I recently learned that a local (Naarm) anarchist called ‘Pope Fred’ has died. I’ve no doubt others will have reflections, but to mark his passing from this realm to the next, it seemed appropriate to make a blogpost.
Assuming the mantle of a Pope was Fred’s tribute to organised religion, and he further distinguished himself by way of his distinctly un-gaudy, proletarian uniform of white overalls, often accompanied by a black balaclava when performing poetry or weaving a magickal spell. Fred had strong opinions, especially about anarchism. When not being delivered in person or on stage, these were often expressed in short, poetik pamphlets, of which he produced many over the decades. I remember him being especially delighted upon discovering that ‘Oppositional defiant disorder’ (ODD) had been diagnosed as an illness by other men-in-white-lab-coats, ODD becoming one of many signals the universe sent him in order to better prompt his subversive imagination. Despite having a sometimes prickly disposition, I always found Fred to be at heart a friendly indeed jovial fellow, eager to talk creative theory and unruly practice, and to share gossip and stories. I’m sure others will have their own stories of His Holiness, but in the meantime:
see / hear also : Pope Fred, Radical Australia, 3CR, April 7, 2021