Sunday, February 25, 2007


Last night, I cycled to the station to get a train into the big city for a night out. I got to the station a good five minutes early. The train never arrived. In fact, after about twenty minutes, nothing had gone through at all. This, I know, is not a good sign. The most likely explanation - engineering, that all purpose railway label for SNAFU. ‘Security’ is becoming an equivalent in everyday life here in the UK, as it was in the North of Ireland twenty years ago, as ‘Insurance’ is in the States. The label for ‘circumstances beyond our control imposed by the Authority.’

So far so normal, there is no special timetable up for the replacement bus service, which will probably not take my bike anyway. After an hour and a half, a number of things happen. Two busses arrive, none of them going the right way. A group of walkers arrive from a minibus, and a bloke and his two kids turn up. The walkers are venture scout types, lead by a Striking Blonde who makes a point of subtly getting the names of everyone she doesn’t know, and orders all the information to hand and prioritises her options for action. I like her despite myself. The bloke is one of those old Scally types who tries to be everyone's mate, laughs at all his own jokes, chain smokes and looks like a shaved weasel. His kids complain how it’s ‘mental’ that the local pub has started letting gay people in. I keep an eye on me bike.

To cut a long story with no narrative short, a bus does show, but it’s too late for me, and I’ve sort of got hacked off enough to bail anyway, so I go home, drink wine and play yahtzee in French with the Neighbour. That’s what passes for fun round here. Striking Blonde has spent ten minutes on her mobile, getting names and details, making mental notes on who to complain about, and to whom. She gets the ages of Scally’s kids, to attempt to speed the bus situation up. Scally considers going down the pub, and getting the last bus to a village down the road where he has a mate.

The key things here are ,however, only just being got round to. Firstly, my two years in public transport have been a complete waste of time, and continue to be. I doubt if the nine people who shared the damp hour in the station car park will be trusting the railway again in a hurry to get them home. And secondly, public perception of climate change is woefully behind the truth, as illustrated when Scally commented “Well, look on the bright side, if it wasn’t for that global warming, we’d all be dying of hypothermia.” The point being, we have, it seems, about 9 years.

9 years to develop the infrastructure and lifestyles that let us - not some future, perfect generation, but us, here and now us - live a life we feel happy with in a way that lets everyone else in this world who wants to , which will be the vast majority, live to the same standard. And my public transport job, where it takes six months to get two bus stops that hardly anyone uses fitted with solar lighting while, in that six months, thousands upon thousands of cars have passed those bus stops, is not going to do that, not in nine years, not in ninety years. And while most of the population are thinking, through no direct fault of their own, the way Scally was, they aren’t going to make the changes themselves. Not In a million years.

We’re fucked, plain and simple. Change is, now, one way or another, unavoidable. And we aren't going to get of our collective arse and meet it head on, we’re going to sit about until it smacks us in the face, then cast around for somebody to blame. Anyone but us. The great festival of scapegoating that will mark our civilisation’s descent into oblivion will consume the weak and the difficult, but not I suspect the rich and greedy. They have friends and structures, police and guns, prisons and extraordinary rendition. They will cling on to their comforts and hug them close as the end slowly laps at all our feet. While we fight for the dwindling scraps on the ever shrinking land, in our Resettlement Camps and Controlled Areas, under Special Provisions and Temporary Measures, and whatever other labels the Authority can think of for “stay in your box and do as you fucking told, or else.” Scally will cop it first, as he’s to old for the army, and too dodgy for the police, but Striking Blonde will not be far behind, unless her dad owns half of Cheshire and she is actually a Captain in signals. In which case, I’m glad she only got my first name.

Not that it matters much about the order. The rich and greedy will go too, deprived of the labour to provide them with the fruits of surplus value, and the resources to feed their appetites. You can’t buy your way out of a mass extinction event. Some of us will cling on and make do out on the bleeding edge of getting by, as will those with even less in more unfortunate parts of the world, they’ve had more practice. But it’s going to be messy, and it’s going to be soon. Not some future, cursed generation, but us, here and now us. Here I am facing the Last Days of Rome, and I am wasting my time.

Saturday, February 17, 2007


This is a rough text i produced a while back, for a flyer to try and get people involved in a collective “floodculture” project.
The earlier post is a random fragment, written with this project in mind.
i don’t really know where it is all going…


“notre espoir ne peut venir que des sans-espoir”
[our hope can only come from the hopeless]
graffiti, paris 1968

punk did not die.
it got old instead,
had babies,
got a job,
got a pension plan...

...and now...?

no hope.
no future.

and not much time left to get angry...

everything i try to write
reads like a disaster movie trailer.
humankind is hitting the last slippery spiral to irreversible climate change

genocide :: ecocide :: suicide

and we are watching it in t.v. as entertainment in between commercial breaks…

peoples reactions are deadened.
we have collective compassion fatigue
and we have a couple of years to take action before it is too late.

government is no solution.
corporations are no solution.

so this is the challenge.
apocalyptic psychotic
from bombculture to floodculture
stop believing in the future.

this is not a joke
this is not an art project
what the world needs now is anger

the leader of the most powerful country on earth, with an unquestioned faith in his divine right to rule and the absolute power of the centralized state, was the namesake for louisiana.

when he died in 1715, louis xiv had built france into the dominant power in europe, but he bankrupted the nation. most people lived in poverty while the king built an empire.

during the empire’s demise his great great grandson louis xv ruled france and its possessions, which included the colonial city of new orleans. he lived for indulgence and luxury as his people descended further into despair. it is said that near his end he uttered the words

"après moi le deluge"
after me come the floods.

après moi…le deluge

// art // writing // music //
// information // action //

:::: as the waters rose ::::

the end,
when it came,
came slowly.

by then it wasn’t even news

we were drowning in the bullshit
we’d known what was coming for years
some people changed a few lightbulbs
and most learned to silence their fears

keep on saving money
keep buying the latest clothes
mining coal, watching tv,
recycling, voting green
they kept on making babies,
as the waters rose

you can close your mind
and hope for a future
emotionally and financially secured
the world will still end on tuesday.
destruction, mutually assured.

you can keep your life insurance
lock your doors
paint your windows white
hurry past, look away, look embarrassed
…don’t walk the streets at night…

we will stalk the streets with our madness
our ability to conceive of disaster,
even when it is manmade...
we will wear our masks as a warning:
the end of the carbon age

and we are coming for your children.

dad kept on lying.

he lied about the war
he lied about oil terror
he lied every night on the news
he lied about climate change
and you are the ones left to lose

beginning. middle. end
hope. stops. here.

and you have only got a few years left
to get angry

"it is no longer success that counts
people will have to know that there was resistance"
[claus schenk von stauffenberg :: 1944 july plot to kill adolf hitler]

Monday, February 05, 2007


One thing (OK, one among the many) that pisses me off is the way that the ecology / environment debate has become a good vs. bad issue. It's been made a moral or ethical thing. It's all 'green' products and ethical consumerism, choices packaged by how bad for the planet they are, like some karma supermarket. It's the Environment Movements own fault, and the hair-shirt puritan faction within it. You know, the beards from the 70s who went to hide in Wales in teepees and make their wives weave their clothes from the wool the sheep left on the hawthorns. They have consistently pushed morals rather than the science. A matter of 'Save the fluffy ickle baby seal' rather than 'removing the major food source for a top carnivore in an energy restrained ecosystem is going to result in serious destabilisation.' And you can see why. Cheap guilt trips and appeals to aesthetics are much easier, especially when much of the public and most of the media are getting on for scientifically illiterate.

Unfortunately, as a consequence of this now almost completely entrenched moralistic attitude to the environment, we now have the situation where, religion like, people are motivated to 'do the right thing' by guilt, rather than reason. Which, of course, has the consequence of breeding resentment and making the 'bad' choices guilty pleasures. How absurd a society where spending hours cooped up in a metal cylinder breathing recycled air full of 'flu viruses and screwing up your internal clock is regarded as some kind of decadent naughty but nice transgression. Further, the moralism breeds a new load of 'holier than thou' puritans who declare themselves a superior elect and constantly decry everyone else, which is especially nauseating if the puritans also happen to be rich and/or privileged. This is not only a complete turn off, but, like most self satisfied religiosity, a recipe for theocratic oppression and tyranny. None of which i am a fan of. Worse still, perhaps, it leads to a confessional style of dealing with our relationship to the environment, the whole 'I got a smaller car and don't have a dishwasher, so I'm allowed a massive plasma screen telly' approach.

And it's all wrong. In the factual sense of the word. There is no moral imperative to our interaction with the rest of the environment, or at least none that matter. We will not be judged on our conduct by a buxom Earth Mother at the end of it all. If Gaia does exist as Lovelocks 'super-organism' like planetary self regulation system, it's a blind idiot Goddess, with no consciousness or conscience. Any judgement will be the cold, thoughtless outcome of nutrient cycles, climate systems and energy flow, of entropy and thermodynamics. And they do not respond to prayer, sacrifice or philanthropy. The 70s beards' sheep are still full of PCBs and Chernobyl fallout, because you can't retreat from ecology, no matter how 'right on' you are. Ecological sustainability is not about salvation, it's about survival. You walk on the pavement not because walking down the middle of the road is wrong, but because it's stupid and will get you killed.

Sunday, February 04, 2007


Now I'm worried. I've noticed the signs for some time, and been aware it was probably coming for about 20 years, as a result of my education. However, this 'Winter" has really done it. Willows in full leaf at the end of December. The grass still growing, strawberries for bonfire night. And today, the First of February, and everyones out in shirtsleaves. in Sheffield. Well, not everyone, I'm not, I'm dressed for Winter, and suffering. It is properly warm. Even my generally unaware mates have twigged. It's really happening. Which almost certainly means it's too late, whatever that means.

Well, my guess is it means trouble. The years of plenty are over. Our freeloading days are over, it's time to pay the rent and fix the place up, or it's eviction without our deposit. We either do it now, the easy way by mutual agreement and co-operation, or the hard way later, when the sea comes in and the guns come out, when the flood drives the refugees across the shrinking land. And I'm not talking about generic Sky News refugees, distant and, well, not white (although there will be millions of them), I'm talking about a fair chunk of the populations of Hull, London and Liverpool. Amongst many, many others. I'm talking 'Resettlement Camps', resource allocation and ration books. I'm talking 'Unity is Strength'. I'm talking about the plans that are sitting on various hard drives, encrypted Top Secret that the State has in case they where wrong and the Green Scaremongers where right. The tools are already being assembled, in various Criminal Justice and Terrorism acts (read them if you think I'm been paranoid), in various new Agencies and National Police Units. In ID cards. DNA databases. Lists. Photographs. Names. Addresses. They will decide who poses a threat, who can be offered co-option, who ends up in the football stadia. And the last people they are going to want around are those who can say we told you so, especially if they have a track record of being organised, stroppy and anti-authoritarian. I'm talking my mates. I'm talking my family. I'm talking me. Maybe even you.

Goodnight, this is the Voice of Fate, live from London. England Prevails!