Useful Stuff and Miscellanea
my useful tag
How to tape up your hands before a fight
If you add two pounds of sugar to literally one ton of concrete it will ruin the concrete and make it unable to set properly which is good to know if you wanna resist something being built. French anarchists used this to resist prison construction in the 80s.
1 cup Washing Soda. This can be made by cooking baking soda on a tray in an oven at 400° for 1 hour.
1 cup Borax (not Boric Acid. Also a different thing.)
½ cup - 1 cup grated bar soap (you can use literally anything. I often use Ivory because it’s easy to get and I find it works well, a lot of people like Fels-Naptha, which is an actual laundry bar. Some people use Dr. Bronner’s. Really does not fucking matter.)
After grating your soap, combine all ingredients. That’s it. That’s the whole thing. Use maybe a ¼ cup per load.
Dryer Sheet Replacement
Go to a craft store, find 100% wool yarn balls. If it doesn’t come in a ball, ask an employee to make it into a tight ball for you. Wash in the washing machine to make it felted. Remove from washer, add a few drops of essential oil to the ball, allow to seep in. Dry with clothing. Doesn’t need to be rewashed ever, and if it stops smelling, add few more drops of essential oil. Bam, reusable dryer sheets.
A few Do’s and Don't’s of organizing with rural communities
There are a lot of complexities surrounding the urban/rural divide in America, and those complexities can create areas of conflict and misunderstanding for radical organizers who are working within or alongside rural communities. Probably the simplest bullet point it can be boiled down to is: never assume that radical organizing is not already happening in rural areas. Just because we’re not necessarily making national news doesn’t mean we’re not here.
That being said, I’ve been mulling over some insights about the specific issue of urban radicals seeking to forge alliances with, or planning actions/campaigns with, rural organizers. These are just some of the big Do’s and Don't’s I came up with out of my own experience. Bottom line, listen to the experiences of anyone with whom you’re considering organizing.
Right now is a crucial moment to be working on bridging the rural/urban divide in America. Fighting fascism isn’t a monolithic, single-narrative endeavor. There is much more to be said about how the rural and urban settings react and interact in the fight against global fascism, but for now suffice it to say that a diversity of perspectives and tactics is necessary for this work to truly succeed both now and in the long term.
- DON’T ever, ever, EVER organize an event in a rural community that you’re not a part of without asking for that community’s consent, and/or reaching out to its own organizers. This seems agonizingly basic, and yet this has happened and continues to happen. You are not the “savior” of rural communities, and you shouldn’t make assumptions about a community’s needs without first getting to really know that community.
- DON’T police rural tactics. This is a difficult one for urban radicals to understand, for some reason. Before you call out rural activists for “working with the cops,” or “harboring fascists,” you need to understand that the people living and working in rural communities are often KNOWN TO THE LOCAL POLICE BY NAME AND FACE. They have to live LITERALLY NEXT DOOR to armed racists. They shop at the same stores. Their kids go to school together. They probably grew up together. This is not a situation in which black blocing and starting a street war is going to work. If you come into a rural community with that assumption, you are without question going to GET PEOPLE KILLED.
- DON’T assume that rural = white*. Especially if YOU are white. Even if the activists you encounter in rural areas are often white, don’t assume that they are not in direct communication with their friends and neighbors of color, who may have very legitimate reasons for not being seen to be working with you. It may be far, far less safe for people of color to be visibly activists in rural communities, and yet that doesn’t mean they’re not out there doing the work.
(*or straight, or cis, or able-bodied, or…)
- DON’T assume that rural = racist, especially when talking about entire communities. This goes along with many of the things noted above. Just because you can identify bigotry and racism within a rural community doesn’t mean that the entire community supports it or is unaware of it. Consider the reasons why anti-racist action might not be as visible in rural communities (i.e., it’s happening behind the scenes for safety reasons, it’s taking a longer time to come to fruition because of any number of reasons, it’s underfunded and under-supported by outside organizations, for instance)
- DO offer support! Approach rural activist collectives/organizations with respect for the work they’re doing and make it known the ways in which you can help if they need or want it. Examples could include: hosting workshops for rural organizers, sharing skills, sharing RESOURCES.
- DO take the time to get to know who you’re working with. Relationships are important in any kind of organizing, but they are the absolute lifeblood of rural activism. Unless you know you’re only being called on for a specific thing at a specific time, consider the relationships you make with rural organizations to be permanent and evolving. There is a lot that you can learn from each other, and bridging the urban/rural divide isn’t going to happen overnight, and it’s not work that is ever going to be finished. Invest in these relationships.
- DO educate yourself on rural perspectives, challenges, and experiences. Just as working with anyone else, don’t expect these organizers to take time out of their work to give you the 101 on their experiences, campaigns, and issues. Seek out literature and resources on the rural organizing experience on your own and gain some insight into what it’s like to do this work in a rural setting.
What Allistics Should Know About Meltdowns
A meltdown is a defensive response, not an aggression.
Meltdowns happen because we are in pain - either the direct sensory pain of too much light or too loud noise or terrible textures or what have you, or the emotional pain of just being overwhelmed by so much input we can’t handle it, of being told we're horrible burdens who can’t love, etc.
Meltdowns are born of pain.
In particular, they’re what happens when we can’t escape that pain. You know about the fight-or-flight response? Well… that’s what a meltdown is. And all of those stories of autistic people destroying things or hurting themselves or lashing out at people is what happens when “flight” is no longer an option. That only leaves “fight.”
We’re trying to defend ourselves from things that are hurting us, and you won’t let us. You stand between us and an escape from pain. That’s what makes us lash out, as surely as if you cornered an animal and poked it with a stick.
So how do you prevent this from happening? Simple. Find out what’s causing us pain, and give us an escape from it. Too much noise? Give us earplugs or a quiet place. Too-bright lights? Maybe we need sunglasses or a dark room. Draining social expectations? Let us be alone for a bit.
Just let us escape the pain. That’s all we need.
If you don’t personally know the person who’s having the meltdown, or even if you do and you haven’t worked out another plan ahead of time, here’s meltdown intervention 101:
- Do not touch them unless you’ve specifically worked out a plan with them beforehand
- Do not stand close to or crowd them, especially if they are on the floor or in a corner
- Do not prevent them from stimming unless they’re hurting others or seriously hurting themself, even if they’re disturbing others
- Do not yell at them, I can’t think of a single situation where this is a good idea
- Do not try to move or relocate them unless they are in immediate physical danger or you’ve worked out a plan beforehand
- Do not force them to speak or communicate, these take a lot of energy and can be very stressful or impossible, even for someone who’s normally verbal
If you are allistic and any of this seems wrong to you, I would like to politely invite you to shut your quiznak. Yes, especially if you are an “““Autism expert”””
- If you can, try to get other people to leave the room while the person calms down.
- Move slowly, the person having the meltdown is already in fight-or-flight mode.
- Speak clearly and use simple sentences, most autistic people have poor auditory processing all the time, and trying to understand what you’re telling us during a meltdown can be difficult or impossible.
- Try to eliminate overstimulating things in the environment like clocks with second hands, cathode-ray tvs, flashing lights, or strong smells.
Remember that many autistic people also have trauma. Some common triggers (things you should avoid like the plague) include being restrained (don’t grab any part of their body) and phrases like “quiet hands”
- Be patient and wait for them to calm down
- It may take more than an hour for an autistic person to calm down from a meltdown. During this time, give them the option to go to a quieter and less-stimulating space. Offer alternate methods of communication, like allowing them to type on a phone, write on a pad, or nod their head in response to questions. Don’t force them to do anything. Meltdowns are exhausting and many people are unable to do things they normally find easy.
DO NOT CALL THE COPSI CANNOT EMPHASIZE THIS ENOUGH
When Your Partner Has Anxiety: A Meltdown Guide
Reacting To A Partner In Crisis
Depression, anxiety, and panic attacks should be treated with the same mindset as someone who has just been launched off their bike into a gravel pit. It hurts, and it’s gross and can be a bit frightening, but it will pass, wounds will heal, and it’s not a big deal, except for right when it is happening.
Getting upset about it does not make it go away. It has already happened, and now it is time to take care of business. Get your partner to a safe space, and start wiping up the blood and picking out the gravel.
Non-proximity Dependant Tips to Support Your Partner With Anxiety
No matter whether you are with your partner or not at the moment of crisis, these five tips will help get you both through it.
Proximal Suggestions for a Partner in Crisis
- DO remain calm. You are a fucking champion. This skill and these experiences will help you in every relationship, intimate or otherwise, that you will ever have, for the rest of your life.
- DON'T ask them to make decisions. They may be incapable of making any at all. Whether it is deciding if they want to go to bed, what they want for dinner, or if they want a glass of water, assume all decision-making faculties have been thrown out the window.
- DO take control. This can mean telling them to brush her teeth, put on pajamas, take a shower, eat their dinner, etc. Taking off the pressure of having to make decisions and having the foresight to complete simple tasks like plugging in their phone is HUGE.
- DON'T assume they can ask for what they need in that moment. Also, don’t assume you have to be a mind reader. You don’t, just try your best. You know your partner.
- DO try the proximal and non-proximal suggestions below if you are unsure of your next step.
↳SensationsDisclaimer: Always ask for consent when touching a person who is having a panic attack. They may not be able to answer fully, but be aware of their body language and the subtle cues that they don’t like what you are doing, or that touching them is making it worse.
When touching, I find that skin to skin is best, face to face. Alternate between whole-body holding/constricting and light back circles with head petting.
Blankets in a quiet, warm, and relatively low-lit atmosphere can be soothing.
Platonic-ish kissing is good but mostly appreciated on the forehead, head, and upper back and upper arms. Neck kissing is too sensitive and sticking your tongue in their mouth will be overwhelming and inappropriate.
Keep your voice low, either quiet or whispering.
Extra special holding technique: Cradling in any form is exceptional; particularly if it allows the one doing the cradling the ability to whisper, rock back and forth in some way, and allows for gentle stroking or petting of the non-sexual variety. Think holding a baby.
Distractions can be good once the initial episode is over and it is time to recover. Music may be too emotionally triggering. I find cartoons are best.
Other options include reading to them (anything), or helping them into the bath or shower.
Do not fucking fall asleep. They will hate you forever.
Tell them about your day, or a mundane topic. Dumb facts about penguins or elephants work here. Do not expect a high level of participation but they are listening, and they do care. This is super helpful and can be very soothing.
Start with a glass of water, and if that is good, move to warm beverages – NOT alcoholic, or super creamy or sugary.
Use encouraging words: “It’s okay, it’s okay.” Also encourage breathing together if you think it will work/help.
Make sure they have eaten in the last 3-5 hours.
When You Can’t Be There
You can’t always be there when the shit hits the fan. That is not your fault nor is it your responsibility to babysit your partner. When you can’t be there, here are some great tips to get you and your partner through it.
Hearing your voice can be soothing. If they don’t answer the phone, leave a message. If you don’t know what to say or talk about, just talk about yourself or your day.
Send a photo of wherever you are, or whatever you are doing. This relays that you have stopped to take a picture to send it to them because you are thinking about them. You can also send a picture of yourself making stupid faces, or take a picture of a horrible drawing of a whale you just did. Anything that brings them back into the moment with you. You get the idea.
Affirmative statements also great.
Be available. You’re in a relationship, and if you were going through stuff, you know they would be there for you. If you don’t want to make yourself available, you probably shouldn’t be in this relationship. Obviously, if you are at work, this is an exception, but don’t decide it’s not your concern. You are partners, so act like it.
Make a plan. Don’t dwell too much on what is happening but tell them what is going to happen NEXT. Don’t ask for help making the decisions. Take the initiative to make the decisions about what is going to happen with the rest of their day. This will give them something to look forward to and is extremely helpful. Knowing that they will be taken care of is almost as good as being hugged right at the moment.
Laser sights don’t help your aim; they’re highly inaccurate at any range longer than a couple dozen yards and only good for rapid target acquisition.
Absolutely every precision shooter knows this.
Almost nobody else knows this because movies have erroneously taught people that snipers paint a red dot on the target’s chest before they shoot them.
Any nazi who notices a red dot on their chest while giving a speech is going to immediately stop talking and get off the stage, probably while shitting themself.
Laser pointers are cheap, legal, and easy to conceal, and unless there’s smoke or dust or something in the air, there's no way to know where it’s coming from.
If I give you an apple and an orange and I tell you to choose, how many choices do you really have?
Two? Nope. You have FIVE, minimum.
- You take the apple
- You take the orange
- You take both
- You take nothing
- You take something else
And this works EVERYWHERE.
“Are you with us or with them?”
- I’m with you!
- I’m with them!
- You both have good points!
- You’re all insane!
- I’m going with that other group over there!
“You need to vote Democrat or Republican!”
- I switch depending on the leader and the issues!
- I don’t vote!
- I vote for a third-party!
“Are you Christian or Muslim?”
- I’m Christian
- I’m Muslim
- I think God is one and the same and follow good doctrines of both
- I’m atheist
- I’m Jewish
And it’s often more subtle
Like a salesperson handing you two products and pressuring you to buy one of them, making you forget that:
- You don’t have to buy anything if you don’t want to
- You can leave the store and buy something elsewhere
And sometimes it can be as important as
“Are you gay or are you straight?”
- I’m gay
- I’m straight
- I’m both? So bi?
- I like no one, I’m ace.
- I’m anything else, really, this is a spectrum and I define my own orientation.
So remember- If someone if pressuring you to pick between two choices, they’re probably trying to manipulate you by making you forget you also have another three options.
my food tag
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