In this new monthly segment, members of the Strangers Collective discuss current events as they relate to community preparedness. If you’re watching the news and wondering what’s going on with inflation, supply chain shortages, the heat “wave”, or Q’anon talking about space lasers and the black holes that are causing all of this, tune in. The group breaks down the mechanics of inflation, why prices are what they are, why we’re seeing shortages, and ways you can prepare now for when things get worse.
Casandra can be found on Twitter @hey_casandra.
Margaret Killjoy can be found on twitter @magpiekilljoy or instagram at @margaretkilljoy.
Brooke is just great and can be found at Strangers helping up keep our finances intact and on Twitter @ogemakweBrooke
This show is published by Strangers in A Tangled Wilderness. We can be found at www.tangledwilderness.org, or on Twitter @TangledWild and Instagram @Tangled_Wilderness. You can support the show on Patreon at www.patreon.com/strangersinatangledwilderness.
This Month In The Apocalypse
Hello and welcome to Live Like The World Is Dying, your podcast for feels like the times. I’m one of your hosts, Margaret killjoy, because joining me today are two other co-hosts if y’all want to introduce yourself.
And today, we are starting a new, a new fun series talking about all the fun stuff that’s going to be coming your way soon. It’s called This Month In The Apocalypse, because we’ve realized that on this podcast, we talk a lot with different people about how to do different skills, about different specific issues, but there’s so much happening these days that it seems worthwhile to kind of keep track of this as it happens, all the different things that are happening, I don’t know, does that decent description of what the hell we’re trying to do?
And you will be excited to know that this podcast is a proud member of the Channel Zero network of anarchists podcasts, and here’s a jingle from another show on the network.
Jingle song 01:24
It’s going down, and you’re invited for what they sell it. We buy in, there is no running. There is no hiding. There’s only fighting or dying. It’s going down, and you’re invited for what they’re selling, we aint buying. There is no running. There is no hiding. There’s only fighting or dying.
Jingle Host 01:53
It’s going down is a digital Community Center from anarchists, Anti-Fascist, autonomous, anti-capitalist and anti-colonial movements. Our mission is to provide an autonomous and resilient platform to publicize and promote revolutionary theory and action.
Jingle Host 2 02:10
Go to itsgoingdown.org for daily updates, check out our online store for ways to donate and rate and follow us on iTunes if you like this podcast
We’re back from the jingle. I’m used to having another podcast where there’s actual ads, which sucks. And so I don’t know how to talk anymore. So, nothing really happened this month and everything is continuing as it should. I believe there’s no major supply chain interruptions nothing forecasted bad to happen. Does that that match with the yall’s understanding?
Yeah, good done, end of pod. Move on with our lives.
What do we want to talk about first? Want to talk about shortages? All the stuff there’s shortages of?
Yeah, I was looking at a list. And it’s it’s just everything. They’re shortages in everything.
Give me some example.
It started out like meat, dairy, eggs. And then it was like produce, aluminum for packaging things, plastic packaging things, fuel to get things to places.
Yeah, one of the things I was trying to think about was like, you know, when I was looking through, it seems like some of the things that they’re shortages of there’s shortages of from a supply chain point of view, sort of a temporary point of view, right? Like, like one of them is like pet food. I saw that one and I like freaked out. It’s like I have a pet. You know, do I need to fill my basement with like a like a ball pit, but just full of kibble?
Ongoing forumla shortage issues.
Yeah. Well, but and what’s interesting is to try and figure out which of these things are….the pet food issue, at least as I saw was a little bit different than some of the other ones. It actually more is about there’s increased demand, because locked down got more people to decide to become closer buds with different creatures that aren’t human that eat pet food. And, I guess there’s a word for those. And so… it’sprobably in the word pet food. Food. People decided to become friends with different food. Shit, I’m supposed to be the vegan on this podcast. Okay, so….
We’re off to a banging start.
Hell yeah. So pet food, it seems like the shortage is, at least at the moment more just that like there’s a lot more demand for pet food. And, so therefore, like people are rushing to keep up. Kind of like the mask shortage at the beginning of the pandemic wasn’t like, “Oh God, we’re out of the capacity to produce masks.” They just were like, “Oh, we need to like ramp up our infrastructure.” And so there’s like some of it like that. But, then it seems like some of the other shortages are a little bit more because there’s not the capacity to either create the thing, or distribute the thing. I don’t know, you all know more about this.
Or even there’s…I think about crops, like there’s the ability to create the thing, but not to actually harvest and process the thing. It’s seems like every step along the way, is having issues.
Right. And if you’ve got issues with plastic and aluminum, then you can’t package the thing. So, maybe you could make it and maybe you even can ship it, but you pack it up. But, there’s also then lots of problems with actually transporting it from place A to B.
One of the things…Okay, I was reading a list too. And I came up with this clever segue. So I’ll just draw too much attention to the fact that I planned this ahead of time. One of the things that there’s a supply chain shortages of, I was like, looking through this list, and one of them was garage doors. And that’s not something that I think about on a regular basis. I just don’t think about whether or not I could go down to the store and buy a garage door today. Right? But it has all of these like, cascading effects. And like, I don’t know, you all were having this interesting conversation that I’m trying to trick you into having, again, about housing and the ability to construct homes and all that shit.
Oh, I thought you were referencing the conversation about how I actually need a new garage door. And I was like, “Oh, I don’t think that’s useful. I don’t think that’s useful on this podcast, Margaret.”
I was just gonna embarrassingly admit that I have two garage doors, because I live rurally and there’s multiple garages on the property. So, I just feel like I’m kind of like, you know, I’m stealing doors.
Rich in doors!
Well, I mean, technically, Cassandra and I also both have two garage doors, because we have two car bays in our garage and each has a separate door. So we are all two garage door people.
Door Priviliege. Door Privilege. Yeah, no, what you actually asked me about was much more useful.
Brooke, please help.
Yeah, well, I feel like it came up, because you know Cassandra, you are renting your current house and would love to buy it and have wanted to buy it for a while. And so, you and I keep having these conversations about everything going on with the housing market.
So let’s talk about that.
Right before Covid, it seemed like a good time to buy a house. And then six months later, it seemed awful. And it seems like it’s just getting worse.
Yeah, that’s super accurate. And for just a whole bunch of different reasons. I mean, housing has been overpriced for a while and has gotten just exponentially more so. The cost of housing is outrageous. But then the bigger kicker in the last year is interest rates on mortgages have doubled. So you know, they went from a place where they were at like 3 or 4%, which is actually really pretty reasonable. And now they’re up between, like closer to 6%, on average, most of the time, which is not a good interest rate. And one of the things that we saw before the fall of the housing market back in ’08, was these super high interest rates, you know, 7-8%, or some of the really predatory lending stuff, people will have them at 10-12%. And we’re not quite seeing that. But we are seeing with things like the 6,7,8% interest rates right now, which is not good.
Does that mean we’re heading for similar places as 2008? Like, how does the how do these compare? I feel like you know, a little bit more about this.
Yeah, the the underlying factors that are causing our current bubble, are very different from what we saw in 2008. The ultimate outcome will be a lot the same in a housing crash, and people not being able to afford their mortgages and all the ripples through the economy and whatnot. But, the underlying causes are different. One of them is that the inflation has been on the rise. And so mortgages, you know, we tend to think of a mortgage as a thing that we have in order to buy our house. But from a bank’s perspective, a mortgage is a commodity, it’s a product that they’re buying and selling. So anytime you see prices for products on the rise, mortgages are going to be one of those products that become more expensive.
How does this affect renters? Like I would guess, sort of maybe rudely that most of our listeners are renters, and, you know, is it like is that just kind of cause rents to go up if the fact that like if if mortgages are getting harder and harder for landlords like…
Well, rents are already going up, at least here. I guess I wonder how much that’s related, though.
No, I don’t know. Is it just going up because of inflation?
Yeah, i think it’s just general inflation. Yeah.
Which is interesting, though, right? Because one of the advantages of homeownership, it seems to me is that it’s slightly more inflation resistant, because If your interest stays the same as locked in of whatever you bought it at, you know, and so…and the amount you owe, the bank doesn’t go up to match interest. So the landlords have any excuse at all for jacking up rents? Because it’s not like they’re not like their mortgages have gone up, you know, the same amount is as interest.
Well, if they’re requiring, if they’re using the mortgage payment that you’re making in order to fund their life that’s their source of income is the profit, you renting the house. Then their costs for all of their other goods in life are going up, so they need to make more money off of the thing that pays them, i.e. the renter,
It doesn’t seem like a good system, the idea that someone can just make money off of someone else’s work instead of their own work. That doesn’t that doesn’t sound right. That sounds like Communism. It doesn’t actually sound like Communism. But that is what people claim.
It’s incredibly problematic.
So landlordism, not not a good…
I do not stand. I do not stand the landlords.
I hope my landlord doesn’t listen to this podcast.
If he’s the kind of person who listens to this podcast, he should just give you your house.
It’s true. Shout out to my landlord.
And if you’re a landlord listening to this, sell your houses to your renters at reasonable rates.
Or just give them if you can afford it.
Yeah, we were talking about the interest rate the other day, Cas, I think you had some good questions about…you had a bunch of good questions the other day that I would love to talk about here on the pod to if you want.
Oh shit, I wonder if I can remember what my questions were. The other day, it was a long time ago.
Understood. And also, you know the answers, so you’re not wondering anymore.
Yeah. Or I just got confused and forgot, which is also possible.
That’s what I would have done if someone explained many things to me.
Yeah, that’s generally what my brain does as well. That’s why Brooke’s here. Thank you, Brooke!
Sorry, I guess we should have done in the introduction why I’m relevant too.
Yeah, okay. Well, so like, so folks who’ve listened, if you’ve listened before, you’ve probably met me. You might have met Casandra. Casandra has been on a few more times recently. Brooke, who are you?
I am a baby anarchist with the pronouns “she” and “her”, living in Oregon, relatively near to Casandra. And I have a background in economics and accounting, because before I was an anarchist, I was a capitalist. I’m sorry. And I thought that capitalism was good and fine. And I did a whole lot of time studying and learning about it. And now I like to use all of that knowledge and understanding to talk about how bad capitalism is.
I mean, the person who did the most work researching capitalism was Karl Marx. Like, as far as I understand, like, a lot of capitalists were like, “Ah, yeah, that that’s what we’re doing,” you know, after he like, actually wrote down how capitalism works. Just had different takes about whether it was good or bad. So, you know, I dunno. Yeah, so, so we’ve been talking about…and Brooke is part of Strangers In A Tangled Wilderness, the publishing collective that puts out this podcast as well as other good things, like a podcast with it’s the name Strangers In A Tangled Wilderness that you can listen to also. And so we just, we’ve been having a lot of conversations amongst ourselves about like, “Well, what the fuck we going to do as people as all this crisis happens?” And then we were like, “Oh, right, we should, we should talk about this stuff more.” So…
Thanks for that, giving me time to remember. So, I asked about your interest rates. The last time they were this high was 1984. And theoretically they’re hiking up interest rates to help deal with inflation, which doesn’t make sense to me. But Brooke, you had you understood that?
Yeah, because when you mentioned the thing about the interest rates, I was like, “Wellllll, not actually.” Because the interest rate that we hear about a lot in the news is the Federal Funds rate, which is set by the Federal Reserve, which is the National Bank that we have in our system. It’s basically the bank that our banks use, so all of your US banks and Chases and all of that, they bank at the Federal Reserve. And that’s the interest rate that we’re talking about is the Federal Reserve’s rate that they pay to banks to store money with them. So you’re a bank, and you are legally required to have a certain amount of your cash saved at the Federal Bank. It’s like 10% of your holdings have to be there. And then the government says, “Thanks for letting us sit around and hold on your money, here’s some interest.” And to incentivize banks to save more of their money, they’ve raised that interest rate. So that’s the one that you’ve heard about that’s higher than it’s been since 1984.
And it’s not directly tied to the other types of interest rates, like loan interest rates, you know, mortgages and credit cards and cars and stuff. But it definitely influences them, because when you look at it from a bank’s perspective, like you walk down to your neighborhood bank, and you want to take out a loan from them, they have the choice to get a certain guaranteed interest rate from the Federal government, which is super secure, they’re gonna get their money back, they’re gonna get their interest, you know, think safe over there, or to loan you a consumer money and gain interest from you. And they only want to give you money, if they can make more on it than they would by loaning it to the Federal government, especially because you as a consumer might be taking it out for like, a mortgage loan, which is going to be 30 years, let’s say, so the banks not going to get their money back for a much longer period of time. Whereas with the Federal government, they can go anytime and say, “Hey, I need some of my money,” and get it right then. But you as the consumer, they can’t. So, they charge you the consumer higher level of interest. So, whatever the federal interest rate is, the bank is going to then want to set its interest rates that it charges to people higher, so it can make more money. And if you can’t afford to pay that higher interest, the bank is like, “Fine, I can load my money to the government, and still make still make money off it.”
So how does this relate to inflation? How does this relate to everything costing more money now and like, you know, you’re saying that they were like, they’re doing this to solve it, it sounds like it would make it worse to me, I don’t know shit about shit. But…
Yeah, so they’re trying to make money more valuable. So right now, because inflation is high….Let’s say you have $1 in your pocket, and you go buy a banana today, and that banana costs $1. So your dollar equals a banana. Let’s say you decide to buy a banana tomorrow, and you still only have $1, but the price of the banana has gone up to $1.10. You no longer have one bananas worth of money, in this situation,
92% of a banana or something.
It’s too high for a banana, but that was the first thing that came to mind. Anyway, so they want to curb that inflation so that tomorrow you can still buy your banana for $1. But in order to do that, they have to make your money more valuable, in a sense. And they do that by removing some of the money that’s out there in the world.
It’s…is it possible I’m an anti-capitalist just because the shit can….
Doesn’t make sense?
Yeah, you have to stop thinking about money, the way that we as normal human beings think about it as like, “I give you this stupid thing and you give me something good and useful.” And think about it in terms of a bank that thinks of it as a product. So their money is a product that they can buy and sell and get value for. So when you decrease the amount of a product that’s available, what’s left becomes more valuable.
I’m glad this isn’t a visual recording so people can’t see my like trying to grasp face.
This is very helpful to me to know whether or not I am making any fucking sense at all.
I’m sure you’re making sense. I just…yeah, my brain shuts down when I think of all this stuff, which is why I’m glad you’re here.
Yeah, and it’s like, I want to understand this stuff, but I’ve also have a little bit of a like, yeah, part of why I’m anti capitalist is I’m like, “This just seems needlessly complicated.” And then I’m like, but then I turned around, and I’m like, “Okay, so a federated model, where you have all of these different autonomous groups, and the spokes go to this other thing. And then those make decisions by consensus, except in some cases where they use majority vote, except people have a block, but then as it goes to this other level, and then this is the way they communicate.” And so then I’m like, okay, I’m not actually afraid of complicated organizational structures.
But that’s…Complicated is different than bureaucratic, you know?
Yeah. I find myself living in this weird place of like, all of this is just ridiculous and unnecessary and most really bad. But also, this is how the thing works, and I’m a pretty big opponent and like, understanding how the thing works, especially when you want to dismantle the system,
Yeah. No, and like, I actually just want to appreciate you and people like you, you know, I remember I had a conversation with someone once recently, or they’re like, “Oh, I don’t think the anarchists would like me. I like spreadsheets too much.” And I’m like, “No, we need you….
We love you!
We need you more than we need other people.”
Yeah. For the listeners at home, every time the word “spreadsheet” comes up in the Strangers’ group discussions for work, I’m always like, “Me! Me?, do I get to do it? Can I have a spreadsheet?”
Whereas I’m like, I’ve been doing it? And I’m like, I don’t know, I’m just beating my head against these things.
Well Brooke, you mentioned wanting to understand like, how, how things work. And I’m wondering, so we talked about that the fact that there is inflation, but I’m wondering what the factors are contributing to that, like, why it’s continuing to go up at such a rapid rate, because we haven’t really…
Why it’s gone up so much?
Inflation is a complicated beast. We know that a portion of it is just straight up corporate greed and fucking capitalism being capitalism, you know, of companies saying, “Oh, we can, we can raise prices and have great profits. And people will just like, do that, and we get more money? Yay!” So, and because it’s happening in real time, there’s not like great data to say, “Oh, half of the reason of inflation…” or whatever, like, we don’t know exactly how much that specific action is contributing to it. But it’s some large portion of inflation is just because companies are awful greedy, terrible. But, a couple of other factors that are leading into it are fuel prices, like everything in the world is basically affected by fuel prices to move things from A to B, and the creation of so many things, you know, incorporate some amount of petroleum. And…there was a third thing that just fell in my brain. But that actual cost is on the rise. So like it is more expensive to create products. So, that’s contributing to it. And then also, the shortages in the supply chain, like we were just talking about that anytime there’s less of something, it becomes more valuable. So like, how you see price gouging, when there’s an emergency, you know, like, like, if the city’s water shuts off, suddenly bottled water becomes more expensive. It’s because there’s less of it, then they can start to charge more, because people who will afford it can still buy it, and people who can’t, then too bad for that. And again, it’s all just because capitalism is evil and bad.
So, in terms of like solutions, one of the things we talk about when wee want to talk about all the bad stuff and then we want to talk about what people can do, at least as individuals and communities to combat it. Right? And like, and I’ll say that for my own sake, and I don’t know that this is actually a you know, I actually, I’ve talked to some of my friends who actually work in finance, and they’re a little bit like, “That’s not what I would have first thought of,” but that’s…I guess that makes some sense. You know, one of the things I’ve been thinking about, right is like, I don’t know, like, if you can get in things that hold value, right? You know, this is in the sort of traditional prepper sense, this is where you like run out and buy gold, right? Not because gold is an investment, it doesn’t become necessarily more valuable, but it because it like, is more likely to hold its value as inflation goes up. But I would argue the same is true of hard liquor, which does not go bad. I don’t even drink hard liquor, but I have a bunch of it.Ammunition. Eh Eh? Okay, this is gonna be where everyone’s giving me the “We let this wingnut prepper on.” But ammunition does go up and down in value. But overall, I will argue that it will stay valuable and therefore continue to hold its value against inflation. And then also like, this is where my financial friends get really mad at me. I’m like, “Basically like spend it if you’ve got it,” because like, because money is becoming less and less valuable. So like, cash in your pocket is just losing money when it stays in your pocket. Its value goes down every day, you get fewer and fewer bananas.
Yeah, you have fewer bananas every day. The longer that you hold on to it.
This is making me hungry.
Yeah, I kind of want a banana. I need to go to the grocery store. But okay, so this is like for example, this is like why I’m like, “Alright, well fuck it,” like, get tools. Get stuff if you can, right? Obviously, this is like kind of annoying advice for anyone who I mean like right now I think most of the money issue that people have right now is not having enough money for their basic necessities that they meet on a regular basis. But even like, like I was like, I don’t know, as I try to explain someone to be like, Alright, look, if you’re going to go out if you’re going to spend X amount of money on canned chili over the next three months, buying it now, instead of later, if you can afford it will literally get you more chili, because the prices of everything are just going to go up. And so as you’re able to fucking cans of chili are better than cash right now is my my claim, especially the good vegan chili with the little TVP in it.
Yeah, if you’ve got a spare dollar in your pocket today, it’s going to be less valuable tomorrow. It’s going to be less valuable the day after that. It’s just going to keep getting less valuable as long as we’re in this cycle of this high inflation. So as much as I tend to be like a saver, it does make more sense at the moment to go buy things preferably things that are like durable, useful, and will last then to…
That’s still saving.
Yeah, you’re just transferring the value into a different form.
Yeah, buy some seeds.
[At the same time] My favorite form is seeds. Yeah, that’s my preferred one.
How To books.
Like oh, I just got I got all my spring seeds for next year.
Well, yeah, just last week, because I knew they’d be way more expensive next year, and they’re just in the fridge in plastic bags. Waiting.
Very smart. That’s a genuinely a good investment, especially given the food supply shortages that we’ve got going on right now.
Yeah, what a good segue
[At that same time] What a good segue.[Everyone laughing] Hope you all like this new format of friends chatting. We’ll work on it.
We’re doing great!
Yeah, no, it’s gonna be exactly this great every time.
Food shortages. What do you mean food shortages? That sounds like a bunch of wing nut talk.
There are no food shortages.
There’s no such thing as food. Buy guns.
That’s exactly what I was thinking when you said ammo and gold and I was like that’s good. Those are things you can eat. We’ll be fine.
Yeah, yeah. [Everyone laughing]
I think there’s something to be said about the fact that you and I both have kids, Brooke. So, when I’m like oh…You know if I have 20 extra bucks, what am I putting it into? It’s like it’s food.
It’s not whiskey?
Pretty much all the time or the next size of clothing for my child that doesn’t stop growing. But But yeah, food shortages. So, that’s like a really interesting and again very complicated topic. So, I work part time for a local farm as well. And here in Oregon, our spring was especially wet like it’s it’s…Oregeon is a fairly wet place and we get a fair amount of rain in the spring, but it was like a lot more than usual. And it stayed cold for longer. So this farm, which usually opens up the first week of June and starts selling produce had to delay by a week its start date, because there just was there weren’t crops and then they’re battling larger infestations of problems and new and different ones so they’ve had funguses, and mold, and bugs, different kinds of bugs, and greater quantity of bugs attacking their crops, and they’ve been sending like…
Yeah, the pest have gone wild up here.
Like bugs the size of cars.
Yes. Yeah, they’ve been sending almost weekly samples to the state, the Oregon State Extension office which is our…they do a bunch of farming program things anyway they…
Yeah, OSU. A lot of states have extension services from their state university, anyway that that analyze like “What is this blight? What is this fungus? Why is this thing turning yellow? Why…what is causing this?” So they…
What is this language it’s speaking to me and why are its eyes rotating sideways from its head.
Yeah, they test for that kind of thing too. E.T. For sure. You know, they would usually send maybe a couple of samples in a season and they’ve had to send like almost weekly samples for two or three months and then you know devising on the fly–because organic farm, you know, safe organic practices to combat these things. And it’s, you know, required a lot of extra time and investment and attention to the farm and the crops that are going in it just to to get a healthy crop out of it.
And we’re not even experiencing you know, the heat wave here that they’re experiencing what, like Western Europe right now.
Yeah. And parts of the southern and central United States also. But like.
Yeah, and North Africa.
I was reading that in Portugal. It’s so hot that farm equipment is setting dried crops on fire as they’re like trying to harvest things.
Like things are that hot and dry. Growing food is becoming more difficult. That seems to be the moral of the story.
Well fortunately, I believe the biggest breadbasket of the world, or at least of Europe, is doing just fine and isn’t currently being invaded by a megalomaniac, and certainly huge chunks of what’s left aren’t supporting someone who would invade such a place, so….Or, as I doubt this is news to anyone who is listening, but maybe it is, you know, the the war in Ukraine is fucking up well will fuck up remarkably, the harvest in Ukraine of wheat, and I believe, like it’s them in the US maybe are the biggest exporters of wheat in the world. I should have looked up my actual.. I’m learning so much about how I’m gonna do this next time.
I was just reading percentages, and they fell out of my brain, but it’s big.
The combination of Ukraine and Russia and it’s mostly Ukraine on this, they provide 12% of the world’s wheat supply. Or to put it in other terms, Ukraine’s wheat feeds 400 million people a year. So like, the for scale, the population of the US, like one year’s worth of wheat. So yeah, it’s, it’s a lot. And they’re basically going to have essentially zero harvest coming out of Ukraine this year in terms of wheat.
And it’s not just like not having flour on the shelf, but if you’re a meat eater, you know, grain fed, grain finished…My brain just died.
Thank you. Fuel and animal feed.
Cows in particular, yeah, all the little things that the grain goes into, yeah, it’s very bad. And, you know, we in the US might not experience as much of that being a wealthy country that’s more insulated. Like one of the readings I was doing was talking about how, of course, Africa will be one of the most impacted continents by all of this because it has the highest rate of imports of food from other places, because so much of its inhospitable to growing or growing large quantities of food. And they often get the short end of the stick when there’s global supply chain issues.
And it’s not just the US’ position as wealthy. It’s that we grow…I think I, I think we’re the largest exporter of food in the world, I again, really have learned so much about the kind of stuff I’m going to look up before I start recording next time.
Yeah, California, grows like some percentage of the entire world’s…just California State of California alone grows an appreciable percent of the world’s food supply.
Not to just drive home the animal agriculture point, but wow, it sure takes so much more grain to feed a cow to then turn around to feed a person than to just feed the grain to the person. Whooa! Anyway, if I’m gonna get accused of propaganda.
But Margaret, I can’t eat grain.
Yeah, no, I know. That’s actually why I don’t believe in, everyone should do X. There’s very few things I would say everyone should do, and that certainly, certainly applies to diet more than almost anything else. People should do, what they need and what their bodies want. And also what their, you know, local environment sustains most effectively and all those things.
I was listening to a podcast yesterday about food shortages that I’m going to forget the name of now.
There are other podcasts?
There are other podcasts like this? Wild.
Cool People Who Do Cool Stuff?
No, it wasn’t that one, I’m sorry, Margaret.
Wait, there’s a third podcast? Strangers In A Tangled Wilderness?
Is it Behind The Bastards? Is that the?
Oh, yeah, I guess they do technically…
Are they still allowed to have a podcast? I thought we shut that down.
So you can’t start with another podcast because it takes too much grain.
That’s the title of this episode now.
It’s called interrupting Casandra. That’s the name of the podcast.
I love you, Casandra. I’m sorry.
You guys, my brain can’t hold a thought for that long.
Okay, so I was listening to this, what I would call like a progressive podcast. And I’m usually really annoyed with the like, “We can solve climate change and world hunger by eating locally.” But when we’re talking about, you know, International food shortage crises, that does seem like one of the more manageable solutions. And we were talking in the chat prior to this episode noticing that I feel really grateful for my CSA share this summer. Because I paid for it, you know, months ago, which means that, you know, if we’re going back to the banana analogy,
The value hold on.
I mean, that is very accurate. You know, we’ve got, we’ve got eggs included in the CSA that I work on. And, you know, we do a small markup on that just to cover all the logistics of getting the eggs from the egg supplier. But she had to raise prices at the start of the season. And we’ll probably have to raise them again, like in the fall. But if you signed up for the CSA, and that included eggs in your particular box, your price gets to be set, right where it is.
Yeah, it’s hard, though, right, because especially when we’re talking about prepping like one of…I get annoyed with prepping conversations, because oftentimes, people either don’t have the space to store large quantities of things or the money to buy things in bulk. And I would consider paying for a CSA ahead of time buying a thing in bulk, or similar, you know, similar impact. And it’s hard because a lot of people can’t do that. Like, I was hurting for a few months, because the payment came out. I was like, “Oh, yeah, that thing I said I’d pay for.” I’m glad I did it. But…
Okay, but. [Brooke interupts] Go ahead….Okay, so there is a community solution to this, though. So you can’t eat ammunition. But if you have enough ammunition and friends….This thing that happened in history, that should never happen again, because it was violent, during the Spanish Civil War, people collectivized all the farms.
Wrong podcast. Wrong podcast.
No, but see, see, this is…
Did they do it with dinosaurs?
I’ve heard that dinosaurs were involved. They…I at least read one story about that. But, you know, it…I means it’s funny to me, right? Because it’s like, on some level, okay, so individual solutions are complicated, because they involve certain types of resources. A lot of community solutions are good. And they’re working to set up different kinds of like small scale agriculture that you can do within a community and mutual aid organizations that can take care of people and help fill in some holes and different people’s, like, dietary needs and stuff like that. But it’s like, it’s so frustrating, because honestly, like, like, a lot of the solutions to these problems are destroy the existing infrastructure and build an infrastructure, well, not even the infrastructure, the systems that control the current infrastructure, and enter them into a more reasonable and equitable method of distribution. But obviously that has some risks associated with it. So I don’t know, I guess, I guess sometimes I get like, frustrated, because it’s like, you know, we’re all like, kind of trying to be like, “Okay, how do we deal with these issues in this issue,” and it’s like, and we should figure out how to do it on these, like, smaller scales, but it’s like, so frustrating because I think so many people like, kind of have a sense of like, what the grander solution is, and just don’t know how to fucking do it.
Including me, I don’t know how to do it. Although in 1936…Anyway.
Were you gonna say something, Brooke?
One way to help solve the problem of food supplies in a very small way, amongst you and your friends: We grow things more efficiently when we focus on growing one thing at a time. So we’ve talked about on the pod growing, starting a garden, even a single container on your balcony kind of thing. But ,if you have a friend or a couple of friends that can also do a little gardening, maybe talking amongst yourselves and have each of you grow a specific thing or a couple of specific things. And they have each of the three of you be different. And that way you can focus on doing a good job of growing a couple of things. And they can do a good job growing their couple of things and then you can exchange the produce as it starts to ripen because it’ll be more than you want.
I like that. When you said one thing my brain was like, “But polyculture!?”
Yeah, sorry, I’m thinking of like, if I can get everyone on my street to, you know, grow something in their backyard, and we all had one different crop, you know, just this whole weird place that my brain goes to that would be beautiful. But the other thing about the the food shortages, the crop growing problems, and all of that that I wanted to point out is how much this is an immediate future problem. Like, right now we’re having all of these problems growing things and creating the food. And what we’re eating for a lot of the part is if you’re eating dry foods, packaged foods and stuff that was grown maybe last year in a previous growing season. So where we’re going to start to see this pinch, even worse is going to be later this year and into next year, when we’re going to buy things that were grown in a previous season. Except they weren’t, because Ukraine didn’t export any grain or because all of the black bean crops failed, or what have you. So it’s going to get worse very soon, because of that kind of problem.
Thinking about growing a thing, like right now before that problem really hits home, and then you’ll suddenly have some food growing on your back porch, or whatever.
That also makes me grateful for…this is probably an option in other areas, not just where we are, but Brooke and I are part of a co op. And we can purchase things through companies at wholesale prices. So like, I just put in an order for like 10 pounds of salt and 25 pounds of beans and, you know, makes me grateful for options like that.
Yeah, bulk buying.
And that’s like, kind of the origins of food co ops, as far as I understand it is that, you know, now we have this conception. And I feel like most people are like, “Why would a food co-op be cheaper food co-ops are more expensive, because like food co-op is like practically just like, a way of saying super bougie independent grocery store with natural food. And the origin of food cooperatives is basically people pulling together and saying like, well, “We want to buy a bunch of food. So let’s act like we’re a store and go to the distributor, and put in orders together.” And those do still exist in various places. And also, not everything that call itself a food Co-Op is just bougie and shitty and like, some of them are very good.
I would say ours isnt…wasn’t. At least that’s from my very biased perspective.
Wasn’t good or wasn’t bad?
Wasn’t bougie wasn’t bougie.
Can I go back to Casandra, you mentioned, the heatwave stuff happening in Europe and crops catching on fire. I had read last week about this heatwave that was coming in Europe and some of the problems they anticipated having but I have not had time this week to like catch up on what actually happened. And I think both of you guys have been paying more attention to that news. And I’m curious if you want to enlighten me and perhaps our listeners about the actual effects of that heatwave in addition to farming equipment catching crops on fire. Which is bad.
Part of a glacier collapsed in Italy.
They still have glaciers there?
You ever get depressed, you ever go to Glacier National Park and just been sad, because you’re like, it’s just full of signs that are like, “There used to be a glacier here.” and you’re like, “This sucks.”
That would be depressing.
It’s really beautiful. Anyways.
What is what does it mean, the glacier collapsed, like a portion fell over?
Like an avalanche, like a portion of this glacier collapsed and it killed 11 people, but it’s just also a testament to how hot it was. Iran was like 126 degrees.
There was something about the railways, the rail lines that so was having problems.
Yeah. So, TERF Island is this island off of the coast of Europe. That is ruled by, it’s still a monarchy, and it’s ruled by J.K. Rowling, Queen of the TERFS. But unfortunately, most of her subjects actually wish they didn’t live on a place called TERF Island, and wish that they could go back to just being embarrassed about having colonized most of the world. That’s also worth being embarrassed about anyway, yeah, England, TERF Island, is pretty fuck right now, and I mean, the same as the rest of Europe, right. But, England is normally a dreary, overcast place and that’s why everyone has turned their head against so many people. And so they are…And so their their rail infrastructure is designed, you can build railways for cold, and you can build railways for heat, but it’s like actually kind of hard to build railways for both. Because you have these, like, long chunks of steel, these rails, right, and they warp. And as people want to go faster and quieter, they are now continuous rails that are welded into like one continuous thing. Which means that when they distort in the heat or contract in the cold or whatever, it’s a bigger issue, right? So, their rail system, at least as we record right now is just like fucked. And like, a lot of the rails aren’t running or if they are running, they’re running really slowly to not, like, I believe, cause additional heat and cause additional problems. I actually don’t remember exactly why going slowly is the solution to this. But it’s like such as like a clear example….And then they’re having this thing where, and I’m sure this happens everywhere. But they’re particularly good at being like, cozy during crisis that’s like part of the national character as far as I can tell. And so they’re like, “Oh, this isn’t a big deal.” And like, they had this heatwave in 1976. And so they’re all like, “Oh, this is just like 1976.” But and 1976 was bad, right? But there hasn’t been like more and more heat more and more times, right? That was a little bit of an outlier year. Whereas they’re constantly breaking all these records. And it’s just, it’s fucking everything up. And I hate…I want…I sort of hate that I know more about this than I know about some of the stuff that’s going on in Iran, or I know that very recently, India has had really massive heat waves that have caused a lot of problems. I know…
Yeah. Yeah. And, but there’s this sort of like, I don’t know, at least by the way, people are talking about it who are not in England. I almost feel like there’s this like, Oh, thank god if this happens to the English and to the white Americans, like maybe something will start happening. And because like just seen as like these like centers of power or whatever, but people are very resistant to actually believing anything’s wrong. But it’s really obviously something wrong.
Oh my gosh. But, you know what people are willing to believe is wrong?
People are willing to believe that our globalist overlords at CERN have shifted our dimension multiple times and opened a gateway to Hell, and summonned Satan. And that’s why everything’s bad.
It can’t be climate change, it has to be a Stranger Things portal…run by the Jews.
I was about to ask if the Jews were involved. I thought you all were busy with the space laser.
Always. God, if only we had an actualy space laser.
I know! You all multitask so well, like you’re busy running the space laser. I mean, I guess thats..
It’s because we rest one whole day a week that we have all this energy.
Hey, wait a minute, Mormons do too, but we do not have space lasers. So….
You have like alien and tablets and shit.
Yeah, Catholics don’t rest. Wait, so please explain more. So there. Okay. So CERN is the the miniature black hole creator, right. [Brooke and Casandra laugh skeptically] Wait, at that point. I thought I wasn’t even lying. I thought that was what it does. Like it investigates…Am I wrong?
It’s a particle accelerator.
No, it’s not. It’s a group. It’s a group. CERN isn’t even the thing itself. CERN is the like group that does the research.
Oh, like the Zionist Cabal or whatever.
Yeah, and it’s been around since the 50s and they do like particle physics shit that I don’t understand. You know, finding new particles, researching antimatter, potentially creating mini black holes, apparently.
Do you think antimatter gets mad at regular matter? Like kind of like an Antifa versus FA kind of thing?
Well, matter wins over antimatter. So I mean, it can get mad all it wants. It loses the battle.
So they’re trying to find, you know, proof of like the Big Bang and doing all these….But then, so it’s been around for a long time. It’s been around since the 50s I think. But, I want to say the facility, the particle collider…this is gonna be the funniest explanation because none of us understand it fully. But, apparently the facility is like 17 miles wide, and most of its underground and it looks very like you know, Stranger Things, Sci Fi, space AG.
It’s that wide because it’s a giant metal circle. So it’s not actually like taking up 17 miles, but like you’re able to go from one end of this metal tube to the other like it is that far apart.
Yeah, it’s like a roller derby rink.
Yeah, more or less.
Or it will be.
Yeah, so all these conspiracy theorists for years now I think particularly since 2012, have decided that the reason things continue to be bad is that…there are multiple theories, but one is that the world actually ended in 2012. Another is that each time they turn on this particle collider, we like shift timelines. So that’s happened in like, 2012, 2016. And then just this last July 5, apparently. It’s just fascinating to me, the lengths people will go to to explain bad shit happening rather than just like, accepting climate change.
Or like, pausing to understand capitalism and its function. And it’s like, “Nope, it’s gotta be a black hole to Satan.”
This is especially funny to me, because the, the collider literally takes like, the like, the tiniest little bits of matter. Like it tries to get down to like a single atom, and then sends it through this giant tube to smash into each other. And I’m like, Yeah, so you’re telling me that like, two oxygen molecules smashing into each other, is what’s opening multiple timelines?
And it’s stuff that’s like, only comprehensible and interesting to physicists, as far as I can understand. Like, if you look at their list of achievements, none of that makes sense to a normal human being. You know?
I kind of like some of that stuff. But I read a lot of science fiction.
Yeah, I have an ex who’s like, really into both space and physics, and is really fascinated by some of the work they’ve done. But yeah, it doesn’t make sense to me at all. And it doesn’t make sense to the conspiracy theorists either.
Okay, so we’re running out of food. Europe’s on fire.
Not just Europe, apparently North Africa, China, India, the southern United States,
Most of the world in the last two years has burned down in one way or another. We’re opening black hole portals. No one can buy a house.
What’s that, Margaret?
Oh, just always the wrong parts of it are burning down.
I mean, well with the exception of the Third Precinct.
Notable. Notable Exception.
We’re still figuring out how to aim the space laser.
Okay, okay. So it was actually you all. It wasn’t actually Dark Biden.
Oh, no. Marjorie Taylor Greene blamed the wildfires.
On the space lasers?
That’s how the spacel laser thing started.
Oh, my God. Really? Why would you burn down the forest? Is her claim that you all don’t know how to aim it?
Let me find this was…
What is your [Marjorie’s] rationale for why the Jews have decided to start forest fires? It it seems to me that even if I….There are other targets that I could imagine, as an anti-semitic conspiracy theorist that I would imagine that the Jews would point the space laser at.
Right? Let me try to…let me see if I can find the exact tweet because it was really funny. Oh, all I can find is spoof tweets in my quick search.
I feel bad for you having to read through Marjorie Taylor Green’s tweets right now. That’s a punishment you do not deserve.
The like wingnut anti-Semites kind of crack me up. I don’t know why she would blame it on that. I have no idea. It’s…
I mean, Q’anon ties into the whole thing.
Well, let’s come up with it.
Casandra, do your people hate forests?
No, of course not. We actually have a whole holiday dedicated to trees.
Whoa, that’s cool.
Tu BiShvat. We liked the trees.
Well, maybe you are trying to….No, I don’t even want to. I’m trying to come up with anti-semetic conspiracy theorists. But I don’t want to do it. I can’t do it.
Here’s a news thing that we didn’t talk about in our briefing. And I don’t know if we care to right now. But, are y’all paying any attention to the whole January 6th committee things? They just had one last night.
Yeah, a little bit.
No, I didn’t read about last night.
I am mostly not paying attention as well, except that I see these tweets of people being like, “Oh my gosh, did you know blah, blah, blah.” And most of it’s like all along I feel like yeah, that’s been reported on already. We already knew about that. Why is this news?
That’s kind of how I feel about it. I like maybe maybe it’s not fair. Bu,t I kind of just say this political theater at this point like we we all know what they did. We watched it. And we all know what their organizations look like. Anti-fascists have done the infiltration work and released all of the…like everything anyone has ever said to each other that’s a fascist in the United States has been released by anti-fascists, not the government. And so in some ways, I’m a little bit like…and maybe it’s not right, maybe, maybe I should care more about it. But in my mind, I’m a little bit like, I’ve moved on to the next news cycle issue in my head, and it feels like kind of like…remember how we were like waiting forever for them to impeach Trump? And they’re like, “We swear we’re going to impeach Trump soon.” And I’m like, is this whole thing just a way for The Washington Post to sell newspapers? And that’s more…again, more than is fair, how I how I feel a little bit about January, 6th, it’s just like, Okay, y’all found something that you can milk for? I don’t know….
I mean the too little too late sort of encapsulates our response to most things, right.
Whether it’s climate change or insurrection.
Now the one good thing that did that did come out of last night’s was little video of Senator Josh Hawley running away from the rioters. And then all the people on Twitter who use that little video and set it to various pieces of music.
Finding moments of joy.
He’s the guy who supported….he’s the guy who was supporting them beforehand, right?
Yeah, he’s the one with like the really well known fist raised in support picture rightbefore they started destroying everything.
I never thought that the leopards eating people’s faces party would eat my face…Well, does that seem like a decent spot to end it for July? Nothing bad can happen in the next week.There’s gonna be like at least a….
I think we wanted to give people more hope you know, like more tools, or ideas? Or even just like…
Oh, right. Buy whiskey. Build a bunker. Hole up
Tanks are bad.
If you live in wildfire country like we do those plastic windows…
Blame the Jews.
Blame the Jews. We can say that because I’m a Jew. I want to make that really clear. Before we put this podcast out. No, buy those plastic windows sealer kits and fresh filters for your air filters.
Yeah, do it before they’re needed. That’s part of the supply chain stuff.
Plant a zucchini,
Planted zucchini with your neighbors and trade them with each other.
What if everyone just grows zucchini?
Zucchini’s really versatile. You know.
Zucchini and potatoes.
That was the main thing that my mom grew. My mom grew mostly zucchini. And so it was just like nothing, nothing, nothing and then everything is made out of zucchini for like two weeks. And I actually loved it because we ate so much zucchini bread and it was so good.
They’re relatively easy, like if you haven’t gardened before and you need something to garden that’ll make you feel really good and successful. Like they’re easier to grow you know a little harder to kill than, and then when they start producing like you get these big zucchinis and like if you completely ignore them, you can get these like just monstrous beasts and it’s just really satisfying to grow zucchini.
I never grow zucchini because I always have friends who grow zucchini and have too much.
Yes. As zucchini does.
This podcast is brought to you by zucchini. Okay, what’s another hopeful? Don’t rush out and buy a garage door right now if you can avoid it. Turn your basement fear into a kiddie pool full of kibble.
If your garage door privileged you can just like revel in that.
Genuinely you know, pet food is an example of a thing where if you’re gonna go if you have some extra money and you’re gonna go invest it quote unquote, in something pet food will hold up and your pet will need food. So instead of bananas buy pet food.
If you do buy bananas, you have to put them in you have to peel them and put them in the freezer if you want them to last and then you’ve turned them into smoothies.
That’s the only good way to eat a banana anyway. Controversial take
I do not agree.
Yeah, I just…Huh, I thought we I thought we were friends.
I just lost to friends.
I just know not to bring bananas over your house. They won’t be safe.
Well they are safe.
You can use them perfectly for smoothies and banana bread. How do we end this?
We we like can do this, right? Like all this like bad shits happening, but like the reason to talk about all this bad shit that’s happening is to stare soberly into the face of what’s coming. Not so that we like, give up and like, it’s not the part in the movie where the “Run there’s a monster,” and then the monster eats everyone. It’s the part where you’re standing on the bulwark of the–I watch love fantasy movies–the bulwark of the castle and you look out and there’s the gathering storm and the hordes of usually poorly racially designed enemies…is coming…now I just feel bad about using this analogy. I love Lord of the Rings, but i was not…
The new Lord of the Rings is about to come out.
Apparently it’s more racially fair and equitable and diverse.
Yeah. That’s good. And I personally more than I probably should think Tolkien would have listened to some of this criticisms since he like, like, when the Nazis came to Tolkien, and were like, “Hey, we love your story, are you Aryan?” and he got really fucking mad. And he was like, they like he was like, “If you’re asking if I’m Jewish, I am sad to say that I am not, but fuck all of you forever.” So anyway. he’s not a perfect man.
But I think he, I think he meant, well, we all know that intentions are what matters. Okay. So but this is the part of the movie where you’re staring out at the, you know, the bad thing is coming, right? And it is a big, bad thing. And we can’t just all go back to bed and be like, “Oh, the government will take care of this for us, right?” Because the government is one of the things that’s out there gathering and the big fucking mass. Well parts of it, because governments are made out of people. And some parts of it will probably stop being part of the government when bad things happen. But… well like the National Guard like gives food to the like mutual aid groups and like that they’re supposed to give to Red Cross, like this has happened sometimes. They’re like, “Oh, shit, y’all actually put things where they’re supposed to go.” And they like help the anarchists instead of the bureaucracies, because they’re people. But, we can do this. We can look, we can see what’s happening, we can face it, we can communicate with other people about what we’re facing. We can work together to get through this. And, and I genuinely believe that and that’s why I do this podcast. And that’s why my basement is full of kibble. And um…
We’re all gonna come swim in it.
Yeah, totally. Yeah, it’s probably gonna be full of rats by that time, but you know.
Rats are food…too.
I’m like a rat farmer in my basement. That’s a turn you never expected from Ol’ Margaret.
Rats need food too.
Vegan turned rat farmer.
That’s still vegan.
Okay, so this segment is…
Alright. And, so thank you all so much for listening. If you enjoy this podcast, please tell people about it. You can tell people about it on the internet. And you can tell people about it not on the internet. And both of those things are good, because not in person. Because on the internet is good because of algorithms and in person is good because that’s a better way to live your life. She said while living alone and on the top of a mountain. And also, if you want to support us more directly, you can do so by sponsoring our Patreon. We are published by Strangers In A Tangled Wilderness, which is a anarchists collective that is dedicated to creating culture and good stuff. Sometimes we do theory, but that’s like not our thing. It’s like almost like we try and kind of do the other stuff around. And you can support us by following us on Patreon or by supporting us on Patreon patreon.com/strangersinatangledwilderness. If you sponsor us at $10 or more a month, we will send you a zine anywhere in the world for free every month. If you sponsors at all, you’ll get access to the digital copy, even before other people get access. I think usually we’re good at that. Sometimes. Most of the time. We’re still getting our shit together. But there’s lots of good content. We have bunch of books coming out. We have another podcast you can check out called Strangers In A Tangled Wilderness, which is the monthly zine, but it is available to everyone and then it also follows with an interview with the Creator talking about their process. It’s really good. You should check it out. Do either of you to have anything to plug before I?
I just got this book in the mail that I did the art for that you might know about.
Yeah, what is it?
It’s your book. Margaret.
I have a book?
Yeah. You have a book coming out.
Is it called “We Won’t Be Here Tomorrow. I have a book of short stories that’s coming out called “We Won’t Be Here Tomorrow.” It comes out September 20. From AK Press, which is a collectively run anarchist publisher, which rules and if you order it now you get art print made by Casandra. Well, drawn by Cassandra. It’s probably made by a printer somewhere. The prints part of it anyway, and it illustrates one of my stories and also Casandra did the cover art, and it’s really beautiful. So, you should check it out. And in particular, we want to thank some of our Patreon backers. We want to thank Hoss the dog, Chris, Sam, Micaiah, Kirk, Natalie, Eleanor, Jenipher, Staro, Cat J, Chelsea, Dana, David, Nicole, Mikki, Oxalis, Paige, and SJ. Thank you so much for for making this possible. And yeah, I hope you all are doing as well as you can with everything that’s going on.
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