Wednesday, 16 December 2009

"The authority of science comes from the power it gives humans over the environment" Or 'Promethean Madness'

“When the average punter sees hordes of crusties protesting in Copenhagen and calling for the collapse of capitalism, he or she is unlikely to be sympathetic. They don’t want to be told that the answer to global warming is to repastoralise society (minus the cows), and for us all to sit sneezing in yurts until the Earth cools down. They need the warning but they also want hope. They want the technological optimism that has characterised our species since the Stone Age.”

The only answer is to repastoralise society. Faith in technology and humanist ideals is the same Ricky Ray Rector saving his last piece of pecan pie for later. Technology and a growing economy is unsustainable within a limited environment with limited resources. The capitalist system that is based upon economic growth and technological ‘progress’ is doomed to crumble and fail because it relies on limited resources, but in order to be successful requires unlimited resources.

When oil runs out how will these technologies function? Oil is a fundamental resource used in the manufacture of all renewable resource technology and almost all technologies. To put faith in a future scientific wonder-breakthrough technology that will save us from all our animal natures is rather absurd, or at least exactly the same as putting faith into a God that will save us. In fact, God is a much more realistic power to put our faith in. He works without limitation. Technology will always be ruled by the limits of the natural environment. The crusties are not protesting in order to save the natural environment: that will sort itself out. What they are protecting against is the destruction of humans by putting all our faith into the destruction and reliance upon limited resources.

The only way to ensure a happy and sustainable population of humans is to choose to live sustainably, not using the limited resources faster than they can be replaced and not using resources that cannot ever be replaced (or at least not relying on them).

This means a total change in the way we live. We need to become resilient and self-sufficient.

We need to abandon our blinkered faith in technology. It will not save us it will destroy us.

However: it is not technology itself that is the problem, it is the attitudes and ethics that rest beyond it. It is possible to use technologies that do not use limited resources in order to make tasks easier and safer to perform. These technologies when applied to a society that has sustainable, self-sufficient attitudes and ethics can be wonderful and useful and these are the technologies that have been developed and used since stone age times. Technologies that are applied to a selfish and greedy society will only end up destroying that society.

The ‘hope’ that Johnson speaks of is the hope to continue extreme greed, extreme selfishness, extreme inequality. This is impossible within a system of limitation.

( is where I got the image from. )

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Submarine Review

I wrote a review for the book Submarine by Joe Dunthorne. The website have featured it here:

The review I submitted was quite long, so it's been edited. Other than a few bad re-phrasings I am happy with the review and am glad that EssentialWriters have featured it. The website is very good and a great resource. It's one of the best places to find jobs and places to submit stories.

I am excited about the prospect of the forthcoming film adaptation of Submarine. Richard Ayoade is the director and most of the stuff he's worked on before has been brilliant. I think he'll do wonders with Submarine. Craig Roberts who played Robin Branagh in CBBCs Young Dracula is playing Oliver Tate. Roberts is a very good actor, and I hope this film will provide him a solid platform to future success.

Talking of Young Dracula, I have gone and done the obligatory YD fanfiction. Yeah, I know: sad.

I needed something verbal to do in-between toning The Klandestines. I didn’t want to get stuck into one of my own novels so I decided to write a fanfiction. I chose Young Dracula because I had an idea which would allow me to twist the story a little. It has not all been uploaded yet. You can read it here:

So far I've uploaded chapters 1-8 of 13 chapters. I'll link again when it's all up there.

It’s a kind of hardboiled thing and it doesn’t matter if you don’t know what the hell Young Dracula is, since it’s from the point of view of Robin (played by Craig Roberts) who had a year of his memory wiped at the end of the series, therefore remembers nothing in the series.

This is the sort of very visual stuff I have been working on that has lead me into writing a fanfiction in order to do something verbal. It is a graphic novel called The Klandestines, written by me, drawn my Jian Yang Dong and toned by me:

I was going to post a clever response to a comment in The Daily Telegraph written by Boris Johnson. I wrote it out on a scrap of paper and showed Mr Kite, who really liked it. I left the scrap of paper at Mr Kite's house, so I'll post this silly entry instead.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Contradict yourself

Don’t take things too seriously.

Learn to laugh at yourself and the world.

My personality is a construction. It does not really exist. I can be someone today and someone else tomorrow. To pigeon-hole myself into one box for the sake of continuity is absurd.

Everybody is split into many fragments. A madman is someone who believes he is one man.

Contradict yourself.

If you or others start to second-guess things about you; if you or others think they have you pegged and that they know you inside-out then you need to disillusion them. You need to do something that will surprise yourself and others.

There are no rules beyond those that you make for yourself. But be wary of others who think otherwise: be prepared to flex and bend things in order to keep yourself and others happy.

Success and happiness are not usually intertwined, unless you view success as being the attainment of happiness.

If I am unhappy now I will be unhappy later. If I am able to be happy now then I can be always happy. It is futile to find ways to be happy in the future.

Find happiness in nothing and I will be happy wherever and whenever I happen to find myself.

There are things that I feel are important, that are fair. Looking after the earth so that others may come after me falls heavily in this statement. So: Nothing at all matters; it is my nature to be contradictory; there are no rules; happiness is a state that you might as well be in because it is preferable to sadness. Knowing all of this, I can loosely point myself in the direction to ensuring that I look after the earth, but to also retain a sense of perspective. I need to allow myself to be all of these things at once.

Thursday, 3 December 2009


“When a white man kills an Indian in a fair fight it is called honorable, but when an Indian kills a white man in a fair fight it is called murder. When a white army battles Indians and wins it is called a great victory, but if they lose it is called a massacre and bigger armies are raised. If the Indian flees before the advance of such armies, when he tried to return he finds that white men are living where he lived. If he tried to fight off such armies, he is killed and the land is taken anyway. When an Indian is killed it is a great loss which leaves a gap in our people and a sorrow in our heart; when a white is killed, three or four others step up to take his place and there is no end to it. The white man seeks to conquer nature, to bend it to his will and use it wastefully until it is all gone and then he simply moves on, leaving the waste behind him and looking for new places to take. The whole white race is a monster who is always hungry and what he eats is land."
-quote from Chiksika recorded by Eckert, taken from the book Endgame by D. Jensen.

I live in constant despair about the culture I was born into. I hate that I have been shaped by it, that it owns me, controls me, limits me. This is a culture that so many cling to; that so many view as being great and the only way in which any human should live. I think this culture is full of ugliness, evil, greed, hate, violence, destruction, myopia, childishness.
There are things about this culture that have vastly improved our lives, that is certain. But at what cost does this come? We have exchanged a life of risk, sustainability and freedom for a life of mundanity, self-destruction and short-term safety. We are destroying everything around us, and we will destroy ourselves. So what; modern medicine means that if we find ourselves in an otherwise life-threatening situation we can clamber out of it. To what end? For what purpose? If this means that our entire race is doomed to destroy itself painfully and bring a lot of other species down with it, then I don't see what's so great about it. There is no benefit.

I hate that I have been shaped by this culture, that I find it so hard to break free of it, despite how terrible I know it to be. In order to break free I need to first totally embrace it. Because the land I was born onto, and all land in the world, is now claimed and owned it means I must become ugly, evil, greedy, hatful, violent, destructive, myopic and childish in order to accumulate enough money to buy myself out of this system. I don't know how to do this. I am living in two worlds. I cannot totally embrace it, and I cannot totally reject it.

I will go for a walk. Yesterday the forest looked more beautiful than ever. The mist transformed the valleys and the forest so completely. It was like I was in another country.

This is an article about a tribe in Africa called the Hadza. It is interesting. I recommend reading it.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Rural Living Update!

I meant to write about this about two months ago. My boyfriend, Mr Kite (who is thinking of changing the spelling to Kyte), lives in a small cabin in his parents’ garden. There are two large vegetable patches that he and I are in charge of. This year we did very well, and managed to feed ourselves on home grown peas, broad and runner beans, chard, spinach, onions, potatoes, cabbage, salad, strawberries, courgettes, butternut squash, brussell sprouts, leeks, parsnips and carrots, plus the existing perennials such as apples, raspberries, herbs etc. We managed to harvest things from June onwards, and we’ve still got leeks, parsnips, spinach, and a carrot (plus the harvested stored veg.) I spent much of October preserving all of it. I made countless jars of chutney, jelly, jam and syrup; not just from our produce, but from the wild also. Here is a bad photograph of a tiny amount of our produce:

Now that the annual veg season is closing we’re focusing more on craft. I am learning to spin wool using a spinning wheel that belongs to my grandmother. I learnt what I know about it from my grandmother, which is the way it should be. I am half way through knitting my first scarf. I dabbled with knitting last year, but never got beyond a small square of material. Finally I have got the hang of it. I hope to be wearing my scarf before not too long. Mr Kite is setting up an indoor ‘pole’ lathe, but instead of a pole he is using bungee rope.
We’ve also finally got some chickens, who live in a large patch of garden under some trees. They are very happy in their new home, it seems. I like the sound they make. It’s so soft and gentle.

Mary and I learnt to weave a basket in October, which I might talk about another time. Here is a photo of our baskets anyhow:

Mine is the wonky, taller one. Mary has made a basket before, so she’s better at it than me. I store all of my wool and knitting needles in mine. I like it very much. Perhaps later this month, or next year, I will weave another.