Demonstrate! Manifest! Unite! Create! Divide! Destroy! Revolt!
August 21, 2006 1:10 PM   Subscribe

People don't write manifestos like they used to... Whatever happened to the Surrealist Manifesto? How about the the Italian Futurist Manifesto (and its many spinoffs)? There's also First and Second OuLiPo Manifestos, Humanist (I, II, & III) as well as Post-Humanist Manifestos, not to mention Donna Haraway's Cyborg Manifesto: " ironic political myth faithful to feminism, socialism, and materialism...."
posted by anotherpanacea (43 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
Nowadays, it's all Manifesto for an Unblinkered Landscape Architecture: "We believe landscape architecture to be the most comprehensive of the arts," and Cluetrain Manifesto banality.
It's time to nail something to the church door, you know?
posted by anotherpanacea at 1:10 PM on August 21, 2006

With regard to a false interpretation of our enterprise, stupidly circulated among the public, We declare as follows to the entire braying literary, dramatic, philosophical, exegetical and even theological body of contemporary criticism:
1. We have nothing to do with literature; but we are quite capable, when necessary, of making use of it like anyone else.
2. Surrealism is not a new means or expression, or an easier one, nor even a metaphysic of poetry. It is a means of total liberation of the mind and of all that resembles it.
3. We are determined to make a Revolution.
4. We have joined the word surrealism to the word revolution solely to show the disinterested, detached, and even entirely desperate character of this revolution.
5. We make no claim to change the mores of mankind, but we intend to show the fragility of thought, and on what shifting foundations, what caverns we have built our trembling houses.
6. We hurl this formal warning to Society; Beware of your deviations and faux-pas, we shall not miss a single one.
7. At each turn of its thought, Society will find us waiting.
8. We are specialists in Revolt. There is no means of action which we are not capable, when necessary, of employing.
9. We say in particular to the Western world: surrealism exists. And what is this new ism that is fastened to us? Surrealism is not a poetic form. It is a cry of the mind turning back on itself, and it is determined to break apart its fetters, even if it must be by material hammers!
posted by anotherpanacea at 1:11 PM on August 21, 2006

Who can forget the neoluddite classic, The Unabomber's Manifesto?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:14 PM on August 21, 2006

Eric S. Raymond wrote an old-school manifesto not too long ago. It's pretty icky, though.
posted by owhydididoit at 1:24 PM on August 21, 2006

Your post is like a MetaFesto
posted by poppo at 1:27 PM on August 21, 2006

So did the neocons have a manifesto? With their absolutist world view and refusal to bow down before sense or reality you;d think they'd be just the type for that sort of thing.
posted by Artw at 1:30 PM on August 21, 2006 [1 favorite]

Huzzah! More manifestos!

The Surrealist Manifesto still stands as The Undisputed Masterpiece of manifestos in my opinion. Life without surrealism would not be worth living.
posted by kozad at 1:31 PM on August 21, 2006

So did the neocons have a manifesto?

The Statement of Principles from the Project for the New American Century?
posted by anotherpanacea at 1:36 PM on August 21, 2006

The Euston Manifesto was written in March of this year and it's got some good stuff in it.
posted by dmt at 1:38 PM on August 21, 2006

I hearby submit, for your approval, the Manifestoist's Manifesto.

1) We, the Manifestoists, shall manifest the manifold manifestos unto mankind.

2) These ma(g)nificent manifestos shall be ma(g)nificently manicured masterpieces of Manichaean manipulation.

3) We like eggs!
posted by odasaku at 1:50 PM on August 21, 2006

The Viridian Manifesto.
posted by jessenoonan at 1:53 PM on August 21, 2006

masterpieces of Manichaean Manchurian manipulation.
posted by IronLizard at 1:55 PM on August 21, 2006

Don't forget Valerie Solanas' SCUM Manifesto (Society for Cutting Up Men Manifesto).
"Life in this society being, at best, an utter bore and no aspect of society being at all relevant to women, there remains to civic-minded, responsible, thrill-seeking females only to overthrow the government, eliminate the money system, institute complete automation and destroy the male sex."
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 1:57 PM on August 21, 2006

masterpieces of Manichaean Manchurian manipulation.

"I don't suppose you know what "manichaean" means yet?"
posted by illovich at 2:07 PM on August 21, 2006

Don't forget that golden oldie . . . The Ostend Manifesto!
posted by marxchivist at 2:26 PM on August 21, 2006

How about some rays of hope from the sixties?

The Port Huron Statement
posted by stenseng at 2:33 PM on August 21, 2006

All people being, essentially, the puppets of their misremembered personal dramas and associated amalgamated chemical, chromosomatic, and interpersonal imbalances, it may sometimes be necessary to drink before lunch. But in a world gone mad, one should never feel obligated to apologize for their particular stink of dementia. As such, the following is understood to apply in increments directly proportional to units imbibed, to wit:

1) To know me is to love me
3) Another Sapphire Martini. Actually, make it a double. And this time, just wave embarrassedly at the Vermouth as if it were a vaguely familiar face that may or may not belong to someone you once slept with but whose name you've blessedly forgotten
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:35 PM on August 21, 2006

For the dedicated manifesto lover on your shopping list, check out Between Worlds: A Sourcebook of Central European Avant-Gardes, 1910-1930 (full disclosure: I was the assistant editor on the project), featuring a crazy array of manifestoes (including some published in English for the first time), among them "Manifesto Concerning Futurist Poetry," "The Zenithist Manifesto," Tristan Tzara's "Dada Manifesto," Oskar Schlemmer's "Bauhaus Manifesto," and the catchily titled "The Stand Taken by the Vienna MA Group toward the First Dusseldorf Congress of Progressive Artists."
posted by scody at 2:43 PM on August 21, 2006

And what about the Dada Manifesto? My translation here:
Dada is a new direction in art. You can tell this because up to now nobody knew anything about it, and tomorrow everyone in Zurich will be talking about it. Dada comes from the dictionary. It's awfully simple. In French it means "hobbyhorse." In German: "addio," "get off my back," "see you later!" In Romanian: "Absolutely, you're right, that's it. Yeah, really, let's do it." And so forth.

An international word. Only a word, and the word as movement. It's simply awful. If you make it into a direction in art, that must mean you want to get rid of complications. Dada psychology, dada literature, dada bourgeoisie, and you, most honored poets, who have always composed with words but never composed the word itself. Dada world war without end, dada revolution without beginning, dada you friends and alsopoets, posterior evangelists. Dada Tzara, dada Huelsenbeck, dada m'dada, dada mhm' dada, dada Hue, dada Tza.

How do you achieve eternal bliss? By saying dada. How do you become famous? By saying dada...
posted by languagehat at 2:51 PM on August 21, 2006

and I thought languagehat would offer up the manifesto: "Eschew Obfuscation!"... although I guess thats more of a simple imperative.
posted by evilgenius at 2:55 PM on August 21, 2006

Did you ever hear of "The Seattle Seven" ?
That was me... and six other guys.
posted by Joeforking at 3:41 PM on August 21, 2006

Generic Manifesto:

1. Emotional description of events.
2. Stunning conclusion: We are awesome!
3. Second stunning conclusion: Things suck, and we defy them!
4. Third incredibly stunning conclusion: We know THE WAY. THE WAY will solves things. Why?
5. Plea for others to support and spread THE WAY.

A manifesto and several American dollars will buy you a frappochino at Starbucks.

posted by zabuni at 3:56 PM on August 21, 2006

Hmm, this reminds me of a Usenet newsgroup I used to subscribe to, alt.usenet.manifestoes. It seems to have disappeared off the face of the Net, not even carried on Google groups, but there is a still-accessible archive of postings.
posted by Creosote at 5:31 PM on August 21, 2006

Oh, and if you've never read Kibo's HappyNet Manifesto, it's a classic.
posted by Creosote at 5:33 PM on August 21, 2006 [1 favorite]

Anyone remember the Reader's Manifesto? ^
posted by Iridic at 5:46 PM on August 21, 2006

It's disappointing that the wikipedia entry for futurist meals doesn't include the text of the Manifesto of Futurist Cooking, because the summary does it no real justice. Where Wikipedia says, "No more pasta for it causes lassitude, pessimism and lack of passion," the Manifesto says something like, "We must make our Italian bodies light for the aluminum trains of the future!"

ubuweb has some manifestos that are similarly obtuse
posted by clockwork at 6:18 PM on August 21, 2006

That's a whole lotta lattes.

Yes, and a preferable way of doing things, compared with seizing the means of latte-production, only to realise belatedly that you and your comrades are not baristas.
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:21 PM on August 21, 2006 [1 favorite]

There is a specter haunting Metafilter. . .A specter of Youtube.
posted by Ndwright at 7:16 PM on August 21, 2006

oh, and don't forget the Adam and the Ants song "Animals and Men," from the art-school punk classic, Dirk Wears White Sox:

uno, due, tre, quattro...
Marinetti Boccioni Carra Balla Palasechi!
Marinetti Boccioni Carra Balla Palasechi!
Futurist Manifesto!
Futurist Manifesto!
War is the world's only hygiene
Energy and fearlessness
Racing car the beauteous beast
Hurl defiance at the stars!
Futurist Manifesto!

Thus was I introduced to Italian Futurism at the tender age of 11.
posted by scody at 7:43 PM on August 21, 2006

So strong is the belief in MeFi, in what is most fragile in MeFi – real MeFi, I mean – that in the end this belief is lost. Man, that inveterate dreamer, daily more discontent with the front page, has trouble assessing the links he has been led to use, links that his nonchalance has brought his way, or that he has earned through his own efforts, almost always through his own efforts, for he has agreed to work, at least he has not refused to try his luck (or what he calls his luck!).

At this point he feels extremely modest: he knows what FPPs he has made, what silly threads he has been involved in; he is unimpressed by his wealth or his poverty, in this respect he is still a newborn babe and, as for the approval of his conscience, I confess that he does very nicely without it.

If he still retains a certain lucidity, all he can do is turn back toward the pre-YouTube days which, however his guides and mentors may have botched it, still strikes him as somehow charming. There, the absence of any known videos of kittens allowed him the perspective of several lives lived at once; this illusion becomes firmly rooted within him; but now he is only interested in the fleeting clips, the extreme facility of videos. Single-link YouTubes are followed each day without a worry in the world. Everything is near at hand, the worst material conditions are fine. The page is blue and white, one will never sleep.

posted by UbuRoivas at 7:52 PM on August 21, 2006

Change this! The latest manifestos are here. And below that are proposals for more.
posted by Bryan Behrenshausen at 8:00 PM on August 21, 2006

French poet, playwright, actor, madman, and theorist, Antonin Artaud, wrote a ton of manifestos. I suppose the most elaborate and influential would be the collection of writings released as The Theatre and Its Double, in which he articulated his theory of the Theatre of Cruelty.

I have a hard time getting my mind around Italian Futurism -- the notion of an artistic avant-garde in praise of fascism make my brain implode.

I tend to think of manifestos as largely a product of radical historical rupture -- the surrealist/etc manifestos, were all products of modernism, which, coming on the heels of industrialization & industrialized warfare, hit the artistic/intellectual/political worlds like a tidal wave . . . I think it's hard for us (in our late modern or post-modern -- whateveryouwantocallit -- age) to even imagine what making such an extremely radical break from the immediate past would look like, hence we kind of suck at manifesto writing.
posted by treepour at 8:17 PM on August 21, 2006

Metafilter: Generic Manifesto
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:09 PM on August 21, 2006

contemporary film manifestos: Herzog's eloquent Minnesota Declaration & the more influential Dogme 95 Vow of Chastity
posted by sporobolus at 9:53 PM on August 21, 2006

It's like the Emperor said in Amadeus, there are simply too many manifestos. Just ... remove a few.

It's like when I go to flickr. "There are 1138 photos." I don't care WHAT John is taking pictures of. I'm not sitting through all that!

So I'm going to coin a crappy new word, infestation + manifesto =inmanifestation. Too many problems facing too few solutions.
posted by Twang at 12:44 AM on August 22, 2006

I'm torn... does languagehat win the thread for his own translation (and a fine one!) of the Dada manifesto? Or should victory go to UbuRoivas, for extemporaneous glee?

Bryan Behrenshausen- was the inspiration for my initial post. I've never seen a sadder bunch of whiny, myopic, quotidian calls-to-action. I mean... what kind of manifesto is this: IS YOUR COMPANY A CUSTOMER SURVEY SCORE WHORE?

OMG! Maybe! Talk about your specters haunting corporate headquarters....
posted by anotherpanacea at 8:00 AM on August 22, 2006

By the way, the Getty (in L.A.) is currently showing several of the Italian Futurist manifestoes in their original visual poem glory.
posted by scody at 11:27 AM on August 22, 2006

Infernokrusher Manifesto
posted by LobsterMitten at 1:45 PM on August 24, 2006

The Stavrossian Accord.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:14 AM on August 25, 2006

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