an interview with james squeaky
of unamerican activities
interview by andy
A***tell me a little about yourself.
JS***The core of Unamerican is three people right now. Srini came up with the concept and does all the web stuff (and a majority of the design in general) Robynn (No No Girl) is his fiance and my former co-editor of a zine called Static. She currently primarily takes care of all the book-keeping money management pain in the ass stuff. I (James Squeaky) have been doing Unamerican with Srini for about 2.5 years. I do all the back end stuff and manage the community/customer service types of stuff.
I am a silly 23 year old white male who really really hates work-never went to college, never got along with authority/bosses-so now I'm my own. I really like to feed birds a lot and have a kitten and a pet rat. I used to read books when I had a job.
A***in a nutshell, what is unamerican activities?
JS***um.. What's the stock answer... "An Organization pushing the envelope of Extreme Truth" or some bullshit. It's sort of foggy cuz we want to be a lot of things. Mainly what we want to do is try to bring together all the
cool/revolution-minded people in the world to create an organization that actually means something. We keep ourselves alive and of interest to mainstream culture by selling a shit load of stickers, T-shirts, buttons and Coffee mugs. Shameless plug.
A***what are your goals with unamerican activities?
JS***Several. One is see above. Two is to inspire people to go beyond their mundane existences-however that may be. Third is to meet a lot of really
cool people (I have met the most amazing people through Unamerican) and of course, there's the living off of doing something I love and hopefully that
is inspiring to others to do the same.
A***do you see the internet as a viable tool for activists, or do
you think the old flyer-n-protest method is more effective? or both?
JS***Interesting question-I'm sure it's going to come up a lot. As far as the long term effectiveness, it's too early to tell. I really think the
internet is a viable tool for activists and our website could serve as evidence of that. What better way to organize activists on a global scale. I think the flyer-n-protest is more meaningful on a community (local) level as it is physically involving and creates families of activists. If someone emails me and tells me they are down, that's cool-but it's meaningless until I see it in their eyes. The only way I could see the internet actually hurting activists is if they start using it as their only means of communication and protest.
Also, a side note: I think that using the internet as an entertainment
device is stupid. I don't really surf the web for fun, but that's probably
because I spend all day answering and sending emails that being outside or even watching the Simpsons seems like more fun to me than surfing the web.
A***this one is a two-parter
a) have you ever been harrassed or threatened due to your involvement w/ unamerican?
JS***Sure. But it's always been pretty stupid-phone calls at 4 in the morning by angry old men in Florida, lots of harrassing email, weirdo obsessive kids.
Nothing that's frightened me or made me fear for my life or that Unamerican was in danger.
I'm assuming you know about our "Smurf" attack of a couple of months ago. A unidentified "cracker" sent a virus that shut us down for two weeks-but
hey! We're still here and now we're getting donations so nuts to him/her.
A***b) do you think it's dangerous to have a subversive website, due to the fact that anyone can moniter your emails, find out where you are, ect?
JS***Sure. It's very dangerous in fact. Our country is definately moving towards a more conservative era, like it or not. The Reagan years are returning and
we will certainly have to watch our backs. We accept that risk though and think our message is important enough to keep going. If the government/whoever really wants to monitor you they will find a way so why not make it totally easy so that they think you are hiding the real info?
A*** i've noticed a pattern ever since i can remember caring
aboutanything remotely political, and the pattern is this-when
the united $tate$ government acts upon anything, there's always the
official story and the real impetus for the action. what do you think
the real motive behind the air strikes on Yugoslavia?
You know, I wish I knew more about the situation. Obviously it is for evil purposes.
A***what is your "revolution soundtrack?"
JS***lately: Christ on a Crutch, Social Distortion, Olivia Tremor Control, Hot Water Music, No Means No, Minor Threat, Youth Brigade, Reagan Youth, Youth
of Today, Wasted Youth, Sonic Youth, 764-Hero, Radiohead, Propagadhi (always a staple), Kid Dynamite, Jets to Brazil, Pavement, Atom and his Package, I am Spoonbender, Machine that Flashes, His Hero is Gone, and the MC5! Fuck yeah.
A***favorite name for a mullet? (i.e. "hockey hair")
JS***Keep Focusing on what's important and continue to fail to die!
A***anyway, that's all i could think of right now. feel free to ramble in
your responses...thanks for the help!
JS***Thank you Andy,. we love being interviewed-we're media whores. Let me know
if you need anything else.
PO Box 410663
San Francisco,CA 94141-0663