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Topics - Q. G. Pennyworth

#1
Or Kill Me / Like A Bad Wolf Eating Chips
July 12, 2023, 03:00:52 PM
I see you
Curled up in blankets for the weight not the warmth
A million projects floating and nothing complete
Grand dreams getting further every day
As you wear the rut that is becoming your life
Headphones on to make bearable the day
All that driving music you listen to, what is it driving you towards?
That epic sense of meaning and accomplishment you chase
To the detriment of your rent and stability
That feeling you cannot shake that you were made for more than this
I see you
Consuming revolutionary media
Eyes wide ears open
Lost in worlds you cannot inhabit
Post apocalypse, post peak, crumbling concrete bombed out aesthetic
Your heart yearning for endings
And the new beginnings that follow
Loss and sorrow so real you can taste it
Sucker roots spreading out from your toes and fingers into the fertile soil of someone else's fantasy
The world is on fire
Now
The villains are already here
And still you sit
Like a bad wolf eating chips
Body paralyzed mind screaming
DO SOMETHING but never a clue what something is
Only the unbearable pressure of intolerable conditions
I see you
I see you
I see you

This is not going to be forever
But you know the longer you wait the worse it will be
Everything you ever procrastinated on the same story
Scream
Even a little
Even if you have to put it in a pillow
Even if you have to couch it as a song
Scream
Before you forget how
Before the pipes rust away forever
You have so much in front of you
And you must to it

You are going to have to vote,
And you are going to have to talk about who you're voting for
You are going to have to show up
To call and complain
And it still might not be enough
You might have to march
You might have to put your body between a motorcycle and a crowd of kids
You might have to drag someone back from the shield wall line
You might have to man the molotov craft table
You might be the one at home cooking post protest pasta
You might be the one with the vehicle on call for extraction
You might end up bringing pizza to the police station for the ones getting bailed out
You might end up washing pepper spray out of someone's eyes
Or blood

I see you
Your fears so founded
Your icebergs looming
Your moments of heartbreaking clarity
Your moments of resentful rest
#2
Or Kill Me / Breaking Point
July 06, 2023, 02:30:10 PM
There are few things that loom larger in our cultural consciousness than the idea of a breaking point: that someday it will all just be Too Much and something will SNAP and suddenly it will be RADICALLY DIFFERENT than the day before. There will be riots, there will be fires, there will be government officials dragged out of their offices, there will be something Shiny and New and we will celebrate and topple statues and cheer. America, especially, dreams of breaking points.

When I was a kid the term we used was "going postal," as the most well known office shooting at the time was located in a post office. This was before Columbine, before schools were *the* destination for seemingly spontaneous mass murders. At the security company where I work now, there are calls every few months from companies that have let someone go and want someone to keep an eye out for them coming back armed.

You don't often find people connecting these threads.

Accelerationism is a political philosophy that espouses the idea that things are bad, but not yet bad enough for people to act towards necessary change. The idea that society is hesitating at the cliff's edge and just needs a little push before it tries to flap its little wings. Maybe, if we just make conditions intolerable *enough* it will be enough for change.

There's math people don't know that they're doing in their head all the time. It's economic theory kind of math, but it doesn't have much to do with money. The question being posed is always the same: is Doing Something worse than Doing Nothing?

There are, as you might expect, lots of moving parts here. What is the benefit of doing the thing? Is there a future on the other end that seems possible, and better than current conditions? How much does it cost? In lives, in money, in time and effort? What are the chances we will succeed? What are the costs of failure? And how bad, really, how bad is it now?

Accellerationists try to move the needle by making "how bad is it now" even worse. If you're just doing math, it makes a kind of sense. If you don't like the idea of people dying because of something you did, it's kinda less appealing.

There are trolley car arguments, of course. There are always trolley car arguments. The real villains are the ones who tied all these people up on the tracks in the first place, the ones who deregulated the trolley construction which led to the failing breaks. We've all heard it. I'm not going to try to convince you one way or the other on this.

What I do want you to chew on is the idea of that breaking point. That moment where conditions are so intolerable that literally any action is better than doing nothing and continuing as you are. That's the core conceit, isn't it? If we just get enough people there, revolution will spontaneously arise.

Now, back to the second point. Do you see where we're going here? We have an abundance of people who are already at the point where conditions are so personally intolerable that they are willing to end their lives ending the lives of others for no more reward than simply not dragging themselves through another day like this. Add to that number the "deaths of despair," the people who are numbing themselves by any means necessary to get away from the conditions they cannot tolerate. How big of an army do you really think you need to run the guillotines?

And there's the thing: they're not an army. Even the ones who think that their death is going to be The Spark that convinces everyone to finally get off the couch and start organizing, they're just dead bodies.

We consume a lot of revolutionary media. In that media there are really only two common paths from Intolerable Conditions to Outright Revolution: a charismatic lone individual inspires others to spontaneously rise up with no prior organization or coordination, and a charismatic lone individual is exploited by an existing organization to swell their ranks to a functional number. When that's all people see, it's no wonder that they think of revolution as something they can do on their own, or at least start doing on their own, but the evidence is right in front of our faces: if you act alone, you will not have any meaningful impact. The Machine is designed to absorb aberrant individuals.

Acquiring accomplices is hard. It's probably the hardest part of getting anything done. Building trust is not easy in a society that raised us on Stranger Danger, building community is hard in tract housing and car-centered design, every ounce of effort put into organizing is effort not being spent on the tasks of keeping yourself alive in a world that is ever more expensive just to breathe in.

But if you are pushing people, or yourself, to the breaking point, without laying down the groundwork? That's not the Revolution. That's just getting people miserable and dead. Stop doing The Machine's work for it.
#3
Or Kill Me / There's No Such Thing As Too Late
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.
#4
Or Kill Me / Put Down The Work
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.
#5
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.
#6
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.
#7
Or Kill Me / The Year Of Our Lady
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.
#8
Aneristic Illusions / Completely Innocent Gears
May 18, 2023, 05:32:44 PM
There is no sin
In editing
Cleaning typos
From forms
Filled out by others
Tidying language
Making clear what was muddy
Shining light on truth
And scraping away
Uncertainty
So long as it is done
Diligently
With care
And accuracy
We must always strive
For accuracy

And so too, is there no sin
In writing down
What is seen
When you are
Where you have been paid to be
So long as it is done
Diligently
With an eye for the truth
Ever striving
For accuracy

In the light of all this
How could it be wrong
To pass along
The evidence of something amiss
To someone who knows
How to deal with it?
Someone who is
Certified
Trained and equipped
Authorized
To handle it

And if you do have the authority
Don't you also have the duty
To do something?
To intervene?
To protect a person from themselves
To protect the public
From the deranged?
Or simply from the consequences
Of their own poor decisions?
How can there be a sin
In doing everything you can
In service to your community?
Remembering
One must always act
Diligently

And one by one
The pieces of paper
Numbered and notarized
Pile up
Wind up
On the desk
Of someone
Who was given
The authority
Hammer in hand
Parsing
An image painted
By a thousand blameless artists
Seeking only
To do their jobs
Diligently
In a mechanical moment
The hammer strikes
A life ground down
By a machine
Made of a thousand guiltless gears
#9
Or Kill Me / Compromise
February 11, 2022, 08:09:48 PM
Let it be known that humans are cabbages sometimes
And greyfaces are jokesters sometimes
That bipeds sometimes drop to all fours
And sheeple are sometimes woke

Let it be known that enlightenment is not a destination
But a way that people sometimes are
And sometimes are not
And this is not a flaw, but a feature

Let us not shit on people for being on a downswing
Or prevent them from moving back
Towards the kind of person
We'd like to hang out with

Let us not place blame except where it is due
Or where its funny
#10
Like, you see all these normal ass posts about "I got engaged!" "I started a new job!" "Lookit this baby I made!" "here's my 112 year old granny love you!" and I'm just sitting here like, I know you owned fuzzy pink handcuffs and I know you have fucked half of the greater metro area and I know you can't get off without practically punching girls in the face and I know you bought a cage for your penis but you can't SAY THAT so it's just.. I dunno man it's fuckin bizarre.
#11
Literate Chaotic / Daily Nonsense Thread
August 10, 2021, 09:02:58 PM
Now that Holy Nonsense 2020 is done and the website is caught up enough to post to, I'll be doing an upload a day of individual works, including the image and pdf files, and all the meta info I have access to. Gonna do my best not to drop the ball on this one.
#12
Or Kill Me / Apocamysticism
July 23, 2021, 03:05:04 AM
Why is it that when people get into religion or mysticism they so often wind up obsessed with apocalypses? The mad preacher with a sign reading THE END IS NIGH is a trope so old and pervasive I could be writing this rant in 1952. Don't folks know it's BAD, ACTUALLY, to wrap up your mystical identity in the trappings of Apocalypse? Don't people know that cheerleading the end of the world is REALLY FUCKING STUPID? I'm looking at you, Cthulhu cultists.

But I'm looking at all you bitches way too into dystopian lit, too.

The fact is, we are living in a culture OBSESSED with apocalypses.  Zombie Apocalypses, Climate Apocalypses, whatever the fuck the Preppers think is gonna happen when Obummer or Sleepy Joe comes for their guns, the Apocalypse America is built on,* the one the Evangelicals are praying for every night... The fact that I can list so many that are so intimately familiar to you as a reader is already a giant red flag.

You didn't choose the memetic soup you were going to be born into. It's not your fault that you're cohabiting this planet with a bunch of self-destructive hairless primates, and it's hard to be surrounded by that cultural noise without picking up a little bit here and there. But you need to be AWARE of what you're ingesting, and you need to EXCISE some of this apocalypse cheerleading bullshit. Because it's killing people. Not fictional people, not potential future people, but really alive humans right now. 

America is Obsessed with Apocalypses
And America Outsources Its Problems

You can't understand what's happening in the Middle East without understanding the history of European colonialism and anti-Semitism and WWII and the Holocaust but you ALSO can't understand it without knowing that a significant, organized voting bloc in the US wants very badly for a specific apocalypse to happen, and getting all the Jews to move to Israel is one of the steps on that path. You can't understand Climate Change until you remember that there are people who honestly believe they are in the last generation of humans to occupy this planet. You can't understand anything that's happening in politics without constantly reminding yourself that a small but extremely loud subset of voters WANT TOTAL SOCIAL BREAKDOWN. The Call Of The Void, writ large.

And look, I really do empathize. I've spent my time in the hopeless pits of powerless rebellion. I've shut down in the face of problems too large to hope to affect. I've had dark nights at 3am where all I wanted to do was give up the present and try to imagine an end that, while probably not pleasant, might at least have some meaning? Some significance? But it's a trap, and you've gotta claw your way out of it.

The way out isn't gonna look how you expect, either. You might need some time being a bad guy, to break those chains of "good people don't." You might need to give up on politics and start running a goat larp. You might need to spend every morning for 6 weeks taking pictures of the flowers in the gardens in your neighborhood. Your escape won't look like mine, like anyone else's.

But When You Break Out
You're Saving A Piece Of The World.

#13
Irena Sendlerowa saved 2,500 Jewish babies, smuggling them out of the ghettos in suitcases and ambulances and sewer pipes and tunnels, writing down everything she could about where they went to try and preserve their family records in the catastrophe

Chiune Sugihara saved 2,200 households, some 4 or 5 thousand Jews rescued with visas he scribbled til his fingers bled and they dragged him away throwing the precious slips of paper out the window of the train as he went.

Carl Lutz sent 60,000 off to Palestine when he was only authorized to send 8,000 because sometimes pretending to be bad at math is a lifesaving act.

Johan vanHulst saved 600 students, Pere Marie-Benoit saved 4,000, Gertruida Wijsmuller-Meijer saved 10,000 and on, and on, and on

And yet

They tell us all these stories of rescue and subversion and sabotage, the bombs that were empty with notes from the enslaved laborers, the girls stealing bikes and luring horny Nazis to the woods to be shot, the lists of the ones diverted from the camps. And I understand because we need to believe tht there are resistors and heroes even in the dark and there ARE there ARE they should be remembered they did the best they could and still

AND STILL

6 Million

After everyone they saved there were still 6 Million who weren't and ho can you ignore the fact that everything they put in everything they sacrificed every dumb trick they pulled and clever and brave and stupid thing they did barely made a dent in it all. 6 Million is the number AFTER all of that, after every single thing was done to try to mitigate it, and if you think that's an acceptable loss I do not know how to relate to you.

Isolated Acts are not worthless, but in the face of Organized Evil, Isolated Acts just are not enough. You can dig your heels in til your legs break, you can scream until your lungs bleed, you can fight with everything you have and die where you stand

BUT IF YOU DIE ALONE, YOU WILL NOT SAVE ENOUGH
#14
Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / Identity
January 02, 2021, 05:20:26 PM
It's so irritating to me that we are missing out on some really interesting cultural conversations about identity because we refuse to acknowledge that everyone has one. Like, yes, I am white in that I have pale skin and White in that I am treated like the default skin color and culture in my country, but also I am a White descendant of the Irish diaspora, a White granddaughter of non-English speaking immigrants, and if we could only TALK about what it means to be White, about the toxicity of assimilation, about the arbitrary nature of colorism that allowed my pale skinned ancestors to choose Whiteness where the ancestors of my friends with melanin had no such choice, we could start to tear this fucker down. If we could TALK about how my last name is a thing I was made to feel ashamed of, made to joke about, about how my grandfather would sneak away from the rest of the crowd at family gatherings to talk to the other francophone immigrants to have a moment to speak in his native tongue, a language none of his children speak, a dialect different from the one his grandchild was taught in school as an elective, maybe we could stop this fuckin SPEAK ENGLISH trash. Because we all have family history and we all are crushed into these boxes and it is SO SO SO important if you want to understand why some POC buy into this Respectability and Assimilation thing to ACTUALLY TALK ABOUT what assimilation IS and how it worked out for the cultures that chose it and what was gained and what was lost and who is offered the option of assimilation and who will always always be at the back of the line and why. You can say "Dismantle White Supremacy" all you like but unless you understand what it IS and why people buy in it will be an empty slogan. If you really want to dismantle a thing, you need to know how it works, you need to see how the pieces interact, you need to find the weak spots and critical gears and THEN jam your crowbar in the cracks.

And like, GENDER! Do you realize we haven't even HAD a conversation about what it means to be cisgender? Is it having a strong internal sense of being the gender you were assigned at birth? Is it feeling like your gender identity IS tied to your sexual organs, or your reproductive capacity? Seriously I have talked with AFAB people who have had hysterectomies and feel like their gender identity has changed because of it, is that grief or mental illness or is that how their experience of gender works? Is being cisgender feeling like the way you were raised is what has determined your gender now? Is it not caring about your gender and just going with the label you were assigned at birth because it causes you no grief and the clothing in that section of the store fits your body better than the stuff in the other section? Are ALL OF THEM valid ways to exist as a cisgender person? Is being cis as vibrant and varied as all the ways a person can be trans? WE DON'T KNOW BECAUSE WE WON'T TALK ABOUT IT. No, we're still stuck with at most the dichotomy between "all people are born equal in every way and gender is used to oppress vagina-havers" and "Men and Women are the ONLY OPTIONS and they are VERY DIFFERENT and if you don't like that you have OFFENDED ZEUS." Fuckin, come on cis people, get your shit together this is embarrassing.

If we could acknowledge that every identity, even the culturally assumed defaults, are actual identities, that they merit introspection and discussion, that none of them are inherently better than any of the others, we could have so much more interesting conversations about who we are and how we want to exist together on this planet. But no. We're still stuck on "do Black people deserve to get shot on the street?" "are trans people mentally ill?" "should immigrants go home or shut up?" And those questions are BORING and HARMFUL and I would really love if we could GET ON WITH THE BETTER SHIT.
#15
Literate Chaotic / My Landlord Has Illegal Chickens
October 03, 2020, 02:36:41 AM
The chickens don't know they're illegal
The dandelions just want to grow
The tree roots never read the ADA
No worms know the property lines

The squirrels cannot tell you their history
The pigeons don't know they're sick
The bears have no word for National Park
And moose honor no highway signs

Mosquitos can't tell you about malaria
The penguins aren't aware they're gay
Bald eagles never heard of America
Jellies don't know they're not fish

Whales don't sing of letters of writ
Corpse flowers don't know they stink
Polar bears don't know what oil is
The moths only think of the light

Mushrooms don't know about fairy tales
The raccoons don't understand trash
The chickens don't know they're illegal
The weeds just want to live
#16
Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / 2020 got RBG
September 19, 2020, 01:00:37 AM
Drop them f-bombs here
#17
Definition of a Sandwich, Part 1

A sandwich is not
Two people on either side
Under the covers
In a dark room
With your body between
And your brain quiet
Because the caveman running your limbic system
Is finally at peace
Knowing that if a bear shows up
It will have to eat someone else
Before you
#18
Literate Chaotic / What's In The Bag?
August 09, 2020, 03:26:34 AM
Her bag is full of broken things
That broken boys have left behind
Bits of bones and breathless moans
Best not to pay them any mind

She carries with her trophies grim
Shards of love notes, tears and screams
Bloodstains and last trains
And the smell of strangers' rooms

A hundred and one fermented hearts
Hands that wandered, eyes that stared
their lost shirts and old hurts
Cataloged and tucked away

She does not need these broken things
But still she keeps collecting
Her knives are sharp and her dance card full
Because boys are weak
And the flesh is willing
#19
Literate Chaotic / Time Travel Bridge
August 09, 2020, 03:26:02 AM
How do you pack for the end of the Universe?
Turns out, it's pretty much the same as any other trip
She grabs a bottle of water, some granola bars
A few extra bandanas in case there is teargas
Or the mask she is wearing soaks through
Oh, god, how is she going to explain the masks?
She takes a rock, oblong and gray and worn down at a strange angle
Pock marked and paint stained from its time on the street
On the spot where she stood
And marched between the battle lines
And helped everyone live to fight another day
Ascendant and terrified and out of her mind
A good rock
A rock her past self will know
A rock her past self might have in her bag, too
Earbuds for her phone, still sitting on its' charger
The damn thing can't hold up as long as it used to
Wearing down like the rest of the Universe
Winding up to a finale no one can really articulate
But everyone feels coming
It's okay for the Universe to end in August, really
She grabs her back of good luck
Ganesha and a pentacle, sacrificial keychain knife and rosewood rosary
And the tokens of her beloved dead.
She is wearing sensible shoes
She is wearing shorts under her skirt
She has extra socks but no umbrella
If this works there will be rain
And she wants to be soaked through
He told her god was in the rain and she went looking
But all she found was a stubborn cough
And concerned bystanders hoping she wasn't on the roof to jump
And she looks at the other things
Because there is more than one way to end the Universe
She packs comfort in the form of folded paper
Giftwrapped resilience and stubborn, honest hope
A first aid kit and gloves because you never know
A key that goes to nowhere
And a key to get back home
She checks the time
And the other time
Kisses her husband as he sleeps
And goes out to the bridge that breaks reality
#20
Literate Chaotic / Still Love You, Buddy
August 09, 2020, 03:25:12 AM
I am wearing white and I am a widow with the smallest of "w"s
My grief lower case, beneath the bar, lesser than
I am walking the river side and singing my sadness
To the egrets and herons and the bakery vans across the way

I am wearing white and my smallest of "w"s is as invisible
As the infinite heart I am shoving back in the closet
Painted over with lipstick, brushed out of my hair
Buttoned under shirts that say "attractive librarian" but not "sexy"

I am wearing white and the smallest of "w"s is screaming
Into the infinite ocean that the Atlantic can only dream of
Because the world does not stop for grief but I am still here
Not ready to walk alone or hold my own umbrella

I am wearing white and my smallest of "w"s is healing
But some wounds don't leave scars, they leave piercings
Holes that don't weep and but never close back over
My heart is cracked open and I can feel everything
#21
Or Kill Me / Goddamn Girl
August 01, 2020, 09:07:56 PM
Goddamn girl you are worth fighting for and you are worth your bullshit
You have to remember there are people who love you with their whole hearts
Even when you aren't looking
People who will hold you in your weakness and your crazy
Who want better for you than this
Get your shit together
Make something beautiful out of this hole in your chest
Fuck somebody who wants to fuck you
Cry and scream and dig your nails in
Feel alive for five seconds
Do something that makes you want to keep breathing
To wake up tomorrow
You know you can't keep torturing yourself like this
He is not worth it no amount of dick in the world is worth it
You dumbfuck get up off the ground already
And live
#22
Literate Chaotic / Love is Not Respect
July 11, 2020, 02:34:34 AM
Love is not respect
It is not earned
Is not evaluated
It is not answerable to

Love is not up for debate
It is unreasonable
Non-negotiable
Uninterested in your dignity
Or better judgment

Love is not comfort
Not serendipity
Not complacency
It is not settled for

Love is not bribeable
Is not reliable
Undefilable
It does not take criticism
Constructive or otherwise

Love is not respect
It cannot be won
Or persuaded
It is not answerable to


#23
Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / Seven Butts
July 11, 2020, 02:33:48 AM
Today is seven butts
And that may sound like a lot
But it's important to remember
That there are days that are significantly butt-ier
Days of dozens, thousands, millions of butts
The kind of days where you can't seem to get out of bed
For the weight of all the butts on top of you
Infinite butts stretching out into the horizon
Obscuring the sun and moon and all the stars
Not leaving the slightest glimmer
In the fart-scented dark

Today is just seven butts.
#24
Or Kill Me / But I'm Fine
June 05, 2020, 12:41:31 AM
I got pepper sprayed but I'm fine
They trapped me and beat me with their bikes but I'm fine
I got hit in the leg with a rubber bullet but I'm fine
My eye ruptured when they fired a tear gas canister at my head and I am probably going to lose it after surgery tomorrow but I'm fine
but I'm fine
but I'm fine
but I'm fine
We keep saying it because we are breathing
Because others are not breathing
Because we don't want you to worry
Because we don't want to take up too much space
but I'm fine
And how much more would have to happen
how much do we need beaten out of us
How many tears do we shed
Before we admit we are not fine?
They are shooting at us
They are arresting us
They are running cars through us
But I'm fine
I'm not

#25
fucked if I know what that means, I woke up with the sentence seared in my forebrain. Have at.
#26
Or Kill Me / Enlightenment
February 18, 2020, 04:56:47 PM
Enlightenment

listen to everything around you
listen, and tell me everything is well and good
listen and tell no lies

open your eyes and watch
see what happens in the shadows
what we hide from sight to keep up our perfect facade
to say that we are better than them
to say that it could be worse
to say at least you don't live there
excuses; all of them
told from those who annot see, and those who choose not to
those who are lucky enough to close their eyes and ears

many cannot
many are forced to see
many are born into what we say is not
we say they lie
we say it is their fault
we do not trust them
we should; you should

when you close your eyes the world is perfect
when you close your eyes the world is kind and fair
do not lose sight of that
envision that world and make it a reality
but never forget that it is not
never forget to look into the shadows
never forget the people that are hidden
never forget how they will be hidden
never forget how they will try and slander their names
the names of innocent; of victims
question who they push as heroes
question the words they use
question what you believe
and what you are told
#27
qgpennyworth.com is now 153% less shitty!
#28
Literate Chaotic / This Guy
December 09, 2019, 06:58:14 PM
https://seat-safety-switch.tumblr.com/

Author of one new piece for Holy Nonsense already, I am probably gonna see about poaching a couple more of his before all this is over. I just love the tone.

QuoteYou have to be really careful when you go videogame hunting. In times long past, videogame players used to have heightened reflexes from hundreds of hours immersed in their murder simulators, fed a steady drip of intravenous Mountain Dew and Doritos. Nowadays, though, you're much more likely to be beaten half to death in the parking lot by gangs of 12-year-old girls dressed as Snorlaxes seen through the prism of a cocaine nightmare. As such, I was certain to dress boringly, and tuck away a few razor blades in my palm, just like when you go for a Boxing Day sale on gently-used DVD players.
#29
Or Kill Me / Season of the Hag
December 09, 2019, 04:46:10 AM
It is the season of the Hag
The season of the Sin Eater
A time of silent screaming
Of no resolution
Of no end to work
It is the season of Madness
Black cats and black hats
Of enthusiastically being the bad guys
Jerks for Justice
And I am no worthy vessel
All cracked and chipping
My alchemy unfit to the task
Of turning shit to purest gold.
#30
Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / Coffee
December 03, 2019, 05:30:57 PM
Caffeine blocks adenosine, a neurotransmitter that makes you feel sleepy, and that's how it does the thing most people use it for: stay awake or wake the hell up. There's a lot more going on in the brain, though. It increases transmission of dopamine (motivation and pleasure), raises serotonin levels (focus and mood), and acetylcholine (may help long term memory). It's a well known fact that people with ADHD have different reactions to caffeine than the general population. Some folks don't bother with it because "it doesn't wake me up" and others seek it out aggressively because "it makes me feel better."

So I'm sitting here, looking at my mother's 5 coffee a day habit, going huh. And her bouncing back and forth between a million projects, and her inability to hold down a job, and her seeking out new found family units every decade or so, the sorted-but-still-somehow-cluttered craft supplies all over the old house and the attic. And I wonder about what her college trajectory would have been without me, whether she was holding it all together or if it was a constant struggle. I think about her ability to balance a checkbook and get done the barest essentials, and how it got foisted on her when she was ten and filed under "do this or die" and how different that is than the normal lessons in adulting we get.

And yeah, I know she had some CPTSD stuff going on, and a different easily diagnosed neurological disorder that explains the dyslexia and early struggles. But NF isn't necessarily the culprit when you're looking at adult behavior.

So I'm just sitting here, going huh.
#31
Or Kill Me / Upset Them
December 02, 2019, 05:59:44 AM


I know some of my friends are having a rough go of it right now. Some of you are having trouble thinking of reasons to wake up tomorrow. It's that time of year, it's okay.

I want to remind you that you should keep taking care of your meatsack and keep living, not because I would be sad without you or the world would be a darker place or whatever sappy bullshit you can get off of an inspirational poster. Nope, I'm here to remind you that you should live because it will piss off someone who deserves to be mad.

Listen, you're a weirdo. You don't fit in the mold and you never did. There are people who love you for that, but there are also people out there who get in a snit about it. There are people who wake up angry every day just knowing that there are people like YOU in the world. These people get their undies in a bind about you just going about your life being your best self. Fuck them. You should live because it upsets them. You should live to spoil their rotten view of how things are supposed to be.

And sure, you can live for the other weirdos, so they can see you in the distance and know they are not alone in this world, that there are others who are making a go of it in the wilderness, surviving in spite of everything. But the burden of their expectations and longing can be heavy in the small hours of the night, and sometimes you need something white hot and pure to hold on to.

Sometimes you need spite. If you fall off the face of the earth tomorrow, the assholes will not notice and will not care. If you continue to live, you will be a thorn in their side forever.
#32
Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / NO MORE MARINARA
November 30, 2019, 03:54:39 AM
http://nomoremarinara.com/

Ok, which one of you fuckers is responsible for this?
#33
Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / Loss and Patterns
November 25, 2019, 09:49:17 PM
I live with pretty significant tinnitus. I've talked about it a bit before. There are plenty of things I can try to blame it on, from earbuds to my kids' screaming when they were babies, my loudass husband or the chant-leading I do. Fact is, my generation is LEADING THE CURVE when it comes to early-onset hearing loss, and I can remember having persistent (albeit less intrusive) ear-ringing all the way back to Kindergarten. But this isn't about environmental noise or generational misery, I wanna talk about chickens.

My landlord (who lives downstairs) keeps chickens. I think there are about a dozen of them, a mix of brown and barred rock hens. One day my husband was lying next to me and said something about "those fucking chickens." There was a pause while I looked at him in utter confusion, and then he remembered. "Oh, that's right, you probably can't hear them."

It's weird, because I can't really think of myself as disabled. I can manage in most situations just fine, even if I do sometimes have to ask people to repeat themselves, or turn my good ear to face someone speaking softly. There are times I just smile and nod (and my smile and nod game is ON POINT, lemme tell ya). I can do phone calls and I can usually keep up with television, and movies are so loud now I'm pretty sure the dead can make out the dialogue.

But this isn't just a story about loss.

I started writing this because those fucking chickens are at it again. See, now that he mentioned they crow at random hours of the day, I can make sense of that part of the noise, hear it clearly even though it's softer than the racket in my head. It has become Signal, and brains are very good at picking out signal. This isn't unique to the chickens, either. When I'm listening to music it can take a sometimes distressingly long time to catch the beat, to find a lyric or something to catch my pattern-seeking on, but once it catches it's like the whole thing comes into focus. Confusing sounds settle into familiarity. I can sing along if I want to.

Things are getting worse. I feel sometimes like I'm in a race against the clock, trying to cram as many auditory patterns in my skull as I can before things pass a threshold and new information can't be put in. Because I know even if I completely lose this sense, I will be able to fake it quite convincingly. I ill be able to parse the faintest hints of a song, the look of a face as words are being formed, and I will hear the whole pattern. It may not be entirely accurate, it may be dead wrong, but there will still be that internal experience of sound.

Even out of the primordial chaos, I will be able to fabricate the chickens crowing.
#34
Or Kill Me / It Will All End In Tears
October 20, 2019, 10:07:26 PM
It will all end in tears and I choose this with eyes open.

It will all end in tears because everything worth a damn does, because even happy endings are endings and there are things we never want to end, because even good things can go wrong and if you never leap you never know so get over the ledge already.

Oh you: once burnt, twice burnt, too shy to get burnt again, there is nothing I want more for you than to be burnt again. To feel every nerve on fire, to know you have a heart for sure because it is breaking.

It will all end in tears and what else could you possibly hope for? A quiet life was never for us, a life of listless apathy. There is nothing worth having that is not worth crying over, that will not make you cry in the end. And there is a difference between loss and abuse, between the things we have to leave the things we should have known better than and the things that make life worth living, that make life hollow in their absence. Not every pain belongs on a pedestal.

Oh you, in your doubt and your ruminations, I wish nothing more for you than to know the tears that have been shed, that will be shed, in the wake of your presence. The beautiful mess you have left and are leaving.

It will all end in tears, and you are worth crying over.
#35
This letter is to inform you that The Revolution is not in need of any martyrs at this time. We are all set on names for hashtags, on candlelit vigils, on impassioned pleas from mourning relatives. The blood shed on the streets already is quite enough for a lifetime of fighting, thank you.

We apologize for the inconvenience.

Those among you who are feeling too sharply the weight of the world, who are carrying your own personal fights and disappointments, who have been quietly looking for a way to unburden yourself without abandoning your post, know that you are heard. Unfortunately a death on the front line is no longer a valuable contribution to the cause. You will need to find your peace in other ways. 

There simply is no need for another man on fire, another woman shot down in her prime, another body found in suspicious circumstances. There are no openings for dead heroes at this time. We are, in fact, overstaffed in that regard.

You need to get your shit together. We need you fit for the fight. We need your boots on the ground and your voice on the megaphone. We need your labor, your time, your experience. Take a break if you have to. Seek out comfort where you can find it and comfort others as you are able. We need all of you. Alive.

Again, The Revolution is not in need of martyrs at this time.
Thank you.
#36
Or Kill Me / Found Fragment
October 12, 2019, 05:41:10 PM
But there is something that you've missed
In your raucous journey of the soul
You've cataloged the holy texts
But words alone won't make you whole
You were sent to learn, to teach
To write the story of yourself
#37
We're closing in on a month to do, so I thought I would provide you all with some updates.

1) Nobody gets the apple. This makes me so happy you don't even know.
2) I have learned how to make people I don't like do emotional labor for me. This is a beautiful thing.
3) People I don't know know my name. This is deeply uncomfortable for someone who spent a long time going almost exclusively by aliases, but I'm dealing with it.
4) Accidentally dropping the Candidate Mask in the right crowd wins you friends and potentially votes. Gotta read the room.
5) I am not above accepting votes from folks letting their boners decide.
6) An old woman told me how enthusiastic she was that they will be lowering the voting age to 18. She is my best bet for getting any votes in her senior housing facility, which is also a polling location.
7) Smiling with too many teeth is now my default setting.
#38
Or Kill Me / I See You
September 23, 2019, 07:06:08 PM
You are here and you have risked so much and whether you knew how difficult this day would be when you got up or you have stumbled into the deep end it's ok either way. You are here. The work you are doing matters.

You have chosen your outfit, chosen your footwear, chosen the things you would carry and the things you would leave behind. And if you have done a good job and these things are serving you well or if you did not know that flip flops are not protest wear it doesn't matter because you pulled yourself together you got out the door you are here. The work you are doing matters.

I know this is not all you are doing and I know that everything you are doing feels like it's never enough, like there's never enough progress, never enough of yourself to go around. I know you have lost things to this fight.

What we do is not heroic, is not cinematic, is never ending. It is work. And some days you do it on the street and other days there are other avenues. The war we fight exists on infinite fronts. And if you have never gone into battle before, you are here now. You are part of this. You have chosen the side you will stand on.

I see you.
#39
Or Kill Me / Stop Thinking - Start Breathing
September 23, 2019, 06:58:37 PM
Stop Thinking

Sanity is always the first casualty of war.
And if you don't think this is a war
You are not going to survive the first skirmish

We are all the walking wounded
We are all putting on our oxygen masks
We are all putting one foot in front of the other

We are no good to the resistance dead

Start Breathing

Feel the air in your lungs and the beating of your heart
Feel the strength of your rage and the depths of your sorrow
Feel the power of your voice, of your art, of your fists, of your fear
Learn to sublimate everything
You will need all of it

The weight of history is at your back
Your ancestors are behind you, your descendants ahead
By blood or by culture, by origin or by choice
Your family stretches through the ages
Calling for you, cheering you on

You are not alone in this
#40
Or Kill Me / This Too Shall Pass
September 23, 2019, 12:57:16 PM
The sun will set and this day will end and if it ends in tears that is still an ending. This too shall pass.

You will not be standing on this spot when the stars come out, you will not still be carrying the same things, feeling the same things, reacting to the same things. I cannot promise you things will be better, cannot even promise that they won't be worse, but I can tell you this is not forever. The day will end. This will pass.

Whether you are sleeping in your bed or a jail cell or on a stranger's couch you will sleep tonight, and it will not be in the place where your feet are planted in this moment. And while some of these outcomes are preferable to others they are all different from the moment you are in now. Time will carry us willing or not away from all of this, and all that will remain are the records and our memories. Make good memories for yourself to carry, to lighten the load. You will have more things to carry tomorrow, because this is not where you will end.

We have come together here to do the sacred work, and when we leave we will do other works and we will tend to our wounds and nourish our bodies. We will return to communities that may not understand us or may not be willing to take the same risks we are, or may not even see what we do and the utility of it. We return anyway. This street, this sidewalk may be here in the morning but it will not be the same space it is right now, in this moment of chaos and conflict. This too shall pass.

The sun will rise tomorrow. What we fight will still be here. Count your victories generously and often. You have made it to this space. You have done the things. The soreness in your body, the pain in your voice, these things will not last.

Be in this space. Do what needs doing. And when it is done, let yourself leave.
#41
Or Kill Me / Move
September 02, 2019, 02:55:11 AM
She is wearing a silly hat and her awkward bisexual shirt. Her long skirt does not look like she is ready for a fight or even ready for flight but she has run in skirts before and she is not going to fall down today. The tears run quietly down her face but she does not wail, does not flee, does not retreat into herself or away from the crowd. She holds her companion's hand. She does not move.

She is wearing a black bandanna and all white besides and her hair is back and her eyes are full of the joy of recognition, the vitality of the fight. She runs to hug her friend. She is wearing pants and practical shoes and she does not have time for your bullshit or excuses or the bus full of riot cops parked right behind her. Her voice is loud and clear. She does not move.

She is wearing her lipstick that is the wrong shade and her gray skirt. She is tall and beautiful and her long amber hair is loose in the wind. They are trying to steal her fight, trying to tear her down, they call her ridiculous and she is standing tall and proud. She has been here before. Her whole life has been this fight. She raises her fist and screams her righteous fury. She does not move.

She is wearing a corset oh why would she do such a thing but she has done it anyway, she is red and black and her hair is in a braid and she wears black sneakers to run in. Her back is straight as she strides with confidence through the police lines, as she hollers from the fences, as she leads the chants. Her feet are planted and she swears entirely too much. She does not move.

"It's okay," she says to her. "We are right here, we have you, we're going to be alright." The crowd swarms around them, bodies colliding, people fleeing, people rushing in. Her hand is warm and strong and if it's the only real thing in the world that's okay because it's real enough to hold the universe in place. The moment is just a moment, but lasts for years. They do not move.
#42
Propaganda Depository / For The Revolution - booklet
August 31, 2019, 12:06:59 PM
This booklet only has one two page spread, and it's the center fold, so you can print or view online. You can even print single sided and use as postergasm material (but PLEASE cut the half pages before you post em!)

This contains a heavily edited version of "Creativity in a Cultural Wasteland." I hope Payne will forgive me for the butchering, I was trying to get things under the printer margins and this wound up being the best looking version.
#43
Or Kill Me / Your Crazy
August 19, 2019, 07:49:11 PM
It's hard, I know, to wrap your head around someone else's crazy. To see them in the distorted funhouse mirror they use for themselves. I'm not so full of myself to imagine that I can pull it off perfectly, but maybe a little better than average. I have my own shit, too, after all.

But I can't, I can not figure out how to twist myself to see you as badly as you see yourself. I can believe all kinds of crazy things, throw myself into the craziest of situations and feel it in my chest as real as the chair I sit in. You know that, you've seen it. I can see how people get themselves into the cognitive traps of tribalism and prejudice, how billionaires make victims of themselves, how victims take on the burden of blame for their own abuse. I get that shit.

I want so badly to sit you down, to make you write with pen and paper all the objective measures of your own success. I want to let the air grow heavy as you try to look away, to force the words from your lips, to make you see. The awful discomfort of smashing your prison cell. God, I want to make you look at me, to see the sincerity when I tell you that you are valued and you are no impostor to that space. To let the tears come.

I have been to bizarre places, seen strange things. I have rubbed shoulders with news anchors and actors and anarchists, with anti-terrorism units and state senators and lobbyists. You cannot pretend I have no basis for measure here. I have shut people out of my life so hard the walls shook. You cannot pretend I am not a judgey asshole. These things should matter when I tell you what I see looking at you. You are not smarter than me, you have not pulled the wool over my eyes.

There is a very short list of people who I want to die beside, if it comes down to dying. Your place on it is not accidental. You are loved.
#44
Or Kill Me / If I Die
August 04, 2019, 11:50:32 PM
If I die it's white roses.

If I die it's First Parish and Timshel. It's "Oh You" and "Live While You're Alive" and "Breathe." I thought it would be Murder In The City but fuck telling people not to avenge me. Avenge everything. Burn this whole thing to the ground.

If I die everyone knows where they should land, and no it isn't fun but there's no question marks, no what ifs and whys. Everyone knows why by now. Everyone knows I don't want to wait around to get cancer or something.

If I die you keep my name on that fucking ballot. If I die you make them talk about it on the news. If I die you say my fucking name and you say his too (because it will be a he, it's always a he). Make them look in his face. Make them uncomfortable with how much he looks like their brother, their uncle, their kid. If I die warn people before you air it, but air the goddamn video.

If I die it's on my feet.
#45
Aneristic Illusions / QGP's Antifa Thread
July 05, 2019, 02:18:30 PM
Ways to be an Anti-Fascist

Attend Events that Promote Anti-Fascist Causes

Show up for events organized by unions, immigrants, LGBTQ+ activists, women's groups, anti-racism organizers, and others. Listen to the organizers and stay on topic, especially in your signs and if you are questioned by the media. Do your best to not be a burden, including educating yourself ahead of time to the best of your ability and bringing basic supplies to take care of yourself (and your party, if applicable). Make noise, help clean up, don't pick fights.

Requirements:
-  Handle yourself in a crowd
-  Monitor your own mental health and physical well-being
-  Tolerate loud noises

Bonus Points:
-  LOUD NOISES
-  Enthusiasm
-  Exceptional bladder control
-  Sign making skillz
-  Knowing how to pack for the event

Financially Support Anti-Fascist Organizations

Donate to things that upset fascists. There are lots of them and they make it pretty easy to give them money. Try to do a little research first, just to make sure you don't accidentally give to a nazi front.

Requirements:
-  Have money

Create Anti-Fascist Propaganda

I'm pretty liberal with my definition of propaganda, you can use another word if it makes you feel better. Anyway, make memes that make nazis cry. Images, articles, movies, YouTube videos, literally whatever. Joke about fascists and their stupid tiny faces *coughcoughCharlieKirkcough* or whatever. Try not to hit other anti-fascists in the process, especially by belittling their efforts. Remember this is a war on infinite fronts.

If you want, you can specifically assist anti-fascist organizations with their media. Flyer design, video production, social media images, letters to the editor, protest signs and more all need to be made by SOMEBODY, why not you? Make sure you engage with organizers about their messaging BEFORE you make things for them, or you may fuck up their shit.

Requirements:
-  Some flavor of artistic and/or writing skill
-  Appropriate materials/software

Bonus Points:
-  A functioning sense of humor
-  Ability to take criticism
-  Ability to spread propaganda on your own

Flyer Raiding

Passing out flyers by hand or posting them in public spaces.

Requirements:
-  Some goddamn flyers to pass out
-  People skills (if handing out)
-  Tape or thumbtacks (if posting)

Bonus Points:
-  Being able to make your own flyers
-  Printer access
-  Access to spaces with high traffic

Volunteer as a Marshal at Anti-Fascist Events or Events for Anti-Fascist Causes

Marshals assist attendees and generally make sure events move smoothly. Marshals may be called upon to block traffic, distribute supplies such as water, direct marchers, keep an eye out for people in need of assistance (lost children, people having medical issues, etc.), wrangle speakers, direct press to spokespeople, and more.

Requirements:
-  Able-bodied
-  Handle yourself in a crowd
-  Have good mental health or crazy you can turn to your benefit
-  Follow guidance from organizers

Bonus Points:
-  Excellent bladder control
-  Doesn't afraid of nothing
-  COMMAND VOICE
-  Know how to pack light

Volunteer as a Peacekeeper at Anti-Fascist Events or Events for Anti-Fascist Causes

Peacekeepers are used for internal crowd control, monitoring for counter-protesters, protecting members of marginalized communities from unnecessary exposure to police, and creating physical barriers between protesters and those who would harm them. Some events combine marshal and peacekeeping duties, be sure to ask when you volunteer if that will be the case.

Peacekeepers must not start fights, and should always try to de-escalate any situations that arise.

Requirements:
-  Able-bodied
-  Handle yourself in a crowd
-  Have good mental health or crazy you can turn to your benefit
-  Follow guidance from organizers

Bonus Points:
-  Excellent bladder control
-  Doesn't afraid of nothing
-  COMMAND VOICE
-  Know how to pack light

Volunteer as a Street Medic at Anti-Fascist Events or Events for Anti-Fascist Causes

DO NOT VOLUNTEER AS A STREET MEDIC UNTIL YOU HAVE HAD SPECIFIC STREET MEDIC TRAINING. PREVIOUS MEDICAL AND/OR FIRST AID EXPERIENCE IS NOT ENOUGH ON ITS OWN.

A street medic may be called upon to handle a wide variety of extreme emergencies in less than ideal conditions. 99 times out of a hundred, only mild issues will arise, the most common of which are dehydration, heat exhaustion or heat stroke, mild mental health events, low blood sugar, scrapes (band aid level), and sore throats from yelling. In the event that Shit Gets Real, street medics may be called upon to assist people exposed to pepper spray or tear gas, major bleeding, breaks, trauma, and mental health crises. For any number of reasons, it may be impossible to get an ambulance or EMTs to the person or persons in crisis, and the street medic must be ready to fill that "until we get to the hospital" void. Being able to direct bystanders to assist in moving an injured person to safety and/or assist with less critically injured people is an important part of the job.

I'm not going to get further into the specifics of either the job or the supplies needed, because I'm dead serious about the getting trained first part.

Requirements:
-  STREET MEDIC TRAINING
-  Appropriate medical supplies
-  Able-bodied
-  Handle yourself in a crowd
-  Have good mental health or crazy you can turn to your benefit

Bonus Points:
-  First Aid and CPR certifications
-  Previous medical experience, especially trauma
-  Excellent bladder control
-  Doesn't afraid of nothing
-  COMMAND VOICE
-  Know how to pack a ton

Provide Emotional Support for Organizers, Volunteers, and Others

Doing this shit is exhausting, and literally kills people. I'm not being dramatic here, activists have a dramatically lower life expectancy than their peers. You can help by listening, validating, and generally being nice to people doing the work. Anti-fascist activists often feel invisible, like people don't see how important the fight is and why it's worth what they're putting in. They may feel drained after an event, especially if there was a lot of confrontation. They may feel hopeless because there are still nazis running around. Ask about what happened. Tell them you see them. Bake them cookies.

Requirements:
-  Patience
-  Active listening
-  Willingness to be uncomfortable
-  Ways to diffuse your own stress

Creating Consequences for Fascists

Help dox nazis. Call their places of employment and make sure their bosses know what they get up to on the weekends. Let their moms know. Report their posts online. Get their crowdfunding shut down. Deplatform them at every opportunity. Get them kicked off dating apps.

Requirements:
-  Internet access
-  Time to independently verify dox
-  Vindictive streak

Bonus Points
-  Experience doxxing
-  Significant social media presence

Punch a Nazi

Or, you know, throw milkshakes or whatever. I'm not gonna tell you what to do.

Requirements:
-  Willingness to deal with the consequences
#46


Or, for those who prefer games of order to games of disorder:



There's over a thousand set to go. I've got a bunch of stacks pressed between books overnight. The most exciting new addition is Helen Rose's "Blessed Are The Queer" which is the first explicitly UU work I've done up Holy Nonsense style, although this is only authorized for use in Pope Cards for the moment. Still, it's really pretty and on point.

This is my favorite thing.
#47
Or Kill Me / Awakewalking
May 28, 2019, 12:48:08 PM
I walked about eleven miles on Sunday. I didn't plan on it, things just happened.

Grief, and transition points in grieving, can be a real slap in the brain. That shit can keep you out of the Daily Grind mindset for days at a time. It sounds great until you remember that the Daily Grind is how we conserve resources and keep ourselves out of trouble until such a time as we want to get into trouble, autopilot serving its proper function saves lives. I'm spending a lot of time Awake. A lot more than anybody should. It feels weirdly like dreaming.

Decisions like what to eat are hard and choosing not to do certain stupid things is nearly impossible, but large decisions are easy. I'm running for office, I have to. My kid is switching to full time living with her dad, it's the right move for her. I'm choosing which people from my past to reconnect with, because if they die I would be sorry we lost this time. It's easy right now to see what matters, and so many things matter. There is so much worth doing, worth seeing.

Tarot was my first foray into cold reading, and is still my favorite. It works by putting the reader and subject in a symbol rich environment, inviting them to make connections with the symbols and the stories of themselves. I'm living in a symbol rich environment right now. Everything has significance I can't seem to ignore. When sailors die they come back as seagulls. The daffodils bloomed when we took each other back, they were in full bloom when he died. A rock was sitting incongruously on the street where I shone like a star that winter, where just for a second I could have smashed every window in the world. The compass rose at long wharf, pointing to his home, and to the sea where I sent him to rest. The cereal he left in the house. Every inch of Boston we walked together.

It was Memorial Day weekend and I remembered so much. Sat on the Parkman Bandstand where we waved our flags and danced like idiots, where he smashed our terrible homemade pinata to bits, where I stopped last year after sneaking out of his cousin's apartment in the early hours, reclaiming my space after the nazis had sullied it. Walked through the spaces where I'd led protests, participated in them, where I'd handed out flyers and wrangled assholes. After the one last June I ducked out to meet him on Charles street, exhausted and sunburned and hoarse from yelling. I think he took me somewhere to get some water and food, god I can't even remember that. Just a moment with the bright sun ahead of us and my feet sore in the shade of old buildings, so glad to see him just for a bit, so glad he could see me like this.

There should be some kind of punctuation mark. Something I can say or do that will wrap up this part of the story, this part of the grieving, so I can go on to the next thing. There has to be some way to go back to sleep. But I am Awake and aware of things. I am wandering the streets feeling like time is fake and very thin, and if I could just find a way I could smash through to that moment when he was standing on that spot, looking at the moon from Beacon Hill in the cold night air. If I just leave the lights off in the room where he slept, I can imagine he's still on the couch, dreaming. It seems like those delusions should be a sign of mental sleepiness, but awareness isn't sanity. Being Awake means knowing what's happening, even in your sad and broken head.

I put my feet in the Charles and walked around town barefoot until they dried, caught all kinds of strange looks from people who aren't aware how clean that section of Boston is. No needles or nips or gravel to avoid, just the occasional gooseshit and stray rock. The brick sidewalks feel amazing underfoot. I put my shoes back on by the statehouse, the spot where I froze just a few weeks ago at a protest as the ghost of an earlier one slammed into me. That hill was the site of the last protest I would ever tell him about, and the first one I would never get to share with him. Every stone of that city means something.

It's exhausting, being awake like this. Remembering everything. Being terrified of the day you inevitably start forgetting. People look at you like you're crazy when you walk around all day like this.
#48
I'm running for office. Please don't spag up my shit on facebook too bad until after November 5th.

Also nobody tell the rubes what the Golden Apple is, you'll ruin the joke.
#49
Or Kill Me / Turns Out
April 19, 2019, 03:28:26 PM
I was once something else entirely
I was part of something bigger than myself
Something new, and dark, and exciting
And we were loud and intentionally outrageous
We were the internet personified

And I said
I don't care who you are or what you believe,
Your opinion matters.

But it turns out I do fucking care what your opinion is
If your opinion is that Jewish people are untrustworthy
If your opinion is that transgender people are insane
If your opinion is that women and people of color
Are in anyway inherently less than a white man
I am done with your shit.

If your opinion is that closing our borders to refugees
Is prudent, acceptable, or humane
You do not have my support

If your opinion is that the greatest threat to this country
Is the fact that you can't drop an n-bomb in public
Kindly stop breathing my air

People are dying for your dumbshit opinions
There is suffering greater than your political inconvenience
We are on the brink of terrible things
And you dumbshits are screaming at the top of your lungs
For the world to jump

I am done with you.

I do not forgive
I do not forget
#50
Literate Chaotic / Some Gonzo Shit
April 14, 2019, 10:15:06 PM
Chris wasn't a discordian, but his attitude sure as fuck was
https://thesolmann.blogspot.com/?zx=8d4ec2cedd90f2de