Back Issues

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Established 1979
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These are the back issues of Red Rag. They'll be posted here every (usually) two weeks on or around the anniversary of their original publication. We're currently reissuing 1984; the latest issue is dated April 1st (scan / txt); the next one is due out on the 15th.

Red Rag, or Reading's only newspaper, had a noble tradition of misspelling, mixed metaphors, wrong facts, confused political judgements and a print run by now of 1300. It printed pretty well everything it got sent ("unless the Collective judged it racist, sexist, right wing, or supportive of oppressive religions"). It aimed to provide a decent alternative coverage of local news and issues from a radical non-aligned position; to promote subversive and creative initiatives; to provide a forum for unorthodox views; to allow some sort of co-existence between a huge variety of interests. And in over four years it had never sold a single copy.

In this issue (scan / txt): Spectacular Times publishes "Cities of Illusion", a clear and practical description of the Spectacle within which we live. The guide to brewing dope beer ("the second step in this concoction is mixing up a fine batch of beer or wine to cover up the godawful taste of step one") is one thing; the bleak account of life as an alcoholic is quite another. At Greenham Common benders have been torched, car tyres slashed, the water supply fouled, and the women's camp is being evicted under court injunction; in legal news elsewhere: mounted police demonstrate their skills in kettling at the second "Stop the City" carnival, soldiers in civies are boosting police numbers on the miners' picket lines, and a birthday cake is presented to one of the defendants up in front of the High Wycombe bench for obstructing the highway during last December's blockade of the USAF Cruise Command Centre. The magistrate becomes hysterical, orders the cake and candles out of the court and has the cake-bearer jailed until lunchtime.

My old ideology is worn out and I desperately need a new one. In fact none of the ones I have tried has lasted more than a week under ordinary household conditions and several have come completely to pieces the first time I tried to use them.