread. Even that fades considerably in Chapter VIII: his study of the Johnson presidential impeachment, plus a bibliography of Black’s legal scholarship. He wrote in 1985, “Postering has been my main political activity since 1977,” (171) and posters and poster-worthy one-liners are certainly where he does his best work. In this volume, those are represented in a selection of “Wanted Posters” as well as the pun-replete and epigraphical “Introduction to Neutron Gun.” I can’t help thinking that it’s almost a shame that he disdains an Internet connection, as his writing talents are peculiarly well-adapted to the 140-character burst–not that I follow anyone’s Twitterfeed, nor would Black seem to have any interest in “followers.”

The anarchist “organizers,” Libertarian small fry, publishers, and club proprietors that serve as Black’s principal foes in this volume provide generally less interesting grounds for counter-polemic than Murray Bookchin does in Black’s Anarchy after Leftism. Still, his invective has its usual entertainment value.