The No Categories Manifesto

3 minute read

We invoke the ghost of Hedley Lamarr, calling upon:

"...rustlers, cut throats, murderers, bounty hunters, desperadoes, mugs, pugs, thugs, nitwits, half wits, dimwits, vipers, snipers, con men, Indian agents, Mexican bandits, muggers, buggerers, bushwhackers, hornswogglers, horse thieves, bull dykes, train robbers, bank robbers, ass-kickers, [email protected] and Methodists..."

and all those who share our goals. We are an Equal Opportunity outfit with no intent or inclination to discriminate on the basis of race, national origin, sex, age, religion, political convictions, sexual orientation, or any other walk of life.

In this spirit, we declare an open season on all of the “Categories” that keep us all from cutting loose, expressing our hopes, realizing our dreams, and knowing and expressing ourselves.

An expressive and meaningful life must overcome the categories that limit our ability to create new things and to express our thoughts and feelings. We, the pilots of No Categories, are interested in giving ourselves a voice, giving a voice to others, and engaging in meaningful dialogue. We study literature, philosophy, and theology; we have learned that these things and other things are useless without relation, without community. Technology continues to revolutionize the means of creative production, trodding the ground of the printing press, the radio, the telephone, the musical studio. We pledge to break down the categories that prevent us all from expressing ourselves fully and to revel in the jouissance and the air of fair play and whimsical creativity and learn from other members of our community.


  • A Forum for ideas, news, thoughts, and leisure,
  • A space where thinking, creative people can share their thoughts and feelings among like-minded peers,
  • A space for writers, artists, intellectuals, academics, and all of the wandering peoples of cyberspace to air their work and keep it safe,
  • And to infect all the peoples of the world with the Word Virus, that microscopic creature that opens our hearts and minds to new modes of expression and new ideas.


Three years after he had given his very first poetry reading at the Six Gallery in San Francisco, a poetry reading that put West Coast Beat poets on the literary map, Michael McClure experimented with the psychotropic drug known as peyote. In “Peyote Poem,” he shares some insights of this experience:

"I hear all that there is to hear. There is no noise but a lack of sound. I am on the plain of Space. There are no spirits but spirits. The room is empty of all but visible things. THERE ARE NO CATEGORIES! OR JUSTIFICATIONS! I am sure of my movements I am a bulk in the air."

What, you think you ‘re going to have trouble deciphering that one? Imagine trying to faithfully reproduce the typography of a poem where the LAST thing on the author ‘s mind was reproducible tabs and margins, much less a coherent mission statement.

It should be noted that this material merely happens to be published online, because that makes it easier. No categories is a network in the human, not the mechanical sense. And another thing, while we’re on the matter of technology: This Is Not Your Television On the internet, it is all too easy to get caught up in the sights, the sounds, the colors, and the designs of everything. People come to the internet and they expect something like television. They expect to be dazzled with things to see. Often, this expectation takes prescidence over everything else that could be going on until, in many ways, the internet has become little more than an advertising wasteland masquerading as “mass communication.”

Certainly, visual communication has its place, but this isn’t it. We prefer to tinker with words, not pictures. You will be more interested here if you are a reader, not a viewer.

So, there you have it.


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