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–7 votes
Seriously, WTF?
by (170 points)
Why should anyone NOT take Bob Black seriously? Does the implied insignificance or outright denunciation of BB provide cover against his otherwise relevant critiques and observations? Could it be that the subjects of his ridicule are engaged in activities and publications that seek to marginalizes the efforts of those more legitimate, but having less money, means, and celebrity status?

2 Answers

+8 votes
for those who don't know, bob black is a long term anarchist author and controversial figure. Since the 70s he has been involved in a variety of altercations, the most notorious one being with jim hogshire (not an anarchist) during which both parties called the cops on each other.
he is notorious for crossing lines of behavior that anarchists commonly accept. he is mean. his critiques are usually a mixture of relevant information and irrelevant nitpicking. and he is eager to take on what he considers to be anarchist sacred cows, like professor graeber, ak press, murray bookchin (ad nauseum), etc.
those last two tendencies are two reasons why some anarchists continue to see value in black's participation.
added to that is the respect some feel for the author of  cogent pieces like "the abolition of work", and anarchy after leftism, as well as some people's difficulty in sympathizing with the strident and kneejerk attitudes and complaints of many of black's critics. also, he is frequently/occasionally funny.
by (53.1k points)
edited by
I'd second the fact that "The Abolition of Work" is awesome, but Bob Black often seems more interested in criticizing any figure who is getting more attention than him in the anarchist milieu, which is mostly anyone at this point.
i would even say that this really speaks to the question of separation of message from messenger.

i have no trouble taking what i like from ideas and leaving the rest, including the source of the ideas if it makes sense. i personally think bob has had some very relevant critique over the years, some of which i have found quite useful. i found his obsession with dissing bookchin to be initially funny, then just annoying and repetitive.  i have also witnessed some of his behavior that i don't care for - that just makes it easy for me to choose not to spend time with him personally.

if one cannot separate the ideas from those communicating them, well, then i guess they lose out on some potential food for thought.
–8 votes
No one does.  He's pretty ridiculous.
by (1.7k points)
edited by
Seems to me that this question, like too many others, is incomplete. The real question is: why does anyone, anarchist or otherwise, take anybody seriously? Celebrity, prestige, or simple respect for someone (based on their ideas and/or social practices or something else) seems to be the real issue.

Therefore the original (incomplete) question requires some qualification. Why does anyone take anyone seriously as a thinker/philosopher/satirist/critic/artist/theorist/historian?

edit: made a comment
Can't take you seriously either, especially since you never bothered to respond to my last comments directed at you.
Could you send me a link?  I tried looking for whatever you are talking about, but I couldn't find it.