An Introduction by Andrew Pearson, Co-Manager of the Internationalist
I woke up with time on my mind. I gravitated towards a shower and found myself taking a seat on the F bus as it left the mall. It was Internationalist time....
It's intensely rewarding to "find yourself". I found myself waiting for me in the store, saying: Andrew, be wise and forward looking; this place can be a nest in the movement.
I invite those looking for to build a movement to discover our organization contact notebook. I invite avid readers to spread the word about intellectual treasures. I invite punks and anti-racists, environmentalists and feminists, to volunteer three hours a week for a space that has seeds of a new society on every shelve, in every bumpersticker, in every alternative magazine.
And if you know the value of supporting cultures of resistance, shop here. Shop 'til you drop. Shop like a locust, but pay before you leave.
I've definitely been broken in: Set my only cup of coffee at the store in front of the register; rung up a sale; open the register; experienced a warm light brown sensation. I set off the alarm this morning.
I still have some questions. Are bank robbers class heroes? Are zines all photocopied at kinko's? Is that a contradiction? How can the Internationalist promote a radical process of organizing and democracy? (Do people call me a "radical" because my moral sense of justice extends across issues, boarders, race, language, sexuality, gender, occupation, age...?)
And most of all, where can we put a couch in this place!
Speaking of couches, I was surprised at the impact that a physical change in reality has on the cultural and ideological components of human behavior. Add a couch to my house, and all of a sudden our whole philosophy changes on the meaning of home. We talk. We start communicating about decisions and concerns in person. We become invested in the concept of community.
I ran for Student Body President in 1997 on a whim and a feeling of nausea. It was a physical distrust of pre-decided systems: classroom chairs bolted down and curriculums conceived without the input of the learner. And the couch became one of many little anecdotes for radical democracy.
And the Internationalist, of course, is the intellectual couch of Chapel Hill. Not exactly a silk road, but a space for conversations about our society and culture, a place to learn how to organize, to understand the nature of global capitalism and the genetic revolution, to realize the beauty in African poetry, or hear voices from the chapel hill underground. A place to challenge the daily ideology of rat races and wage slavery, of class boredom and competitive relationships (an oxymoron?).
The slow road to freedom traverses terrain rough and hostile. But sometimes love and a sense of justice finds a home, a little nest in the metropolis of capital. In many ways, the Internationalist is a harbor of those seeking a more cooperative, democratic, and sustainable way of living. I hope I can find the pulse of the store and learn its heartbeat. Of course, if you're reading this, you've got a stake too. Working here, writing for one of North Carolina's only progressive hubs, I am challenging the daily ideology.
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