Sunday, 6 December 2009

Who's Your Favourite Ally?

I was thinking tonight about Allies.

Groups form around us at times and phases in our lives - we ally with 'youth', when we are them, we ally with 'gender', when gender-issues arise, we ally with our 'religion', when we have it and it differs from some other and we ally with our 'class/social group' when it serves to do so; we ally with whatever reflects our image of our selves at the time.

Not sure where I am going with this...

…it's just that it reminded me of how, when I am in South London, North London seems a contrast and yet as I pass Birmingham, I begin to feel an allegiance to my London roots. Then as Lancashire approaches, I ponder the contrast of Northerners and Southerners. Don’t get me started on how all this morphs again once I leave the country…

It also reminded me of how, within South London, exist the many smaller allegiances of suburbs and clans of fans of football teams... and how, even in the wider view of the world, there are larger chunks of allegiances, held together by religion and race.

What does this all mean and is it of any relevance? Goodness knows. Just thinking about who/what we choose to ally with and what would happen, if we chose our allies with a different, as yet unthought-of criteria?

Maybe the whole ‘ally’ concept is the spanner in the works of world-wide harmony?

And what of the way allying, is changing? New allies are being formed on social networking and other online community sites. We have new allegiances with those on Linked-in or those who prefer Facebook over Bebo …and almost related, to those who tweet on Twitter.

Allies are the power-base of those who seek control – from neighbourhood gangs to global partners – power is built on strategically or numerically worthwhile allegiances.

So I suppose I am questioning what/who I ally myself with.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Flu Prevention

Dr. Vinay Goyal is an MBBS,DRM,DNB (Intensivist and Thyroid specialist) with over 20 years of clinical experience. He has worked at the Hinduja Hospital, Bombay Hospital, Saifee Hospital, Tata Memorial etc.. Presently, he is heading the Nuclear Medicine Department and Thyroid clinic at Riddhivinayak Cardiac and Critical Centre, Malad (W).

The following message given by him, makes a lot of sense and is important for all to know:

The only portals of entry for the H1N1 virus are the nostrils and mouth/throat. In a global epidemic of this nature, it's almost impossible to avoid coming into contact with H1N1 in spite of all precautions. Contact with H1N1 is not so much of a problem as proliferation is.

While you are still healthy and not showing any symptoms of H1N1 infection, in order to prevent proliferation, aggravation of symptoms and development of secondary infections, some very simple steps, not fully highlighted in most official communications, can be practiced (instead of focusing on how to stock N95 or Tamiflu):

1. Frequent hand-washing (well highlighted in all official communications).

2. "Hands-off-the-face" approach. Resist all temptations to touch any part of face (unless you want to eat, bathe or slap).

3. Gargle twice a day with warm salt water (use Listerine if you don't trust salt). H1N1 takes 2-3 days after initial infection in the throat/ nasal cavity to proliferate and show characteristic symptoms. Simple gargling prevents proliferation. In a way, gargling with salt water has the same effect on a healthy individual that Tamiflu has on an infected one. Don't underestimate this simple, inexpensive and powerful preventative method.

4. Similar to 3 above, clean your nostrils at least once every day with warm salt water. Blowing the nose hard once a day and swabbing both nostrils with cotton buds dipped in warm salt water is very effective in bringing down viral population.

5. Boost your natural immunity with foods that are rich in Vitamin C. If you have to supplement with Vitamin C tablets, make sure that it also has Zinc to boost absorption.

6. Drink as much of warm liquids (tea, coffee, etc) as you can. Drinking warm liquids has the same effect as gargling, but in the reverse direction. They wash off proliferating viruses from the throat into the stomach where they cannot survive, proliferate or do any harm.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Plinth Support...

I wonder each day, in many moments, how it is for whichever Plinthian is on the 4th plinth. My hour was at 11am on Sunday 12th July and the ‘come down’ goes on despite the absence of a cherry picker.

Click blog entry for original on One & Other website

Saturday, 4 July 2009

“I, Plinthian!”

So it is that some of us have found ourselves to be figments of Antony Gormley’s rich imagination; fragments of an artwork that will be 100 days in the making, whilst simultaneously being dismantled hour by hour.

We ‘others’ seem to be akin to mercury, as we begin to find each other here on the internet; scattered on blogs and ‘Tweets’ and status updates. The mood of those chosen seems to reflect a blend of delighted, terrified and confused. On Facebook and Twitter we encounter each other – easily recognising ourselves by our common call “What shall I do with my hour on the Plinth?”.

Some of us made contact and eventually, a Facebook Group entitled ‘I, Plinthian’was created in order to have a place where we could share the experience, with those who could understand, inspire and empathise.

Aside from the discussions about how to spend the hour, one thread was entitled ‘How do you feel?’ and has proved to be (for me) the place where our art’s heart beats. I wonder at Mr Gormley’s thoughts as our ‘creator’ and ponder whether he is finding it surreal that his art talks amongst itself?

Excerpts from the thread include:

“This is so strange, I am excited and terrified at the same time!!! Today, I can't believe that I did a live interview on BBC Radio WM yesterday morning, I will be raising Lupus Awareness with my hour, all very surreal, can not believe the interest. I am trying to convince myself that going on "the plinth" will be a doddle after another 40 days planning it!!”
Kay Lockley - July 26th 7pm-8 pm

“I keep veering between 'aaaargghh!! I CAN'T do it' and 'Oooo! I've got a place and “I'm so excited I want to tell everyone!!'. I keep imagining the height of the plinth too and I'm going to measure out the surface area of the top at the weekend so I can get a feel for just what 1.7 x 4.4m feels like. I'm feeling quite well organised (so I must be missing something ...????): have booked my hotel, got my train ticket, sweet talked someone into providing me with some boards on which to put my message (and the wonderful man offered to print them on for me as well!). Now I'm on to 'how many outfits to take' just in case it snows etc.”
Barbara Harrison – July 19th 2pm-3pm

“I think everyone can agree that this is defiantly a... bizzarr experience. I go through the day with a fluxing dread about it, I can't make up my mind about whether I'm happy about it, or the desperate urge to just run away form the whole thing. I only applied because I had been studying Gormley's works this year for my A-levels and I was soaking up all Gormleyesque things, I had no idea I would be allocated a place.
I'm only 17, and I see all these wonderful people planning on doing such extraordinary things with their time, and I can't help feel small and silly in comparison.”
Hannah Wilson – July 30th 1am-2am

“Yep, I'm pretty much feeling the same as everyone else here - excitement coupled with gut wrenching fear just about covers it. Oh well, it's nice to know I'm not alone.
I've been wracking my brains and I've still not settled on a definite plan for my hour, that's if I go with a plan at all. My dad told me I should take some flat-pack furniture up there and make myself useful! I don't think so. My only totally definite plan so far is to enjoy the 60 minutes to the fullest, whatever happens. By the way, getting to the Welcome Centre 90 minutes before to be processed and 'interviewed'? Now that's scary!!”
Robert Walker – July 10th 8am-9am

“I'm so glad you're all feeling the same. I wake up and remember - aargh! I think about it constantly. I also feel small and silly (I am small!) however, I've known what I'm doing from the start - sing the Mozart Requiem - and that's never changed. The technical aspects have not sorted themselves out, so I'm just going to go up with a CD player and sing - no mics or anything. Good luck to everyone. Will we all meet up sometime somewhere? Will we meet Anthony Gormley?”
Janis Raishbrook – July 12th 5-6 am

“Hi everyone - feeling quite excited - worried my hands will shake and I will find it difficult to do my 'thing' which is: Turning on my bubble machine, blowing up my balloons, lighting them up, attaching messages, ribbons and bells, getting them over the safety net and hoping people will want them and take them, and hoping what I've got to say has some positive effect on somebody! Still testing all this - and getting a back up plan together in case it fails or rains or we have a hurricane!”
Kim Claus Franklin – July 19th 11pm-midnight
…………………………………………………………………………………….

I hope you enjoyed this glimpse at the humans, who amidst 2400, will be the artwork ‘One & Other’. I believe we are each already a unique work of art and when put together, have the capacity to become something unforeseen, unpredictable and entirely lovely.

If you haven’t applied for your place on the plinth, I cannot recommend it highly enough. It is a strange, all-consuming, yet satisfying experience.

Friday, 12 June 2009

I am a 'Gormley Original'

This democratisation of art
Doesnt start on a plinth
Doesnt start with me
Doesnt even start with Mr Gormley.
It starts when we look up
And evolves as we look in
To find the artistry within
‘We’.

We
Who are more than just workers
And daughters
And soldiers
And sons.
We
Who are as unique as each new day’s sun.
We
Who have beauty however concealed.
We
Who are art..
We the people

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Wondering...

Which cause, which fault, which action, which dilemma?

Each day the news feeds or denies us information about terrorist threats, Iraqi deaths, police powers, police misuse of powers, government intelligence, government stupidity, Muslim extremists, democratic solutions, financial boom and financial bust and all the while we absorb this array of selected informataion - without feeling that we have the power to affect any of it. We are left feeling impotent and overwhelemed.

We are divided too by what we hear and which media we select to nourish us with 'facts'. This division keeps us so very busy as we debate amongst ourselves as to who is right, who is wrong, who we should support and who we should attack. Is it any wonder so many flip the page to read easy sleezy gossip?

The way we, as a species, lead our lives, seems ludicrously wasteful, ultimately purposeless and often - downright evil.

However, 'we' as individuals surely seek a peaceful life? With the freedom to love who we choose, worship who we choose and live as we choose... and providing these choices do no harm to another, these are not unrealistic expectations are they?

An Iraqi mother has the same hopes for the future for her children as I do - despite media to the contrary, she would not choose to sacrifice her child to war... she would choose a peaceful life. Each individual person is not that vastly different from the other - it is our political and religious options that define our differences ... and how incredibly wrong is that?

I have no answers, just disappointment that we can't take a world of resources, share them fairly and all live better. Why must we assume that we are incapable of this?

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

What if no-one had filmed the G20 protests?

Where would we be if 'we the people' hadn't been filming that day?

-Ian Tomlinson would be quietly buried, having died of a heart attack

-The protestors would have been remembered as having thrown a 'barrage of bottles' at those police trying to 'help' Ian Tomlinson

-The images of the G20 protests that we would recall... would be of 'extreme protestors' smashing windows

-The police and government would be talking about stronger powers to avoid more violence BY protestors

No-one wants to believe our police will hide their ID numbers, conceal their features with balaclavas and attack the public - but they DID.

I wanted so much to be at the G20 protests on 1st April, wanted to show my discontent at the way our government uses our taxes and mishandles our affairs. But I couldn't get away from work and could only show my support for those who did take the time and make the effort, by 'monitoring' and sharing online (mainly Twitter)what I was discovering as the day progressed. There were so many wonderful journalists, groups and protestors who were getting the information out and I wanted to help it travel further.

I do believe that the police are not all out to attack prtestors and I want to live in a country where I trust them to do the job of protecting the public and working to make peaceful protest possible... but the pictures are telling a story we can't deny.

Friday, 17 April 2009

Ian Tomlinson, the G20 Protests and rushed results...

The claim that no CCTV caught this (there are photos of 3 cameras in the area); the rushed and convenient first post mortem and the initial police denials of any wrong-doing, coupled with claims of 'barrage of bottles' thrown - are all clear indicators of a cover-up that reached out from the police to other areas including medical examiner and media.

That this has all been revealed because people had camera phones & video, makes me wonder how often this occurs and how many cases should now be re-opened in light of this.

Regardless of Ian Tomlinson's state of health at the time of the incident, NO member of the public (protesting or otherwise) should be subjected to such inhumane treatment and NO member of the public should be allowed to be deceived by those in authority.

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Trusting the Watchdogs? IPCC handling of Ian Tomlinson death...

Excellent article offering insight into the IPCC willingness to accept police at their word.How Metropolitan police tried to manage a death http://bit.ly/mSyKX

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Video reveals G20 police assault on man who died

Extraordinary footage filmed at G20 protests in London of baton-wielding police attacking the man who died.

read more | digg story

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Rights of Demonstrators/Police

In light of the G20 demonstrations and police tactics - it is worth looking at who has what rights under these circumstances:
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Some information and tips on the law, your rights, and how to react when police have enforced a "Section 60" order on a demonstration or picket.

At some recent demonstrations, police have cordoned off the demonstration, corralling large numbers of people into an increasing confined area before taking their names, addresses and photographs, eventually releasing them one by one. This was done under the obscure Section 60 of the Criminal Justice & Public Order Act 1994 (originally designed to prevent minor football disturbances).

The S60 order is a new police tactic at major demonstrations used effectively to control, subdue and gain personal information about protesters despite having the extraordinarily limited power simply to "Stop and search in anticipation of violence".

Its effectiveness in the past was due to the fact that no-one knew just exactly what powers the police had under S60. As it turns out, they have very few powers.

In the event of an S60 order being issued these are the important things to remember: The police have the power to search you for weapons (and dangerous instruments). They have no other powers under S60. They can only detain you "for as long as necessary to carry out a search".

They have no legal power to force you to give them your name and address. Under no circumstances give it to them: it will be kept on file for seven years. When asked, say "no comment".

They have no legal power to force you to have your photograph taken. Do not allow them to do this. This too will be kept on file for seven years. Keep your head turned away, or put your hand in front of your face.

They have no legal power to ask you to remove any item of clothing in public view, other than that which is concealing your identity. Any facial masking can be confiscated.

If you are asked to remove coats/jumpers etc, refuse outright. They have no legal power to search wallets, purses, inside small pockets etc. This is an S60 search, for weapons only. If they ask to search wallets, purses, inside small pockets etc, refuse outright.

If you have a bag they will search that, but again for weapons only. Any other items, documents, potentially incriminating articles are off limits.

Do not allow them to examine any of your personal possessions (cash cards, student cards, diaries, organisers etc). This is not part of S60. Under Article 8 of the UK Human Rights Act 1998 your privacy is assured. Make sure they know this. They can only confiscate weapons and facial masking.

They have the power to use "reasonable force" but ONLY if you do not submit to a search. No other force can be used for any other purpose.

They must tell you their name, number, station they're based at the reason for the search. Ask them for this. Not only will it piss them, off but if they don't provide this information the search will be illegal. Remember: in an S60 situation, you are accused of nothing and you have done nothing wrong. Do not answer any questions, however insignificant or polite. Say "no comment" to everything.

Most of all, don't be scared by them! They know the law, and now so do you. Use it!

Legal advice: Section 60
Contrary to information being circulated, the legal basis of the tactic of police cordoning off demonstrations and forbidding large numbers of people to leave from inside the cordon - as used at J18, N30 and Mayday2K - is NOT s60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994.

Police, indeed anyone, can use reasonable force to detain people to prevent a breach of the peace where they fear one is imminent. This was the basis of the effective mass imprisonment at previous demonstrations. It is not an arrest.

The powers in s60 have been used to search people individually as they are being released from the cordon and this is where the confusion stems from.

S60 can be used where a senior cop reasonably suspects there will be incidents of serious violence or that people are carrying dangerous weapons or offensive weapons in a locality (inserted by s8 Knives Act 1997).

1. Once police have released you from the cordoned area, they can then only detain you "for as long as necessary to carry out a search". While in the cordoned area they can detain you as long as they have reasonable (i.e. objectively justifiable) grounds that this is necessary to prevent a breach of the peace.

2. While performing a search they can ask you to remove outer clothing, such as coats and jumpers in public. In addition, s60(4A) - inserted by s25 CDA 1998 - allows the police to force you to remove anything they reasonably suspect you are wearing wholly or mainly to conceal your identity. There is nothing to stop you putting something else on after you have taken off a mask or had it confiscated.

3. The s60 search is for "offensive weapons or dangerous instruments". This is not limited to large things such as samurai swords and stun guns (taking examples from certain Sunday papers) but can include razor blades. They can search inside wallets, purses, small pockets for these.

4. They can search personal possessions for dangerous instruments that might be hidded inside and they can also seize prohibited articles such as drugs. While it is true that Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) contains a qualified right of respect for your private life, and that under s6 of the Human Rights Act 1998 public authorities such as the police will be acting unlawfully if they breach any right in the ECHR, it is wrong to see this as doing something as absolute as assuring your privacy.

Before police start searching through personal possessions, e.g. address books, cards in wallet, warn them politely that if they do start trying to read what's in your address book or on the cards in your wallet rather than performing a cursory search, i.e. seeing if razor blades fall out onto the ground from your address book, they will be acting outside their powers and you will stop them.

8. Before conducting the search, an officer must take reasonable steps to communicate their name, number, station, etc. They also have to provide you with a written record of the search, which you should ask for. If they can't provide one straight away they must tell you which police station you can get it from. Police dislike form filling and paperwork particularly when it leaves less time to bash anti-capitalists and then fit them up.

9. Under the Data Protection Act, anyone holding personal data relating to other people (this includes video and photographic footage) has to provide copies to those people for £10, as demonstrated by Mark Thomas on C4. If substantial numbers of people on the Mayday demonstration exercise this right, the police will have to spend their resources on finding footage with those individuals on, in order to collate it and send it to them, rather than gathering intelligence and preparing for arrests.

Taken from the UHC Collective website
Edited by libcom.org, last reviewed 2006

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Arts therapy to tackle dementia

Quite astounding how approaching this growing problem with a very human, non-medical solution brings such instant and obvious results.

read more | digg story

Friday, 13 March 2009

War...

...what is it good for?
Really, what is it good for (apart from arms sales)?

Friday, 27 February 2009

Mugged & Mute...

Watching the news is like witnessing a mugging and being unable to shout for help.

It is astounding that we are fed statement after statement about how our taxes will be used to save the banks - the banks say they will only start behaving like banks if they get the money ... not 'like' extortion, this IS extortion.

The figures of millions and billions and trillions just roll off the tongues of the politicians and bankers with such ease - as we and the next generations go into debt to ensure their pensions and bonuses.

We should have elected governments of philosophers - politicians are not equipped for the job.

Sunday, 15 February 2009

WHAT IF...

http://cspanjunkie.org/February 12, 2009 C-SPAN

read more | digg story

Fascinating to see a politician saying so much that I feel.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

'isms

The video the title links to is narrated by Joaquin Phoenix, with music by Moby and it draws attention the stark realities of the ways of life we live alongside. Regardless of whether we look, regardless of whether we turn away - there are professions and people fulfilling them, that are beyond comprehension.

Our demands as consumers are usually blamed for these things - so as consumers, we need to know what it is we are responsible for. Blindly purchasing cannot be an option. We essentially pay others to commit atrosities on our behalf.

Earthlings is not easy to watch - but impossible to ignore.
.............................................
"OF ALL THE FILMS I HAVE EVER MADE, THIS IS THE ONETHAT GETS PEOPLE TALKING THE MOST. FOR EVERY ONE PERSON WHO SEES EARTHLINGS,THEY WILL TELL THREE." -Joaquin Phoenix, actor/narrator

"EARTHLINGS MAY BE THE MOST POWERFUL FILMEXPERIENCE I HAVE EVER KNOWN!"-Brent Emery, Senior VP, Maverick Films

"WATCHING EARTHLINGS IS THE GREATEST GIFTI HAVE EVER RECEIVED.
I CANNOT BELIEVE HOW IGNORANT I HAVE BEEN IN THE PAST."
-Bryce Dallas Howard, actress

"IT IS A RARE EXPERIENCE TO BE CHANGED BY A FILM. EARTHLINGS HAS THAT POWER."-Persia White, actress/activist

"THE MOST POWERFUL MOVIE I HAVE EVER KNOWN."-Robert Cohen, NotMilk.com

"THE CITIZEN KANE OF DOCUMENTARY FILMS."-Linda Blair, actress/activist

"A REAL TESTAMENT TO THE QUALITY OF A FILM.EARTHLINGS IS AMAZING!"-Professor Cristina Gibson, UC Irvine

"ONE OF THE MOST PERSUASIVE MOTION PICTURES EVER MADE!"-Ron Lipshultz, director
Green Reel Film Festival

"VIEWERS WILL NEVER BE THE SAME."-Carly Harrill, 944 Magazine

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Childish politics

Just reading about Nick Clegg asking Gordon Brown to close the loopholes that allow the wealthiest to avoid taxes...

Brown's answer included putting the ball in some other country's court whilst waiting for international law to come into play (does he have to wait for everyone else in the world? Can't we ever act AS a country FOR our country?) - plus the fun last-line-dig (like children do) saying that a past donor to the LibDems was a tax evader and he never paid up.

I could weep at the pettiness and small mindedness of those that we let run our way of life - how can this last foolish comment have ANY bearing on the loopholes that he is well aware of, that allow ridiculous amounts (estimated £14 billion in corporation tax alone) to go unclaimed and make a mockery of any idea of fair play?.

A good line from the LibDems though "Instead of going on about British jobs for British workers, is it not time that he went on about British taxes for British companies?"

Bothered with elections...

What bothers me a great deal is that we are constantly offered a choice of two political parties - never are we given the hope that if we all voted with our desire (rather than to get one bad party out to be replaced by a slightly less bad party), then we could get a complete change of the appalling status quo that has yet to work well for the people of this country.


When I wonder how government comes to the decisions it does - I look at how independent or alternative political parties would have handled the same situations and find that EVERY TIME, they have better solutions.


I will vote Liberal Democrat because they have policies I agree with and I am sick of hearing that it is a wasted vote... because it shouldn't be.

Thursday, 29 January 2009

Memories...

I have been really fortunate to have travelled and lived in lots of places. My mum was in the horse racing business and it was through her work that my childhood and teenage years took me to wonderful, new countries. A love that stays with me and moves me too often for my daughter’s sanity! When aged about 9, she sweetly asked where ’home’ was – I answered that if the dog and I were there….then we were clearly at home.

Anyway, these are a few of my favourite images, because sharing them makes me smile and remember…

Luxembourg for Christmas because of the pure white snow that neatens everything. The mood is infectious, everybody is your long lost friend and large European hugging and kissing rituals assault you at every turn – enhanced moods possibly down to the mini Swiss chalets about the square; selling lakes of clove scented, warm mulled wine. How businesses get through December with a drunken workforce escapes me.

Mallorca (an island off Spain) during the celebration of the Three Kings around Christmas. Camels are ridden down from the hills and riders throw sweets at the hoards of children gathered in eager anticipation. There is absolutely no concept of the danger involved when throwing small, hard candy into a sea of soft, fleshy children. The locals accept the risk and then hold their babies skyward in the hope that they too may catch the candy gently between their eyelashes.

Australia at anybody’s bar-be-que, even if I have become a vegetarian since the last time I went to one. I just want to feel that comfort of being in a crowd of people with no ego, at their leisurely best. No-one does leisurely like an Australian.

The southern Belgian countryside to stay again in a village unchanged by two world wars; where bullet holes pock mark the buildings like aged teenage acne. The people sit silently outside their homes in a surreal setting amidst excitable dogs, children, chickens, tractors and field after extensive field of deep red poppies; atop the fertile land fed by seas of soldiers’ blood.

Blackpool seafront on the tram travelling North toward the fishing village of Fleetwood; with a shimmering ocean travelling at my left for a full 25 minutes. It is a Twilight Zone journey. The conductors are still listening to big band sounds in their heads and cracking saucy sexist jokes from days gone by. Just seeing a heavy, metal ticket machine about their waists makes me wonder at how the tram and its employees have escaped everything that happened in the last 60 years.

Hong Kong’s Peak. Hong Kong is an island and the peak offers a near 360 degree view of the thriving humanity beneath. We would have to run cross country for school up there; probably as it is the only bit of grass on this densely populated little island. Rather than fuss with the running, I would sit, have a cigarette and admire the beauty of the elderly Chinese as they practiced Tai Chi. Their moves were pure soul ballet energising old skinned limbs. A chorus line of gymnastic pensioners silhouetted against a backdrop of 6 million stressed people – a priceless image.

Needless to say, I failed Physical Education.

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Of Facebook & peace...

Today on the net:

I was getting involved in forwarding videos about peace and was asked to join a group seeking justice for Palestine - I didn't join but felt I should explain why...
..........................................................

Thanks so much for including me in your wonderful postings x

I feel I should explain why I rarely join groups that are one 'side' or another... I refuse to accept that human beings have 'sides' - we are all one thing. The children of Gaza, the children of Iraq, the children of Israel, the children of Africa - have my dedication to ending the wars that take or ruin their lives.

Only politicians/governments place dividing lines between us and make us choose - I don't.

I see countries at war but am acutely aware that I am mis-informed by media and mis-informed by government - so I cannot KNOW who to support and so choose only to support life... and a better way of living it.

I run 'Arms Against War' which seeks specifically an end to the war in Iraq - I choose to defend this particular issue (more actively) because I KNOW the facts of this - I KNOW my tax buys bullets and pays for young Iraqi and coalition soldiers to risk their lives and sanity - I KNOW the facts of this because I watched it erupt – it happened in my time.

Israel/Palestine is an ages old conflict that has wrong and right at differing stages in history - I don't understand the history of it and I don't KNOW any truths - I just KNOW that children should not be dying for an adult argument. Proportionately Gaza has suffered so much more loss so proportionately my efforts are theirs - but I would feel the same pain for an Israeli child... or any other.

...sorry I rambled on a bit there, I think I was sorting my thoughts with this and used you as my 'muse' - thank you again x

This 'Blogging' thing...

Having got so curious I simply had to investigate 'Twitter' ,,,and then ended up with a Blog as well. No idea why Ikept following the little links, but I did and I'm here in Blogland, lost yet unwilling to admit defeat.

Not that I have time for this. With Facebook, two websites, a literary site. political sites, activists sites and all sorts of other online/community activities - my fingers are in a permanent, never-ending marathon.

However... I have a plan! I interact online and those interactions are in the form of comments and responses - so I will some how mush these elements together in order to make some-sort of Blog out of it. It will save my fingers from exhaustion and the need to be wrapped in little tinfoil blankets.

I have one from this evening's Facebook activity so will post it next and see how it goes.

Monday, 26 January 2009

Is it 'WE' or Obama who is the one?

Written in the run up to an historic election...
...............................................................................
Political parties tempt the voters - 'we the people' - with lip service that pulls at our individual heart strings and plays to the masses. They say the words they know will pull us, sway us to them – without completing any pictures that would lead us to the realisation that what they are offering, is small change compared to the status quo they wish to impose.

Throughout history our parties have made offerings to the people that would make fools of our ideals and hopes, our dreams and faith in their ability to actually be honest for once and make a clear promise, then carry it out without caveat. They make a right move in our eyes in the right direction – we follow because it feels like they are doing what we wanted all along – and before long we discover that the one step on the right road is accompanied by diversions that will keep us from a right solution for as long as the term dictates.

Then next elections we aim to find a voice that will make a promise that we can believe in, that will take more than one step in the right direction, that will have a map with no diversions. The next elections deja vu the last and over time we lose belief, cling to hope and go with what looks like the least diversions-to-right-step ratio – or we stop voting.

Obama has promised change, has offered to step in the right direction and take us down his path of right if only we will follow. He has pushed the right buttons, said the right words, sweated the right passion and he has moved us. Is he 'the one'?

I don't think that it matters if he is or he isn't.

Maybe this time it isn't about the politicians, it's about us.
Maybe this time it isn't about politics, it's about the movement.

The fact that we have watched a woman and a black man battle for supremacy on a traditionally white male stage, the fact that passion played a role, the fact that the internet meant politics found its way further, faster and more varied than ever before and the fact that I feel impassioned and compelled to write these things about a stale and often evil subject – are facts that attach true hope to my belief that there is a better way to manage ourselves than the way politics has.

In all I have digested of the Obama that is presented, I still don't know how I feel about him or what I believe about him. There is much to choose from on the media menu of Obamas; much unpalatable, some tempting and others simply a mash of confusion with something-for-everyone flavours infused.

But the media menu of political choices offers something more than before, it offers unexpected extras that include a whole swathe of people finding points of agreement despite their backgrounds, other opinions or differences. If finds people finding a sameness of desire – we want anything other than the usual. We don't want to play it safe, we want to play it different. Turn us around, switch direction, stuff the assumed right ways and lets blunder into an uncharted wilderness of it-can't-be-as-bad-as-where-we've-been.

Obama is whatever it is we wanted him to be – he is not one thing, one direction or one party – he is the reflection of our longing for change. Who he becomes as a leader is a different subject. What he stirred in us is powerful and if we can find a way to harness that power, maybe 'we the people' can start to realise just how much we can change - regardless of the politicians.