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The Human Species Needs a Mum

As a species, the human race is like a teenager. In terms of the history of evolution, we’ve just appeared. Squashed into 24 hours of the history of the earth, life appeared after 12 hours, and humans appeared at 1 second to midnight. So we haven’t evolved to cope with the complexities of a large complex society. We’ve often told ourselves we are the masters of this planet but haven’t been mature enough to think – hey that means we have to be responible.

We are like the teenager that has just discovered sex, drugs and alcohol and is having a fucking good party. Only at our party we have mass production, chemical and nuclear weapons. Responsible? We don’t have a mum, but if we did surely she’d say “Did I hear see you out last night with cruise missles after bedtime? You little shit! Were you threatening Iran again – I’ll fucking slap you – come here!” She would then go through our room and confiscate all those nuclear weapons and the world be a little bit safer for a while.

We may be teenagers, but we don’t have a mum. We don’t even have a role model, which teenagers usually do have, and means there is usually something to aim for when they decide that a ounce of weed every week isn’t a great idea. We don’t have anything to aim for as an ideal.

As far as we know, we are alone in creating complex societies and must work out for ourselves the best way. Its easy to say capitalism is the only way, when there aren’t any other species out there that have built a soceity that we can copy from (and because we crush alternatives to capitalism with sanctions and international isolation).

The other thing is, we are living it up to the max today. Never before have we had so many things in the West. We are junkies addicted to gadgets, fashion, TV, cars, a constant demand for energy and lifestyle the Earth cannot sustian. And this is potentially going to throw us into a spiral of disaster and extreme weather.

And we aren’t even enjoying the fucking ride.

Massive numbers of our rich countries are on prozac, feel depressed and isolated, stressed from overwork, or unmotivated.

Please, if you are going to destroy the Earth in a frenzy of consumerism, at least enjoy the ride for fucks sake. 

Or maybe this should be a lesson, that actually material crap and money doesn’t actually make us happy. If only we had some authority to tell us that, like a mum.



Against Everything

There’s a lot of things to be angry about in this world don’t get me wrong. As activists working on issues we feel passionate about, it’s easy to lose sight of the big things we want to change by getting distracted by other things. For example the other day a friend made some Irish jokes. I don’t like the labelling of a people, it’s lazy and this serves to make Irish feel negative about themselves and to make the British feel superior.

There are many things like this that annoy me on an everyday basis. But getting angry about everything that I see wrong with the world I feel is a recipe for a mental breakdown and an unhappy life. I want to enjoy life and not be angry all the time, so there’s unfortunately a lot of things that I let slide, for my own sanity.

One of the reasons that I feel activists have not made the difference that they could do is because of this. For an ordinary person without any interest in activism, there is a lot of things that they make do or say that could be wrong. But picking up on everything they say as being wrong just reinforces the “us” and “them” situation… ordinary people will stop wanting to talk to activists if everytime they do, they are made to feel guilty, or inferior. Changing someones opinions and views is a long process, requiring lots of discussions.

Just picking up on a joke that isn’t totally correct will not change someone’s mind. It’s a marathon not a sprint!

Salvi’s Deli and Trouble in the House

After getting in trouble for leaving the house a mess, it was good to get our and get to Manchester and meet my mum. I’d wanted to eat in Salvi’s Deli for a while. I’d had coffee there a few times, and really liked the authentic Italian feel there. It’s tiny, which has a great charm. It feels like many Mediterranian places that are squeezed together in small backstreets. However, today that tiny feel caused a slight problem, because the sensor on the door kept opening when passers-by, erm, passed by, and it was 2 degrees outside. We had to wear coats most of the meal! It was a lovely meal though, there were no vegetarian pastas on the menu so the chef made one up with mixed veg, and it was fantastic, very simple but the quality ingredients made it taste very authentic. Just sort the door out and I’ll come back! I imagine it would be an excellent place to go in the evening for a glass of wine, so I might be back (when I have some money…)

After that I went to get some flowers for Tess. I didn’t expect them to come back today, but I was drunk when I read the Facebook message. So when I woke up this morning, I was surprised to see they were in the house, staring at the mess in the kitchen. I spent about two hours cleaning the flour from the experiment with baking in the kitchen (a successful experiment in sourdough making, but at a cost!) and the mud from the bathroom after planting trees in Todmorden… and the floor, the fridge, the table…

On the way home I wondered randomly about hi vis vests. I had one but it looked totally stupid over my duffel coat. Why can’t they be made attractive? Why always a vest shape, does anyone think the vest shape looks good? A lot of weird things have become fashionable, and if someone had the imagination to make something interesting out of the humble high vis, it could take off… and imagine what that would do for cycling. High vis duffel coats anyone?

Lego and drink driving in helicopters

Predictably, this was a conversation in a pub. After being amazed by a Lego set that had a dice and was also a board game, we somehow decided that there is a gap in the market for a Lego drinking board game, where one of the forfeits is to down a few pints and fly a helicopter. Since the Lego board game is moveable its easy to cheat and move the board so you make your opponent lose. We then get to find out what happens when someone drink drives a helicopter. Do police helicopters follow you and stick on their lights (on the end of the propellers obviously) and ask you to land? Do the shoot you down? Do they have a tractor beam? Well, if you play this game you can find out!

Also, why don’t Ikea do flat pack helicopters?

Teenage Kicks Cover

Acoustic and in the key of G

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