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Believe It, You Matter, Part III: The Parable of Eating Less Meat

This OTYCD entry originally posted in June 2017.

 

Believe it, you matter. Every little thing you do to push back against Trump matters, no matter how small. 

 

Eating less meat is, generally speaking, a good idea. It’s better for your health and it’s better for the planet, because raising animals for meat demands more resources than growing plants for food.

 

But what if you can’t quit meat entirely for the rest of your days? What if you need it for health reasons, or cultural reasons, or hey, you just like meat too much to give it up once and for all?

 

Despite what some nasty, one-upping vegans and vegetarians would have you think, if you make a conscious choice to eat less meat, and you faithfully commit to making a change, that’s a win. Even if you never give up meat entirely, that’s a win, because you thought the matter over, you chose to eat less meat, and you stuck to your choice to eat less meat.

 

You are part of the resistance. Many of us–those behind this blog included–cannot devote ourselves to the resistance full time. We have jobs and family obligations and housework and a host of other demands on our time. There are some days when we don’t have the chance to do anything at all to advance the cause. (If WordPress forced us to write fresh posts every day instead of banking evergreen posts at our leisure and bumping them forward as needed to make room for breaking news, this blog would not exist.)

 

And there are some people who can’t advance the cause as often as they might like. Maybe they live in an environment where it’s not safe to resist Trump openly. Maybe they have crazy-demanding job or school schedules. Maybe they’re 24/7 caregivers. Maybe they’re disabled. Doesn’t matter why, it just is, and they have to work around it.

 

The point: As long as you’re doing something, you win. Even if it’s not as much as you want to do. Even if it’s not as much as you think you should do. Even if it’s not as much as your neighbor did, or your cousin did, or your best friend from your Indivisible group did.

 

Resisting Trump is not a competition, nor should it be. Something is better than nothing, no matter how small that something is. We should celebrate every contribution that we make in the effort to push back against Trump. All of it helps.

 

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Community Activism · Elections · Ethics · Good News · Social Media · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms

Captain Awkward Is the Half-Assed Activist on Her Patreon Page, and Is, Unsurprisingly, Awesome

Captain Awkward is the Half-Assed Activist on her Patreon page, and is, unsurprisingly, awesome. You should read it and become a monthly donor. 

 

So! A while back we at One Thing You Can Do devoted a blog post to Captain Awkward because she has a lot of good advice that applies to dealing with trolls and twerps without losing your shit–skills that apply to dealing with politically-motivated trolls and twerps.

 

You can see that post here:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2018/11/13/embrace-the-awkward-learn-to-handle-all-sorts-of-unreasonable-people/

 

Since then she’s added a Patreon and added a feature to her Patreon page: The Half-Assed Activist. It launched in January 2019 and it specifically tackles issues around political engagement, mental health, and mental health.

 

It’s exclusive to her Patreon, so you need to go there to see it.

 

You should be a Captain Awkward Patreon anyway (Disclaimer: Sarah Jane gives her $1 per month). But! The material she’s written for The Half-Assed Activist makes it even more of a bargain.*

 

The posts are infrequent–as of May 2019, there have been two–but they’re worth your time. Her April post, We Have Always Lived In Presidential Primary Season: A Half-Assed Activist Post About Getting Through This Shitshow Without Perpetuating Or Tolerating Bad Behavior And Keeping Some Tiny Spark Of Hope Alive, expertly brings the fire and merits a bookmark, so you can return to it and stoke yourself to go out there and do what needs doing.

 

 

Here’s the Patreon post in which CA introduces The Half-Assed Activist:

https://www.patreon.com/posts/new-feature-half-23921449

 

 

Here’s the link to We Have Always Lived In Presidential Primary Season: A Half-Assed Activist Post About Getting Through This Shitshow Without Perpetuating Or Tolerating Bad Behavior And Keeping Some Tiny Spark Of Hope Alive:

https://www.patreon.com/posts/we-have-always-26242073

 

 

Visit the Captain Awkward site:

https://captainawkward.com

 

 

Follow Captain Awkward on Twitter:

@CAwkward

 

 

Donate to Captain Awkward:

Support/Donate

 

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page. And tell your friends about the blog!

 

 

*Captain Awkward generously gives hat-tips to One Thing You Can Do on her Patreon page. We’re delighted with hearing nice words spoken about us by someone we’ve all looked up to forever, but you should know–we didn’t solicit those comments. No logrolling here, we promise. And if her posts for The Half-Assed Activist sucked, we wouldn’t write about them. But they don’t, so we are.

 

Community Activism · Good News · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends · Vote with your Dollars

Believe It: You Matter.

This OTYCD entry originally posted in April 2017, but with the mid-terms approaching and the stakes rising, we are reposting past posts that discuss key things you can do to push back against Trump. Click on the announcement from Sarah Jane to learn why you’re not seeing timely posts.

 

Never forget: You matter, and your actions matter, even when it feels like they aren’t adding up to much. You. Matter. Never give up the fight.

 

Waking up on November 9, 2016 was tough.

 

Trump will go, eventually, but you should not. Your work doesn’t end when his term does. You need to carry on and help reshape America so this sort of crazy nonsense can’t happen again.

 

One of the most insidious things about Putin’s attack on the 2016 election was just that–the attack on democracy itself. Never forget: Putin gains when he can destabilize liberal democracies and make them look broken and dysfunctional.

 

Putin is trying to teach his people that it’s fruitless to resist autocratic leaders like him. And that’s why it should give you pause when you consider that as of early April, Trump has yet to criticize Putin in any way whatsoever.

 

When you feel like what you’re doing to push back against Trump isn’t working, remember this:

 

Vladimir Putin doesn’t want you to vote.

 

Robert Mugabe doesn’t want you to vote.

 

Recep Tayyip Erdogan doesn’t want you to vote.

 

Kim Jong-un doesn’t want you to vote.

 

Bashar al-Assad doesn’t want you to vote.

 

When you vote, or protest, or contact your members of Congress, or run for office yourself–when you pick up an oar and row the endless longboat of American democracy,  you are yelling a big, loud “fuck you” at those who are trying to scare their own people into submission.

 

You matter.

 

You are one among many, but you matter.

 

Never forget. Never despair. You matter.

 

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Good News

Follow the Merriam-Webster Dictionary on Twitter

For fun, follow the Merriam-Webster dictionary on Twitter, the unofficial dictionary of the Resistance.

 

Merriam-Webster has distinguished itself in the digital era by making deft and smart use of social media. It reacts to Trump and his team’s disregard for language and its meanings by defending both in smart, funny, sly tweets.

 

It also holds up a mirror to the wild, weird news of the Trump era by reporting which words people are looking up most often.

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page or checking the About & Subscribe page. And tell your friends about the blog!

 

 

Follow the Merriam-Webster dictionary on Twitter:

@MerriamWebster

 

Read about how the Merriam-Webster dictionary trolls Trump:

http://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2017/01/26/511694558/the-merriam-webster-dictionary-has-been-trolling-trump-for-months

https://www.buzzfeed.com/jarrylee/14-times-the-merriam-webster-dictionary-was-shady-af?utm_term=.qwak4Pg35#.suWBy8vlW

 

Bonus profile of Merriam-Webster’s powers that be:

http://money.cnn.com/2017/01/26/news/merriam-webster-trump/

Community Activism · Good News · Health Care · Thank You Actions

Take a Break Every Now and Again. It’ll Help You Stop Trump.

This OTYCD entry originally posted in June 2017, but with the mid-terms approaching and the stakes rising, we are reposting past posts that discuss key things you can do to push back against Trump.

 

For your own sanity’s sake, plan periodic breaks from fighting Trump and his ilk.

 

With so much going on, it might be tough to convince yourself to step away and rest. But you must if you want to fight Trump and the Republicans effectively. No, really. You’ve heard people say ‘This is a marathon, not a sprint’? It’s not a bunch of yap-yap. You can’t go the distance if you don’t slow down to grab some water every now and again.

 

You need to sit yourself down and plan these respites, and you need to commit to them. Blocking out one day a week where you disengage from the news and from social media to do something you like–be it hiking, knitting, reading, hanging out with friends, or binge-watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer–put it on your calendar and don’t talk yourself out of it.

 

If you’re having trouble giving yourself permission to take one day off a week, then let us at OTYCD tell it to you straight:

 

 

“We, your friends at the One Thing You Can Do blog, are telling you, our faithful reader, to unplug and chill out completely once a week. We are giving you formal permission to do so.”

 

 

Print it out and tape it to your mirror, or your computer monitor, or staple it to your forehead–whatever it takes to get through to you.

 

 

If you won’t listen to OTYCD on this, follow Jen Hofmann on Twitter and subscribe to her Weekly Activism Checklist newsletter. She’s a fire-breathing evangelist for self-care.

 

Follow Jen Hofmann on Twitter:

@inspiredjen

 

 

Sign up for her Weekly Activism Checklist:

https://jenniferhofmann.com/home/weekly-action-checklist-democrats-independents-republicans-conscience/

 

 

Like her on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/Jennifer-Hofmann-463228547169366/

 

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page. And tell your friends about the blog!

 

 

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Pre-order Shade by Photographer Pete Souza

Pre-order Shade: A Tale of Two Presidents, the next book from photographer Pete Souza.

 

A while back, OTYCD recommended that you follow Pete Souza’s Instagram account. Souza had been the photographer for the Obama White House, and since his second term  came to a close, Souza has used his impressive bank of photos to comment on Trump–sometimes wryly, sometimes sharply, and sometimes sharply enough to drop jaws in unison.

 

If a picture’s worth a thousand words, Souza’s deftly chosen historical retorts were worth 10,000 articles, blog posts, and tweets.

 

Was Souza up to something? Yes, he was up to something.

 

In late May, word broke that Souza’s next book would come out in October and bear the name Shade: A Tale of Two Presidents.

 

Yes, it is exactly what you think it is.

 

Yes, we haven’t read it yet and we’re asking you to lay down money, pledging to buy it before it comes out.

 

Why, you ask? Simple. By pre-ordering a book, you show the publisher that there is clear demand for it.

 

If folks are clamoring for a book by a certain person, or on a certain subject, the publisher might contract more books by the same people, and more books on the same topic.

 

We liked Souza’s other recent book on Obama. We’re pretty sure we’re gonna like Shade, having followed Souza’s Instagram account for a while now. Please step up and put your money where your mouth is.

 

Ditto for requesting it from your library. Yes, it’s not available yet, but libraries figure out how many copies to order in part by tallying the requests they get for a title. By asking for it now, ahead of the October 16, 2018 release date, you boost sales of the book and make it more available in your community’s library system.

 

 

Pre-order Shade via Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40201496-shade?from_search=true

 

 

Read articles heralding the coming release of Shade:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/reliable-source/wp/2018/05/23/obama-photographer-pete-souza-to-throw-shade-at-trump-in-new-book/?utm_term=.ef1795ecc67d

https://www.cnn.com/2018/05/23/politics/pete-souza-shade-obama-trump/index.html

https://mashable.com/2018/05/23/pete-souza-book-donald-trump-shade/#KGJS5XiRqsqx

 

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page. And tell your friends about the blog!

 

Community Activism · Good News · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare

Believe It, You Matter, Part IV: Just Keep Swimming

This OTYCD entry originally posted in December 2017.

 

Imagine an Olympic-size swimming pool, and imagine you’re the only person in it.

 

Swim to the pool’s edge. Start doing laps around the pool by following the edge. One lap is one complete rectangle. Ready? Go.

 

One lap.

Two laps.

Three laps.

Take as much time as you want. It’s not a race.

Five laps.

Seven laps.

Ten.

Ok, stop swimming.

 

See what’s happening?

 

Your limbs are still, but you’re moving forward on the momentum of the current that you created. Keep swimming, and the current will get stronger, and it will float you forward when you need to rest.

 

Now imagine that you invite more people to join you in the pool. They file in behind you, and they follow you in swimming laps around the edge.

 

What happens? The current grows stronger, faster.

 

This is what political action can be. If it’s just you swimming, it’ll take a while to get some momentum going, but once it’s going, you’re good, and you can even rest every now and again. If you can recruit people to swim with you, you can build momentum even faster, and you can rest reliably, safe in the knowledge that the flow won’t stop.

 

Ok, yes, let’s admit it–we’re sharing the pool with folks who are trying to swim in the opposite direction, and some of those folks have no interest in playing fair. But never forget–there are more of us than there are of them.

 

If we work together and we just keep swimming, our momentum will be unstoppable.

 

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