The anarchist brother

Anti-corporate, radical gift ideas.

Shopping for someone who wants to instigate a war on capitalism and economic enslavement presents a bit of a dilemma, what some might call “ironic.” Ask yourself: What does my pain-in-the-ass anarchist, squatter, punk brother really need? The answer may be “nothing,” but see how that flies at the holiday party when, against his rebellious better judgment, bro returns home. Instead, give gifts in solidarity with bro’s ideologies. Anarchists are a senstive bunch, and failing to help crush all forms of hierarchy could cause unwanted sibling drama.

Destroying civilization is a rather large undertaking, especially for someone who graduated from private school, so your brother should prepare by reading books on revolutionary heroes, such as Che Guevara, Pancho Villa and Mao Zedong, which you may find from used books stores, such as The Book Collector (1008 24th Street, (916) 442-9295), Time Tested Books (1114 21st Street, (916) 447-5696) or Beers Books (915 S Street, (916) 442-9475).

Steer clear of buying presents from the mall—an institution of unparalleled, hellish oppression—and opt instead for gift certificates to stores that sell vintage duds, such as Olipom (1115 21st Street, (916) 442-4470) or its new sister store, Bows and Arrows (1712 L Street, (916) 444-3606), where he can shop for hip black clothing to avoid being identified by the authorities during SWAT raids.

Speaking of the police, your brother might have to rely on his old clunker of a mountain bike to help with getaways. Wrap a fancy (OK, not too fancy) bow around five bucks and tell your bro its an ad hoc gift certificate to a day at The Sacramento Bicycle Kitchen, where a $5 donation will introduce him to a knowledgable group of volunteers who can teach him to fix up his own ride (2837 36th Street, (916) 731-8167). Or splurge to get your brother a year-long subscription to the Kitchen ($100) so he can stop in any time for a D.I.Y. tune-up.

Remember back to 1999 at the World Trade Organization protests in Seattle when the fuzz sprayed your brother with a fire hose? He responded by throwing rocks through storefront windows, but remind him that old-fashioned protest signs still go a long way to support the cause. Buy your brother arts and crafts supplies—bottles of acrylic paints, brushes, posterboard—from University Art (2601 J Street, (916) 443-5721). The shop also carries pen sets and journals, on which he can document his manifesto for future generations.

Overall, don’t spend too much money because, when it comes down to it, bro is not attached to the stuff on his back and inevitably will one day purge the material clutter from his life. In the end, the best gift you can offer is your dedication to the revolution, because when that day comes there really will be cause for celebration.