Reading Zodiac, by Neal Stephenson, courtesy of my co-conspirator DeAnander, and I run into a description of diaminobutane, aka putrecine. Protagonist and eco-sabateur Sangamon Taylor is a chemist who makes this stuff… which is the essence of decaying flesh — guaranteed to clear a city block with the right wind conditions, and a busy building in minutes.
Of course, the little wheels in my head went spinning and clicking at this. Problem is, I can’t find anything that says how to make this stuff… which, when you think about it, is the perfect poetic method to bring the essence of the war back home for the most clueless ciudadano.
Think of all the places…. theoretically.
If anyone knows, we’d like to help disseminate this information — strictly as a theoretical matter, of course — and we welcome other stink-bomb formulae as well… theoretically, of course.
One reason I bring this up is that Steve McClure recently sent me a piece from the American Sociological Review, authored by Dough McAdam and Yang Su, entitled “The War at Home: Antiwar Protests and Congressional Voting, 1965 to 1973,” correlating Congressional action on Vietnam with levels of violence associated with the social movements opposing the war.
Here’s the essence of it in a nutshell: Non-violence with non-violent reaction, even with mass actions, spurred more Congressional actions against the war, but they were largely symbolic actions. Actions that were violent, or that provoked violence from the establishment and war-supporters, corresponded to fewer Congressional actions, but they were Congressional actions that were far more substantive in actually putting the brakes on the war. Re-read that carefully. It matters.
Bad smells are not violent; but they are potentially disruptive as hell.
Practical replies welcome.
Disclaimer: This is strictly a theoretical exchange, and the author does not plan to use these substances, nor does he suggest that others do.