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This is some insightful voice-of-the-people info from an old e-commerce customer survey I did at softskull.com two years ago. I've always wanted to publish it, so here goes.

First of all, look at this, this person was prophetic. Remember, this person was writing only two months after Bush was sworn in:

 

Liberals (like us, I guess) are very angry at GW Bush and will wait for the first available opportunity to really attack him, the first scandal or disastrous policy, social gaffe, racist comment, etc... Well, everyone's waiting for it, including W. When it comes, the liberals will find themselves curiously self-castrated and unable to act. The Media will then attack the liberals. The liberals will fall silent and remain silent while this turd runs the good ole right-wing death scam on the nation for four or perhaps eight years.

 

"The Media will then attack the liberals."

Think of Cynthia McKinney and the way she was instantly filleted on CNN the night after she took a stand about the need for a real 9/11 investigation. Both Democrats and Republicans, black and white, were in a shark frenzy. Months later, she lost her party's primary, to Republican!

Check out some of the other things people said to softskull.com about politics, books and the country, when we asked...the intensity and intelligence of the average people is refreshing. take inspiration from it.

 

What are some other subjects Soft Skull Press should consider doing books on?

-The seeming shift in the woven relationship of political and commercial pursuits in favor of the latter. It seems the relationship has always been understood to be a part of the society/culture, but perhaps in a less one-sided manner. Does this affect the tenor of either, the effectiveness of either, the levels of participation in either?

-Document the increasing presence of surveillance technology, how municipalities, private interests, and citizens are affected. Who is benefiting? How are arrest rates/convictions affected? What legal precedents through appeals have been established? How much money is generated through camera issued traffic tickets? What other cultural developments can be seen as connected: reality TV, souvenir photos of people at events, webcam driven sites, surveillance hardware equipment sales, etc...?

-By all means though, stick to your political conscience, it's what will always separate you from the rest and that consistency will be your strength as a publisher.

-I would be interested in more books that detail or are influenced by the so-called punk culture, such as the current offerings, "Dance of Days" and the Seth Tobocman book. In general, I really like books that comprehensively look at and analyze alternative "scenes," including political, music (especially punk, but really all scenes), and poetry/literature. I like to read what interested and influenced the people behind these scenes, why they first got involved, what obstacles they had to overcome, what they now think of their movements/scenes, their regrets, etc. Basically, what makes them tick.

-I say since this is a punk rock/activist press, it should stick with subjects it knows. I personally think you guys are doing a great job. how about prison writing? Not from like Mumia or Peltier but from a petty thug or a crack dealer? Most prisoners are not like Mumia or leonard, i wonder how prison activists would react to locked up sons and daughters who don't agree with radical politics and I think it'll strengthen the resolve ofthe anti prison people who are still down. I want to hear about Alpo and AZ, and people who'd commit crimes if they are released. [Yeah, a while back I heard monologues on NPR from prison inmates, discussing how they got into crime in the first place and what occurred when they were put into jail, and basically talking about what it's like to commit crimes. That sort of thing would be good news]

-Literary authors from 3rd world countries (ie Chinua Achebe, etc)

-I would like to find a book that tells, explicitly, how to retro-wire a house like mine (Southern Florida) with solar panels. Photos, sources, relative costs, parts required, light-duty discussion of how it works, etc. so that I could go out and put a few panels on my roof, connect it to that magical box, etc, and make it work. What is the box, what wiring, where to get the stuff, what will it power? I think that getting cheap power will become a more important issue as the year, and decade, moves on.

 

 

What political and cultural shifts do you see in our society today?

-The world is becoming more diverse, but I still see America as being more conservative and not accepting of diversity.

-I have been assaulted by rampant racism here in the mid-west, racism with no pretence; open and stinking. I have seen how America is controlled by Credit and ID. I have watched bright intelligent alternative kids stifled and destroyed by their

American Schooling. I have witnessed increasing poverty, not just financially but emotionally and intellectually in the US. A drawing away from the world; satisfaction gained and nourished though ignorance.

-A rising trend of right wing, hypocritical, uninformed, republican stupidity that will eventually lead the sheep in our country into an anarchy that creative people will have to endure or be shot.

-A whole lot of apathy. The conservatives are taking over, and the left is sitting on their ass waiting for someone else to do something or waving a bunch of signs about obscure topics that no one cares about and that no one will back. And the environment is going to hell as well.

-There's only three options: Armageddon, revolution, or a world of ostriches.

- I'm determined to be well-informed and to counter this fascist occupation in every way I can.

-That we live in a fascist state now where we cannot trust the media, and that we have to educate and wake up the slumbering public in denial about how bad things are. However, I do see many people waking up, or wanting to.

-I foresee a continuation in human nature- which means that people will continue to be driven by emotion and laziness and trying to screw somebody out of a dollar with the help of a corporation - which means that most folks will just keep living their lives of quiet desperation and ignorance.

-Our culture has started to learn that we must make compromises in order to survive peacefully with each other.

-Apathy on the part of the public about the way the election was stolen.

-There seems to be a lack of organization on the left at the grass roots level. There has been an upsurge in protests but overall organizing efforts have fallen short. Because we have been failing to effectively convey our message, society seems to be taking a turn toward conservatism and moderatism.

It is sad that with all the books and the Internet and TV and radio and all the other media available to America, the government has successfully managed to make it all pointless, by failing to educate America in what to do with information. It is so lazy intellectually. You can publish the most revealing document, make the most fantastic claims, and sadly the majority of Americans seem unable to process, digest or utilize the information, making the information itself appear useless. A work of genius. We need to get Americans to see the power of information, and USE IT!

-I see Nazi activity everywhere. I see people fighting this but without national media attention.

-I see a building movement on the left and more young people are paying attention. They know they are being misled.

 

This information was collected by me, and my coworkers at Soft Skull Press, to make softskull.com a better place.

 

 

 

 

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