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Luther Blissett

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Luther Blissett was a footballer who played for Watford F.C., A.C. Milan and England during the 1980s. He was the first black footballer to play for England, and scored a hat-trick on his debut.

Luther Blissett is also the name for what the BBC has called a "group of Italian anarchists" despite this being wildly innacurate as the group is not limited to Italy or to anarchists. In fact, much of the reported news about the "group of anarchists" appears to be speculation. Blissett, the footballer, is known to be aware of the 'group' taking his name but reports differ widely in saying whether he likes the attention he receives because of them. Some reports have said he is flattered by the attention, others claim he is very upset about it. The reasons why the group chose the name are also unclear.

Reports have suggested that Blissett, one of the first black footballers to play in Italy, may have been chosen to make a statement against right-wing extremists in the country. Others say that 'Luther Blissett, the multiple name' can call into question copyright and bourgeois notions of identity.

The following passage taken from a manifesto page (http://www.altx.com/manifestos/blisset) of the group/identity gives a flavour of the philosophy:

"'Mac Guffin' is the name by which we call this sort of action: stealing papers, stealing a document, stealing a secret. The thing is not important in itself, and logicians go wrong in searching for a truth in the Mac Guffin. In my work I've always thought that while the 'papers', the 'documents' or the 'secret' of the construction of a fortress must be important for the characters of the movie, they have to be of no interest to me, to the story-teller " (Alfred Hitchcock).

Luther Blissett is both the story-teller and the Mac Guffin of a board-game played on the stage of the world. It is essentially a grim theory of conspiracy which mostly makes use of techniques tested in the Mail Art (Ethe)real Network (MULTIPLE NAMES, 'Add, Pass & Return' creations etc.) in order to manipulate and overturn the language of myths, the archetypes of the popular culture as well as the neo-pagan religious experience. It is a sort of lucid shamanism which does not belong to a pre-democratic and pre-individual view of the world (i.e. a claim to a totalitarian social unity); on the contrary it puts itself BEYOND democracy and the individuality, in the name of a free chaotic empathy between the creatures, as if we were charming Betazoids.

Sometimes the links between the elements of the project happen to recall the most entangled detective stories (e.g. "The Long Goodbye" by Raymond Chandler or "White Jazz" by James Ellroy[?]), or maybe 'Paco Ignacio Taibo meets Paracelsus at an Illegal Rave'.

The game consists in forcing the Wo/Mankind to deal with the Catastrophe and lie down next to it, so that we can't be caught while we sleep. When one feels up to being in safety, at worst her/his mind will PLAY WITH the Catastrophe as an improbable contingency, and some modest assurance will be enough to give her/him shelter. But we are NOT in safety: as a whole, the present-day social relations are nothing but an infectious neuro-epidemic, so we must PLAY INTO the Catastrophe and tie our symbolic capital up to it, in order to keep the Northwest Passage open. The Multiple Name becomes a borderline experience, a live broadcast from the last promontory of the centuries: "At the beginning of a century you may act the experimentalist, but the end is like a western, one makes it a point of duty to describe what's happening and sum it up..." (Andrea G. Pinketts[?]).

Luther Blissett is not a 'teamwork identity' as reported by the journalists; rather, it is a MULTIPLE SINGLE: the 'Luther Blissetts' don't exist, only Luther Blissett exist. Today we can infuse ourselves with vitality by exploring any possibility of escaping the conventional identities.

N.B. "That this manifesto is in the public domain is still under dispute." is still under dispute!!!

Publications by Luther Blissett:

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