“You see in this world there’s two kinds of people my friend: those with loaded guns and those who dig. You dig.”
-Blondie (from The Good, The Bad and The Ugly )
This zine is an excerpt from The Housing Monster by prole.info, including the book’s forward and Part One: “The Construction Site”. We at hearts and fists distro have prepared this zine for your reading and printing (just 15 sheets) pleasure; please freely redistribute.
You can find the full book free online, and many more lovely zines, at prole.info. The bound book can be ordered through PM Press (pmpress.org, or, again, prole.info).
The Housing Monster takes one seemingly simple, everyday thing—a house—and looks at the social relations that surround it. Moving from intensely personal thoughts and interactions to large-scale political and economic forces, it reads alternately like a worker’s diary, a short story, a psychology of everyday life, a historical account, an introduction to Marxist critique of political economy, and an angry flyer someone would pass you on the street.
Starting with the construction site and the physical building of houses, the book slowly builds and links more and more issues together: from gentrification and city politics to gender roles and identity politics, from subcontracting and speculation to union contracts and negotiation, from individual belief, suffering, and resistance to structural division, necessity, and instability. What starts as a look at housing broadens into a critique of capitalism as a whole. The text is accompanied by clean black-and-white illustrations that are mocking, beautiful, and bleak.