I don’t get on tumblr as much as I use to. I believe it’s because I feel disorganized and overwhelmed on this. I’ve always intended to make another blog for personal photos, and I did, but I do not remember the log in, so I made another that I love alot. I just began it, but there are two photos I really cherish on there already. I will follow back whoever chooses to support this new endeavor. It will be greatly appreciated if you even decide to check it out.
“Our life does not end here, and we are not created only for this world, nor are we ordered to concentrate our energies only to acquire pleasures, power, and pomp here. We are brought here simply to be tested in accordance to our knowledge, intentions, and activities. You are being tested through me, and I am being tested through you. Each one of us is to be an evidence of the demonstration of the intentions and deeds of the other - whether they have been pious or sinful.”—Imam Ali (as), Nahj al-Balagha, Letter #55 (via thelittlephilosopher)
I live in a country generally assumed to be a dictatorship. One of the Arab spring countries. I have lived through curfews and have seen the outcomes of the sort of surveillance now being revealed in the US. People here talking about curfews aren’t realizing what that actually FEELS like. It isn’t about having to go inside, and the practicality of that. It’s about creating the feeling that everyone, everything is watching. A few points:
1) the purpose of this surveillance from the governments point of view is to control enemies of the state. Not terrorists. People who are coalescing around ideas that would destabilize the status quo. These could be religious ideas. These could be groups like anon who are too good with tech for the governments liking. It makes it very easy to know who these people are. It also makes it very simple to control these people.
Lets say you are a college student and you get in with some people who want to stop farming practices that hurt animals. So you make a plan and go to protest these practices. You get there, and wow, the protest is huge. You never expected this, you were just goofing off. Well now everyone who was there is suspect. Even though you technically had the right to protest, you’re now considered a dangerous person.
With this tech in place, the government doesn’t have to put you in jail. They can do something more sinister. They can just email you a sexy picture you took with a girlfriend. Or they can email you a note saying that they can prove your dad is cheating on his taxes. Or they can threaten to get your dad fired. All you have to do, the email says, is help them catch your friends in the group. You have to report back every week, or you dad might lose his job. So you do. You turn in your friends and even though they try to keep meetings off grid, you’re reporting on them to protect your dad.
2) Let’s say number one goes on. The country is a weird place now. Really weird. Pretty soon, a movement springs up like occupy, except its bigger this time. People are really serious, and they are saying they want a government without this power. I guess people are realizing that it is a serious deal. You see on the news that tear gas was fired. Your friend calls you, frantic. They’re shooting people. Oh my god. you never signed up for this. You say, fuck it. My dad might lose his job but I won’t be responsible for anyone dying. That’s going too far. You refuse to report anymore. You just stop going to meetings. You stay at home, and try not to watch the news. Three days later, police come to your door and arrest you. They confiscate your computer and phones, and they beat you up a bit. No one can help you so they all just sit quietly. They know if they say anything they’re next. This happened in the country I live in. It is not a joke.
3) Its hard to say how long you were in there. What you saw was horrible. Most of the time, you only heard screams. People begging to be killed. Noises you’ve never heard before. You, you were lucky. You got kicked every day when they threw your moldy food at you, but no one shocked you. No one used sexual violence on you, at least that you remember. There were some times they gave you pills, and you can’t say for sure what happened then. To be honest, sometimes the pills were the best part of your day, because at least then you didn’t feel anything. You have scars on you from the way you were treated. You learn in prison that torture is now common. But everyone who uploads videos or pictures of this torture is labeled a leaker. Its considered a threat to national security. Pretty soon, a cut you got on your leg is looking really bad. You think it’s infected. There were no doctors in prison, and it was so overcrowded, who knows what got in the cut. You go to the doctor, but he refuses to see you. He knows if he does the government can see the records that he treated you. Even you calling his office prompts a visit from the local police.
You decide to go home and see your parents. Maybe they can help. This leg is getting really bad. You get to their house. They aren’t home. You can’t reach them no matter how hard you try. A neighbor pulls you aside, and he quickly tells you they were arrested three weeks ago and haven’t been seen since. You vaguely remember mentioning to them on the phone you were going to that protest. Even your little brother isn’t there.
4) Is this even really happening? You look at the news. Sports scores. Celebrity news. It’s like nothing is wrong. What the hell is going on? A stranger smirks at you reading the paper. You lose it. You shout at him “fuck you dude what are you laughing at can’t you see I’ve got a fucking wound on my leg?”
"Sorry," he says. "I just didn’t know anyone read the news anymore." There haven’t been any real journalists for months. They’re all in jail.
Everyone walking around is scared. They can’t talk to anyone else because they don’t know who is reporting for the government. Hell, at one time YOU were reporting for the government. Maybe they just want their kid to get through school. Maybe they want to keep their job. Maybe they’re sick and want to be able to visit the doctor. It’s always a simple reason. Good people always do bad things for simple reasons.
You want to protest. You want your family back. You need help for your leg. This is way beyond anything you ever wanted. It started because you just wanted to see fair treatment in farms. Now you’re basically considered a terrorist, and everyone around you might be reporting on you. You definitely can’t use a phone or email. You can’t get a job. You can’t even trust people face to face anymore. On every corner, there are people with guns. They are as scared as you are. They just don’t want to lose their jobs. They don’t want to be labeled as traitors.
This all happened in the country where I live.
You want to know why revolutions happen? Because little by little by little things get worse and worse. But this thing that is happening now is big. This is the key ingredient. This allows them to know everything they need to know to accomplish the above. The fact that they are doing it is proof that they are the sort of people who might use it in the way I described. In the country I live in, they also claimed it was for the safety of the people. Same in Soviet Russia. Same in East Germany. In fact, that is always the excuse that is used to surveil everyone. But it has never ONCE proven to be the reality.
Maybe Obama won’t do it. Maybe the next guy won’t, or the one after him. Maybe this story isn’t about you. Maybe it happens 10 or 20 years from now, when a big war is happening, or after another big attack. Maybe it’s about your daughter or your son. We just don’t know yet. But what we do know is that right now, in this moment we have a choice. Are we okay with this, or not? Do we want this power to exist, or not?
You know for me, the reason I’m upset is that I grew up in school saying the pledge of allegiance. I was taught that the United States meant “liberty and justice for all.” You get older, you learn that in this country we define that phrase based on the constitution. That’s what tells us what liberty is and what justice is. Well, the government just violated that ideal. So if they aren’t standing for liberty and justice anymore, what are they standing for? Safety?
Ask yourself a question. In the story I told above, does anyone sound safe?
I didn’t make anything up. These things happened to people I know. We used to think it couldn’t happen in America. But guess what? It’s starting to happen.
I actually get really upset when people say “I don’t have anything to hide. Let them read everything.” People saying that have no idea what they are bringing down on their own heads. They are naive, and we need to listen to people in other countries who are clearly telling us that this is a horrible horrible sign and it is time to stand up and say no.
So, you wanna know all about wheatpasting huh? Well heres how it is….wheatpaste is pretty much a glue made by graff writers to put up posters that will be NEAR impossible to tear down if pasted up properly….the glue is mainly comprised up of Water and Flour……it works by first brushing/rolling the wheatpaste onto the surface you plan to paste your poster onto….brush the paste a little bit bigger than the poster itself, make sures its a nice thick coat on the wall….now smooth the poster down over it…..try to remove all the air bubbles, creases, etc…..try and make it as smooth as possible onto the paste….now just brush/roll a thin coat over the front of the poster (whatever paste thats left on your brush should be fine) to seal the poster to the wall….done! The paste will take a few hours to dry, but if its properly put up, it will be nearly impossible to tear down! Pasting is a great and easy way to get up, i mean….i could burn anybody with pasting because i could put up a 6 foot poster faster than they could finish a quick fill in…..interested yet?
You wanna make some paste now? You ready to go bomb shit? Well you gotta make some posters first! ALWAYS REMEMBER: THE THINNER THE PAPER, THE BETTER…the reason why that is is because you want your poster saturated completely in paste, and the thinner the more pressed against the wall and more saturated in paste…Now, ive heard of a lot of diff. papers being used for posters, but i highly recommend the following:
Newsprint: Probably the most ideal paper….you can get them from a printing press…they usually throw the last few meters of the roll of newsprint cause they cant use it in the machine…go talk to them! You can buy big pads of it at Hobby Lobby for like $6….
Butcher Paper: Not so sure where to get this, but one side of it is waxed, so use the other side….good stuff though!
Xerox Paper: Pretty much the paper that Xerox/Photocopy machines print on (no, not your A4 Home Printer paper…) this paper is used when making posters using the computer….we’ll cover that later…..
Wrapping Paper: Use the white side…..thin stuff! I can get a roll of it at the dollar store….
Ive also heard of some people ripping out pages of the phone book, spray painting it white, and using that for handmade posters!….whatever floats your boat!
Now for making posters….you have 2 options…..Hand-Drawn, or PC Made…..for Hand drawn, use markers that wont fade in the sun….Sharpie Paints, Pilots, Decos, etc…For PC made copies….print them at home and go get copys of it from a Xerox/Photocopy machine…i know it sounds pointless, but the paper is of better quality, so is the ink…it wont fade in the sun, and nor will the ink smear….. ….SO DONT USE HOME PRINTER COPIES! IT ISNT WORTH IT!!!
When you make your posters, you want to paste with a purpose…you want a good picture to draw peoples attention, and then words to explain it….or just doing karaks is fine too….i dont recommend signing your posters though…..it can only link you too more tags if your caught….so i dont recommend it….
Now that you’ve made a poster, its optional to MIST a coat of Shellac or Clear Acrylic over the poster on both sides….but thats optional….
Now you’ve got your poster….its ready to get your supplies! I recommend a brush if its your first time pasting, and then i recommend a roller for bigger jobs and higher spots…..i’d suggest getting a brush AT LEAST 3 INCHES WIDE! ..you may want gloves to wear too! Nothing fancy….just get a pack of disposable gloves…..you wont regret wearing these…..also bring a bag…..you dont wanna have to carry home a paste soaked brush….now as for storing paste? I would only recommend 2 routes…the squirt bottle, or the XL Fast Food cup…..it looks very suspicious walking around with a bucket and a roller…..As for the squirt bottle, play it off! Cops ask, its a whey protein shake…..for the XL fast food cup? You just bought a milkshake and your on your way home! Here’s how i would work for either:
Squirt Bottle: Use either a dish soap bottle (with the sticker ripped off and the bottle cleaned of course!) or a Water Bottle with a squirt cap…this is what i use. Squirt an outline of the shape of your poster a little bit bigger than the outline of the poster itself….i’d say an inch or 2 bigger…..then just fill in the outline by squirting paste inside of the outline so its roughly filled with paste….now brush it all down nice and even….apply your poster right over the paste, press it down nice, smoothing it out trying to leave no air bubbles or creases….now squirt a thin line of paste an inch above the top of the poster, now brush the line of paste straight down over the poster, giving it a thin top coat….done! Now put the brush in the bag, and close the cap to your bottle…..
For the XL cup: Goto McDonalds or some other Fast Food place, and get the biggest supersize cup they have…..now fill it with paste (not all the way to the top!…like 3/4 full) and put the brush inside of the cup, leaving the handle stick out of the straw opening…now just remove the brush (with the lid on the upper part of the handle, acting as a guard against splattering paste) and begin to paste out an outline bigger than that of your poster, make sure to dip the brush in the paste again if need be…you want a thick coat on the wall! Then, apply the poster, smooth it out, and then apply a thin top coat like always….done! Put the brush back in the cup, and leave!
So now, you’ve made your posters, gotten your supplies, and decided your container….whats next? The paste, thats what! Wheatpaste is SOOOO easy to make, its cheap, and you get a lot of bang for your buck! Here are the best recipes i have ever used….i recommend these recipes more than any other paste recipe out there!!!! But still experiment within reason! Also, when making paste, i recommend using a wisk! Great for getting out the lumps….and always add the additives when the paste is OFF the heat and COOLED:
-Wheatpaste- - Simmer 1 cup of Water — Pour one cup of All Purpose White Flour into 2 cups of cold water. Stir with wisk. Pour into simmering water -Stir thoroughly for approx. 3-5 mins on Medium heat. Now stop stirring for about 10 seconds….if a bubble rises to the surface of the paste and pops, then it has “boiled” and goto next step, if one didnt, then keep stirring and check for the bubble again every 1 minute until it occurs, then proceed to the next step — After paste has heated to a boil, switch stove to low heat and cook the paste for at least half an hour, at this point, the paste should have the consistency of vanilla pudding, stir CONSTANTLY and adjust as necessary: (Too thick, more water! Too thin, more flour!) It will become thinner and more transparent…. — Upon reaching desired (smooth, pliable, and somewhat transparent) consistency, take paste off the heat and let cool to room temp by leaving it sit out, stirring it every 3-5 mins or so…. The optimal consistency of the paste at the end should be that of a Vanilla Milkshake…. *Optional* After paste has cooled, add one of the Paste Additives listed below…
-Bombing Paste Recipe- 1 cup of Bleached White Flour 1/2 cup of rice flour 3 teaspoons of cornstarch 2 cups of water
Combine bleached flour, rice flour, and water in a pot on the stove on low heat. The mixture should be very watery. Stir the mixture constantly with a wire wisk until the paste begins to thicken just a tiny bit. This may take about ten min. Take the pot off the heat when you start to feel the mixture thickening. In a jar with a lid, combine three teaspoons of corn starch with a half a cup of water. Tighten the lid and shake the mixture until there are no lumps of cornstarch visible. Add the cornstarch mixture to the flour mixture and stir for another 2 minutes. Store in aitright container until use. ***Make sure you stir constantly!*** ***ADD NO EXTRA ADDITIVES TO THIS RECIPE!**
Paste Additives Here are some good things to add to your paste to increase its performance….ADD THESE WHEN PASTE HAS COOLED DOWN TO ROOM TEMPERATURE AND NOT WHILST IT IS STILL HOT!!!
White Sugar or Corn Starch: Add about a handful of either to your paste when cooled for added stickiness/strength!
Wood Glue: Add LAST MINUTE (in other words, add it in the paste right before you leave to go paste….i’d say add 1 parts Wood Glue for every 5 parts paste……it helps increase its strength, and makes it more waterproof….
Minwax Polyacrylic: An idea of my own…like Polyurethane, it creates a stong clear finish….Make it waterproof, and a lot stronger….ADD THIS LAST MINUTE ALSO!!!!
Clove Oil or Witch Hazel: I’d say 10 Drops per 3 cups will keep your paste from molding for longer….i’d say it would extend the shelf life with refrigeration to about 2 weeks tops….good stuff!
That is really all i could mention…..for higher spots, invest like $10 for a nice roller with an extension pole to get those hard to reach spots…..DONT add crushed lightbulbs to your paste mix….you’ll get charged with intention to harm a city worker too if your caught….USE ALL PURPOSE FLOUR instead of Wheat Flour…..more adhesive and no brown specks! ….There prolly more but ill add it later when this is posted up and stickied, and im not so tired….i hope this helped!