Friday, February 26, 2016

It's better to die trying

In defence of socialism... or those whose concern for others outweighs any selfish consideration...
Those who lean to the left can seem whiny and sensitive, quick to complain in shrill tones when most people just want to get on with their lives. There is a natural tendency to over-compensate, as in the hard-core feminists of the seventies who seemed to eschew their own femininity. But there is justification for those who have been wronged to feel anger. Women have a legitimate reason to feel excluded and victimised by society, especially in the non-western world and the education of women is the key element in rehabilitating any dysfunctional society, as has been shown by many developing world NGO projects. But that is perhaps an argument for another day.

We are in a process of gloabalisation and we must learn tolerance and acceptance. We have no choice. As you say, the reality overpowers any personal aspirations we might have, be they for an impossibly egalitarian idyl, or for an old-fashioned white-picket-fence homogeneity. The world is a soup and all its people are necessary ingredients. We used to live far apart from one another. Now we are together. You cannot change this reality, but be consoled, no species is better equipped to adapt than humans.
I firmly believe that if mankind submits itself to the base instincts of greed and willful ignorance we are double fucked. It is not easy to question the morality of one's day-to-day actions and their likely implications and it gives some of those who do it a big head. This can be off-putting, but it is becoming more and more necessary to find a way forward which includes all of humanity and not just the usual elites who have misled so many times for their own gain. DDT was once considered safe to use at home, now fracking is the Godsend. But there are easier and safer solutions to all of our problems. We need to empower communities and stop looking to the elites for ideas.

If educated people with access to knowledge and resources, which are the result of many generations of enlightened thought and hard-won freedoms, do nothing to resist the calamitous trajectory of the human race, then where we will find ourselves in fifty years time doesn't bear thinking about.
You might like Trump's willingness to rock the boat, but don't be fooled by his rhetoric. He's just a very ambitious establishment man with megalomaniac tendencies who will buy you with promises and sell you to the highest bidder when he no longer needs your support. This does not make him much different from a lot of other politicians. It is his unapologetically racist, paranoid rhetoric that sets him apart. The only one who cast a similar shadow in recent history and whose populist appeal was as broad and inexplicable, was AH...sorry Godwin...

Sunday, July 12, 2015

One little dragonfly,
does not a summer make,
but if she lights before your eye,
you might make that mistake.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The question of how we save our planet, the natural world and secure a future for generations to come on planet earth troubles me daily.  We have of course many seemingly insurmountable problems, but how to contend with them?

Internationally, there's not much we can do except embarrass companies like Pepsicola (re sumofus doritos campaign) into changing their ways.  How often this works is a moot question.

Cities are faced with the effects of pollution much more immediately and are so inclined to react quicker by implementing measures, like no car zones, cycle hire schemes, greenways etc.

As for local rural environmental issues, with my own specific locality Ireland in mind, I think farmers are key.  They hold so much of the land in their care.  But they only respond to grant aid, or government bribes if you will.

People here are generally indifferent regarding environmental issues and campaigners have a name among farmers for being urban-centric hippies with middle-class accents, long hair and unwarranted grudges against society.  A complete re-education will be needed to change this view.
How to go about this?  Your guess is as good as mine.

European attempts at environmental protection have been typically ham-fisted and often locally inappropriate.  Farmers are generally inclined to believe that these measures were designed to torture them.
Greening schemes are criticised with a mixture of glee and bitterness.

Meanwhile the continued decline of species such as barn owls, yellow hammers and numerous songbirds, various bats, fresh water pearl mussels and even ostensibly common species, such as starlings, is duly noted, but blamed on the actions of others or, more often, economic necessity.

This last with a depressed sigh, for who knows the rhythm of nature better than a farmer?   When the natural world skips a beat, as we have seen it do of late through increasingly devastating extreme weather events among other things, the first people to notice are those who spend their lives outdoors.

Farmers and fishermen might just be ready to embrace a new deal, but it will have to come from government, which seems unlikely as centre-right, business-friendly agencies are as yet unwilling to upset large companies who themselves make too much money from the status quo.  Who will be brave enough to take the plunge? Time will tell.

Monday, December 29, 2014


It is without doubt crucial to the survival of the human species that we upskill in the area of diy food production and problem solving.  In the western world, our social system seems efficient and inclusive, out freedoms have been hard-fought, but it's easy to forget that consumerism is wasting staggering amounts of finite natural resources.  The packaging we routinely throw away, the crap we buy in cheap shops, the unnecessary journeys..

Composting is the best way to dispose of biodrgradeable products and plastic wrappers found on vegetables can be left in the supermarket. They really annoy me.  In fact I had a near combustion moment one time in a giant shopping centre in Romania, carfour or something, because it was forbidden or impossible to purchase vegetables without individually bagging them.  I almost tussled with the checkout lady over it, but in the end I had to submit and use their stupid bags. 

But you've probably read preachy rants on this topic before and if not I doubt you got this far before you clicked your way onward.  Hmm.  How about a nice video, for this is the entertainment age..

So that's how it goes.  We're all a bit twisted I suppose.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

corporate sponsorhsip of the arts...and everything else

The majority of great artists were poor in their own lifetimes, relying upon some kind of sponsorship/patronage from wealthy clients, the source of whose income I am sure they did not have the luxury of questioning. In this age of branding and mass disinformation, every business with a public profile is keen to enhance its own reputation.  Cultural affiliation has long been accepted by society's grandees as a way of concealing or distracting from bad behaviour in other arenas.

Indeed from JD Rockefeller through JP Morgan and onwards, we all could name a rogue's gallery of famous philanthropists. Out of the massive profits accumulated by corporations and individuals through unnecessary exploitation of resources, human and natural, shady dealings, outright crimes and through what passes for 'good business acumen', it costs a fraction to erase unpleasant memories and divert critical attention elsewhere.

So I can see simultaneous pointlessness and merit in exposing the degrading behaviour of organisations like the Tate gallery in London (currently fighting efforts to reveal the extent of their sponsorship deal with BP) who really ought to know better and value their public mandate more, but at least it is highlighted and ridiculed in Britain. Here in Ireland such intimate relations between public and private bodies usually go unquestioned and any whiff of corruption is dispelled by media groups who may be observed to hold themselves faithfully and obediently in thrall to corporate interests.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Gladly will I avail of this public private space, knowing that only google are watching, free to anyone, true to the torment that inspires.  The winter looms large on our deep horizon, red skies in the evening, turquoise night, moonlight and frost gleaming; the scene is set, who will enter?  A boy, handsome, shy, good-natured, curious, nose twitching, eyes wide with interest.  A woman's voice, shrill, he disappears.  Evidently not daring.  Go to.  


Friday, October 18, 2013

Barkers for Parker's

If there is something beautiful in the offing let us applaud but how fit is it, to the purpose of replacing this?
Former premises of Parkers, Cork Timber, Cement & Co, Kyrle St Cork, ©Tom Jordan September 2013
More usually we know the order of events.. Dereliction, neglect, demolition and then a car park for ten years until the economic climate improves... Surely there is a better way to manage old buildings?