“Loaded Words: A Rebel’s Guide to Situationese,” by Denis Diderot and Jean-Paul Marat (pseud.) in New Morning: A Berkeley Community Newspaper. February, 1973.

Cover of New Morning, February, 1973.

We first heard of “Loaded Words” via the very useful bibliography of American pro-situationist publications that Not Bored! put together years ago and posted on their website (here). We were confused because they put Cleveland as the place of publication, where there was a newspaper by a collective also called “New Morning” (info here). But the piece was actually published in the Berkeley publication New Morning: A Berkeley Community Newspaper.

There is no online archive of New Morning issues and very little writing that mentions the publication from what we could find. (There must be a memoir that includes discussions of it somewhere, please let us know if you are aware of any!) There’s not much detail in the publication itself. Here’s the masthead from the February, 1973 issue:

Tom Woodhull, part of the pro-situ group Negation (as mentioned in his interview with Chomsky, here), had some involvement with New Morning for at least a couple of issues, as he was also involved in the preceding month’s issue that included an article on council communism. This issue was likely that mentioned by Ken Knabb in his essay “Remarks on Contradiction and its Failure,” when he cites “an underground paper trying to fill up the current ideological void will put out a special issue on situationism which simply lumps together everyone who is able to babble a few slogans about the spectacle, sacrifice, Leninism, etc., and publishes a “Dictionary of Situationese” for the edification of those who aren’t yet even capable of that.”

Yet, even given Knabb’s criticisms, “Loaded Words” is, in fact, a good, quick and dirty introductory guide to core situationist concepts. It seems reasonable to guess that Woodhull may have been one of the two pseudonymous authors. In 1975 the “Beni Memorial Library” in Ann Arbor published a very helpful book (available here) called A Bibliography of North American Situationist Texts, which included an entry on “Loaded Words”:

We see no reason to repeat the contents of that entry (anymore than we already have), since it does the bibliographic job quite well.

We were surprised that “Loaded Words” hadn’t been placed online yet, so we scanned it and put it on Libcom, here.

This issue of New Morning is uncommon, though available, it appears, in some microfilm collections of the underground press and in a handful of libraries.

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