‘Hey there ‘Buff-coat’! I know you! We were once comrades Brothers good and true We fought side by side In England’s bloody war Do you not remember me? Let me tell you more We marched along together Through England’s hill and vale And when we got to Putney We told a signal tale Our case was truly stated We thought […]
Tag: Alison Banville
I’ve decided never to do anything I don’t want ever again as my New Year’s resolution! I don’t like making New Year’s resolutions actually so I’ve failed quite early on there – but from now on I won’t be doing a single thing I don’t want to! I don’t do much I don’t want to as it is to be […]
I met him on a train Heading out of Waterloo He was suited and booted A City gent through and through Late thirties maybe Coiffed to the nines He said ‘isn’t it dreadful These trains are never on time’ I replied ‘damn right! We need to stop rationalising The whole fucking network Needs nationalising!’ He looked at me Like I’d […]
This Trump ‘locker room’ banter controversy is really making me glad I know the decent men I do. Men who naturally see women as fellow human beings and who realize that masculinity is completely unrelated to machismo. It’s the real Lynx effect – and boys, it can never be sprayed on. And you just know Trump and his ilk would […]
I’ve just been reading, during the commemorations for the Battle of the Somme, Wilfred Owen’s poem ‘Anthem For Doomed Youth’ about ‘these who die as cattle’. A comment by a member of the fantastic group, Veterans For Peace UK, on Facebook about the ceremonies says, ‘All the talk of fallen and sacrifice gets me. Those men did not fall they were ripped apart.’ which is exactly right. Senseless mass slaughter……and I couldn’t get Owen’s poem out of my head.
He’s like a postmodern minstrel (he even has a ukulele which is a bit like a lute) wandering from town to town sharing his thoughts, stories and insights; sparking deep thought in his audiences and managing to be both profound and playful – the man’s a fucking genius!
It was nothing short of a privilege to meet men and women who embody and demonstrate the kind of bravery not celebrated by our corporate media, a media that operates with a slavish adherence to an elite-friendly narrative only interested in drumming up support for more illegal and immoral military action around the globe. It’s an end arrived at only by exploiting the public’s distorted notion of patriotism, fostered on overdrive every year during Remembrance season. But how incredibly powerful it is to talk to people like members of Veterans For Peace who have had a change of mind and heart so profound that their entire worldview is shattered, only to be rebuilt on truth.
It’s fascinating to watch how easy it is for the corporate media’s institutional bias to successfully direct the dumb gaze of the sleepwalkers to its chosen angle so that the parameters of debate are squeezed and narrowed until they include only its own perspective. In this case it’s, ‘is Russell Brand a hypocrite?’
20 years ago, the day after the infamous NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) was signed, the EZLN, The Zapatista Army of National Liberation, emerged from the jungles of Chiapas, Mexico and inspired the world-wide anti-globalisation movement.
…for anyone in a dead-end job whose spirit is not yet crushed, or for those who have given up but whose inner flame of resistance can still be reignited, and for all of us fighting to recover – or hold onto – our humanity while struggling against the torrent of a life-denying culture of rampant consumerism and political double-think which ceaselessly attempts to undermine our striving for a life of meaning and authenticity.
By any rational standard Tony Blair is a war criminal who, along with the other architects of the Iraq bloodshed, will one day stand in the dock at The Hague and be handed down the long sentence he so richly deserves. That we have to endure his preening presence on our mainstream news channels in the meantime is an insult to the mountain of innocent dead he is responsible for in Iraq and an indictment of the editors and journalists who helped him do it and who are still protecting him. Shame on them all.
The very reason why Bill’s work lives on and still has such amazing potency is that, in a world full of ‘banality and mediocrity’, of sophistry, of casuistry and speciousness, of the kind of fakery and shallowness Brand Man and his ilk make their stock in trade, his words retain the mark of genuine authenticity. They are like water in a desert to those of us thirsting for something real in a world of fabrication and deception.