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Topics - Q. G. Pennyworth

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Or Kill Me / Season of the Hag
« on: 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.

Apple Talk / Coffee
« on: 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.

Or Kill Me / Upset Them
« on: 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.

« on: November 30, 2019, 03:54:39 am »

Ok, which one of you fuckers is responsible for this?

Apple Talk / Loss and Patterns
« on: 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.

Or Kill Me / It Will All End In Tears
« on: 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.

Or Kill Me / The Revolution Is Not In Need Of Martyrs At This Time
« on: October 12, 2019, 06:24:15 pm »
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.

Or Kill Me / Found Fragment
« on: 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

Aneristic Illusions / What Happens When a Discordian Runs for Office
« on: October 04, 2019, 05:10:44 pm »
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.

Or Kill Me / I See You
« on: 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.

Or Kill Me / Stop Thinking - Start Breathing
« on: 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

Or Kill Me / This Too Shall Pass
« on: 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.

Or Kill Me / Move
« on: 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.

Propaganda Depository / For The Revolution - booklet
« on: 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.

Or Kill Me / Your Crazy
« on: 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.

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