consumer-spending

anonymous asked:

What can college kids with limited resources do to help the environment?

The fact that you are asking this question makes me feel very hopeful as it shows you care. Helping the environment is not about the amount resources you have. I could give you a shopping list of behaviours you can change to decrease your impact on the planet, but what I want to tell you is find the environmental cause you are passionate about and get the best education you can so you can have voice and make a difference. Invest in your future through education. You will be able to make a difference.

There are lots of little ways we can all help the environment in our everyday lives. One of the easiest ways is becoming an informed consumer. Every time we spend a dollar we are casting a vote, from the products we buy, to the food we consume, and the transportation we use. The choices we make as a consumer can have far reaching influences, from across the globe to your friends and family. This became clear to me during my first trip to Borneo. I was confronted by vast, seemingly endless acres of oil palm plantations that were once dense primary forest. Those forests were once home to orangutans, elephants, and sun bears. It made me realized just how much palm oil I was consuming in the products I used every day. I began to eliminate those products from my home, and started writing letters to manufactures, urging them to find sustainable alternatives. Becoming an informed consumer really opens the door to understanding the influence, and impact we are having across the globe. Although it may sound cliché, it really does translate to acting locally and thinking globally.

Trump’s 100 days brings weakest economic growth in 3 years

  • In the first quarter of 2017, the American economy grew at the slowest rate in three years, rising at just 0.7%, thanks to weak consumer spending, Bloomberg reported Friday.
  • The news comes on the 99th day of Donald Trump’s presidency, which he promised would bring an economic boom and increased job production. However the economy grew at a slower pace than economists projected. Read more (4/28/17)

Trump has had the lowest approval ratings during his first 100 days of any president in the last 72 years

  • Since his inauguration, Trump has yet to break 50% in FiveThirtyEight’s summation of presidential approval rating polls.
  • He has hovered between a 40% and 45% approval rating since the beginning of February. Gallup, a longtime presidential pollster, pegged the president’s approval rating as low as 35% at the end of March.
  • Gallup has compiled all of its approval rating data going back to President Harry S. Truman. That data shows Trump has had the lowest approval ratings during his first 100 days of any president in the last 72 years. Read more (4/28/17)

After 100 days, is Trump “draining the swamp?”

  • One of Trump’s first executive orders kept a campaign promise of preventing former members of his administration from lobbying. Trump’s ban instated a lifetime ban on foreign lobbying and a five-year ban for all other lobbying.
  • The ban only applies to members of his administration and was full of loopholes. Less than 100 days into his presidency, Trump has already granted a waiver to the lobbying ban. Read more (4/28/17)
headcanon:

viktor and yuuri say their wedding vows in each other’s native language. 

so viktor, in japanese: he’s learned a couple words here and there, enough sweet talk to make yuuri blush and enough slang to understand whatever the hell people in hasetsu go on about, but then the idea hits him from the middle of nowhere, a heart attack-esque and lightening strike epiphany - a picture of white suits and flowers and smiles too big for the stars and the whole goddamn universe - at practice one day. 

yuuri’s skating, cooling off in a way that shouldn’t be nearly as enrapturing as it is, and viktor’s watching, cooling off in a way that shouldn’t be nearly as lazy and motionless as it is, but he’s thinking. about the obvious, of course - the wedding, new routines, yuuri, the wedding, and yuuri - and then about the not-so-obvious, words and surprises and how he really should learn japanese if only for his currently sweating but still impossibly enthralling fiance… and now you can guess when it slams viktor nikiforov in the face. 

he’s consumed by it. viktor spends the next two months rolling those unfamiliar words in his mouth, working out all the ticks and stutters and catches because he always catches when he says shujin - but it’s worth it, he knows it’ll be worth it, to see the expression on yuuri’s face. 

and then yuuri, in russian: it comes about in a similiar fashion as viktor’s own revelation; he’s skating and thinking and most of all just breathing, and he wonders how to say husband in russian. 

he wonders if it would make viktor blush.

things only progress from there, and suddenly yuuri’s awake at two in the morning scouring internet pages and scribbling the cyrillic words on his hand. and he thinks distantly how it’ll sound, when faced with suits and crowds and viktor’s hands in his own - if viktor will cry, if he’ll smile, if he’ll just kiss yuuri on the spot right there, and then yuuri makes up his mind that he wants to see all three. 

(and he does see all three, but not before his own reaction is equally striking - enough so that phichit is brought to his own tears, and yurio is subsequently disgusted for the next week. it’s a perfect wedding, all things considered.) 

Supergirl AU

Cat Grant knows her assistants are cheating, she just doesn’t know how yet.

She even knows the exact date it started almost two years ago, when suddenly her constant stream of incompetent aides began to improve, to last longer. All her life her assistants have been barely adequate, but for some reason the last handful have gotten sharper and sharper. 

It’s been three weeks with this new one and, while his performance within CatCo is lackluster at best, he has yet to make a single mistake with her coffee or food orders. And if there is one thing Cat values more than all else its what she consumes; she spends all day creating media for the consumption of millions so what she herself takes in is of the highest priority.

This week she had a stress headache and she sent him off with a screech to get her some sustenance. Now she had very low expectations for this, so imagine her surprise when he comes back with a perfectly made bacon wrapped hamburger (her headache guilty pleasure) and a medium latte with just a dash of cinnamon. 

There is no way on Earth that this Witt fellow should know about that. Her guilty pleasures are closely guarded secrets, and Cat Grant has never explicitly told anyone about her infatuation with bacon and cinnamon (both separate and together). And yet when she needed it the most, he just happens to get it exactly right. This assistant hasn’t even made it a month yet; there’s no way he knows this is a weakness of hers.

Which means there’s a snitch somewhere feeding answers to her assistants.

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

Hi! When do you believe Hannibal has fallen in love with Will? Also, when do you think he actually realized it?


Hi, Anon!  Thanks for the message.  *cracks knuckles*  All right, let’s see. How long has Hannibal been in love with Will?  I think that in some way, Hannibal has always been in love with the idea of someone like Will.

Imagine, you spend most of your life angry, bitter and wanting to see the world burn – but at the same time, you are in love with the beauty of it all;  the taste of certain things, the scents around you that bring up memories and potential memories, the sound of the piano as a woman’s voice accompanies it.  You’re an aesthete but you also hate so much of the world and the people in it.

And as you grow and become Hannibal, you wonder, you hope that maybe out there is someone who feels this same level of simultaneous disconnect with the world as well as the constant drowning in it all.  Does this person exist? Surely they must because what good is being Count Hannibal Lecter, VIII if there is no one you can turn to wink at as you both watch the world burn and this person – this mother effing person — even handed you the matches.  

So Hannibal was already in love with the idea of this person, but time moved on and the chance of him finding them seemed more and more remote.

So imagine you are living your life, finding happiness in your drawings, in your wine, in the way the blood slowly drains from your piggish victims and you decide to be content. This is enough. It’s not what you had hoped for, but you are having a grand old time.  Then Jack Crawford shows up in your office, and tells you about this man he wants you to check out.  He’s brilliant, he feels things too deeply, he can tell what others are feeling, but he really doesn’t want anything to do with anyone. 

Sure, you can check him out. Why not?  Anything to make life a little more interesting and colorful. You are having a grand old time after all.  A little bit of cat and mouse should be entertaining.

And you’re in Jack’s office talking about taste – or lack thereof—and you sit and really look at the face before you.  And you can see his disdain for people and niceties (the world isn’t nice, after all, not really.) and he just doesn’t give a fuck what you think.  And his eyes are really blue, and the stodgy uniform he presents to the world does nothing to hide how beautiful he actually is. And good god, you want to consume him. You want him to consume you and spend day after day together.  Is he worthy? You think he might be?  How can you find out?  What is this you are feeling? Good god.

Originally posted by helloyangmal

So time passes and you are still consumed with thoughts of Will Graham, but don’t really understand it all.  What is this you are actually feeling?  Part of you hates yourself for it, part of you hates him for it, but with each dry quip, each sardonic exchange, every “Doctor Lecter” he hurls your way just throws your mind into a maelstrom.  But you love it.  You adore it.

And when you send Tobias Budge after him – or is it he after Tobias Budge – you know that this will decide whether or not he is worthy.  (Or in the deepest recesses of your mind, whether you are worthy.  But you just ignore that for a bit…)

When you hear Tobias say he murdered some FBI agents, is when you know.  The rage, the rage you have not felt since her, since you murdered the ones that murdered her, THAT rage is back.

And when Will walks in, and your heart stops – or does it start again? – that you realize that you, Count Hannibal Lecter, VIII, M.D. are in love with Will Graham.  And it’s messy and complicated as shit, and did you sign up for this?  Yes. No. Who knows.

Originally posted by sirenja-and-the-stag

So, to answer your question, Anon, when did Hannibal realize he was in love with Will?  Always and never and always.  But he definitely knows that he’s fucked and he’s having the time of his life. 

anonymous asked:

modern inej & kaz hcs?

[cracks knuckles]

- kaz is either a VERY successful businessman (that may or may not have smth to the side bc we all know kaz has dollars where the hearts of the 😍 emoji would be) or a street boss… there’s no in between
- inej probably runs some errands for him in her spare time like you know… spy on his rivals, slash some tires, threaten someone (in a nice way) and has a yoga studio where she’s one with her inner self and peace
- kaz respects tf out of here and even if he’s filthy rich he’d never treat her as anything less than a goddess on earth which inej totally is and we all know it
- inej’s told him that she wants to have her own income and she doesn’t want any presents from him and prefers to have that money given to charity instead
- even so, kaz still gives her small but expensive gifts from time to time - on her birthday, on their anniversary, on important days and they’re always meaningful
- a golden case for her to keep her knives, a very luxurious frame for that one family portrait inej still keeps
- kaz’s a busy manTM but he always finds some time for inej and takes her out for lunch or something sweet in between meetings
- inej LOVES to tell him about her yoga classes and her eyes shine so bright kaz’s food always gets cold before she’s finished bc he’s just so Mesmerized
- kaz used to think tv is stupid and time-consuming - time he could spend earning $$$$$
- but inej got him hooked on netflix and now he literally can’t stop watching tv shows
- while we’re on that topic NO ONE can convince me his fav tv show isn’t lucifer like… you just can’t
- they have their get togethers with the rest of the gang every friday /despite wylan being a very busy businessman himself/
- they’re mindful of each other and they take it slow bc they know there’s no rush and it’s enough for kaz to see inej getting ready for class
- he lets her fix his tie sometimes and the feeling of her knuckles brushing his collar send goosebumps down his spine but it’s not a bad feeling AT ALL
- kaz brekker, a true wallstreet menace, melts at the sight of inej wearing his (t)shirts in the morning or even doing the most mundane things like making coffee, leaning on the fridge while she’s microwaving something for breakfast, just THE most simple things make him go !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
- they go on romantic dates like a pair of highschool sweethearts: lazy ice cream dates, movie nights, slow sunday walks in the park
- in fact, their first hand holding (without kaz shaking, without inej getting anxious) is at the cinema, probably during some really intense scene
- kaz doesn’t even realize it at first but then he hears inej laugh in the dark and it’s the purest, most amazing sound so he looks at her
- and there they are, fingers intertwined, no sweat or red spots, no panic, no water lapping at his feet
- their first kiss is very gentle and chaste and intimate while they’re laying on the coach: inej is in sweats and a ratty old tshirt, kaz’s hair is ruffled and unkept and his tie is loose and crumpled in her hand when she pulls him down to her
- he places his thumb on her neck, where he can feel her heartbeat and remind himself that yes, this is real and yes, you are safe and yes, THIS IS INEJ and she’s kissing you back and her lips feel like crushed velvet and spicy candy
- inej has a LOT of kitchen knives but kaz only smirks whenever he sees a new package on their front door saying “CAUTION: SHARP OBJECT INSIDE”
- inej is a modern feminist and she goes social gathering that could help a minority in need or just help someone who really needs it
- kaz always accompanies her but not bc he’s scared for her safety… if anything, it’s the safety of those who try to stop her from speaking her mind
- in the end, it may take them YEARS to get fully accustomed to each other’s presence but it doesn’t matter bc they have their freedom and they have each other and that’s the only thing that matters

How to revise for an exam in a day

• Don’t drink energy drinks or have sugary things if it’s early in the day. You will crash, your better off eating an apple it has a lot of caffeine in it too

•Make a list of everything you need to cover. If your doing a level and it’s a huge list cross of things that you either have an idea of already or is comparatively easier

•If its science or maths keep going over formulas throughout the day- trust me you need it

•If you need to learn English quotes find the top 10 and analyze them briefly- you need to remember them so don’t overwhelm yourself

• whilst your doing work play an audiobook or YouTube video on in the background for the same topic- that way you cram in audio and visual learning at the same time

• Time your breaks- 10 mins max unless it’s a meal

•Don’t think about how much work you have left or that you don’t have enough time- you need to just be getting through it. Although this should be good incentive not to leave it late again.

• If the subject is very application based ( chemistry, maths) go through the past papers online, find the ones you can’t do and learn how to do them

• If you are doing an essay subject you have to make essay plans for a couple of of the past papers NOT ESSAYS THEY ARE TIME CONSUMING

•Don’t spend to long on something- if you still don’t get it leave it

• Get off tumblr ;)

• Turn your phone off. If you need it keep it on aeroplano mode, a Snapchat streak is not worth retaking.

literally just existing in a capitalist society is stressful there isn’t a day that goes by where u don’t have to either spend money, consume things that cost money or earn money  

The Big Stall

Bad news on the economy. It added only 88,000 jobs in March – the slowest pace of job growth in nine months.

While the jobless rate fell to 7.6 percent, much of the drop was due to the labor force shrinking by almost a half million people. If you’re not looking for work, you’re not counted as unemployed.

 That means the percentage of working-age Americans either with a job or looking for one dropped to 63.3 percent – its lowest level since 1979.

 The direction isn’t encouraging. The pace of job growth this year is slower than its pace last year.

What’s going on? The simple fact is companies won’t hire if consumers aren’t buying enough to justify the new hires. And consumers don’t have enough money, or credit, or confidence to buy enough.

It’s likely Americans are beginning to feel the pinches of January’s hike in the payroll tax combined with the government budget cuts known as the sequester. Increases in gas prices haven’t helped. All are taking money out of the pockets of most people – whose job situation remains precarious. So they can’t and won’t buy much.

One indicator: Retailers cut their staffs in March – by 24,100.

Yes, the stock market has rebounded. But only a small portion of Americans are affected by the rebound. The richest 1 percent own 35 percent of all shares of stock; the richest 10 percent own 90 percent.

And, yes, housing prices have stopped falling, and construction of new homes has picked up. The construction sector added 18,000 jobs in March.

But the turnaround in housing isn’t because prospective homeowners have been able to get new mortgages. It’s because investors are buying or building homes to rent. And a buoyant rental market doesn’t make most people feel wealthier.

Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of all this is that we’re in the fifth year of a supposed economic recovery from the second-worst economic downturn of the past century, and we’re still not nearly back on track. Instead, we’ve had the most anemic recovery in history.

A Gallup survey released Thursday showed that the percentage of Americans holding full-time jobs has remained essentially unchanged over the past year. With 12 million people out of work and another 8 million holding part-time jobs who’d rather have full-time ones, this just isn’t nearly good enough.

We’re experiencing the burden of austerity economics and the continued scourge of widening inequality. Both are squeezing average Americans. Yet it’s impossible to have a buoyant and sustained recovery without a large and growing middle class.

 

I would like to bring your attention to this screenshot, from the montage in episode 2 of Kara doing a bunch of ‘small’ heroic acts. Now, what I would like for you to look at is the words scrolling at the bottom of the page.

AS CONSUMER SPENDING APPEARS TO BE WORKING ITS WAY UPWARD IN TANDEM WITH SUPERGIRL’S RISE IN POPULARITY AND ACCEPTANCE”

The fact that Supergirl doesn’t just effect the criminal environment of National City, she also effects the economic environment of National City does have interesting implications. Sure, the fights of a superhero would create some property damages–as Max Lorde pointed out, Metropolis’s is 4 times higher-but a city with a real live superhero that can fly, that is out in the open doing heroic acts like saving a man stuck in traffic while having a heart attack, bringing him to the hospital when he would have died, saving a plane, stopping robberies, acting like a beacon of hope for those who may have little of their own? My guess, that would bring in a major amount of tourism. Tourists are people who bring in money.

And my guess is that with Supergirl, people feel happier, safer, more inclined to spend money rather than save it for harder times. Because sure, Supergirl’s fights might create some chaos, but clearly there are monetary benefits for having a hero like Supergirl.

[request] [scenario] congratulations

Originally posted by mountean

((hehe this is for the sweetie pie @skyyzi - here’s an early gift~ congratulations !!) 

Title: congratulations

Member: jihoon

Genre: fluff fluff ((angst if u squint like. .23 seconds of angst)) 

Word Count: 872

“I’m sorry, jagiya. My flight was delayed until tonight, so I don’t think I’ll be able to make it to your graduation in time.” Jihoon sighs into the receiver, voice guilt-ridden and unsteady. “(F/N)? You there?”

Keep reading

theguardian.com
Far from ‘strong and stable’, May’s economic plan is weak and unstable
Labour has won the battle of the manifestos with policies that can deliver better growth whereas the PM’s offering more of the same: cuts
By Larry Elliott

Confronted with the strong evidence that economic policy since 2010 has been a failure, May’s response has been to offer more of the same. Deep welfare spending cuts are designed to balance the books, and would help do so if the Bank of England was in a position to respond with cheaper borrowing.

But that can’t happen because interest rates are at 0.25% and can’t go lower. As a result, welfare cuts suck spending power out of the economy. That leads to slower growth, which explains why it will now take until the middle of the next decade under Conservative plans to run a budget surplus.

Presumably, sticking to a deficit-reduction plan that isn’t working fits with May’s “strong and stable” mantra. But, in truth, the wrong mix of monetary and fiscal policy has left the economy weak and unstable. Weak because investment and productivity have been so poor. Unstable because growth has been so heavily reliant on debt-driven consumer spending.

Higher growth under Labour would be the result of abolishing the 1% cap on public sector pay, an increase in public sector employment and plans to boost spending on public infrastructure by 50%. The claim by the Conservatives that higher borrowing would lead to much higher deficits and an explosion in the national debt is dismissed by Oxford Economics as the pre-Keynesian nonsense it is.

To sum up, May called an election when there was no need for one, when the public didn’t want one, when living standards were falling, when the economy is dysfunctional, when the strategy of the past seven years has demonstrably failed, and when there is a viable alternative.

capitalists: let’s innovate and make this better!

consumers: awesome! I will spend my money on it!

capitalists: now let’s make it crappier but not charge any less.

consumers: wtf? I feel cheated.

capitalists: that’s not my fault. it’s what the market will bear.

consumers: I’m desperate for the old version. make the old version again.

capitalists: check out this upgraded version. we charge more for it because it’s special.

consumers: this is literally what the old version was like wtf. you expect me to pay more now?

capitalists: no, this is new. NEW AND IMPROVED

consumers: this is what they used to be like

capitalists: lalalala

“Dreaming a thought that could dream about a thought,
That could think of the dreamer that thought,
That could think of dreaming and getting a glimmer of God.
I be dreaming a dream in a thought,
That could dream about a thought,
That could think of dreaming a dream
Where I cannot, where I cannot.
Less morose and more present,
Dwell on my gifts for a second.
A moment, one solar flare, we’re consumed.
So why not spend this flammable paper on the film that’s my life?”

anonymous asked:

I see my fellow classmates get excited about architecture all the time and will read and read and read about architecture and anything related all the time. They get so excited about lectures on the smallest things. But I don't get excited like that, I would rather see than read and I'm worried that I like being observer over a creator of architecture and am in the wrong major. Any advice?

Enjoying reading and listening to lectures about architecture does not equate to being a creator of architecture. 

Take it from me. Before this blog I spent very little time with architecture outside my day job/ school, it was just all too consuming to also spend every free moment thinking about it. I still seldom attend lectures of architects talking about architecture, it has to be someone special for me to do so. I tend to read more now than I used to do but I still despise archispeak and avoid it like the plague.

Bottom line, don’t worry about that, it won’t make you a better (or lesser) architect!

Originally posted by teenvogue

Someone told me once that every penny we spend as consumers is a vote. The comodities we are buying is like casting a ballot. You give your money to companies because you stand behind their product, their vision and ethical reasoning. I know it’s not a viable option for some, and I understand that. But why the outrage when I say that once we’ve established the reasoning above, we should stop buying clothes at fast-fashion mega corporations that refuse to have an ounce of corporate social responsiblity? These billion dollar industries refuse their workers decent wages and the right to organize themselves, why is there such a disconnect? It’s like we’re not even aware of the power behind our money. We can make drastic change if we started investing in companies that aren’t just doing lip service and actually have solid sustainable visions and good corporate social responsibilty. Also companies hate being defaced…they’ll do anything to sell themselves as better than they are, because losing consumers is suicide. We should publically shame companies with bad work and sustainability ethics.

I’ll go first: What’s good, H&M?

Speaking of Nirvana, it was there...

Rare as the feathers on my dash
from a phoenix
There with my crooked teeth and companion sleeping, yeah
Dreaming a thought
that could dream about a thought
That could think of the dreamer
That thought
That could think of dreaming and getting a glimmer of God
I be dreaming a dream
in a thought
That could dream about a
thought
That could think of dreaming a dream
Where I cannot, where I cannot
Less morose and more present
Dwell on my gifts for a second
A moment, one solar flare we’re consumed
So why not, spend this flammable paper on the film that’s my life?
High flights, inhale the vapor, exhale once and think twice
Eat some shrooms, maybe have a good cry about you
See some colors, light hang glide off the moon

I’d do anything for you… in the dark.

-Thank You Frank Ocean

Excerpts from an interview with Assata Shakur in Cuba in 1997:

Sociologist Christian Parenti: How did you arrive in Cuba?

Assata Shakur: Well, I couldn’t, you know, just write a letter and say, “Dear Fidel, I’d like to come to your country.” So I had to hoof it–come and wait for the Cubans to respond. Luckily, they had some idea who I was, they’d seen some of the briefs and U.N. petitions from when I was a political prisoner. So they were somewhat familiar with my case and they gave me the status of being a political refugee. That means I am here in exile as a political person.

Parenti: How did you feel when you got here?

Shakur: I was really overwhelmed. Even though I considered myself a socialist, I had these insane, silly notions about Cuba. I mean, I grew up in the 1950s when little kids were hiding under their desks, because “the communists were coming.” So even though I was very supportive of the revolution, I expected everyone to go around in green fatigues looking like Fidel, speaking in a very stereotypical way, “the revolution must continue, Companero. Let us triumph, Comrade.” When I got here people were just people, doing what they had where I came from. It’s a country with a strong sense of community. Unlike the U.S., folks aren’t so isolated. People are really into other people. Also, I didn’t know there were all these black people here and that there was this whole Afro-Cuban culture. My image of Cuba was Che Guevara and Fidel Castro. I hadn’t heard of Antonio Maceo (a hero of the Cuban war of independence) and other Africans who had played a role in Cuban history.The lack of brand names and consumerism also really hit me. You go into a store and there would be a bag of “rice.” It undermined what I had taken for granted in the absurd zone where people are like, “Hey, I only eat uncle so and so’s brand of rice.”

Parenti: So, how were you greeted by the Cuban state?

Shakur: They’ve treated me very well. It was different from what I expected; I thought they might be pushy. But they were more interested in what I wanted to do, in my projects. I told them that the most important things were to unite with my daughter and to write a book. They said, “What do you need to do that?” They were also interested in my vision of the struggle of African people in the United States. I was so impressed by that. Because I grew up–so to speak–in the movement dealing with white leftists who were very bossy and wanted to tell us what to do and thought they knew everything. The Cuban attitude was one of solidarity with respect. It was a profound lesson in cooperation.

Parenti: Did they introduce you to people or guide you around for a while?

Shakur: They gave me a dictionary, an apartment, took me to some historical places, and then I was pretty much on my own. My daughter came down, after prolonged harassment and being denied a passport, and she became my number one priority. We discovered Cuban schools together, we did the sixth grade together, explored parks, and the beach.

Parenti: She was taken from you at birth, right?

Shakur: Yeah. It’s not like Cuba where you get to breast feed in prison and where they work closely with the family. Some mothers in the U.S. never get to see their newborns. I was with my daughter for a week before they sent me back to prison. That was one of the most difficult periods of my life, that separation. It’s only been recently that I’ve been able to talk about it. I had to just block it out, otherwise I think I might have gone insane. In 1979, when I escaped, she was only five years old.

Parenti: You came to Cuba how soon after?

Shakur: Five years later, in 1984.

Parenti: You’ve talked about adjusting to Cuba, but could you talk a bit about adjusting to exile.

Shakur: Well, for me exile means separation from people I love. I didn’t, and don’t miss the U.S., per se. But black culture, black life in the U.S., that African American flavor, I definitely miss. The language, the movements, the style, I get nostalgic about that. Adjusting to exile is coming to grips with the fact that you may never go back to where you come from. The way I dealt with that, psychologically, was thinking about slavery. You know, a slave had to come to grips with the fact that “I may never see Africa again.” Then a maroon, a runaway slave, has to–even in the act of freedom–adjust to the fact that being free or struggling for freedom means, “I’ll be separated from people I love.” So I drew on that and people like Harriet Tubman and all those people who got away from slavery. Because, that’s what prison looked like. It looked like slavery. It felt like slavery. It was black people and people of color in chains. And the way I got there was slavery. If you stand up and say “I don’t go for the status quo.” Then “we got something for you, it’s a whip, a chain, a cell.” Even in being free it was like, “I am free but now what?” There was a lot to get used to. Living in a society committed to social justice, a Third World country with a lot of problems. It took a while to understand all that Cubans are up against and fully appreciate all they are trying to do.

Parenti: Did the Africanness of Cuba help, did that provide solace?

Shakur: The first thing that was comforting was the politics. It was such a relief. You know, in the States you feel overwhelmed by the negative messages that you get and you feel weird, like you’re the only one seeing all this pain and inequality. People are saying, “Forget about that, just try to get rich, dog eat dog, get your own, buy, spend, consume.” So living here was an affirmation of myself, it was like “Okay, there are lots of people who get outraged at injustice.” The African culture I discovered later. At first I was learning the politics, about socialism–what it feels like to live in a country where everything is owned by the people, where health care and medicine are free. Then I started to learn about the Afro-Cuban religions, the Santaria, Palo Monte, the Abakua. I wanted to understand the ceremonies and the philosophy. I really came to grips with how much we–black people in the U.S.–were robbed of. Here, they still know rituals preserved from slavery times. It was like finding another piece of myself. I had to find an African name. I’m still looking for pieces of that Africa I was torn from. I’ve found it here in all aspects of the culture. There is a tendency to reduce the Africanness of Cuba to the Santaria. But it’s in the literature, the language, the politics.

Parenti: When the USSR collapsed, did you worry about a counter-revolution in Cuba, and by extension, your own safety?

Shakur: Of course, I would have to have been nuts not to worry. People would come down here from the States and say, “How long do you think the revolution has–two months, three months? Do you think the revolution will survive? You better get out of here.” It was rough. Cubans were complaining every day, which is totally sane. I mean, who wouldn’t? The food situation was really bad, much worse than now, no transportation, eight-hour blackouts. We would sit in the dark and wonder, “How much can people take?” I’ve been to prison and lived in the States, so I can take damn near anything. I felt I could survive whatever–anything except U.S. imperialism coming in and taking control. That’s the one thing I couldn’t survive. Luckily, a lot of Cubans felt the same way. It took a lot for people to pull through, waiting hours for the bus before work. It wasn’t easy. But this isn’t a superficial, imposed revolution. This is one of those gut revolutions. One of those blood, sweat and tears revolutions. This is one of those revolutions where people are like, “We ain’t going back onto the plantation, period. We don’t care if you’re Uncle Sam, we don’t care about your guided missiles, about your filthy, dirty CIA maneuvers. We’re this island of 11 million people and we’re gonna live the way we want and if you don’t like it, go take a ride.” Of course, not everyone feels like that, but enough do.

Parenti: What about race and racism in Cuba?

Shakur: That’s a big question. The revolution has only been around thirty-something years. It would be fantasy to believe that the Cubans could have completely gotten rid of racism in that short a time. Socialism is not a magic wand: wave it and everything changes.

Parenti: Can you be more specific about the successes and failures along these lines?

Shakur: I can’t think of any area of the country that is segregated. Another example, the Third Congress of the Cuban Communist Party was focused on making party leadership reflect the actual number of people of color and women in the country. Unfortunately by the time the Fourth Congress rolled around the whole focus had to be on the survival of the revolution. When the Soviet Union and the socialist camp collapsed, Cuba lost something like 8.5% of its income. It’s a process, but I honestly think that there’s room for a lot of changes throughout the culture. Some people still talk about “good hair” and “bad hair.” Some people think light skin is good, that if you marry a light person you’re advancing the race. There are a lot of contradictions in people’s consciousness. There still needs to be de-eurocentrizing in the schools, though Cuba is further along with that than most places in the world, In fairness, I think that race relations in Cuba are twenty times better than they are in the States, and I believe the revolution is committed to eliminating racism completely. I also feel that tine special period has changed conditions in Cuba. It’s brought in lots of white tourists, many of whom are racists and expect to be waited on subserviently. Another thing is the joint venture corporations which bring their racist ideas and racist corporate practices, for example not hiring enough blacks. Ali of that means the revolution has to be more vigilant than ever in identifying and dealing with racism.

Parenti: A charge one hears, even on the left, is that institutional racism still exists in Cuba. Is that true? Does one find racist patterns in allocation o/housing, work, or the functions of criminal justice?

Shakur: No. I don’t think institutional racism, as such, exists in Cuba. But at the same time, people have their personal prejudices. Obviously these people, with these personal prejudices, must work somewhere, and must have some influence on the institutions they work in. But I think it’s superficial to say racism is institutionalized in Cuba. I believe that there needs to be a constant campaign to educate people, sensitize people, and analyze racism. The fight against racism always has two levels; the level of politics and policy but also the level tof individual consciousness. One of the things that influences ideas about race in Cuba is that the revolution happened in 1959, when the world had a very limited understanding of what racism was. During the 1960s, the world saw the black power movement, which I, for one, very much benefited from. You know “black is beautiful,” exploring African art, literature, and culture. That process didn’t really happen in Cubar. Over the years, the revolution accomplished so much that most people thought that meant the end of racism. For example, I’d say that more than 90% of black people with college degrees were able to do so because of the revolution. They were in a different historical place. The emphasis, for very good reasons, was on black-white unity and the survival of the revolution. So it’s only now that people in the universities are looking into the politics of identity.

Parenti: Are you still a revolutionary?

Shakur: I am still a revolutionary, because I believe that in the United States there needs to be a complete and profound change in the system of so-called democracy. It’s really a “dollarocracy.” Which millionaire is going to get elected? Can you imagine if you went to a restaurant and the only thing on the menu was dried turd or dead fungus. That’s not appetizing. I feel the same way about the political spectrum in the U.S. What exists now has got to go. All of it: how wealth is distributed, how the environment is treated. If you let these crazy politicians keep ruling, the planet will be destroyed.

Parenti: In the 1960s, organizations you worked with advocated armed self-defense. How do you think social change can best be achieved in the States today?

Shakur: I still believe in self-defense and self-determination for Africans and other oppressed people in America. I believe in peace, but I think it’s totally immoral to brutalize and oppress people, to commit genocide against people, and then tell them they don’t have the right to free themselves in whatever way they deem necessary. But right now the most important thing is consciousness raising. Making social change and social justice means people have to be more conscious across the board, inside and outside the movement, not only around race, but around class, sexism, the ecology, whatever. The methods of 1917, standing on a comer with leaflets, standing next to someone saying “Workers of the world unite” won’t work. We need to use alternative means of communication. The old ways of attaining consciousness aren’t going to work. The little Leninist study groups won’t do it. We need to use video, audio, the Internet. We also need to work on the basics of rebuilding community. How are you going to organized or liberate your community if you don’t have one? I live in Cuba, right? We get U.S. movies here, and I am sick of the monsters; it’s the tyranny of the monsters. Every other movie is fear and monsters. They’ve even got monster babies. People are expected to live in this world of alienation and tear. I hear that in the States people are even afraid to make eye contact in the streets. No social change can happen if people are that isolated. So we need to rebuild a sense of community and that means knocking on doors and reconnecting.

Official Message From Crinkle Crate

It has come to our attention that several post and comments berating Crinkle Crate have been posted on Tumblr. We would like to fully and officially address these comments and issues in order for a more transparent outlook to be revealed. There are two sides to every story and we simply ask that you take a few minutes to listen to another side.

Past Crates & Refunds

These post first originated with a single individual who contacted our customer support on April 7th, 2017 requesting to cancel and refund their April crate stating: 

“I know [on] the website it states that it cannot be refunded once I pay, but I had a terrible experience with my first crate that I really don’t want to get another one. I just didn’t cancel in time.”

She went on to explain that she:

“got charged $60 for tax and brokerage (this plus shipping and the box price costed me $150, which is ridiculous).”

Our support staff first thanked the customer for contacting Crinkle Crate and then went on to address each of her request. First explaining that: 

“Unfortunately, as you saw stated on the website, we are not able to issue refunds once a recurring order has been placed.” 

(Please note we have now updated our our refunds policy in our Terms & Conditions) Our support member then went on to address the issue with the international taxes and brokerage fees by adjusting their account so our shipping department will now ship all her future orders via USPS and stated that:

“USPS typically does not charge as high of taxes and brokerage fees.”

Finishing off the response, our staff member told the customer that if they had any questions to “please don’t hesitate to ask!”

–As a business, we utilize UPS as our main shipping carrier due to negotiated rates which allows us to keep shipping cost as low as possible while also allowing us to feature the best items available for the crates. Duties and taxes are solely calculated by the shipping carriers and the only option we have as a business when a response like this is received is to manually request that their future orders be shipped using a different carrier.–

After several back and forth emails with the customer confused regarding when her April crate would be shipping and by which carrier (though we reiterated these details to her several times), she then simply stated that:

“Yeah there will be no April crate…and I’m gonna reject this package too. This is ridiculous, the items I got from my last crate isn’t even worth the discounted price of the crate alone. $60 for 4 diapers, a boring plain onesie, and a bunch of crap I can get from the dollar store? The point of subscription boxes is supposed to get things that are worth MORE than the price, but this doesn’t even come close. And by the way I have posted pictures of what I got and a summary of what has happened on Tumblr, and you’re gonna lose a lot of customers if you don’t do something about it.”

Since it was still part of our policy to not issue refunds for already placed recurring orders, and because of her disappointment with March’s crate, we offered to refund her for March’s crate:

“As long as nothing has been used or open, you can ship the package back to our shipping department and once we get it and verify the contents are intact, we will refund you the cost of that crate.”

Coming to the conclusion of the correspondences between us (Crinkle Crate) and this individual, she ignored our offer to refund March’s crate and once again requested that we refund her for April’s crate. In our last effort to accommodate this customer, we refunded her the full amount for her April crate and simply asked her to show a sign of good faith in return by removing her post which erroneously refer to these correspondences. 

In her retort she stated that:

“Even if I remove my tumblr post, it will still appear on all the blogs that reblogged from me.  I don’t think I said anything that was not true in my post so I don’t see why I should remove it.”

And then her final message she stated that she is filing a chargeback with her bank. Please let it be known, at the time of this last message from her we had already issued a full refund.

Although we do not state that we are perfect company by any means, in every situation we take the time and effort to communicate with our customers and try to resolve any issues. Every business has policies in place which safeguard the business and their customers. As with most subscription box businesses, our policy for refunds (at the time of the correspondences) was that refunds are not issued for a recurring order that has already been charged for. We have three very easy methods which allow ALL our customers the option to resolve payment issues, whether that be skipping their next crate, pausing their subscription for the foreseeable future, or finally canceling their full subscription before the next charge date. 

Other Erroneous Details 

In her first post she stated that:

“They charged me for my April crate before they shipped the March crate (my very first crate). Because of this, I did not cancel my April crate before I got charged.”

But she knowingly acknowledged in her first correspondence with us (on April 7, 2017) that:

I just didn’t cancel in time.

Furthermore, her March crate was shipped out on March 24th, 2017 and she was not charged for her April crate until March 30th, 2017 (the scheduled charge date for April’s crate.

International Shipping & Custom Declarations

All orders are shipped via UPS both domestically and internationally in the first place unless otherwise requested by the customer to ship via USPS. As stated above, UPS is our main shipping carrier and provides the best benefits for us as a business and for our customers. 

Custom declarations are a legal document required to ship and receive packages between countries. In order to protect our customers with regards to discreteness, we categorize the items into their simplest of terms such as “clothing” or “toys.” All items are priced at their “crate price” with the total cost equal or less then the price of the crate and NEVER higher.

Product Procurement & Pricing

We would like it to be known that no items featured in the Crinkle Crates have been or will ever be from the “Dollar Store.” The majority of the items that are featured are sourced from reputable ABDL companies, whether that be the diapers, clothing, or accessories. On top of this, Crinkle Crate designs and manufacturers many custom items for the crates as well, like the t-shirts, onesies, sleepers, adult baby bottles, adult pacifiers, and more. Finally, some smaller items are supplemented in which help further detail the theme. 

At the current time of this posting the crates are designed mostly as a “one-fits-most,” (we are working diligently to further expand the options we offer and hope to rollout a “custom, build-your-own-crate” option in the near future). We understand a “one-fits-most” option does not work for everyone especially in the ABDL community. Items that might appeal to one individual might not appeal to another. We simply want it to be understood that although a couple people had dissatisfaction with March’s crate, lots more were very happy with it.

Along with the “one-fits-most” design, each crate typically features 4-6 diapers. We are not a diaper company and are not trying to provide a full months use of diapers in a single crate. The crate is currently designed for two purposes, (1) to try new ABDL diapers and (2) to receive fun and unique items related to the months theme. The diapers are equal to the price, time, and effort an average consumer would spend to receive multiple diaper samples directly from the original manufacturer.

Crinkle Crate’s Affiliate Program

The Crinkle Crate Affiliate Program was a program that was originally designed to allow affiliates to receive Crinkle Crate’s at promotional pricing in return for reviews. Unfortunately, this program was short lived due to unforeseen events. Several incorrect comments have been made regarding this program and how we treated our Affiliates. The program was canceled due to low ROI and other hardships. We had worked for several months to finally launch the program and were very sad to have to close it. A detailed correspondence was emailed to ALL our affiliates which stated that the program was ending and what steps they should take next. Due to how our system is configured, once the affiliate program was turned off all the Affiliate accounts automatically became normal accounts (again, they were notified of this in the email and provided instructions on what to do if they wish to cancel their account). From simple error, some of the Affiliates did not provide their accurate email address and thus never received the email notifying them of the program being canceled and their account automatically getting switched to a normal account. A few Affiliates got charged the full price for the next crate and once they reached out to us we quickly resolved the issues.

We want to thank all of our Crinkle Crate Affiliates for joining the program and being a part of something special, even for the short amount of time it was.

Why Did We Publish This Response?

Our final thoughts.

We are NOT a large corporation. We are not a conglomerate company that only cares about profits. Yes we do care about profits, but every business has to (that’s what businesses are in the first place designed for). We are a small organization that is operated by a very small group of people. We first and foremost are members of this community providing a service that otherwise would not exist. 

We have several projects in the works and hope to expand how the crates are designed and allow more options to better fit our customers needs. We hope to allow both “girl” and “boy” options, as well as have the choices to include or exclude specific items as the customer wishes.

We strongly advise that consumers use common sense with regards to what they hear and choose to believe. We very much appreciate you taking the time to read this long post and hope you will give Crinkle Crate another chance!

12/14/16

i dont want you
i need you
i crave you
i crave for you to be mine
i crave to be yours
i cant fall asleep because the thought of your arms wrapped around me consumes me
i spend day and night thinking about how it will feel like to kiss you
how your pink, soft lips will feel against my own
if our lips will fit and move together perfectly
i wanna feel your hands roam around my body, until they finally settle on my hips
i wanna feel you slightly pull away to catch your breath, resting your forehead on mine
i wanna see your awfully contagious smile in that moment, bringing me so much joy
joy followed by worry of having now fallen in love with you too deeply
this is not a childish crush anymore
this is love, and im terrified
-all the love, butterkid
ps- idk what to post so i’m giving y'all this thing i wrote (that i will probably delete soon js)
enjoy