By Craven

Tuesday, March 18 2008

Abolish Restaurants on the surface looks like simple agitprop (agitational propaganda). It is expertly illustrated in stark, thick-lined drawings that are shadow-like and rudimentary. This breaks up the text and makes it more digestible, while adding a cold and unsettling feel to what is a well-researched and near perfect political essay. The subject is restaurants and the poverty of the food service worker’s life. It starts with a history of the very first restaurants and the political climate which brought them about. From there it breaks down the capitalist nature of the industry and it’s degradation of the worker’s within it. I steer away from political writing these days. However, if hadn’t been given this to review and just randomly picked it up, I could see the art in it being compelling enough for me to check it out. I would have been skeptical, as someone who is working-class and poor (and not just temporarily, like say, until I graduate), that it would be more insulting and condescending Crimethinc.-styled tripe. But fortunately, this is really for the worker, by the worker. Not for lifestylists with a safety net. It will trigger thoughts about work that are in the back of your head. It will give you some stuff you don’t already know. All around, it is just really interesting and will make you think and get you pissed off. It is far from just agitprop. Unfortunately, the only answer to the oppression of the worker that the author has is to overthrow the system, to rise up and not stop until we’ve beat the capitalist system. It’s fucked up because I don’t see that happening. But hell, how else could you wrap something like this up. But anyway, get this, it’s a great read and while it might not set off a revolution, it’ll make you feel a little less alienated if you sneak it off into the bathroom while you’re at your job –Craven Rock (