Saturday, April 15, 2017

William Powell -- Another VERY Serious Apple Roller

It's a funny thing.  All this time, although I knew in theory SOMEONE had compiled The Anarchist Cookbook (ISBN 0-9623032-0-8), I never really thought much about who it might have been.  I vaguely thought it would be a collective of disaffected youths, all boys, who liked things to be explody.

I was pretty close, as it turns out.  The photo at the top of this entry is the book's author, William Powell, who gave the copyright to his creation to the publisher, Lyle Stuart.  Consequently he hardly made a dime off a book that has sold something like 2 million copies.  AND MAYBE THAT WAS OK WITH HIM, because he came to regret all the mayhem that's followed in the wake of the book's release.  That regret came rather later.  About what you'd expect out of a guy who could put together a book like this, he was once an ANGRY YOUNG MAN who sort of wanted to blow up the world, along with meeting other life goals like smoking a lot of dope and making his own LSD.  The second image in this post, the animated gif, shows some of Powell's fan base. 

The first time I saw a copy of this book it was perched proudly in the window of a Little Professor bookstore.  This was just a few years ago.  I flipped through it a little -- it was already well-thumbed by other readers, I noticed -- and what I saw reminded me strongly of other revolutionary how-to books of the era, like:


Of course, neither of those books (respectively, ISBNs 978-0698105676 and 978-1560256908) taught you how to make a bomb out of a tennis ball or showed you where to order your own crossbow.  Never forget that while women were fighting for the right to ask questions in their doctors' offices and war protesters were learning how to cheese off their elected officials, there were other, more hotheaded movements going on, and William Powell was a major part of that.  This country -- the world at large -- would not be the same without him.  
All he really did was remind us that terror is IN YOUR HANDS RIGHT NOW.  And you should be glad that most of us choose to set it down and walk away. Otherwise your place might look like this one, remodeled by the Weathermen:

And really, what point did they make by creating this mess?


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