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Topics - Q. G. Pennyworth

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Or Kill Me / Like A Bad Wolf Eating Chips
« on: 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
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
Even a little
Even if you have to put it in a pillow
Even if you have to couch it as a song
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

Or Kill Me / Breaking Point
« on: 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.

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.

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.

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 / 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.

Aneristic Illusions / Completely Innocent Gears
« on: 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
So long as it is done
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
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
Trained and equipped
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?
One must always act

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
An image painted
By a thousand blameless artists
Seeking only
To do their jobs
In a mechanical moment
The hammer strikes
A life ground down
By a machine
Made of a thousand guiltless gears

Or Kill Me / Compromise
« on: 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

Apple Talk / Facebook is fucking wild, man
« on: December 01, 2021, 09:23:29 pm »
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.

Literate Chaotic / Daily Nonsense Thread
« on: 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.

Or Kill Me / Apocamysticism
« on: 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.

Apple Talk / Isolated Acts Are Not Enough
« on: January 30, 2021, 02:52:47 am »
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


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


Apple Talk / Identity
« on: 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.

Literate Chaotic / My Landlord Has Illegal Chickens
« on: 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

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