May Reading Discussion: Do it Yourself

keep-calm-and-do-it-yourself-13This month, it’s all on you.  Talking about action, theorizing action, and dreaming about action is not quite the same thing as “action!”.  Studying philosophy and discussing philosophy with friends is all well and good, however, action is louder than words.  This month’s reading discussion is about action and activism.

Some of the regulars who have attended the reading discussions on campus will be graduating from college this month, too.  It’s fitting that those regulars will be “graduating” from the reading discussion program as well.  As you all head out into the world and leave from high school or college you’ll be looking for places to work and ways to use your education.  This is what it’s all about– getting out there and using your education for productive things in the real world.

There’s a couple of different ways to be productive and do activism in your community.  This article will give you a few suggestions or places to start.

Reading Discussions

One good way to get involved with your friends and to meet other like-minded people is to hold a reading discussion.  These are usually pretty easy to do.  You don’t have to look at very difficult readings, and ideally the readings should be matched to your audience’s reading level and intellectual capability.  There are many Traditionalist authors whose writings are available at no charge.  Consider the following as a place to start:

-The collected works of G.K. Chesterton
-The collected works of Julius Evola
Menace of the Herd by Erik Ritter von Kunhelt Leddin
-The collected works of Rene Guenon
-Imperium by Francis Parker Yockey

There’s a number of ways to hold a reading discussion, too.  You can meet at your public library in a reserved room, go hang out at a diner and talk over a cup of coffee, or do some video chat online.  There are lots of resources for hosting online dicscussions, Tiny Chat and Google+ Hangouts are two options.  Heads up: Google+ Hangouts are very demanding of system resources and frequently give trouble when not operating on Google products such as Android phone or Chromebook.


Outside of reading discussions, posting or distributing fliers is a good choice.  Look for public read-boards in any place that allows the public to post fliers.  Some grocery stores even have public read-boards, so get out there and take a look at what’s available.  Do not hold out expectations that nobody will remove your flier.  This happens.  It comes with the territory.  The best you can hope for is to have one that doesn’t come off as being too aggressive and that it will stay up longer by virtue of the fact that it won’t piss someone off too quickly.  Use your best judgement on this.

If you’re up to doing a more aggressive fliering campaign you might try making posters or banners and applying them to a building’s wall with wheat paste glue.  This is normally considered vandalism, so if you choose to do this it is at your own risk.  Assuming that you’ve made due diligence and investigate the potential hazards of this technique, you’ll need two things to do this: banners and wheat paste glue.

To make wheat paste glue you will need ( tools or supplies ):
flour (wheat works best)
container with a lid


To make a small batch of wheat paste glue, first boil 1 cup of water. Pour the cup of water into a saucepan and bring to a boil over heat.  Follow by putting 3 tablespoons of flour into a bowl, add 10 teaspoons of cool water until it forms a runny mix.  Once the water has boiled, add the runny mix to the boiling water. Stir well.  Keep stirring. The mixture will foam up while it boils, so the constant stirring is essential to keep it from bubbling over and to keep it from getting chunky. Keep the mix boiling for 2 minutes.  Take the boiled mix off the heat. Add 2 tablespoons or more of sugar (added strength).  Let it cool. Pour into an appropriate container for carrying with you. It will keep well for about a week (refrigerated).

Follow the directions above, but use these amounts:
– Boil 12 cups of water
– Mix 6.5 cups of flour with 6-7 cups of cool water until it is a little runny
– Add mix to boiling water and stir for a couple of minutes (longer if you want to thicken)
– Turn off heat and mix in 4.5 cups of sugar.
– Let it cool.

Naturally, the wheat paste glue isn’t any good without a banner.  I’ve already done a DIY tutorial on that and you can read it here.  Utility poles, back alley brick walls, or public art spaces (if your city has such a thing) are all things that you might consider.  Use a paint roller or wide paint brush to apply glue.

A short word about the wheat paste glue…  If you’re a cook you should recognize that this process is almost exactly like making a basic white sauce or roux.  It is, in fact, very much the same less the butter.  Don’t let the flour go lumpy or the mix won’t come out right.  You can prevent that from happening by vigorously stirring with a whisk.  A wooden spoon might work but that has not been my experience.  Do not let the wheat paste glue dry on your mixing utensils or mixing bowl.  It’s called wheat paste glue for a reason.  Above all else, do NOT pour any of the left over mixture down your sink or toilet or any other drain.  It will clump in the trap and impossibly block the drain.


If you’re looking for something cleaner and that does not require so much preparation, then maybe get out and try to chalk some sidewalks.  Again, this is normally considered vandalism, so if you choose to do this it is at your own risk.  The best chalk to use for sidewalks (the only kind really) is something called “railroad chalk.”  It normally comes in 1″ diameter sticks and is only sold in bulk.  The only thing that’s bad about buying in bulk is that you have to spend a little bit more than if you weren’t buying bulk.  The good news is that a box of 100+ pieces should last you for the entire summer and fall if you’re going out once every week or two.  Yellow, blue, and white work the best, and I have no earthly idea why.  Something about the color contrast between concrete and the chalk.  You might not think it, but white works really well.  However, if I were to recommend only one color it would be blue.
Flash demos and fast stands

Nothing says action like a demonstration.  Doing a one-man rally is sufficient if your goal is just to spread awareness of an idea or an organization, but do it smartly.  There is safety in numbers, and it’s easier to set up and break down with fewer people.  If you’re doing a stand by yourself then limit your time in any one spot to 15 minutes before moving to a new location.  Do what you’re comfortable with, and do it safely.  Please also read my DIY guide on how to make your demo speak.  If you decide to carry something for self defense while doing one of these kinds of demonstrations then please educate yourself on what your state specifically allows or disallows under said conditions.

Support someone who is doing activism

If you’re wanting to help but are simply not able to for whatever reason, then please consider financially supporting someone who can.  If you enjoy what TYN does, then please consider donating to help us continue in such fashion.

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