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Messages - Q. G. Pennyworth

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Bring and Brag / Re: I am Falling
« on: June 28, 2023, 09:24:07 pm »

Apple Talk / Re: Open Bar: Curbside Pickup Only
« on: June 28, 2023, 02:18:42 am »
I've been pushing through a very upsetting (but not bad) breakup by, uh, working on a remix and some trance synth leads for the Memorrhage guy. And crowdfunding my home-recording setup so I can contribute vocals. (Isolation shields worth a goddamn are PRICY.)

I think this is the most involved I've ever been in music. Almost daily I'm discussing with actual successful underground musicians my opinions on production and songwriting, and they're taken seriously. I can commiserate over EQing synth organs to sit nicely in dense mixes* and the other person will nod sadly and say "the decay..." because we've both been there.

It's really nice to be taken seriously by musicians who are legendary among "Thinking Man's avant-death metal" elitists and have done everything from chiptune grindcore to Bay Area screamo to nu metal. It's times like this I know my faith in my musical abilities is not Dunning-Kruger shit.

* Seriously, have you tried to do this without having to automate every band of an EQ to shift note-by-note? it's a fucking NIGHTMARE, and if you're gonna tell me to break out the comb filters I'm going to tell you to put that shit on some Scriabin-ass synthetic chords so you can hear the pan-pipers of Azathoth for yourself. It is an Incontrovertible Fact that organs, even basic ass synth organs with 3-oscillator formants, are made for filling every frequency above the fundamental with pure clean tonal bands and you had just better hope your tits that you have the headroom in your fucking mix to pull that off.

Do you take very dumb music requests? Because there is a very dumb thing I want

Or Kill Me / Re: There's No Such Thing As Too Late
« on: June 26, 2023, 10:49:31 pm »
The key of the fictional work I've been doing is that the protagonists CANNOT win. They will always fail, no matter what they do. But they fight anyway, and yeah, they didn't win. Most of the time it wasn't even a Pyrrhic victory for the antagonists. But they made the antagonists have to pay /something/ for it, rather then getting it for free, and the cost is never trivial.

You never lay down and give up. You can do it for short times, to recover, but when you CAN stand up, you DO stand up.

I think there's something to chew on for the difference between resting and giving up

Or Kill Me / There's No Such Thing As Too Late
« on: June 26, 2023, 02:24:07 am »
There is no such thing as too late

Look around you. Things are fucked. You know there're fucked, your friends know they're fucked, you talk about it often enough, but it's hard getting past knowing and into doing. Global climate catastrophe is coming, and it seems like there's nothing useful to be done for it. Fascists are on our doorstep. War never seems to end. So fuckit, if there's nothing we can do, why worry about it?

Find that voice inside your head. Kill it. It is one of many jailkeepers you are going to have to strangle before you can get out of here.

People were enslaved in America for four hundred years, the Roman Empire lasted a thousand, Hitler took over half of Europe before the tide turned, monarchies and tzarist rule and every other form of oppression you can imagine was so thoroughly entrenched it seemed impossible to resist until it wasn't. You know this is true, you hear it all the time, but somewhere in the convoluted recesses of your consciousness this fact keeps getting unplugged from your planning processes. This isn't accidental, the status quo is self-reinforcing, and discouraging dissent is part of that. Fight it.

That desire to give up, to let go, to disconnect your mind from your meat and just let whatever is going to happen happen is one of the oldest evolutionary responses to stress. You see it in dying animals. But you are not a dying animal, and you do not need this respite from suffering as you are being gnawed alive. You need to fucking fight.

It's true that recycling plastic ain't doing shit and carbon credits are not making enough of a dent, it's true that the YouTube alt-Right pipeline is working faster and better than anything put up against it. It's true you may not win, but that doesn't absolve you from anything.

When my mom died I was at home. She was supposed to go the night before, we all felt it, and that's why my dad and I sat that night with her, her body yellowed and bloating, her breathing weak, nothing moving, nothing changing, no responses. And morning came and the nurses came for rounds and told us to go home, that it could be days, that we needed to sleep. The call came maybe six hours later. And I... I don't know if I lied. Shock is a strange thing. But I told him I wasn't sure if she was gone, and we drove fast, and we ran. And of course, it was too late to be there when she left, it was too late to witness a last breath. But it mattered that we rushed, it mattered that we tried. Just like it mattered that we got a sneaky second opinion on her dire diagnosis, just like it mattered that we got her body donated where she wanted.

When things are terrible you will have so many choices to make. There will be battles you cannot win, there will be fronts that you simply are not cut out for fighting on. And the part of you that wants to spare you suffering will tell you there's no hope, that change is impossible, that you are too weak or too old or too unqualified. That part of you is trying to do you a kindness, to spare you from the pain of defeat. Snap its fucking neck. Because there are worse things than losing and they are knowing that you did nothing while Rome burned, they are knowing you did not rush to the hospital, they are knowing you SHUT UP when someone else needed you to SCREAM. And if you already know that pain please know this: it's not too late to try again. It's never too late.

Or Kill Me / Put Down The Work
« on: June 23, 2023, 07:10:25 pm »
Your whole life you have been guided towards choosing a career, any career, in service to the norms of your culture and your personal survival.

Put that shit down.

That isn't to say "quit your job immediately," I'm not advocating for a crustpunk utopia or the NEET lifestyle. I'm not demeaning labor, either. There are essential tasks that save lives and keep people fed, these are good and honorable things that we do not cherish enough, didn't even cherish enough when we were in a global crisis and it was put in stark relief.

What I am saying is that you are probably holding onto some ideas about your life and your purpose on this planet that are forwarding agendas you don't like, and you've gotta let that shit go.

Even if you don't think of yourself as a "keeping up with the Joneses" type, you may find yourself engaged in that cycle: work hard, make more money, get nicer things, nicer things cost more, need to work harder to make more money. Stop that. You don't like waste and you don't like working so why are you working harder to fill your life with more shit you don't need?

Think about what it is that the company you're working for actually DOES in the world. Are they making medicine? Are they feeding people? Are they contributing to the prison industrial complex? The military industrial complex? Is the CEO a colossal dick getting rich and famous off the labor of decent people trying to do good work? Maybe you're one of the lucky ones doing meaningful labor under benign local leadership, but most folks aren't. Think about all the ways the hours of your life are contributing to the things you hate, the things that are killing you. Really think about it. Get uncomfortable instead of drunk. Start writing things down. Make your wall a post it note and red string nightmare if you have to.

This is the cliff's edge. This is where you might fall to your death, or freeze, or turn back. It's okay to be scared, rational, good even. You can't take the next step without accomplices and you can't take it without a plan. The tiger-fleeing part of your brain will tell you it's now or never and you have to make a decision right now but tell it to hold. Start making plans. Start building resources. Start recruiting.

You weren't born to be a cog in their machine.

Propaganda Depository / Re: Disco Rd ezine & podcast
« on: June 23, 2023, 07:02:16 pm »
Yes I am, thank you! You can contact me, Leigh, at I have two more issues planned for the year. Looking forward to seeing what you come up with.
Emailed you some bits and bobs

Principia Discussion / Re: Local 73rd Hermits Cabal
« on: June 09, 2023, 07:07:21 pm »
Not to mention infrastructure.

Any city older than a century has infrastructural chaos on a scale you couldn't imagine if you were shown it. Everything looks nice and neat shown in isolation, but you add a single other datapoint and it's over for your conceived notions of shit making sense. The water mains were laid in before electrification, and in some cases before sewage. None of the three have anything to do with each other, except when they do, and system failures in those areas are spectacular. Transit infrastructure was built wherever the fuck it fit and/or they could buy out black people's property and flatten it. In cities like NYC, there's extra special infrastructure for things like heating skyscrapers without relying on resistive heat, and this was usually built after water, sewage and electrification, but before communications networks. Most cities have at least one area with a lot of maintenance tunnels and these map to almost nothing sensible either. They did when they were BUILT, mind you, but that was in the 1930s and things are different now.

The newer cities are worse, because everything is neat and orderly in one place and eroding into madness in another in a patchwork that maps to pretty much nothing, not even income level. The rich people want to move away from the poor people so they get new construction that isn't laid out in anything resembling a sensible fashion so as to eliminate walkability and thus poor people, the poor people want to live in the city center near their jobs but get priced out by gentrified tenements, you have just a seething fucking foam of alternating horror and sanity.

Infrastructure being considered orderly betrays a hilarious degree of optimism as regards the human species' ability to do a goddamn thing right.

Apple Talk / Things I Have Said To Cops' Faces
« on: June 04, 2023, 05:59:01 pm »
I would rather get blown up by terrorists than get cancer.

It is more ethical in any altercation between a cop and a non-cop for the cop to die than the other party, as the cop consented to a job with that risk and the other person did not.

I am allowed to be here.

The Supreme Court of the United States has ruled that the remedy to bad speech is not censorship but more speech, and therefore it is incumbent upon any citizen when they see bad or dangerous speech to speak louder than the bad speech, not quietly in the corner.

Sometimes a riot is the right answer.

Apple Talk / Re: Introductions, Part VI: Welcome to Our PD Party
« on: June 03, 2023, 10:12:52 pm »
Currently writing a book that combines Discordianism and Empedocledian doctrine with witchcraft and Chaos magic, because I never, ever want to be published, apparently.

A bit of a belated update, but I ended up getting a book deal and submitted the first draft to a publisher this past Wednesday.  :horrormirth:


Or Kill Me / Re: Collaboration Will Fucking Kill You
« on: June 01, 2023, 04:35:00 pm »

Or Kill Me / Re: The Revolution Will Not Be Monetised
« on: June 01, 2023, 04:15:55 pm »
I'm not completely in love with the body font on this one, it might get another revision

I know, I know, it's a Star War, just fucking watch it. This thing won a a Peabody ffs it's not Revenge of the Skywalkers all over again I promise.

There is so, so much I need to chew on with this thing. They gave us a tiny little manifesto-writing idealist, and while a bit sophomoric the writing is there and the character is recognizable to anyone who's ever had a Socialist Tim in their social circles. He said freedom is free and tyranny constantly has to work for it. Out loud. We got slightly problematic yet effective granny rebel, who finally stopped giving a shit and started a riot at her own funeral. The FUNERAL. You guys, they did a riot at a funeral. In occupied territory. They did the whole march and the instruments played badly and the SWAT shield walls and the scrum and what happens when people cross the line, it was all there and it was all right.

The corporate management, which is not the Empire but is contracted by the empire, and their shitty uniforms and their body armor that follows the lines of the real vests I have handed to our own rent-a-cops working in the dangerous part of town, the bad speeches, the brown faces doing this work and getting killed for it and the brown faces trying to keep a potential riot from getting out of hand and getting killed for it and the brown face of Our Hero who gets profiled just walking down the beach near some other people running from the cops and is sentenced to six years for walking while brown. You GUYS.

They show, over and over and over, how miserable everyone is under fascism. How extracting raw materials for glorious fleets and skyscrapers and That's No Moon destroys environments and communities and real people's lives that were worth living. How the fascists at the bottom toil away under miserable delusions that someday the Hero's Journey will be THEIRS, how someday they might WEAR THE BOOT CRUSHING THEIR FACE, the misery of climbing the ladder, the misery of the glamorous spotlight, the misery of hiding your truth, the misery of training for six months in complete secrecy away from everyone and everything waiting for the moment to strike knowing that you do not have the manpower but committing to the fucking bit anyway because anything is better than doing nothing. The quiet bits of respite people find with each other, and how those things are stripped away one by one. The erosion of a culture by forcing people off their land in perfectly legal ways.

YOU GUYS. THE JAILBREAK. Because yes it's a jailbreak in the literal sense but ALSO there is no jailbreak until you can break through the bars in your own goddamn head, and the difference between removing yourself from the equation and getting enough accomplices to get EVERYONE OUT. The inevitable losses, the fear, the cracking under pressure, the doing it anyway.

I was really, really toast. I cannot emphasize enough how done with everything I was. I was ready to pack up everything and move to a quiet place where the rent was covered and I could just sit in the sun and not. And it would have killed me, in a different way than I'm dying now. But sometimes art is the thing you need to light yourself back on fire. For me, this show was the thing.

I know, it's very specific to me, but I know one of the writers. The Husband worked with Beau Wilimon on House of Cards. We've done brunch together, he's great and he genuinely wants to make things better. And I saw his name on the credits, as I'm sitting here reeling that someone got it right and someone knows the things, and realized that he knows the things BECAUSE WE FUCKING TOLD HIM. And he took that and he ran with it and got motherfucking DISNEY to pay to spread what he could of OUR PROPAGANDA, and here I am consuming revolutionary media while I'm calling over the PA system to ask homeless people to get out of the overhang and back on the sidewalk in the rain acting like I'm making a difference by not being RUDE about it!

I have never been an accelerationist. People die with accelerationism. A lot of them. There is no guarantee that things will get better after, only the certainty that things will get worse, and there will be suffering that I will have to answer for if I advocate for it. This thing makes the most compelling argument for accelerationism I've ever seen. And yes, it does have the benefit of not being in the real world, and occupying a place in a known timeline where we know without doubt what happens next. Things have to get worse. The senate will be dissolved. War will break out, and only through war will the Empire be defeated. A whole planet is going to blow up and there is nothing we can do to stop it. But we CAN stop doing the work to make it happen more efficiently and we CAN use our voices to lift other people up and we CAN break shit and make shit difficult and we might die along the way but again WE ARE ALREADY DEAD.

I just... I can't you guys. I applied to another job while I was writing this, it'd be a paycut but I'd be working with people actually helping the homeless instead of telling them to get soaked in the rain. I'm getting out from under this fucking rock if it kills me.

Or Kill Me / Re: The Revolution Will Not Be Monetised
« on: May 31, 2023, 05:56:16 pm »

Or Kill Me / The Year Of Our Lady
« on: May 30, 2023, 01:14:25 am »
Yes, you can be deadly serious, but can you be deadly SILLY?
You can wear your pronouns and your politics and you can tell the difference between the two, but can you wear the clothes you actually want? The lipstick that doesn't suit you? Can you shave half your face and leave the other half wild? Can you scrawl on your arm in sharpie just for the look of it? Do you even own a tutu?
Knowing how to fit in and when to fit in is a tool in the box but letting that take over how you act and look and feel when you’re not breaking in is the highway to normalcy.
Remember, we become what we pretend to be.
When was the last time you gave yourself permission to be silly?
This is not intended to make light of Current Circumstances. I know what dead bodies are. I know the end result of too much entropy.
But I worry, for me, and for you, that we are eating too much bread and not growing enough roses.
I worry we fell too far into the trap of defining ourselves in terms of our fights, that we forget what it is to exist outside of external purpose.
I tried, for a year, to not be in the fight. Any of the fights. I was exhausted. I was not getting my spoons back. And so I thought I would live simply. I would work a normal job and I would buy things with the money I earned and I would try to see what that dream thing is I keep hearing about. And for a while there was a romance to it. There is something good about being connected to your labor, something special about high viz tee shirts and dirty hands. There is a value in customer service voice, and the theater of work. But I found the deeper I went the more the mud sucked under my feet, and the scrabble to the top brought no joy no rewards but more and worse work, more getting yelled at more unpaid hours more emails to archive more projects and no time and no budget and worst of all no understanding from above that if something is worth doing it’s worth paying someone to do, and if you don’t want to pay someone to do it you would take if off the damn list of things to get done. My spoon drawer stayed empty, hit crisis. My stress stayed the same but the causes and solutions were stupid. I was more and more powerless.
This is my coming out of the cave. One shaky step at a time. I don’t know what I’m doing and I don’t know if I’ll survive but what I do know is that we all die anyway. I don’t want to die contributing to the creep of fascism, I don’t want to die making someone else rich. There is no reward for keeping your head down and they cannot hammer every nail that pops up. Let me try. With fully informed consent. Knowing that my chances are next to nil. Let me extract my body from their machine, my labor from their pool. Let me breathe unconditioned air. I will make my wax wings and I will brave their fly swatters and I will sing in the shower and speak to strangers and pick up every shiny rock on my long walk to wherever it is I am going. I will put on my armor and I will find a new sword and I will stand where bodies are needed for something better than what we have. I will break out my bullhorn and I will lead when the chants falter and I will hand the mic to scared neophytes who don’t know their own voice yet and I will coax it out of them with sweetness and whispers and whoops and hollers.
And I know, I will fall. I know that recovery is not a straight line. I know that progress is incremental, steps are taken back. I know I will land flat on my face. It’s already happened, already happening.
Remember, you will die here. Remember you are already dead. But you do not have to die alone and you do not have to die in service to what you hate and you do not have to die having never lived.
These are omelet making times. And whether you are the one making the omelet or not a lot of eggs are getting broken and chances are you’re going to be one of them. But listen to me, really listen. Sometimes an omelet needs to be made. And every single egg that breaks along the way matters. Everything that you are matters. The smell of lilacs in May, the burning pavement under bare feet, the taste of chlorine, of sea salt in the air, the touch of mist on a gray day, of mud between your toes, it matters.
Let the sun shine on your face.
Put down the work.
Find accomplices
Start planning
And for the love of the Goddess, get a little silly about it.
We’re going on a jailbreak.

Horrorology / Re: Fear, Loathing, and Horror.
« on: May 21, 2023, 05:44:28 pm »

forgot to post this when I finished it

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