2020, HERE WE COME!

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Hello Stranger,
HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Hope this note finds you in bold spirits, good health and keeping well.  2019 was an arduous year for many, and if our kick-off is any indication of things to come, this year will be INTENSE.

We’re only in our third week of 2020, but already need a re-cap, so here goes: the poles are melting hard and fast; Australia’s burning; the Taal Volcano erupted in the Philippines; Puerto Rico endured a 5.9 Earthquake and Trump– who has been impeachedassassinated General Soleimani.  Iran then struck back (and then some) and the head of Hezbollah is currently threatening the United States with additional action.  No, this isn’t an episode of the Twilight Zone nor Season 16 of Stranger Things; this– my friend– is the world we live in.

Having survived a few political fiascos, on-going power outages, droughts as well as food rations in Zimbabwe (and having a Sarah Connor-eque Aunt who prepped me for surviving America under siege), I have a few suggestions for us.  I’m no expert and can only hope we’ll never have to deploy the below, but it NEVER hurts to be prepared.

TRUMPOCALYPSE SURVIVIAL CHECKLIST

1. PREP FINANCES, ID’S + IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS
a. Withdraw enough cash to be comfy for a couple weeks (reminder: Hezbollah are threatening us, and they have a legit hack team that could blow up our internet).
b. Print a weekly financial/bank statement (you’ll need proof if banks go down).
c. Photocopy your ID,  Social Security card, Passport and car titles or deeds and hide them somewhere safe.
d. Keep originals, cash and financial statements in this $25 portable water and fireproof case, or simply slide the above in two XL size ziplock bags and store inside your jump bag (see below).  This won’t protect them from fire, but will keep them pristine.

2. PACK A JUMP BAG/MEDIUM SUITCASE WITH…
a. 3 changes of clothes (include undergarmets, socks, etc.).
b. Pajamas.
c. Toiletries (toothbrushes, baby wipes, deoderant, hand sanitizer, etc.).
d. Towel + facecloth.
e. Blanket.
f. Cereal bars, Beef (or meat substitute) Jerky, etc.
g. Small sewing + First Aid kits (if you don’t have one, you can make them from an old Altoids tin or glasses case).
h. A few feet of rope or bungee cables.
i. Refillable bottle of water.
j. Waterproof flash light with new batteries.
k. Waterproof matches and/or a lighter.
l. Multitool or Swiss Army knife.
m. Toilet paper.
n. Plastic tarp (sounds ridiculous, but you never know- handy for fashioning a rain poncho or tent top; alt solution- pack a few heavy duty garbage bags.).
o. Cell phone power block/charger (make sure it’s pre-charged).

3. ADDITIONAL SUPPLIES TO CONSIDER
a. Candles.
b. 3 gallons of emergency water.
c. Back up set of traditional batteries for flashlight.
-Rechargables are great, but if electricity goes out, no blaming me for not reminding you!
d. Windable watch and compass.

4. IF DRIVING
a. Atlas or pre-printed road maps of your escape route.
b. Spare tire and/or tire patch kit.
c. Gasoline can, but read this article regarding safety:
www.autoblog.com/2016/01/04/is-it-safe-to-drive-with-a-gas-can-in-your-car/
d. Replace your wiper fluid, make sure oil, water and antifreeze are up to snuff.
e. Car jack.

With the above out of the way, let’s move on to something uplifting, like…

BOOK UPDATES

While waiting for the U.S. Census to provide updated statistics re: divorce in America, single fathers and more, I’ve been focusing on other projects (Poems About Boys, Conversations [see prior entry], as well as new musical works).  My Twitter and email have remained active, but I wanted to leave an update here for anyone who’s changed addresses or for “newbies” (welcome!) who might be curious.

Last year I…

1. Completed the expanded list of Magnificent Men for our print edition.
-Am pleased to report that we’ve hit 100!  To avoid too many spoilers, I’ll only confirm a handful of candidates who made the final cut: Buckminster Fuller, Cooper Anderson, Dr. Denis Mukwege, Emilio Estevez and Ronan Farrow.  To peek at the original list: inpraiseofmen.com/2016/03/31

2. Authored an additional chapter analyzing #Metoo, Weinstein, Epstein, Cosby, Trump and his administration’s unapologetic bromance with toxic masculinity.  As a feminist, it is imperative that this book DOES NOT gloss over these horrific, inexcusable events, but that it holds these individuals accountable for their crimes and supports survivors.

As you’ve probably guessed, I take my responsibility as the author of this book VERY seriously.  When #metoo broke, I refused publication (even at the risk of offending donors, who’ve been extremely patient) in order to re-educate myself, complete additional research, update aforementioned statistics and address the above.  I’ve spent the past two years patrolling headlines, reading related books (Rose McGowan’s BRAVE, Farrow’s Catch and Kill, Feldman’s Choreography (for #metoo male perspective), Carroll’s What Do We Need Men For?, etc.), and have an armful more to polish off this Spring.

Digging deep is each writer’s responsibility.  In this case, there’s no two ways about it: discussions regarding this book are going to get dirty, but this is the muck that we have to wade through if we’re going to change.  It is my hope that– even if specific groups can’t grasp why I’d spend my entire life spying on the opposite sex– a few of my words will help spark a larger debate.

After all, it’s the second decade of the 21st Century.  In the same way that we can’t continue cramming landfills with plastic or pouring toxic materials into our water supply, we can’t afford the war on one another anymore.

Assuming we survive Trumpocalypse Now, I look forward to seeing you on the pages next year.  If you’d like to connect in the meantime, please email (click CONTACT on above right menu) or find me on Twitter: twitter.com/inpraiseofmen.

Wishing You Hope and Happiness,
Brooke

6 thoughts on “2020, HERE WE COME!

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