Three Snippets from One Paper
August 20, 2013
Author and doomsayer Hal Niedzviecki highlights a gathering of great import:
This weekend the Sustainability Centre in Hampshire will be home to Uncivilisation 2013, which describes itself as “a gathering of people searching for answers to questions about our collective future in a rapidly changing and depleting world.” About 400 people are expected to attend sessions including a wild-food foraging workshop, a talk on moving beyond a monetary-based economy, and a ceremony of singers and storytellers leading the group in a “liturgy of loss.”
And who here could resist a congregation of climate catastrophists and unemployed poets – sorry, “artists and thinkers” - who tell us their words “will be elemental” and will “weave reality,” and who also tell us they will write these elemental, reality-weaving words “with dirt under our fingernails.” These brave People Of Tomorrow™ will gather in tepees and fiddle with twigs, while awaiting the end of capitalism and bourgeois decadence. They will dine on halloumi burgers and Fair Trade carrot cake. Women will blossom in a “creative making and conversation space.” Men will be helped to “reconcile their polarities.” Oh, and there’ll also be a scything workshop. Poetry and scything is clearly the way forward.
Meanwhile, the BBC’s Newsnight economics editor and former Workers’ Power enthusiast Paul Mason asks the big questions:
Which do I leave first: Facebook or Twitter? I’ve been mulling that question for about a year now, but it always seemed theoretical.
You see, users of Twitter include some obnoxious idiots and “it will be a disaster if Twitter becomes dysfunctional.” Yes, “the stakes are high.” And so something must be done. Something “radical and collective.”
And then there’s Mr George Monbiot, whose insights have thrilled us previously. Today he rails against the “machismo” of fracking and other “manly extractive industries”:
Who wants to make speeches about sewage when you can stride manfully around drilling rigs in a hard hat and a yellow jacket?
Fracking, it turns out, “is not about jobs. It’s not about securing energy supplies. It’s not even about the money.” Brace yourselves, readers. The truth is shocking: “The government’s enthusiasm for fracking arises from something it shares with politicians the world over: a macho fixation with extractive industries.” Yes, “extraction is an ideology, gendered and gendering” and “wherever there are resources to be extracted, you can see this testeria at work.” Damn those alpha males and their strutting and extracting, ruggedly impressing the womenfolk with their “stiff backs and jutting jaws.” And their testeria. Don’t they understand that the world could be saved if all men were more like George?
Yes, I know. It’s almost a miniature psych profile.