Thursday, 23 July 2009
Hawthorn and oak sit among stones shaped in the past.
Laid down in rows, circles or piles, now forgotten.
Wild horses now wander these light sacred spaces.
Oblivious to the weight of time, they eat and sleep.
And the trees grow, more short than tall.
Just as they always have.
The liberation of the mind of the ancients.
Led to religion and art and war.
And to the hills and the shaping of megaliths.
The answers lie in the ground, my friend.
The answers lie in the ground.
Wednesday, 22 July 2009
This poor chap died alone on a moor.
He still lies there and only when the acid in the peat overcomes his bones will he disappear from memory.
But at least his was a proper death.
He didn't suffer the indignity of being herded with his kin into a tight truck. He didn't plead noisily in vain while being marched in single file to receive a bolt through his brain.
They say animals don't suffer, but have you ever been to a slaughter house?
There is the very vivid impression that they know life has taken a significant turn for the worse.
We absolutely need animals in our countryside.
But they also need respect.
Thursday, 16 July 2009
Will our crops survive?
After months of blazing sun, Cornwall's default rain setting has returned. It looks set to stay, though we hear promises of a better August.
Is this climate change or just... well weather? There's absolutely no doubt the climate is changing, just as it always has. But who's to gain and what's their motivation?
The climate debate is fascinating, but I wonder if I enjoy it for all the wrong, mildly sadistic, reasons. I relish the things we don't hear more than the things we do. I enjoy it for the lies and the engendered fear created.
So how about some truths?
The standard lines bandied about talk about a radical change in lifestyle.
Personally, this doesn't seem a scary prospect at all. This country could do with a good leveller, a good dose of emergency. The wealth gap is now so vast that maybe this is the only way to restore some status quo to this sorry excuse for a democracy. We are ruled by the car and the supermarket. Is this the lifestyle we so earnestly want to protect?
Maybe we can look deeper. Are people, in reality, just scared of energy security - not climate change at all? When the oil, gas and coal is too expensive the establishment will have lost control. The state stranglehold on our lives will weaken. The rich will cry into their empty Bollinger bottle and the poor will be liberated - after all they're used to surviving on very little. The markets will collapse, we won't be able to afford mindless wars and leather chairs in glass offices will swing only with the weight of spider webs. It's quite an intoxicating thought and I can't bloody wait - I very definitly count myself in the poor camp in need of some liberation. Excuse me while I nip out and buy a horse (white) and a wooden cart to do up. I'll paint that one blue.
But what other hidden truths are there. "They" (do the speech marks look paranoid enough?) scare us into believing climate change will wipe out half the planet's species.
Of course it won't. But something might. Plants and animals and microbes and viruses have survived tortuous upheavals in climate throught the rich history of life, so I often wonder why this lame statement is dragged through the scientific gutter. There is only one thing wiping out wildlife ad hoc and ad infinitum and it's us. We destroy habitat every single day on a scale climate change can only dream of. We hunt our oceans to breaking point, but we call it fresh fish. We lay waste to forests, and we call it processed food. It's quite sickening we allow the climate alibi to offer ourselves salvation from our own moronicness.
Now think this through. Once the fossil fuels are too expensive and the so-called free markets fail, we won't be able to keep raiding the third world for cheap food, wood and labour. We'll have to grow our own, make our own, rely on our own. This is what used to be called freedom. We should not be scared of freedom.
So don't fear the climate press. Relish in it. It might be your only hope.
Thursday, 9 July 2009
Monday, 6 July 2009
I've never been compelled to do a music review so it's likely this is the only one.
Kasabian @ Eden.
Perhaps it's my age, but does every British rock band sound the same these days?
Now I'm shit at music so anyone rocking in tune and on time amazes me, but surely there's a cure for dull, thudding guitars knocking out uninspiring white noise.
Maybe they just don't do as many psychedelics as they did in the good old days. When the country is fuelled by cheapshit lager and Primark it's no wonder commerical music, and those that follow it, has lost any edge.
More on point i'm sick of gigs and festivals getting infected with brutish security and police. This neo-facism is killing previously free-spirited events. What happened to innocent until proven guilty?
Bring back free love and all that sailed in her.
Wednesday, 1 July 2009
Thank Lugus for Foxgloves and their towering spikes.
Despite them filling the ditches and hedgerows at this time of year I've never got to the bottom of their name. My favourite version of the story goes a little like this.
Wicked faeries - infected with blood lust - would put the soft flowers on foxes' feet allowing them to pad silently into a chicken coop to go about their feasting.
Other alternatives - sadly - don't involve foxes at all. And sometimes not even gloves. One of these is "folks glieuw", which literally means folk music. The old Anglo Saxon word gleow meant "to play an instrument" and the word glieuw may be related to an ancient bell-like instrument that had a series of pendant hanging bells. I imagine it like a retro tambourine being jangled away while sitting round the campfire with some cider. Although it doesn't take a massive leap of imagination to see how glieuw turned into glove over time.
As usual the Welsh, with a rich oral and written tradition, hold some literary keys. In the old days it's either menygellyllon (elves' gloves) or menyg y llwynog (foxes' gloves). In modern Welsh bysedd y cwn (dogs' fingers) is used.
The marauding Norsemen not only navigated and pilaged. They seemingly united the Anglo Saxons and the Old Welsh on botanical nomenclature. In Norwegian the word is revebjelle (fox bell). We'll likely never know the truth and we're the richer for it.