"...it's not the training to be mean but the training to be kind that is used to keep us leashed best." ~ Black Dog Red

"In case you haven't recognized the trend: it proceeds action, dissent, speech." ~ davidly, on how wars get done

"...What sort of meager, unerotic existence must a man live to find himself moved to such ecstatic heights by the mundane sniping of a congressional budget fight. The fate of human existence does not hang in the balance. The gods are not arrayed on either side. Poseiden, earth-shaker, has regrettably set his sights on the poor fishermen of northern Japan and not on Washington, D.C. where his ire might do some good--I can think of no better spot for a little wetland reclamation project, if you know what I mean. The fight is neither revolution nor apocalypse; it is hardly even a fight. A lot of apparatchiks are moving a lot of phony numbers with more zeros than a century of soccer scores around, weaving a brittle chrysalis around a gross worm that, some time hence, will emerge, untransformed, still a worm." ~ IOZ

Nov 16, 2011


...are like flashlights. You can never have enough of them.

This is a favorite kind of flashlight:

It's an invaluable tool. You should store it with your spade, and the hand held garden weeder you brought along to help do your part in tending the greenery of a public park. Take some care with that garden weeder. You should never, for example, pretend that your hands have been magically transformed into bear claws. That would just be silly:

But, we were discussing flashlights. Where and whenever it can be acquired for little to no cost, grab a flashlight. Or two. Or twenty. I hear that large big box retailers keep them in bulk supply. Those same retailers do not pay their employees very well, and routinely mistreat them as a matter of handbook policy. Mistreated and poorly paid employees make for porous operations. And unguarded stockrooms. Remember to buy those employees lunch. They deserve it.

A large metal flashlight, or torch as some folks are wont to call them, provides its user with a number of options when she finds herself in close quarters with the armed staffers of municipal, state and federal crisis response units. A sufficiently long torch makes an excellent impromptu baton stopping device. Gripping both ends of the light, place it out and away from your head, the better to deflect incoming blows. When appropriate, an experienced user needs only hold one end. She should take care to observe her surroundings. One's allies have not asked to be introduced to the business end of a torch.

The torch has another key defensive use, especially employed in large numbers during night time encounters with uniformed agents of the ruling class. It shines a light. A number of them shone directly into the eyes of advancing cohorts may provide a moment's essential respite, especially when attempting to provide cover for friends and comrades trying to avoid introduction to the peace legions of the homeland. They also illuminate faces, and nameplates, which is useful when taking photographs.

When bracing a flashlight against the swing of a baton, it serves to be wearing gloves. Gloves insulate against the cold. It is more difficult to handcuff a person wearing mittens or gloves. Gloves also absorb some of the shock of unexpected impacts. Well padded gloves might impede the performance of tasks which require dexterity, but they add a layer of protection against injury. Especially useful are gloves with shock absorbing or force distributing material sewn to the outward facing surfaces.

Gloves also provide additional comfort when leaning upon crutches.


...are made of metal, usually aluminum, wood and/or plastic. Like flashlights, crutches are multipurpose tools. A crutch helps the wounded walk. Crutches can be held in front of one's self or others, as part of a theater or comedy routine. It would be entirely incidental should that performance occur during a period of unrest, and just happen to block a number of purely random blows from batons, or nightsticks - defensively of course. Not that you would ever need to do that. Still, a row of persons in danger of harm might find two or more dozen crutches an effective temporary barrier against those aforementioned baton blows. Crutches can also be held while wearing gloves. In circumstances where the crutch might accidentally be put to a secondary use, metal or wood ones will probably hold up better than plastic against repeated blows.

When not immediately necessary, either to provide support for the injured, or defense against injury causing blunt instruments, remember to secure your crutches in a safe, accessible place. You could fasten them to a fence, tree or stake with rope. Rope is a material wonder. It has nearly endless applications. But be careful of rope. There are hazards to its improper placement. For example, when tied taut at ankle level, rope trips the unwary. Seemingly chaotic mazes of rope are especially fraught with peril. When pulled tight across narrow paths or roadways, rope can make the passage of bicycles, segway transporters and motorcycles an unpleasant experience for the vehicle operator. Horses often refuse to navigate through rope barriers. Rope can be especially meddlesome if handled improperly. For example, when secured around and through a number of large, unwieldy objects - such as bicycles, crutches, portions of fence and gate, garbage barrels, folding chairs and improperly disposed appliances - rope can inadvertently create a barricade. Barricades prevent the passage of people, material and smaller automobiles. You must therefore be conscientious and careful in the use and handling of rope.

If you are short on rope, there is always recourse to chain. Chain is heavier, which makes it more durable. Chain, unlike rope, is less likely to burn.

If there is any chance of fire, do not store your cooking oil, lamp oil or kerosene in open containers. Kerosene is a versatile lamp and cooking oil. Lamps are not dependent upon proprietary power grids. When using kerosene lamps, it is perhaps best not to swing them from side to side. That would be as uncivilized as using an innocuous tent stake driving hammer in a manner not described in the manual. Also, take care not to throw any lamps in your possession. That would be irresponsible. Thrown lamps might ignite flammable materials. And if you must use rags to wipe up any spilled kerosene, do not dispose of them in breakable containers. Very specifically, do not discard them into containers containing gasoline for your motorbike, diesel fuel for a generator and/or detergents, like dish soap. That would be very, very irresponsible.

When handling kerosene for your lamp, use gloves.

When the weather is mild, or when you do not need to protect yourself against the blows of well armed men in uniforms, you might store your gloves in the pockets of your hooded sweatshirt. A hood is like a hat which is hard to lose. It covers your head and offers some protection for your ears. During inclement weather, larger hoods can be pulled around an exposed face, protecting sensitive facial features, like the nose and eyes, from all manner of environmental irritants. For extra protection, consider sunglasses and a large handkerchief. If you should find your sweatshirt momentarily unnecessary, do not discard it. Like ropes, flashlights and crutches, a durable sweatshirt can be customized to a number of circumstances. If you should happen to have several long poles handy - or, your crutches - two or three sweat shirts will make an excellent makeshift stretcher. Zip your sweatshirt tight, if needed, run the crutches or poles through the arms of your sweatshirts, with the zipper facing downward, and voila, you have a stretcher. Should an extra moment present itself, you could tether the sleeves to your poles or crutches with rope.

Should you run out of sweatshirts, or need them to weather the wind and other irritants, a single blanket is all you will need to fashion a stretcher, travois or other contrivance for the porting of people and material. A blanket, as with rope, must be used with proper care. Left lying about willy-nilly, a blanket can get caught up in the gears of a bicycle. It might accidentally obscure holes in the ground, or conceal items which all reasonable people everywhere refuse to carry on their persons. Or, unsecured blankets can be blown by the wind, right into the faces of perfectly judicious and impartial peace officers who would never, ever mean you harm.

This public service announcement brought to you by the letter C.


Mark S said...

Sorry. Given my righteous commitment to the unimaginative nonviolence nobly exemplified by the letter "B," I find I am uncomfortable with ... ooh look, a bonfire!

Slim Charles said...

Waaaait a sec. This NEW series of yours is fucking awesome! Now we're getting into the tactics!

Yeah, Jack, keep 'em comin' baby!

Unknown said...

Really Appreciated.
Thank you.

Kiss throw

Mark S said...

History being written by the winners and all, how many tribal histories or mythologies contain stories of the People being saved (or created) by means of sheer earnest and pure determination? Isn't there typically a Trickster presence, a wildcard cleverness or inventiveness, an entertaining element of the unexpected -- not to say a sly dog's revenge?

Not that there aren't plenty of Onward Christian Soldiers about, folks who distrust wildcardsl and prefer to celebrate with hymns of earnest determination. But these here tactics and the spirit behind them, they get filed under Invocation of the Trickster.

Anonymous said...


Jack Crow said...

Oh no, not that, Anon.

Slim, Mark - more to come, methinks. (Mark - great book: "Trickster Makes the World")

Deepak, you are welcome.

Jack Crow said...

"...this World." You'd think reading the title off my bookshelf would have been enough for me to get it right. Alas, not...

Mark S said...

noted, thanks!

Anon said...

Protestors in downtown NY should get some green (important!!!) laser pointer and point them at the LRAD to disrupt it's effect. #ows #n17


Haven't checked the veracity of this tactic, but it seemed appropriate here.

Jack Crow said...

I like the cut of your jib, Anon. And your wavelength. Perhaps it will entertain you to know that I've been composing, refining and editing the post directly above this one for the last several hours. Serendipity.

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