cybermule: (muletech)
As far as I'm concerned, my country has spent nearly a year now colonised by thinly veneered civilised savages. I'm not patriotic in the slightest, but I do love the physical entity that is my homeland, and I do need somewhere to live. And failing a miraculous self-sufficiency indcuing handout, I need to be able to function reaonably well within the laws and boundaries of that homeland's society.

But this is not my homeland. I am not comfortable here any more. My country has been colonised by thinly veneered civilised savages.

I always cared about issues, but mostly just minded my own business. I had enough problems, I didn't have enough energy, and I was only marginally involved with other people on any level. So I had no real care or anger or hate. At least they've given me that, those civilised savages.

Through my twenties, I longed for the post-apocalyptic wasteland. I would stride the nuclear blasted zones with only a shotgun for company. I was rash, I was cynical, I didn't have friends or a child that I cared about, that I didn't want to suffer and die in horrible ways.

Through my thirties, I thought that technology would save us. That things were running out, but the great god of science would come up trumps with solutions for our stupidity and greed over, and over, and over again. Now I realise that dream that we've woven is the dream of a faded and aging Hollywood queen, cocooned in Armani fabrics, propped up by botox, sprayed in plastic and vitamins like the kids food peddled on Tesco shelves. Now I realise that once you wipe away the make-up of that delusion, take away the clothes and corset, all you will have left are greedy maggots falling from the suppurating flesh of the people.

Now I wish for generosity. Our shining peak is passed, but we can age gracefully and with wisdom. We can cushion our fall by investing wisely, by caring for our weak and ill, by building redundance in the beautiful civilised luxuries our society has worked together to create. The best of our society, and the things we wil really be remembered for that aren't our stupidity, vanity and foolish greed. Our schools, our hospitals, our libraries, the way we cared for the weak and needy without degrading them through question and assault.

But those civilised savages aren't, to be honest, even as civilised as that. All they care for is turning people against the next layer down. To foster the illusion that those upstarts snapping at your heels will be the ones driving the better cars, owning the bigger TVs, unless you kick their bodies down the hole of oblivion and crush their last grasping fingers beneath your feet. Constant threat, eternal misery, endless stress. Break our spirits, sell our souls, turn as against our fellow man so we eliminate the weak.

Well, you know what? Once you've eliminated all the weak, all the people you think are snapping at your crumbs to get a leg-up to your table. Once they're all gone?

You're the weak, and now *you* feed the maw of the dying machine.

Tomorrow I march, along with thousands of others. Maybe against cuts, maybe for jobs. But to be honest, just for the fact that I stood up and actually did one small thing to kick against the miserable and horrific things I see happening. For they are horrific. We can't kid ourselves that marginalising the homeless and the mentally ill and those too sick or broken to function as part of the capitalist machine is anything other than horrific.

If you think what is happening is ok, how far do you want to go down that road? Do not let them fool you into thinking that not subscribing to the myth of eternal financial progress is any reason to hate, maim or hurt. For as we treat our weak and our different, so are we judged.

And marching turns out to achieve nothing, then at least I tried and maybe added a little grease to later wheels on the same road. And if it turns ugly, I will not turn away from a noble fight.

And if it finally actually does some good then that wasn't me, that was all of us. All of us who build close friends to support any ways of any otherness to these sickly throes of a money obsessed cult. All of us who say when we think things are wrong, even if we're not being heard right now. All of us who tell the next generations with full honesty and clear vision just what went wrong and why. We just have to hope, and to say what we're hoping for.

Because I don't think that without hope we are really much worth saving anyway.
cybermule: (books)
Some time ago, I finally got round to following up all the mentions that kept throwing themselves at me and checked out the Dark Mountain Manifesto. I say some months ago because it was kind of like reading the thoughts that had been going through your head, but written on paper by someone else who isn't you. Initially, it's kind of disappointing when that happens, as it's nice to be first. But thinking seriously about it, the cutting edge is kind of wasted on me. I'm not a joiner, I'm rubbish at rhetorical debate because I like a nice long think before I articulate, and I've pretty much gravitated towards ploughing my own furrow in life. So rationally speaking, reading someone else having your thoughts is kind of reassuring in that it lessons the chance that you might be completely barking fucking mad.

Anyway, fast-forward a few months to last Wednesday and I'm sat next to one of the Dark Mountain guys in the Natural History Museum cafe having my own personal OMG-squee fangirl session :) That was fun. Doubly so in that I managed to actually have conversations with him on Arts and Crafts architecture, path of least resistance synchronicity and shooting for the impossible and I didn't feel like a complete retard. Which is progress on a number of levels.

Personal development achievements aside, Dark Mountain 1 is an anthology of interviews, essays, poems and books all on the theme of Uncivilisation. Occasionally one jars as being a bit too lit-crit, but on the whole it's an excellent read and one I can wholeheartedly recommend if you're remotely into any of the sort of things I wave my arms around about when I've had a beer or two. Hell, I'll even lend it to you.

I've moved on slightly from the unadulterated hero worship of the manifesto. It's aimed at a literature movement, and I'm not literary. I just enjoy committing my thoughts to words in what I consider to be a pleasing fashion. And the way they state their aims twinks a bit at my feminist critic, in that the phraseology makes a space that I think women might often find it hard to step up to and occupy. And hey, I'm just a practical person with the whole furrow-ploughing furore. And I'm not a joiner. I said all this before, but that doesn't stop me embracing the philosophy behind it and using it in my life.

Everyone's got to have a star to plough their furrow by if they want a remotely straight drill.
cybermule: (Default)
You know what? Several things pissed me off last week, politically, but I let it go. I was a bit tired, then I had a nice weekend with too much wine and awesumz people. You know how it is, you just can't be bothered to rant sometimes. Then first thing on a Monday morning, our esteemed political leader flaps his mouth in the Daily Twatagraph and there you go. Back to being a street walking cheetah with a heart full of napalm.

Bastard.

Here's the article, anyway:

Look out honey cos we're using technology

Oh god. Where do you start on this one? Peurile? Releasing his grip, fnar fnar. How about the lower headline thingy, which probably has a technical term. Common sense. There's a phrase to strike fear into your heart even when it's not being brandished around like a foam banana by a man who looks like a gibbering baboon. Yes, back to the peurile. Seriously, that photo does you no favours, mate, except that it just makes you look stupid as opposed to COMPLETELY FUCKING DERANGED AND EVIL. Oh yeah. Common sense. Everyone thinks they have it, even the people that mimble into the road when there's a crossing 20 yards down. Common sense is about not sticking knitting needles into plug sockets, not about running a bloody country where you may, just possibly, have some lasting and un-fucking-pleasant effect on peoples' lives. It's about applying brain cells to problems with reasonably anticipated solutions, not making policy on complicated and poorly understood systems.

Talking of which, his first priority is clearing up the mess Labour made of our economy. Awesome. Not holding down the poor and sick while his rich mates shaft them then. Glad that's clear.

Now political economical debate is one of those things that definitely shouldn't be argued at polite dinner parties, as everyone has a emotionally held opinion that they try and veil with random politically skewed factoids. And little bits of spit always end up in the hors d'oeuvres at that sort of party. Broken port glasses too, sometimes. But anyway, here's mine. I've not had much time to think about it as I mostly "just didn't care" til recently, but here goes...

Economy? It's fucked. Nobody fucked it up, particularly. It may have lasted longer if there hadn't been such an extreme siphoning off from the upper layers, but it has grown, peaked and started to spiral down. It's a huge lumbering badly understood and uncontrollable macrosystem of a behemoth of a machine, we are trapped inside its stomach, and it is bleeding to death. Everything peaks and declines - civilisation, oil, the price of gin. Possibly.

If you don't think we've peaked, if you're still subscribing to the golden myth of eternal onwards and upwards, that's awesome. Explain to me why, I'll listen politely, then we can go and play with your perpetual motion machine for kix'n'japez.

It's not the end of the world, just the end of civilisation.

Now, I also strongly believe that although we can't stop this inevitable crash and burn into uncivilisation, we can tell ourselves the right stories, build the correct structures, write the hard hitting manifestos, all to make it bearable, not only for ourselves, but also for people at the bottom of the pile. Because although I don't believe in a omniscient and interventionist God, somewhere along the line we will be somehow judged on how we treat the weakest and most disadvantaged and reap the fucking karma. Even if it's just the sink estates arming themselves for bloody and feral revenge. Lawrence Weston vs Westbury is how it's going to go downn when it comes, baby.

We can work on an individual level, training our minds for resilience and husbanding our resources for longevity. And we can take that up to the national level and look after the things and resources that people like fucking Cameron have just missed the point of. Libraries, hospitals, universities, social housing, welfare, schools. My estimated time of next contribution to the tax pool is some time in 2012, but when I worked in a proper job, I didn't actually particularly care where my taxes went. As long as they weren't pissed down the pan in rapidly self-redundantising war technology, for example, I like the idea of them helping other people who need that. I don't care if they were happy on the dole.

In fact, good on them. You know what? If you've worked out how to be happy on whatever it is the dole give you now, you have actually achieved some sort of modest enlightenment and I really do genuinely salute you. Rather than the miserable fuckers who spend all their lives trying to scratch around so that the bastard tories pat them on the head by proxy, and then stamp on the fucking fingers of anyone else who is hauling themselves back up the parapet having the temerity to be happy while they're doing it. That's right, work your arse off for a new carpet and two cars and be as miserable as me, or I will kick you in the kidneys til you bleed. And if I can't do it covertly and metaphorically, I will probably do it in real. As long as it is in an anonymised clinical setting, obviously.

Quote from BBC website: I for one am actually looking forward to having my benefits cut if it means that the "happily" unemployed are made to tighten their belt too

Seriously, I've been around damaged people long enough to chalk that up as vicious inhumanity in one of the worst degrees. It's the sick psychological STD of our times - there is supposed be be eternal progress, and if you mysteriously somehow fail to be ascending, then cause fake upwards mobility by pushing the underlings' heads down under the scum. If they're going down, you must be going up, right? Right? Where have you gone, guys?

I don't really view the reasonably centralised control of our key services as being a bad thing, actually. There, I said it. I've worked in the public sector for years. The sort of people who like common sense view the public sector workers (like they view pretty much everyone else) as being lazy state-sponsored scum. In my experience my colleagues have been kind industrious people doing a good job and building up reams of experience, goodwill and essentially free and open resources. All those crazy things that you just can't put a price on, and are therefore assumed to be completely without value by the scum-sucking common-sensers.

It's common sense to sell the forests, make them pay their way, concrete them over.

It's common sense to introduce a financially driven system of welfare reform

It's common sense to introduce an internal market into the NHS

It's common sense that Mrs Normal's son, who can't get a job in a recession, shouldn't get any dole

It's common sense if that mentally ill person should get no benefits if he doesn't pull his finger out and stop pretending to be ill

It's common sense to put all the poor people out in sink estates - they don't need stuff anyway

It's common sense to keep our jobs and houses for our own kind

...

Where does that start? With common sense. Where does that end? Being a completely fucking evil bastard.

When do people start realising that it's not down to working hard and doing the right thing any more. There but for the grace of god? There but for a random fucking crappy throw of the dice that turns you from winner into the downtrodden. And that will happen to us all in time. We'll all become Mexicans, if we're very lucky. And in my opinion, the best way to survive that is to plough extras into built-in resource resilience and redundancy, like libraries and social housing, that will gently let us down the slippery helter-skelter into the brave new uncivilised future.

So 26th March, I'm going to be there marching for the for my own perceived right to cushion our fall, along with all the other good reasons to be in London. I've talked enough about my own accumulation of credibility, so time to push it out through the comfort zones (crowd fear, much :)) and stick it to the man. It may be completely futile, but if all else fails then I can look *myself* in the eye until the kid is old enough to ask what I did, and then I can look *him* in the eye and at least say I did something, that I tried, that I actually laid just a tiny bit of something out there on the line in the sand.


UKanada, UKanada, I've never been your son. Your concrete expanses lay fallow in the sun.
Your doe eyed policeman demanding more guns.

cybermule: (muletech)
The Dark Mountain Manifesto set to the words and music of Thee Silver Mt Zion. Probably.



Part 1 - Today’s environmentalists are more likely to be found at corporate conferences hymning the virtues of ‘sustainability’and ‘ethical consumption’ than doing anything as naive as questioning the intrinsic values of civilisation.



This is the picture of the new temporary Tesco in Yate. It will fill the gap between the old, end-block-on-a-precinct Tesco (which I never really went to because Morrisons was better and closer) and some new super Megacity-T hypermarket on stilts which will scan our retinas and assimilate us into the heaving database of Clubcard details before we are allowed to buy small, brown Soviet style cubes of rations. I imagine them as somewhat larger than Oxo cubes, and less tasty. As a two decade old veggie, the flavour will probably be the least of my issues.

I don't have any particular beef (arf arf) with Tesco per se. Yes, I'm aware that their marketing strategy is down the poorly ethical end of the spectrum, along with Asda, but I'm going to make a possibly controversial claim here that all fucking supermarkets are a bunch of cunts who's sole aim is to extract as much money as possible from shafting producers and sticking it to consumers who have to try and buy reasonably priced, nutritionally balanced food that pleases their kids, satisfies their aspirations and fits into the narrow slice of life left over from desperately trundling round the treadmill of applying those two things to every other aspect of their poor fraught existences.

Yes, once more, in its own paragraph for emphasis. All fucking supermarkets are a bunch of cunts, however they spin their cuntishness to attract a particular brand of victimcustomer.

Yes, I would buy from Waitrose if I were fucking loaded with cash. It's nicer. Yes, I would probably prefer Sainsburys if there were one near enough to walk to (that's more important for me). Yes, if I have spare cash and can make a difference to actual real poor people, I will (**). I go with Morrisons, but I cheerfully shop at the Tesco Express if I need to, because hey, it offers a good range of reasonably priced food out of normal shopping hours, and like everyone else, I experience #organisationalfail from time to time.

I'm not a joiner, but I am for ever looking for a cause. For a while I hearted the Permaculture people because they were into growing sustainable food, creating community gardens, and teaching kids about growing healthy food. All causes dear to my heart. They did piss me off a little with their insistence on the concept of Bristol being a happy little conurbation of St Werbs, Montpelier and Easton. I believe strongly in a Greater Bristol. But hey, like I said, not a joiner and perfectly capable of organising my own shit anyway. Then they had a complete and total spazz-out about the Tesco in Stokes Croft. It would kill the beautiful little artisan bakeries, independent llamawool hat retailers, and vibrant community of bent fucking spoon repairers that Gloucester Road is known and loved for. And yeah, if you like that sort of thing, Gloucester Road is very lovely, but here I have to state, in it's own paragraph, and emboldened for emphasis:

Poor people have the right to accessible, cheap and varied food too, you stuck up, middle-class, up-your-own-arse tossers!

Yes, there are poor people out there in the liberal republic of inner Bristol. Poor people want to buy decent foodz shockz! And not have to trail up and down a whole street buying handcrafted baked beans that look like pixies and have little knitted hats to save the ozone layer from their own generated farts. And they might want to shop out of normal 9-5 hours. Some poor people even have jobs or no cars!

Hmph. I feel that this might well have been documented elsewhere in my blog, anyhow. It did severely turn me off the Permies, even to the extent of wanting to apply for the job of NO-TO-Tesco web manager, writing wanketywankwankwank all over the website, changing the passwords and running away. But not quite as I just have better things to do with my life. So the point was, Tesco is not always bad, m'kay.

As it happens, I think Tesco will be bad for Yate, and I'm surprised and aghast at how Yate just rolled over and took it from them, unopposed (*) The nice thing about Yate (in my mind, anyway) is that I can buy pretty much everything I want from a compact pedestrianised central precinct, and is the closest I've ever come to a pleasant shopping experience. And I'm aware that I'm in a small minority who want to walk into town, and that nobody really cares about the rest of my companions in that particular slice of society, but as well as standing up for them, I am actually standing up for the rest of the gas-guzzling fuckers who are going to be completely and utterly screwed when petrol is 500 billion quid per ml and their legs have atrophied or been removed to repay the HP payments on their monster trucks.

A hypermarket style Tesco will kill off even more of the town centre. I mean, the bits that haven't been fucked over by the recession, and I probably don't mean the mobile phone shops who will still be there in pernicious crappy little clusters to service the ants when the whole precinct turns into Ground Zero. Everyone will just roll up in their people-carriers, chuck 8 million carrier bags of miscellaneous ill-chosen and over-marketed lifestyle accoutrements into the boot and drive off. I'll no longer be able to buy nose-studs and cheap fruit and veg from the market stalls, and my choice of pant purveyors will be reduced from several to just one brand of bum-coverer. Hey, unless I choose to use my car to drive the half mile or so to the shops, I'll probably only be able to gaze in longingly with the few other scraps of marginalised carless plebs, cordoned off by the ever-circling fence of traffic endlessly pounding round the dual-carriagewayed stretch of impenetrable tarmac that will probably be christened "Tesco Way" by some gurning mayor with a bottle of organic Fairtrade cava. From South Africa, just to show we're all friends now and wonderfully liberal with it.

Thank fuck the hardware store will be on my side of the fence, along with the happy clappy church to supply me with an endless stream of willing-ish martyrs to supply the gaping sacrificial maw of the Tesco monolith.


* - actually, there were two oppositions. One said it might be ugly (Tesco have now been "forced" to plant trees. Lots of them. Thumbs up!) and one from my household complaining about the utter clusterfuck that it will make of the the traffic - to get to town from about a third of Yate, you have to cross a really crappy road with no organised crossing. But hey, it's the poorest third of town and every drives, so who cares?
** - I'm a bitch. I don't care that Tesco sell turtles or some other shit in China. Sorry. If you eat dead things, get over yourself. Eat humans for sustainability. Cod's endangered too.

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