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The Return of Men?
Aftermath: War Drums: Forty Miles From The Big House
On Saturday and Sunday as the curfew was lifted and the National Guard rolled out of the battered economic node of Baltimore—now diminished by 200 businesses—the mood among whites was generally that of anxious fear of blacks. Meanwhile blacks I encountered were more likely to be hostile, and more intensely hostile, than usual.
Today I took an extra two hours returning from my night job, and walked by circuitous paths the locations where I documented events over the course of the last week: the block where Emanuel stopped the bat-armed black men with a leveled pistol, the deserted transfer point where I met Columbine Joe, the businesses that were looted, and the school bus, that would be occupied by boys of the same age as those who fought the BPD to a standstill; boys who must feel empowered and imperiled by association.
From work to home, over the course of 15 hours, I was in close contact with 123 people, including the 48 on the ‘school’ bus. The breakdown at work was predominantly white, while on the bus it was overwhelmingly black. On foot it was predominantly black. I did not parse the numbers, just kept a running count of bodies within low voice and close eye contact range.
The mood had shifted once again; was no longer the rage and worry of the riots, the fear and hostility of the wind down, nor the studied alienation if the normal Harm City day. Below are my observations of the following types of people behaving abnormally toward me.
Conservative and working class whites have finally achieved anger, and have voiced hostile feeling towards blacks in general, with many now convinced that their grandparents had been right all along, that blacks are nothing but savage opportunistic predators. These whites are now acting like the blacks did two days ago.
White Liberals are all over the place, from hope to despair, seemingly in different stages of redefining or doing mental back-flips to reaffirm their contrived world.
Notably, I am one of only two whites on foot in the county or the city within my sight from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
The blacks?
Only one black youth swaggered menacingly at me today, while four held doors for me or addressed me as sir. Normally door holding by black youth is a twice annual occurrence, and apish posturing is a daily constant.
Numerous black ladies and girls went out of their way to smile and wave and say good morning, almost as if they were glad to see this hobbling white devil with the shaved head and out of season beard.
When I boarded the bus, where the vast majority of blacks normally spread out, or place their bags on the seat next to them in order to deny a seat or generate a confrontation, none did so on the #55 at 8:45. The rap music that is usually turned up as soon as a white person sits down did not scream its pedestrian obscenities across the racial divide.
No one attempted to sit next to me—which is normal, even though I always leave space.
As I rose a stop too soon to give a boy with his hand in a cast a seat, his friends opened the door for me, and I informed them that I was getting off at the next stop. Meanwhile, the high school teacher, a man of 35, who has accompanied these boys on their way to school as a kind of chaperon, begins fielding questions about the shirt I am wearing, a Pick Your Fights Promotions T-shirt I was given after losing via arm bar to Damien Kestle in a pipe versus chain bout in Virginia Beach in 2009.
As the two tall boys open the door for me and I thank them, the man begins explaining about the promotion and that I am a coach, and I wonder if I know him as the bus pulls off and I shoulder my pack.
As I walk the neighborhood on a lopsided grid observing who is out and about and their attitude, I do wonder about the fact that this was the first of about two dozens of rides on that time slot school bus in which a man engaged male youths in conversation rather than just thumbing his smart phone while they pretended to be men.
As I finally return to my block I notice a tall dainty looking black girl, of about 20 years, who always dresses in professional attire and is usually walking alone past my house, from the same bus stop. I have always kept my distance and tried not to glance at her, in order to keep from frightening her, as it is normally just her and I on these side streets. Fortunately I am usually beat from work and she has long legs so I can let her pass me by. Her destination is across the street, where she either visits or lives with a young white man, who looks good for nothing more strenuous than lead guitar work.
Today, he has walked the mile to greet her, and is returning to his/their house holding her hand. They both nod at me, apparently cheered to see me. This is my first definitive man sighting on White Avenue in five years.
Maybe—I wish, but still, maybe—men and women are waking up to the fact that the heavily armed law enforcement organization whose officers parade in ‘protect and serve’ attire, meant what its leaders said when they told the citizens of Baltimore that they were on their own; that the police could barely protect their own.
Survivalist expert, James Wesley, Rawles, in How To Survive The End of The World as we Know It, ‘One Tank Of Gas Away’, surmised that police departments would attempt to protect civilians and keep order in times of unrest, but that these efforts would disintegrate as officers moved off to take care of their own families. I found this a reasonable supposition. I do not recall any other writers on such affairs predicting that the police, in times of crises, would immediately and totally abandon the bottom 99% of the population to whatever force assailed them.
Perhaps we owe those Mandawmin hoodrats a debt, for waking up the sleep walkers among us—like this fellow who has let the frail willowy girl walk a mile and a half through a moderately high crime urban area, which hosts over a dozen half way houses for criminals, perverts and drug addicts—up to the fact that men have a natural duty to their women and their young, and to the men they align with, and that if this sense of duty is absent totally, then we are all just meat waiting to be skewered on the government spit and roasted over the criminal fire.
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guestMay 5, 2015

Speaking of crisis, i highly recommend:

<a href="">Words from a Bosnian Survivalist</a>

"I am from Bosnia. You know, between 1992 and 1995 it was hell (war). For one year I lived, and survived, in a city with 6000 people, without water, electricity, gasoline, medical help, civil defense, distribution service, any kind of traditional service or centralized rule.

Our city was blockaded by the army and for 1 year life in the city turned into total crap. We had no army, no police, we only had armed groups – those armed protected their homes and families."

And <a href="">Lessons learned from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita</a>

Both must reads!
responds:May 8, 2015

Thank you so much for the links.

I will check them out.

Glad you made it out the other end of that mess.
Jim FryMay 5, 2015

An initial perspective on reading Rawles: He appears to be on key on most aspects and facets of speculating the textures and flavors of the collapse scenarios. One minor nuance is he recommends excess resources be parked in precious metals. I disagree, having contemplated this deeply, inasmuch as water purification devices, bullets, condoms, booze, smokes and similar will have greater recognized value once fiscal and societal paradigms shift. While navigating preparations and the slow grind and wealth transfers (fraud in markets and paper) currently underway, metals and cash in hand make perfect sense (as they have the least amount of fees/tax/fraud), but not so much later when cash may devalue to zero and silver will be most important if hunting werewolves!

I know, speculative, yet we need to find some foundation for discerning or divining the future.
responds:May 8, 2015

I don't have a financial mind. I once asked a 12 year old to do my taxes and he told me to hire an accountant.

Condoms as money—that's huge—and they are packaged to fit in a wallet and replace that devalued cash.

Thanks Jim.
Jim FryMay 5, 2015


Thank you for the salient survival book recommendation. In reading the One Tank Away piece I'm reminded of salon conversations my brother and I have regularly.

I've been a power engineer and project manager my whole career and what few recognize well is the fragile nature of the US electrical grid which will deeply impact all ability to retain cooling on nuclear plants. This is the single factor I've never resolved regarding end of time we've known scenarios. It simply ends bad and the only reason I'm not a cheerleader for collapse.

Without discounting the suffering and impacts collapse would cause 99.99% of everyone, most of the factors have a variety of ways they may be navigated, negotiated and presumable (partially) mitigated, excluding the multiple nuclear catastrophe facet. Without impaling myself on either exuberant faux hope or upon exaggerated doom, I'm still left with the sense that on the nuclear card, we're all ... screwed ...

Handling this resolution without falling into a depressive state and stance is my greatest challenge, which I combat by resolving that the best I may do is be generally kind, helpful and giving to those I care about and encounter. None of us know for certain if we have more lives or consciousness when we pass from this story, but I do get a sense that we may be continually refined across life and that there may be more to come, beyond, so (if so) why waste the course we're in, no matter how arduous it may be at times?
responds:May 8, 2015

It seems we're on the same metaphysical page Jim.

Okay, the nuclear things scares the shit out of me. I'm okay wearing dirty animal hides, but I don't want to glow.

Could you write us an article about that and email it to I can send any pdfs you want as compensation. I have pdfs of all the print books. Just tell me what titles you want.

Take care Jim.
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