Morir en el Sur

Dedicated to everyone on death row.

You gotta die somehow in the south—
Why wait for fate?
Make my last stand a glorious blaze,
Grab my pistol and claim my place.

Two drinks too many,
Whilin’ down the side lanes.
The other driver was even drunker,
Now I don’t gotta save for old age.

No one here does—
We chew and get cancer of the mouth,
Drink turpentine and scarf greasy chicken
Cause you gotta die somehow in the south.

My life was a grind,
Til I started poppin pills,
Then smoking and injecting it,
Now I don’t gotta pay any of my bills.

No one here does—
We pick fights and scream and shout,
Light homemade fireworks and shoot the sky,
Cause you gotta die somehow in the south.

When I stopped by the doctor,
They said I’d got an infection.
It spread from my dick to my brain
Cause I didn’t use protection.

No one here does—
But never have a doubt,
Whether for cash, love, or pure self-destruction,
You gotta die somehow in the south.

I’ve got a suicide wish,
Fuck the death row blues.
I took two cops down with me,
Read about it in the news!

Cause no matter what you hope from life,
It’s too short to be lived down and out.
We all become black birds when we die.
And you gotta die somehow in the south.

(cumbia chorus:
Porque se debe
Porque se debe
Morir en el sur
De alguna manera
O otra manera.)

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Thanks for giving me a day to promote Female assimilation into male culture!

By Racoon

Today is International Women’s day, the one day a year where we get to celebrate womyn’s academic, social and economic achievements in history. Today we get to celebrate how well we worked to assimilate into the white male dominant culture and adopt values based on the values of those who everyday, every hour, oppress us.
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Please don’t get me wrong, I completely support the strength it takes to walk in a male dominates world everyday, and in no way want to say that any accomplishment or goals made by a womyn is pointless. I’m not writing this to put down womyn (any womyn: female assigned, female identified, trans womyn, intersex, etc) but rather to illuminate that male dominated culture is so pervasive that it even permeates the strongest feminist ideals. We consider ourselves “unsuccessful” or “ineffective” if we do not meet male standards of success, such as becoming CEO’s or fighting for womyns rights through legal legislation. Again, I completely support the fight womyn have fought to get some form of legal equality such as getting laws passed in 1978 that said a womyn could refuse to have sex with her husband and another law that said it was illegal for a husband to beat his wife (honestly, rule of thumb, look it up).
We are worth more than one fucking day out of the year, we are worth more than comparing ourselves to the colonizing male of the ruling class, we are worth so much more than our socialization can ever allow us to dream of. International Women’s Day is a pat on the shoulder that our patriarchal overloads give us saying: “That’s so cute, keep fighting the system that is set up to oppress you!” It is impossible to fight within the current system in order to gain equality within it. The narrative of “civilized” society dictates that womyn are and always have been second class citizens.
The socialization and culture goes way to deep and laws alone cannot prevent attacks on womyn. They just help prosecute afterward. Cops will not prevent you from being raped. In fact some womyn are even raped by cops. There was a case that just went to trial in New York in February about an NYPD officer who raped a womyn orally and anally. New York law only considers it rape if it is vaginal and so the officer was acquitted. That’s right, one of the most “progressive” cities in America does not consider anal rape or oral rape “legitimate” rape. We shouldn’t have to suffer through white privileged men defining rape for us—debating what is legitimate rape, and never punishing the rapist. This legislation perpetuates the rape culture that we currently live in.
I completely support the womyns suffrage movement and all of the protests and actions that womyn organized simply to get the right to vote. We shouldn’t have to go through jail and harassment from society just to have basic human rights. We should not have to fight to keep abortion legal, these are our bodies. No one makes laws that force men to be sterilized or tell them what to do with their bodies—it’s completely repulsive that we are told what to do with ours. But that’s our socialization in the disciplinary regime of patriarchy. Womyn are socialized at birth to believe that their bodies are communal property—that if you wear a short skirt, it means you must want to have sex and male bodied individuals are completely justified in pursuing you to whatever extent they want.
I’m am not saying that the fight for legal rights is completely pointless or am disregarding how hard womyn have fought to pass these laws. But why stop there? Why rely on legislation that will neither prevent from violence against womyn from happening no change the systemic oppression that womyn face just for being womyn. Let’s learn self defense. Let’s carry teasers. Let’s join together and make support groups. Let’s not ask that abortions be legal but have doctors that are willing to save womyns lives, regardless of what the law says. I’m trying to say we don’t have to fight just by their rules, we can fight by ours. We make up over fifty percent of the worlds population. We are strong, we are powerful, we ARE equal. We will never gain true equality by asking for it. We have to claim it, make it undeniable. Don’t ask your legislators for permission to not be beaten by your husband, take self defense classes, get a taser and then beat the living shit out of his worthless ass.
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Salt Dawg’s First Aid/Trauma Kit.

Having taken both EMT-Basic Course, Combat Life Savers Course and spent almost a decade in the military I have carried my share of medical equipment. One of the worst things is having to carry a heavy, awkward and large medical kit attached to your gear, draining your energy; even worse is only having an issued IFAK (Individual First Aid Kit) and not having a corpsman/medic or the right supplies to handle most injuries.
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I have seen some serious head and limb trauma, shrapnel and gunshot wounds, full body 3rd degree burns and other major and minor injuries, some of which we were medically unprepared for. I got out of the military 4 years ago and, having seen so much trauma, the regret of knowing I could have prevented some of it was more than enough to reinforce in me the habit of being prepared for medical emergencies.

Philosophy of Use (POU):

I guess, my philosophy of use for my Medical/Trauma kit is pretty simple:

Treat common ailments of more than one person and trauma of at least one.

That being said I try to ensure my kit will:

Have many supplies for the common ailments and enough for the less likely trauma. (of course this changes due to situation, in combat I would have had trauma, trauma, trauma).
Be light enough to move fucking fast.
Be big enough to carry enough supplies for the task.
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I’d say it’s a damn good idea to only pack what you are sure you know how to use. I have been trained on things that are considered much more advanced training in the “civilian world” like needle decompression for tension pneumothorax (which is why I carry a 14 gauge angiocath). Hopefully you can get training on these types of things but if not I am not advocating the untrained practice of a procedure or use of equipment, however if your going to be in remote areas for long periods of time its better to study now and be very prepared to do what you gotta do, because it’s better than not even knowing what you gotta do. If you are a trained, professional healthcare provider please keep in mind your “scope of practice” and “standard of care” if you don’t want to loose your ability to legally practice or worse: go to jail. Above all use your best judgment.

Personally, in a situation where I was facing certain death because the chance of getting to the hospital within the next few days is zero, I would rather someone risk messing up a procedure they didn’t go to school for than just dying because the person aiding wouldn’t try because they didn’t have “proper” training. If we do not learn to be self-sufficient we will always be dependent on those who can control us.

Note I do not have much in the way of BSI (Body Substance Isolation) in the Trauma kit other nitrite gloves because of what I see as special/seriousness priority. I have face shields, etc. in the Medical Kit that is lower portion of my Condor 3 day assault pack. Here I will only review my Trauma Kit a Condor Ripaway EMT Pouch that I painted in snakeskin cammo so I will be left alone in the woods. ;)

Trauma Kit (in Condor Ripaway EMT Pouch):
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External:
Medical marker Velcro patch
Benchmade seatbelt cutter (US Army issue)

Side 1:
EMT Shears
Chem Lights (2)
Sharpies (2)
Nitrile gloves
4” Israeli Bandage (hemorrhage control bandage)
CELOX (15 gram, hemostatic granules)
HALO chest seals (2)
14 gauge angiocath (needle for chest decompression to relieve tension pneumothorax)

Center:
SOF Tactical Tourniquet
Chem light
Gauze bandages (2)
“4×4’s” – Gauze sponge (4×4”) (6)
Non-occlusive wound dressing (6×9”)
Abdominal dressing (8×10”)
Island dressing (4X8”)

Side 2 (zip up pouch):
Tape (2)
Isopropyl alcohol pads
Providone-Iodine prep pad
External analgesic packets (burn gel)

Note: I am not done with this trauma kit or my medical kit. Currently I plan on buying a nasopharyngeal (nasal airway), surgilube, another tourniquet. Some of the supplies were bought at Chinook Medical (www.chinookmed.com) and some at random places the key is to do the research/training and know what you need for you situation.
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California First Aid Kit

Since attending a recent first aid training at the local Red Cross, I’ve become increasingly interested in first aid and preparedness in general. I wouldn’t call myself a “prepper,” but I do like to have a robust first aid kit on hand for what ever life throws my way.
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Philosophy of Use (POU):

Versatility is the key idea guiding the composition of this kit. I found myself needing supplies for different applications: basic first aid, range medic, mini-disaster preparedness, street medic, west coast festival culture, etc. Any given day I could end up dealing with a small cut or burn, a gun shot wound, an earthquake, a riot, or a drug overdose. The items included are the result of careful personal consideration as well as conversations with friends and paramedical colleagues. It is designed for 2 people as opposed to an individual IFAK-type configuration.

The kit is not a professional medical or long term care kit. Like most first responders, I assume that the person I am aiding will receive some sort of professional medical care within hours. I also assume that I will eventually have access to my back up supplies to restock after busting the kit out. I only packed what I reasonably know how to use, although an upcoming Wilderness First Responder class should allow me to enhance and utilize my kit more fully.

I store everything in a Condor Ripaway EMT Pouch, which has incredible storage capacity (check out a product description for more). I chose it primarily to be able to access items with one hand, which I learned the importance of after having to patch up a gashed finger. I chose Multicam pattern simply because it’s pretty. On the velcro panel is a patch indicating my blood type (B+pos) and a red cross to indicate to people that it is indeed a first aid kit. This is especially important if the unlucky event occurs that someone has to use your kit on you. Small items are grouped and stored in ziploc bags. I also keep a list of items in the pouch and try to keep in mind which items are banned by TSA (medication, knife) so I can potentially remove them for travel.
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Item List in 4 Categories:

Tools:
benchmade triage folding knife with seatbelt-cutter and carbide glass-breaker.
LED light w/ lanyard and mini-carabiner
glow stick
red tape
sharpie
tweezers
4 safety pins
waterproof notebook and pencil
up to 15 ft of 550 paracord (fob on velcro pull tab and LED lanyard)

Dressing:
SWAT tourniquet
Israeli bandage
adhesive bandage “booboo kit” with bandaids of various sizes, neosporin and skin glue
2 unscented tampons
large gauze dressing
small gauze dressing
gauze pad kit with various sizes from 2×2” to 5×9”
medical tape roll (tied into pouch with gutted paracord)

Protection:
ear plugs
CPR faceshield
2 pairs of nitrile gloves
alcohol wipes/prep pads kit
neosporin mini-spray device
benadryl mini-spray device (for skin irritation)
2 field towels
2 face masks
space blanket
6 ziploc bags

Medication module:
standard aspirin and non-aspirin pain/fever reducers
imodium for diarrhea
charcoal pills
sinus rinse

If anyone has any insights into first aid supplies or first responder medicine, I am always open to improve–leave a comment.

Be prepared, train often. Here’s to hoping I never have to use any of it.

Fold out clamshell design makes kit easy to access with one hand and seal quickly with a velcro strap. You can see that there is a lot of organizing space in this pouch.

Fold out clamshell design makes kit easy to access with one hand and seal quickly with a velcro strap. You can see that there is a lot of organizing space in this pouch.

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Fixed Position Camera Embedded in the Noise and Mess

I.

Make a crescendo of personal experiences and intersperse it with the war scene so people don’t forget.

A boy once dreamed
Of the barrel of the gun
And when he woke up
He didn’t tell anyone…

II.

The blast laid him under rubble,
It laid him under spent breath,
It laid him in his house—
Disemboweled in the streets.

It was the rumble of the first war
That his cloud seeding blue eyes
(Gaze set on under
Rubble, wood, and metal splinters)
Would ever dimly dust to.

A minefield became the road home,
Broken concrete and wet dirt of war
That passed by the elementary school—
The cemetery’s schedule—
And the apartments Promised and Protected.

He watched where the pavement bloomed
Into the soot heavy and red sky
Around the warm bomb crater,
Whose torn edges pierced the clouds,
When a drop of blood dried
To his concussion-crushed nose
From his glazed over eyes.
And his cold, chalk-drawn face
Was peaceful and lost—
Drawn into the percussion orchestra
And shifting dead colors.

III.

He could feel his heart beating low
And he dreamed he was still alive…

The mortars spitfire shrapnel and debris,
Pounding rhythmically
In the distant neighborhoods
And echoed dully
Between the scarred skeletons
Of corroded metal bars
And crumbling brick
Where smoke wafted
Through burnt out windows.

The door frame where his mother
Measured his height in centimeters—
The progressive notches
That he would smile proudly at each year—
Lay horizontally in front of his torn t-shirt.

His vacant peripheral caught
The upper half of his doorframe
That was clean and unmarked
Waiting and flaking the varnish
Where he would have grown,
Where he could have been
And might have seen
Over his mothers hair,
And smile with his teeth again.

The beam was still whole, though,
And he was shattered.

IV.

A tank rumbled by,
Taking its numbers
And kicking up soot that clung
To his drying retinas.
Its dark wind took his papers,
His schoolwork, with it.

That one was his best score,
That one he learned how to spell
“irreversible”.
The treads also crushed
Cold fragments of concrete.

Drops of stone spit into the air
Along the broken columns
Of the gutted lobby,
Bullets breaking the silence
And halting the tank
Over his spent bedroom
And his snuffed life.
His fixed camera sight was cut
With grey shadows and pure darkness.

V.

When he played army
It was Never like this it was Never like this it was Never like this.
He just wanted
To play again.

VI.

Stop dreaming.
Turn off your cameras.

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Conversation about being active for Bastion Project

I’ve adapted the idea of being active from a discussion I had with the Bastion Project out of Gothenburg, Sweden.

The broad scope of digital media has drawn our attention solely to theories and ideas and alienated us from action. We have forgotten that theories and ideas find their richness and fulfillment in the action of affective physical reality. But there is no prerequisite to participate in positive social change. We don’t need any special education in peace and justice or to be initiated into the cadre of the “socially conscious” as liberals will put it. All we really have to do is liberate and connect our physical efforts and show love for our brothers and sisters by utilizing our inherent power of culture to expand our choices and opportunities for action.

To begin we must take back reality. Physical reality has been effectively alienated and mediated in our every day lives, but we have the power to reconnect. Connect with the environment, our home and giver of life—the only force more powerful than the US military. Enhance mutuality through sharing and trust for long term community and individual health. Dismantle violent and exploitative power structures from our interpersonal relationships to the highest echelons of financial power and see how the world looks after.

We must also take back our bodies. Everyday corporations and the state seek to control our time and energy to serve their ends, often through violent coercion. This is how value is produced on a capitalist planet (generally speaking), the work and non-work of the people, meaning we have the real power. We must take our time and energy back and use it to end hegemonic domination rather than support it. In order to actually realize change, we must be active, with our bodies, intellects, and creativity.

Then we take back our emotional healthy. When love is the motivating force for action, positive social change becames possible.Compassion is a natural force within horizontal human relations, that is, in the absense of coercive and exploitative power. Our love is locked away by the isolating mechanisms of the current system of control where every individual is pit against every other individual. Revolutionary types from Marx to Che to Huey P all advocated for the power of love, but in order for love to triumph over fear, thought and action must restore human optimism and health.

To decolonialize is the most difficult struggle, but we have a potent weapon. Social change occurs in three different but overlapping fields: individual, institutional, and cultural. Since the individual is an illusion and institutions have only given us negative rights, culture stands out as both accessible and responsible to the people. Artists have unique resources and social positioning that allow them to express dangerous truths, criticize power structures in a way useful to those held hostage by hegemony, and, most important, to show the people than another reality is possible.

Lastly, we must remember that with every choice we make, we choose a side. One side leads to greater liberation (value), the other to utter destitution (absence of value). We must take the effort to choose the right side, that is, the side of the people against these violent power structures that make realizing our power difficult. If we choose the wrong side, we will find we have less and less choices to make but if we choose boldly (that is, dangerously), we will see our choices and possibilities expand.

A better world is possible, but you gotta be active :-).

- Michaël Veremans

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Planet X

I am a mysterious planet (call me X)
you are a space explorer asking why?
and there is so much space between us—
light years of silence fill my life,
an eternity of waiting for your wandering soul.
My pulsars pound a beat for you—
find me in the dark.
Nothing lights this vast empty room
except the sparks from your rocketship
that ignited a big bang
in the impenetrable dark.
Then you transposed your space boots
on my meteor-scarred surface
and woke me from an violent cosmic oblivion.

- Michaël Veremans, July ’12, Prague.

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