"By high school, I hated almost everyone and I read insatiably. Both, in their owns ways, sprung from a lousy home life. Both functioned as an outlet for me. The anger was redirected from sources at which I wasn't allowed to strike back, and books distracted me from anywhere I didn't want to be...which was mostly everywhere. But it wasn't until some black-clad friends and I wandered into an occult bookstore on Clark Street -- it seemed a suitable stop for us -- and I picked up 'Rants and Incendiary Tracts: Voices of Desperate Illumination' that I realized a book could be a political act. A book could function as a punch in the face, a rallying point, a riot, a revolution, for both author and reader. I had never read anything as venomous as some of the short works of sheer rage collected in Bob Black and Adam Parfrey's anthology of speeches, poems, tirades, tracts and manifestos. I was in love. Not with all the tenets espoused, necessarily -- but with the energy, with the focus. It all clicked together. Not much time ever manages to pass when I don't think of 'Rants,' usually when I'm showing my students the subtle fury of American slave narratives or watching them process the utter contempt and ultimate beauty of Existentialism. Books are acts of rebellion. And as it turns out, they land me in a lot less trouble than a fistfight."