*completely fucking blow it on the task of connecting to the American public by not offering policy plans*
*rustbelt completely forgotten*
*trump is the only one speaking to their economic needs*
*trump is the only one even talking about policy*
*hillary gets blown the fuck out on election day, particularly in the rust belt*

“I-it was b-because of the russians.. *sobbing* we didn’t fuck up, we did nooOOoot~!!” -Democrats


Borts Pool - West Side, Youngstown Ohio

I learned to swim here. I fucking hated it. The water was always so cold, and the bottom of the pool hurt my feet. Remember the rusty ass cowboy that was part of the jungle gym? Anyways, I guess you cant expect too much from a public pool financed by a city with a constantly shrinking tax base. Still, I wanted to photograph the place before they tore it down. So I did. R I P 

The mind of the addict is cunning enough to convince the body it is not dying. Houdini doesn’t have shit on an addict. He was able to convince everyone but himself he had vanished. Addiction is the ethereal art of forgetting that you are still here.
The difference between an addict and one who is drowning is the one who is drowning knows it. The addict will drink the sea until it becomes him.
—  Michael Lee

“I’ve left Earth in search of darker planets,

A solar system that revolves too near a black hole.

I left a patch of dirt in my place and many of you won’t know the difference.

I’ve left in search of a new God. I do not trust the God you have given us.

Take your God back, though his songs are beautiful, his miracles are inconsistent.

I have left Earth, and I wont stop until I find a place where my kin can be safe.”

“Dear White America”- Danez Smith, Rustbelt 2014


This was a question I originally answered on a Facebook group. It is by no means extensive, and I will return to add/ edit later. Without further ado, Rustbelt Bruja’s Potions 101.

Brews - Water or alcohol based. Think teas, Florida water, and colognes. Can be ingested or applied to the skin given the ingredients you use, used in a spray bottle, or used as a floor/wall wash. When making a brew, boil the ingredients of your potion in water and strain into your container of choice. You don’t need much, as you’ll want to add alcohol (grain alcohol, vodka, or florida water) to any brew you don’t plan on drinking or refriderating to keep it fresh.

Oils - Oil based, chose an oil that works for the use you want. For example, if I’m doing a love oil I’ll use jojoba or coconut oil because I apply it to my skin. For anointing oils, I use olive oil. Can be used on the skin, in lotions, or anointing. For best results, store in dark colored jars, especially if herbs are still floating around in the oil.

Common Herbs:

Love - RED ROSES, White Roses, Lavender, Damiana, Anise, Catnip, Periwinkle, Cinnamon, Honey, Jasmine

Protection: Basil, Lavender, Comfrey, Garlic, Yarrow, Devil’s Shoe String, High John the Conquorer, Sage

Prosperity: Cinnamon, Honey, Basil, Irish Moss, High John the Conqueror, Thyme, Rosemary

You can also add:

Sulfur (be careful using this around open flames)





I tried, white people, I tried to love y'all, but you spent my brothers funeral making plans for brunch; talking too loud next to his bones. You took one look at the river plump with the body of boy after boy after sweet boy, and asked, ‘Why does it always have to be about race?’ Because you made it that way; put an asterix next to my sister's gorgeous face, call her 'pretty, for a black girl’ because black girls go missing without a whisper of where because there are no amber alerts for the amber skinned girls…

Steven Willis - “How the Hood Loves You Back” (Rustbelt 2017)

Button Poetry 

Heads up!

Listen, when you take on Pittsburgh, you really do take on the whole city. Every one of us rustbelt fuckers bleeds black and gold - love it or hate it, you can’t deny the cultural catalyst that is Pittsburgh sports in the City of Champions.

what I’m saying is that, despite being mainly Pirates trash, I’m gonna be stanning the Penguins through the rest of the championship. You can expect me to be as civil as I always am about baseball; however, I recognize that hockey rivalries on here are WAY more heated and this might represent a potential dealbreaker for some of my mutuals.

So, that’s fine. Unfollow me if you need to - it’s your dash. I sincerely hope you’ll come back after the postseason is over and Pittsburgh becomes back-to-back champs, but if not, I love you anyway

Hugs and Kessels,


Ohio Portrait no. 63

So much free parking. So many empty schools. So many aborted and half developed exurbs, suburbs. Such low rent. So many hollowed-out malls with shifty-eyed security guards and put-upon bored kids. Such cheap produce. So many classmates that never left. What a lovely parks system. What a dirty lake. So many new casinos. What nice turnpike pit stops. What a low sales tax and minimum wage. What a greying population.

They moved here to have children, to make steel or cars, to teach at the college, to work for NASA, to mine salt from underneath Lake Erie. The schools were good. The land was cheap, but there were plentiful amenities. It was a proper city, but not an intimidating one. Eastern time, rustbelt industry, midwestern sensibilities. Such promise. What times they had.

They call it the Cleveland Brain Drain. We grow, we suck all the nutrients from the dirt, we learn, we save our money, and we leave.

We take jobs in the eastern cities, with their steep rent and narrow streets; we hide in expensive, drafty bars in Chicago or St. Louis, bragging about what we know; we flee to LA or San Fran or France or Lebanon and show everyone back home all the pictures. We are smiling and small against big backdrops.

We come back briefly to collect Christmas presents, roller coaster rides, hugs, memories, estates, condolences. We do not call enough. We spend our money on stupid craft brews that all taste the same – bitter – instead of on plane tickets.

We are statistics. We move by trends, like the grandparents and parents who brought us here. They placed their roots by the veins of salt that ran beneath the lake. We have placed thin roots in the air.

When we visit, we enjoy the low sales tax, eat the 99 cent peaches, roam the empty sidewalks, reflect in the windows of our closed-down high schools, and prepare to leave again. A huge hunk of us stays. But not the brain.

Today, author J. D. Vance tells us about his new bestseller Hillbilly Elegy:  A Memoir of a Family and a Culture in Crisis. “Poverty is the family tradition,” Vance writes, “Americans call them hillbillies, rednecks or white trash.  I call them neighbors friends and family.” 

Vance grew up in a rustbelt town in Ohio, in a family from the hills of eastern Kentucky.  He writes about the social isolation, poverty, addiction, as well as religious and political changes – in his family and in greater Appalachia.

“In the Ohio county where I grew up, Butler County, deaths from overdoses actually outnumber deaths from natural causes,” Vance tells Fresh Air’s Terry Gross. “In a lot of ways I was at the ground floor of the opioid epidemic because I saw it happening with my mom.” 

Hear the interview.