An Invitation to Matter

We’re in a tumultuous time.

I have been listening to the O’Parables podcast. Octavia E. Butler’s trilogy is prescient. She wrote it in the early’90s, set in the 2020s. She is literally describing conditions so many are already experiencing and most of the rest of us (the non-billionaire class) are heading into. The podcast features Adrienne Maree Brown (please read Emergent Strategy if you haven’t already) and Toshi Reagon: they are absolutely brilliant together, breaking down each chapter for the lessons “Octavia tried to tell us” and applying them to now.

Here is info I have culled to date:

This What If episode (RadioLab) lays out the possible path to a coup. There is a transcript if you prefer to read (scroll down a bit).

This powerpoint from Xtinction Rebellion plots resistance actions at the key inflection points.

If you’re interested in trainings, see this Election 2020 National Resources and Trainings to Stop a Coup. (I met Joanne Sheehan last fall, 2019. She’s been with the War Resisters League basically her entire life.) The organization “Protect the Results” seems to be the easiest for finding an action near you. The first training I’ve taken was called Timeline to a Meltdown, 2020 Election Simulation hosted by ShutDownDC. Their exercise was modeled on the ‘war game’ reported on by Radiolab.

A few years ago I trained to be a peacekeeper/safety monitor at nonviolent protests, and have been taking refreshers. There are a couple more trainings that ask for donations which I haven’t decided if I want/need, and I guess there will be additional trainings added in the coming days.

Background about the kind of authoritarian threat (not fascism, this is the mafia): Sarah Kendzior interviewed by Anand Giridharadas.

Meanwhile, on the healing side of things, Sherri Mitchell’s Sacred Instructions provides deep, timely guidance. She gives webinars and has two more books coming out within the next six months or so. She’s a contributor to All We Can Save.

And this workbook, My Grandmother’s Hands, on healing intergenerational racial trauma by Resmaa Menakem is incredible. Sherri Mitchell recommends this book. Before I purchased it I listened — and was convinced — by these two episodes of On Being: “Notice the Rage, Notice the Silenceand “Robin DiAngelo and Resmaa Menakem: In Conversation.

NOTE: Lyrics below for the song excerpt linked via this image (you’ll have to “skip ads,” to hear the jam, sorry).

ALSO: Sign up to receive the email list/newsletter that I’ll publish for the next three months.

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What’s the time?
Well, it’s gotta be close to midnight
My body’s talking to me
It says, “Time for danger”

It says, “I wanna commit a crime
Wanna be the cause of a fight
I wanna put on a tight skirt
and flirt with a stranger”

I’ve had a knack from way back
At breaking the rules once I learn the games
Get up, life’s too quick, I know someplace sick
Where this chick’ll dance in the flames

We don’t need any money
I always get in for free
You can get in too
If you get in with me

Let’s go out tonight
I have to go out tonight
You wanna play? Let’s run away
We won’t be back before it’s New Years Day
Take me out tonight

When I get a wink from the doorman
Do you know how lucky you’ll be?
That you’re on line with the feline of Avenue B

Let’s go out tonight
I have to go out…

exploring the resilience factor in human systems

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