Jenrose | nonbinary |  queer | agnostic | married | parenting | disabled | writer | Yuri!!! on Ice, Check Please! and Merlin, plus some LGBTQA and other politics, and so much writing | they/them


@neil-gaiman mentioned somewhere, and I hope I remember it correctly, that Aziraphale is the character who changes the most during the course of the series (it feels less so in the book, to me at least), which brings me to the idea that there’s endless irony, practically fractal in its nature, in the fact that the angel who is supposed to be solidly good, unwavering, eternally, ineffably right and practically perfect in every way, is in fact much more flexible, ready to change, ready to admit to being mistaken and therein lies the rub, because the good thing is indeed about changing, about developing, about being capable of admitting to one’s faults. Yet it also implies that the demon is someone who is after all solidly good, unwavering in his questioning, in his faith, in his love. Crowley is truly good, and of course mischievous and lives up to Goethe’s definition of a demon which is “a part of that force that yearns for evil and creates the good instead”. It’s such an ouroboros of ideas, that I just can’t. One is meant to be good and grows to be good. The other is meant to be evil and can never really bring himself up to it. His presumed evilness is in that he’s unsure. He’s uncertain. He’s quantum. All of which makes him true to the universe and to himself. He’s an outcast among the outcasts, and I think that’s why I identify with him so much. He’s like Giordano Bruno and Aziraphale is like Galileo, and they both contribute to the world, to the science, to the balance.

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tigergingicat replied to your post “Of all the indignities and shots and pills and tests and infusions…”
Could you get a pair of indoor-only shoes to wear?

It’s a sensory thing, and executive function. See, I have several pairs of comfortable house slippers. I’ve had times when I wore them on the regular around the house, then took them off to climb into the bed that I do most of my computing from. Then I get up and forget they’re there, and someone kicks them under the bed, where I can’t get them (probably me?) and then I don’t have slippers for 6 months.  This will happen no matter what I do.

Also the fact that I wear shoes outside is a begrudging concession to the elements. 

Get some under-the-bed storage bins and arrange them so they’re a couple of inches in from the edge. (If you don’t want to actually store things down there because it’s not accessible? Stick a few bricks in to hold them in place.) Slippers will bounce right off when they get kicked. I think you can get some at T*rget (censored because This Is Not A Commercial Endorsement, dammit) which are the right height for a couple of dollars a pop — the important thing is to have a surface to bounce stuff off of.

Grumpy me, not finishing the whole thing, “But I can’t get down there to use the storage… OHHHHHHHHH”


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Crowley’s distinctive walk

Lauren Laverne Interview - January 2020

Lauren Laverne:  What are the challenges of playing a demon?

David Tennant: The tightness of the trousers.  It turns out demons wear very tight trousers, which at least gives you a walk.  

LL: A strut?  

DT:  I suppose it is a bit of a strut. A bit of a swagger, yeah.  But it’s just the only way I could get around. There was no great character choice.

LL: Was there any talc involved?

DT:  There was. There is a leather pair…  in one of the time periods I’m wearing leather trousers.  That took… that took some staff.  Most of the time I’d manage to struggle in and out myself, but I don’t know how Keith Richards manages it.

DragonCon - August 2019

Question: Crowley has a very distinctive walk. Everyone has theories on why. What’s your opinion?

David Tennant:  Because his pants were very tight, and that’s what happens…  It was nothing more philosophical than that.  I think demons do swagger though, don’t you?  I imagine demons swagger.  He’s got nothing to prove.  He’s been on Earth longer than any of us.  He can take his time, he can fill his space.  There was also a whole thing, you know, he’s a snake.  He starts as a snake, he comes from a snake.  He’s got snake-hips [laughs] …and tight pants  …and snake boots.  All of those things seem to combine to give him something of a swagger.  Nothing to do with me, it just happens.

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What a mood though


I really hate the fact that you can block someone on Tumblr, and not see their posts in tags anymore — but you still see their shit if someone reblogs them onto your feed.

It’s so frustrating. If I block someone, I never want to see them again. It’s one of the few things Twitter got right dgdjfnc.

Twitter’s nuanced blocking/muting is so good. There’s “I never want you to see me again” and “I never want to see you again”. 

On the laptop, with Xkit, I dearly love postblock, which I can use on individual posts to make them disappear forever. 

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loving yourself in a society that profits off self hate is a power move and one of the biggest acts of resistance

The only way advertising works is if you believe that you should want the things they’re trying to make you want. 

Here’s the secret:
You don’t have to look younger than you look, or older. You don’t need makeup to “look better to the world”. That doesn’t mean makeup is inherently bad, but that feeling that you yourself are too flawed to show your face without it is a lie that someone told you to get you to buy makeup and you believed it because everything around you said it was true. It wasn’t.

You don’t need to be fatter or thinner than you are to be loved and accepted by good people. Anyone who tells you that you must change your body in order to be “acceptable” is both wrong and misguided or actively trying to sell you something. It is not wrong to want to change your body in order to have it fit better the image you have for yourself, as long as the image you have for yourself is within the possible for what your body can do reasonably. But other people don’t get to make that decision for you. 

You don’t need to try to look thinner or curvier or flatter or more muscular than you actually are. You don’t need to contour or wear vertical stripes (the dawning realization that I am fat, will likely always be fat, and no amount of vertical striping is going to make me not fat so it’s okay for me to wear horizontal stripes was a weird thing but oddly freeing) unless it pleases you to do so. It is not required to camouflage your body to be loved. Sometimes it’s fun to do for other reasons, but relationships built on camouflage disappear too easily.

Look at the people around you. Do you spend hours of your time each day thinking about how they could be improved, visually? Probably not. Other people simply are themselves. You, also, simply are, yourself. And the people who matter won’t mind. The people who mind? Don’t matter. 

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tigergingicat replied to your post “Of all the indignities and shots and pills and tests and infusions…”
Could you get a pair of indoor-only shoes to wear?

It’s a sensory thing, and executive function. See, I have several pairs of comfortable house slippers. I’ve had times when I wore them on the regular around the house, then took them off to climb into the bed that I do most of my computing from. Then I get up and forget they’re there, and someone kicks them under the bed, where I can’t get them (probably me?) and then I don’t have slippers for 6 months.  This will happen no matter what I do.

Also the fact that I wear shoes outside is a begrudging concession to the elements. 

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A reminder that this blog supports Asexual Awareness Week, and also trans rights under the Trump administration. Both are important, and aces don’t deserve to have our pride diminished for the (phony) sake of us trans people.

Y’all really gonna make the fact that transgendered people might lose their human rights about asexuals?

hey op this whole post is trash and u should delete yourself

First of all, it’s transgender people, not ‘transgendered’. I say so, because I’m trans.

Second, it doesn’t take a genius to recognize a pride event simultaneously with a current political crisis, even if one is largely unrelated to another. But it does take some goddamn cruelty to crush one’s right to pride for the fake ‘sake’ of another. A trending hashtag doesn’t exactly clog up bandwidths, you assholes. 

Third, if you’ve been paying the least bit attention to the past 15 years (or if you’re like me, transgender and having lived through those years) the current proposed ruling against trans identities is not shocking nor groundbreaking. It’s just an officiate of what’s been happening all along. Having it passed as law would surely make things worse, that’s no doubt, but did you honestly think we we’ve been protected by the law this whole time? Did you really think that America took gender seriously as it pertains to trans people? That we were being protected in the workplace, or under medicine?

Fourth, this is why Asexual Awareness Week exists. This is how community works. It takes a lot of work to learn and grow into yourself, in the face of a cisheteronormal world. A planned event like Asexual Awareness Week is dedicated to spreading resources for everyone, a-spec or not. And you can bet your Tumblr-politix-edgy ass that being ace and trans makes for a tumultuous time as of right now. 

So it’s not impressive to me, a trans ace (of color and disabled, as well), that exclusionist-Tumblr’s attention is focusing on pushing down Asexual Awareness Week, instead of actually focusing on the real issue. Because that’s what’s happening. Sex being defined as immutable and unworthy of lawful protection is the current trans reality in the USA. We saw this coming because it’s been happening. ‘Lose their humans rights’? What rights? Were we protected citizens of the USA before this?

Instead of talking about how to protect trans people, I see threads upon threads of how to abuse and manipulate aces (especially youth ace). It’s the bread and butter of exclusionism, really. Can’t have room for two, so instead kill the one. And that’s not how a community works.

You can’t take Asexual Awareness Week away from me. I’m a trans ace, and I demand to be seen during these dark days ahead.

“I’m a trans ace, and I demand to be seen during these dark days ahead.”

Damn, that’s powerful

That last part had me SHOOK

Every single time an a-spec person speaks up, some fucking barnacle on the bottom of humanity’s rotting hull instantly snaps back “You gonna make this about aces?” “You gonna make this about aros?”

And the lack of self-awareness astounds me.

Lemme ask you something: You gonna make it about a-spec people?

‘Cause the way I see it, you’re spending all this time and effort telling the evil aceys to shut up and get back in their place… instead of, y’know, lifting a single finger for trans rights.

Aces are so oppressed in the lgbt community that I didn’t even know a-spec week was a thing.

Supporting someone else’s rights doesn’t diminish your own . It’s not pie.

 It’s amazing how tetchy people get about the right of people not to be pressured to want sex and/or relationships. Almost like it’s a bodily autonomy issue or something. That wouldn’t have anything to do with civil rights now, would it?


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Taxed into poverty by a firing squad of boshlevik revolutionaries


Twitter reactionaries are the most entertaining people alive

I mean in the French Revolution they taxed the nobility, only instead of an arm and a leg they went straight for the head.

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Coming soon: Sarah Young’s FAQ.

From the Mitzvah storyverse. Subscribe to the SERIES for updates.

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Star Wars Concept:









So a couple things about Coruscant, circa roughly right before Order 66 and probably during the whole Empire too but I like the Prequel era as a backdrop so bear with me:

  • Most of Coruscant’s population technically lives in the sam building as the rich and powerful but MUCH lower down and the levels aren’t necessarily easily acessible.
  • Padme mentions in an episode of TCW that power rationing in the lower levels had gotten to the point where her senatorial aides only had power and running water once a week.
  • Coruscant’s police department is underfunded and too small for the sheer masses it’s supposed to patrol, so a lot of “crime” occurs in the form of “Normal business transactions but we ain’t paying taxes for services we’ll never see”
  • It gets more dangerous the farther down you go not necessarily because of crime but because the lower levels are full of things like Giant Mutant Rats, Escaped Monsters From The Pet Trade, and Monstrous Eyeless Humanoids That Might Have Been Normal People Several Centuries Ago Until They Stopped Being Able To See The Sun And Also Might Like To Eat Toes

But between food shortages, a lack of regulation and Lots of large Animals Down There, you can’t tell me there aren’t people who are effectively  Ecumenopolis Bush-Meat Hunters.  Owing to the lack of actual Bush and the Rule Of Cool, we’ll call them Dark Meat Hunters.

Anyone willing to brave The Deep Dark and come back with fresh* meat for thier hungry communities and maybe also some cool tusks the size of your whole leg is probably a very respected member of thier community**, and with the proliferation of military-grade weapons in Star Wars it’s probably not that difficult to get your hands on the appropriate gear*** So there’s probably an entire collective of Dark Meat Hunters.  Some of them might have even made firends with the Eyeless Humanoids**** and formed cooperative You-Return-Any-Lost-Eyed-People-You-Find-And-I’ll-Smuggle-Some-Vaccines-Down relationships with them.

*Well, it was killed today and is free of any visible parasites at least.  You should porbably have your steak well-done though.  As a precaution.

**Not Canon, but heavily suggested by canon: If there aren’t enough cops and it’s a beauractic nightmare anyway, it might not be that hard for say, an entire city block to stop paying taxes and turn themselves into an autonomus commune if they didn’t actively pick fights.

***Drive your friend’s crappy speeder at the truck hard enoug and you could LITERALLY knock an arms dealer over.

Hunter 1, new on the job: “WHAT IS THAT HIDEOUS CREATURE???”
Hunter 2: “What?  Oh, that’s Eyeless Bob.  Say Hi Bob!”
Bob: *Throaty, wet gibbering noises and flailing*  
Hunter 2: “HA!  You’re hilarious.”
Hunter 1: “You can understand him?”
Hunter 2: “Sure, it takes a bit to get used to his accent but he’s a riot at parties.”

Aw man this has potential for a short story/RPG characters/Art, but its 3 AM and i oughtta go to bed.

@norcumi @fialleril

This is frikkin’ brilliant.

Oh hey I’m not done with this yet:

-Dark Meat Hunters are rarely solo- it’s way easier to take down a Mutant Pig-Rat the size of a minivan when you’ve got some friends and maybe a riding animal to help you.  it’s also a lot easier to hold down a good territiory or keep your books and sell your prey at market if you’ve got some friends who can do patrols and bookeeping and sales for you.

-Hence, most Dark meat Hunters are part of “gangs” which is Imperialst for “Community organization that doesn’t pay taxes”, that contain not only multiple types of hunters, but other food-generating professions, managment and in the larger groups, quality control to make sure whatever you dredged up isn’t going to sicken important clients.

-Some of the other food-generating operations include: Hydroponic farming in empty warehouses that still have sewerhookups, insect farming, fungal farming, water collection and purification, Deep fishing and Grand Theft Basil.

-Seriously, spices are at a premium and worth killing for in the half-starved mid and lower levels.  There’s big money in ripping off fancy restaurants or rich people for seasoning.

-Hunters identify themselves with luminescent face and body paint, both to show they’re not prey and to identify what Clan they belong to. It’d be pretty dumb to get speared by your buddy just becuase he thought you were a rival gang member.  Luminescent paint is also camoflage- many animals living in the sunless lower levels of Coruscant are bioluminescent themselves, to attract mates and rey, and to blend in with the neons.

-Speaking of Levels, consider: If the average Cloud Cover level is “0″

Cloud-Level: 0-1 miles below cloud cover, rich bitches.  The senate, a good portion of the jedi temple and Padme Amidala’s penthouse are up here.

Upper Level: 1-2 mi below cloud cover, upper-class-but-not-the-1%, sa bit of an economic dead zone- food is delivered regularly enough that shortages are rare.  If you’re sneaky you can do hydroponic farming, process water or insect farm.  You’ll need guards, engineers to fix the sewer and powerlines, probably a few biologists with student loans, and someone to manage the beuacratic end of things (whether that’s bribery or a string of mssing tax collectors is up to the clan)

Mid-Level: 2-3 mi blow cc:  middle-class to poor, this is where dark food is sold, without the payment of taxes. limited light, limited power, MASSIVE shortages, this is where markets happen. Clan fights for control can get bitter and extremely voilent but are rarely public- the masses are already scared and desperate, open violence will only incite more violence and reduce sales. Public clan fights take the form of verbal taunting a vicious rumor mill.  Once out of the market, things can get nasty- there’s a persistent rumor about the Dark Markets that if you piss of one of the clans enough, you could end up being their wares the next day.

Lower Level: 3-4 mi cc: Poor, actually less populated than the Mid-Level, almost no sunlight. This is where game starts to appear- escaped exotics from the pet trade, mutant rats, invasive small and medium game that’s adapted to city life.  Wookies, Togruta, Trandoshans, and Rodians dominate the species makeup of the Hunters, many of them bringing thier planet-of-origin’s hunting traditions and hunting animals with them.  Humans, Twi’lekk and other populous meat-eating species are common too, and many operate Hunt-Adjacent businesses, like trap and weapon maunfacurers, Kennels, bait-makers, outfitters and guides.  

“Bottom” level: 4-4.5 mi cc.  About 4,5 miles down from the highest buildings is most of coruscant’s water table.  Sections of it are acessible and are filled with billions of tons of blind sewer fish.  Fishing’s a risky business- some of those fish are the size of tiberian freighters. This is also where many of the large carnivores like urban Nexu, narglatches and rancors live, where they don’t have to compete with the citizenry for food.  Also down here are the ruins of the first civilization of coruscant, and open sections of former city filled with dark-growing mushrooms, extoic plants and all kinds of treasures, many of which can poison or eat you too. High risk, high reward, requires a biology degree to mine properly

4.5 miles and lower: Byssal level.Entirely underground (or underwater) , this is where the cnothic people (eyeless pale and slightly cannibalistic humanoids) live, and thier secrets are not easily given up.  Poorly mapped and barely explored, “delving” here combines aspects of spelunking, mining, cartography, archeology and sheer dumb luck.  People have come back with amazing things- original Kolto cultures, ancient force-user artifacts, paper books , but they also come back changed- hypersensitive to light and sound, and a little looser on the ethics of potentially eating members of your dig team

If i ever GM a Star War I’m stealing this for my game

Steal Away! And tell me all about it, this is a concept I highly encourage people to take and use in games/fic/art whatever!

“Requires a biology degree to mine properly”

Now I’m imagining the rivalry between the Actual Educated Hunters from the upper and mid levels, with their theoretical biology and higher-tech weapons, and the practical apprenticeship-based education of the lower level hunting clans.

“ah yes this monstrosity must have evolved from the common domesticated Loth-cat, and is likely vulnerable to sonic weapons”

“sure probably but they’ll also do ANYTHING for a rancor liver, and make great guard animals. This one’s name is Cheth, and she’s just a big sweety, isn’t she.”

And then they go hunting and the upper-level hunter almost gets eaten by a plant that HE thought was benign, and she’s like “yeah those do that? Started eating people about fifty years ago. Old Jes figures it’s a low-light adaptation, but I’m pretty sure it actually hybridized with Arzid Tentacle-bush. Either way, the seed-heads are actually pretty tasty grilled, if you can get past the claws.”

Just, like, the difference between up-to-date practical lived experience and theoretical training, and all the class tensions between them.

@systlin more Star Wars Lore direct from my dumpster fire of a brain

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Some of you never lived through the era of basic security checks like metal detectors and bag x-rays without full body scans, patdowns, shoe removal, and disposal of all liquids in amounts more than 3oz and it shows.


yeah lets just get rid of airport security before trying to find a better solution that way people from the US can just bring their guns into a confined space we stan


So I guess a TSA agent just went to jail for falsely imprisoning a person who he followed and made strip a second time before allowing them to board their flight.

And, first of all, I’m glad that fucker got arrested.

Second, hey, we should disband the TSA because it’s ineffective security theater that has normalised state interference as a part of day to day life.

Third, I’m really tired of getting kicked in the fuck by realizing that bad shit that happens isn’t just bad shit that happens, sometimes it’s actual crimes and I probably could have said something to someone if I wasn’t so convinced that it’s just a thing that happens or that nobody would believe me/care.

Anyway, heads up for the other oblivious folks out there: if you’re getting strip searched multiple times and if the person doing the searching is isolating you that’s probably a good reason to, I dunno, call a lawyer or talk to a paramedic or find somebody slightly trustworthy and say something.

Also dismantle the carceral state and the abuses inherent in the system, buds. 🤙

To be fair, hijackings used to be An Thing.

On the other hand, dumping a zillion random liquids into a single bucket in a crowded room is not actually security.

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Of all the indignities and shots and pills and tests and infusions with this whole *waves in the general direction of my health* I’m usually pretty “compliant” as they put it. I take the meds, I test the sugars, I even started wearing socks on the regular.

Few directions have filled me with so much instantaneous, purely reflexive rage as the doctor informing me that I should be wearing shoes all the time now.

Insulin? Yeah okay. Shoes in the house? ARE YOU MAD?

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i am a single father and my daughter is going through that demon summoning phase but shes really successful with it and all of these hellish monsters keep showing up in our small rural village, however i am very cute and the monsters all want to kiss me


my ideal video game would be survival horror that slowly turns into a dating sim because the monsters think im cute

There’s a hell of a romcom here. Twist: kid has confused summoning book with “how to help your parent date” book. For some reason the covers are nearly identical.

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just so we’re all clear here, we are still in the primary, we still have the power to axe candidates we find abhorrent, the power to educate the people around us about the things television ads leave out so I say, from the bottom of my anxious angry queer lefty heart:

fucking destroy mike bloomberg. just, end him. send him back to the cavernous depth of hell that he crawled out from.

Yep. We’ve had a tiny percentage of voting. It’s not done. It’s barely begun.

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If We’ve Got Nothing (We’ve Got Us) - Epilogue


She had crafted it for them before they existed and walled it in to protect them from the unknown. As had his ancestor before him, Adam steps foot in the lush garden of Eden for the first time. The gates have remained closed since the first humans left, but the garden has not faltered. Everywhere plants grow, of every make and size, and as he walks he is greeted by a multitude of animals. Many of them he recognizes. Some of them have long-since gone extinct elsewhere.

And, at the very center, there stands a single apple tree, in full blossom.

This, he knows as he gazes upon it, is where they began.

This is where they belong.

This is where they have always belonged.

Four angels land beside him, two to either side of him. He glances first one way and then the other, and notes their pure white wings. These are the last true angels, left here to guard the gates of Eden. They had been barred from Heaven when their vigil began – so they would have no divided loyalty – and they have remained here ever since.

“You have guarded these gates for millennia,” he says gently. It is not a question, but a reminder. “It is time to stop.”

“We must guard the walls,” they say, a chorus of voices that number more than the bodies present. “As she ordered us to do.”

“She has left this world in different hands,” he tells them. “My hands. And it is time to take down the walls, and use the stone to build a path for them, instead.”

They stare, and he can hear the muted whispers of their minds as they speak to one another, but he gives them the courtesy of privacy. Their many wings fold as they reach a conclusion together. “She has left us?”

“But you are not alone,” Adam says, reaching out to them. They are warm, in the way that a voice is warm rather than a fire. “I would ask that you place your faith in me, now. I will send hope to you soon, and with it a new task.”

“A new task?” they ask, and he can feel their eagerness to obey, ingrained as it had been in all angels once. He will see it fade. They will know free will soon.

“Welcome them home,” he says.

Read the whole story on AO3!

I finally went and added the epilogue (replacing the chapter 2 placeholder from when I re-arranged everything), and the story is now complete! I know this took a long time, but I guess my brain just needed some time before it was ready to actually put it into words. At any rate, I hope you enjoy!

So go read this. The scope of it is breathtaking.

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if i was the joker id just get a restraining order on batman and superman whataere they gonna do? break the law? then theyre no better than me, a cold blooded murderer. and this would 100% work, because superheroe movies have the shittiest takes on ethics since fucking kant

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why do i even try 


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Mental Crop Rotation

When farmers grow the same crop too many years in a row, it can leave their soil depleted of minerals and other nutrients that are vital to the health of their fields.

To avoid this, farmers will often alternate the crops that they grow because some plants will use up different minerals (such as nitrogen) while other plants replenish those minerals. This process is known as “crop rotation.”

So the next time you find that you need to step away from a project to work on something else for a while, don’t beat yourself up for “quitting” that project. Give yourself permission to practice “mental crop rotation” to maintain a healthy brain field.

Because I’ve found that when that unnecessary guilt and pressure are removed from the process, a good mental crop rotation can help you feel more energized and invigorated than ever once you’re ready to rotate back to that project.

: A crucial part of crop rotation is that the field is let fallow sometimes. You plant what’s called a “cover crop”, which is something you don’t expect to harvest– it’s there for its roots to hold the soil in place, and often it’ll be what’s called a nitrogen-fixer, i.e. a plant that can pull nitrogen out of the air and fix it into the soil with its roots (but sometimes it won’t, sometimes it’s really just there to shelter the soil surface), and then you’ll till in that cover crop, or let the frost kill it and the stalks lie as mulch, and then you’ll rotate productive crops back into that field the next season. 

It’s important, though, to understand that during the fallow period, no nutrients are removed from that ground, and nothing is expected of it. Whatever the land grows then, it keeps, and it gets tilled back in or decomposes in place, to return its energy to the earth.

We’re not allowed, in our current society, to just let our minds be fallow for a bit, to produce nothing for export, to make nothing that can be sold. But it’s part of good land stewardship, to give every field time when it doesn’t need to give you anything back. 

So yes, grow and produce different things from time to time, rotate them around your mind and exercise different mental muscles, take different things from your creative processes, yes– but also, give yourself a fallow spell now and again, and let the field of your mind grow things for itself to keep, to break down and save for later. 

Positive mental health AND agriculture??!?

*slams reblog button*

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“don’t support nestle!” shouts the liberal on the computer made from parts manufactured at foxconn

consumer activism is a lie, see you in hell or in communism

lmao try boycotting a brand in monopoly capitalism


This. This is a large part of what “there’s no ethical consumption under late capitalism” means. On top of everything else, when the same company owns both the product you’re boycotting *and* the “organic, free range, fair trade, no prison labor” version of that product, your choice is literally meaningless. Even before you factor in the strong possibility that those labels are lies, you’re still just choosing one prong of a two prong marketing strategy meant to capture 100% of the market. Your objections to their cheaper, less ethical brand are being used to wring more money out of you, money that all goes to the same place. Your morality is being used to exploit you, and they still win.

For a larger version of that picture

So hey, where’s the version of this picture showing brands that are NOT connected to these megacorps?

This shows the problem, great. Now let’s see various solutions in which readers can participate, according to their varying levels of disconnection from the grid. (“Grow/sew your own” is good but there must be alternatives.)

@ms-demeanor ? @squeeful ? You folks seem like you might have some pointers. Anyone?

uhhhhhhhhh okay well I’m pretty deep in the “see you in hell or see you in communism” boat on this one, actually - this basically is the “there is no ethical consumption under capitalism” concept.

And hey, even if your computer or phone doesn’t use foxconn parts it does use conflict minerals and probably was put together by people who are underpaid/overworked or who are maybe enslaved political prisoners? Just like a lot of the stuff that you buy!

One option for this is the buy nothing movement - which is where you basically check out of the system and attempt to trade/reuse/dumpster-dive everything. There’s a lot of merit to this but it’s VERY VERY much a lifestyle and not something that is easy to do or can be done casually - and it’s something that REALLY breaks down for the disabled/elderly/people with low mobility.

Because of the way the system currently exists it frequently makes more sense for a low-income person with three jobs to buy poorly-made, cheaply-constructed, but new, attractive, and inexpensive clothing in their size than it does to thrift, clean, and alter dress clothes for an interview - same again for food. Saying “buy local, shop at farmer’s markets, eschew brands” makes sense right up until Post Cereals and Mott’s Juice are the only products okayed by your SNAP card.

And I mean, I’m personally pretty limited on this one. Because of my food allergies there is ONE brand of store-made bread that I’ve found that I can eat. There is ONE brand of baking powder I can eat so even if I’m making my own bread I’ve got limited choices about the ingredients I can purchase. And actually the brand of baking powder I can use is made by the folks who own all of these brands:

But that’s kind of the point of “see you in hell or see you in communism.”

I could feel really guilty about this. I could avoid using baking powder and attempt to make my own baking powder replacement using cream of tartar and baking soda; I could use generic brands for those or see if I can ethically source them. I could buy local grapes from a co-op and press my own grape juice and strain the potassium bitartrate crystals out and make my own cream of tartar and then I could use my own self-made, ethically sourced baking powder along with my hand-milled farmer’s market certified gluten free oat flour and backyard eggs traded with neighbors to bake a loaf of bread at a time (because a lack of preservatives would make it difficult to make more than that and store it).

Or I could walk two blocks down to the Trader Joe’s and buy bread or I could spend $12 for two cans of Hain Corn Free Baking Powder on Amazon, which is the only place I’ve been regularly able to find it online.

But then I’m not being the good, ethical consumer buying nothing and I’m contributing to the evils of capitalism by supporting Jeff Bezos’ evil network.

I could refuse to ever buy a new cellphone, only purchasing used phones that already existed and that don’t require the consumption of more conflict minerals and aren’t put together by laborers in horrifying conditions and also eradicating the need to recycle electronics; and when my phone is eventually broken and obsolete and doesn’t have the resources to keep up with apps I’m required to use for work I could just - - - figure out that bridge when I get there.

I could manufacture my own cloth using fibers I’ve traded for tech support to local farmers; I could hand-sew using antique needles or machine my own needles on the fourth-hand mill in my garage using bar stock with steel that I’ve made sure comes from ethical mines and mills.

The question with all of this is how far do you go. How much do you deny yourself before you realize the whole premise is ridiculous?

We live in a society.

You are not a self-sufficient island unto yourself nor should you have to be.

You also shouldn’t have to spend ten hours a day researching whether or not your candybar was made with slave labor (if it uses chocolate it almost certainly was!) before deciding whether or not to support the business that is selling you that candybar.

I am, personally, a big fan of not giving my money to assholes.

Sometimes my solution to this is to “steal” where “steal” means “continue to use software licenses that the company no longer supports or that were sold as OEM licenses on one device that I’ve applied to a second device.”

Sometimes my solution is to not buy a thing. Fuck Apple, Disney, and everything they stand for. I don’t spend money on Apple and Disney products, I don’t want Apple or Disney products and if Apple is going to continue to work on normalizing planned obsolescence and Disney is going to continue ATTEMPTING TO CREATE ARTIFICIAL SCARCITY ON THE SHARED MEDIA OF THREE GENERATIONS AND FIDDLE-FUCKING AROUND WITH COPYRIGHT LAW then A) I don’t want none and B) any money I could spend on going to see a Star War or subscribing to Disney Plus is MUCH better spent on paying small creators.

Sometimes my solution is to accept that sometimes assholes get my money. Sometimes the only water around for me to drink comes out of a vending machine in a Dasani bottle. That doesn’t change the fact that I need water, so I can’t hate myself for buying a coca cola product.

Sometimes my solution is to find good-ish places to buy things and buy from them: I’d rather pay Trader Joe’s and Aldi than Whole Foods or Wal-Mart.

Sometimes the solution is to upcycle, mend, repair, reuse, trade, dumpster-dive, or thrift. A lot of my clothes have come from thrift stores and I use them for a long, long time as long as they continue to fit. My cellphone was cheap to start and has a cracked screen and I’ve had to reinstall it twice but putting a screen cover on it has made it work well for the last eighteen months.

This is really rambly. Really really rambly.

Basically I don’t want you to be pissed at yourself if you have to interact with companies that you find morally repugnant. Nestle fucking sucks. Chick-fil-a fucking sucks. Coke fucking sucks. Sometimes you gotta buy a thing though and understanding that your options are limited through no action of your own can make it easier to deal with the fact that you’re frustrated by limited options.

If we’re stuck in this shitty system agitate for breaking up monopolies and for trade agreements that ban slavery or prison labor or stuff like that. Regulation is an imperfect solution but it’s better than zero regulation in the situation we’re currently dealing with.

REGARDLESS of whether you’re the kind of person who supports regulation (I’m enough of an anarchist that I don’t feel comfortable saying that government regulation of monopolies is a good way to solve these problems) support labor unions and don’t cross picket lines.

Try to support local businesses over box stores or Amazon. Guitar Center is huge and owns Music & Arts and both of those places sell D’addario strings and Ibanez guitars but *so does* the tiny store with four employees that’s also the only place nearby that has an onsite instrument tech all the time. I don’t want to lose access to the one place that always has a tech around so it’s worth the extra dollar I might pay for strings to help keep that store in business.

Try to buy what local food you can - not everyone has time to cook from scratch but if you do local foods put money into your local economy and supporting small farms over huge agribusiness is important.

Explore your local options for thrift/trade/free goods - the more people who know about and use the Freecycle network the larger and more useful the network will be; go to swap meets, get to know people at local makerspaces and in local craft communities. Maybe you spin wool and there’s a weaver nearby looking for fiber and willing to trade fabric. Maybe you take in a pile of mending to trade for eggs at the farmer’s market. Talk to your city organizers about building a community library of things.

Also remember that you can do this yourself! Organize a day with friends where you set up a free store: get together all the stuff that you might otherwise donate to charity or sell at a yard sale and bring it together at a park or other public place and see if someone has things you need or if you have things someone else needs. Trade with the people participating and open it up to passers-by as well.

(I *LOVE* doing this with books - clear your bookshelves and meet up to trade books with friends and family and give away books you won’t read again and get books you need - I have a ton of cookbooks and a book on sewing from doing this kind of trade/free store; it’s GREAT)

Don’t beat yourself up if you have to buy things. We’re all living in this system and it sucks and you know what if nothing else you gotta buy undies because you can’t thrift that and risking arrest for a few pairs of panties isn’t something that most people can really do. If you’ve gotta buy things that’s okay. Buy the comfortable shoes you need to work your job instead of thrifting something worn in to someone else’s wear pattern, buy the reliable car you need to keep a job and keep your family safe. You’re not an asshole if you need to do those things.

But try not to be wasteful, try not to support loathsome businesses unless there’s no choice, and if you cross a picket line I will begin manifesting in your house physically.


Also join a union.

I don’t give money to Nestle or Amazon unless there is no other acceptable option. There’s almost always an acceptable option. I can list on one hand the number of times I’ve given money to Nestle products in the past couple years and have fingers left over and they are all either someone needed a specific nutritional supplement for medical purposes or I was traveling and it was literally the only safe available water.

Nestle tastes like pain to me.

I have been less successful at completely eliminating Amazon but I have dropped 99% of my Amazon spending in two years. I was a longtime fan. Used to be a substantial part of my budget. Now it feels like buying Volkswagen in 1938.

I haven’t quite cut the cord on my kids freetime or audible subscriptions, but I’m about to cancel prime.

I don’t do it to feel superior or virtuous, but because I can’t bring myself to support companies that cause so much harm.

Sometimes there are things that I need (sensory friendly diabetic socks are a must) that are not easily found elsewhere. But I always try.

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