Write a novel, 'Allan Exit'. Get an agent. Work on visionary drama, Matilda/Mathidle. Short story around Pascal's wager? Brew beer for Seb and Tine's wedding. Read more about existentialism and absurdism. Get on with organising an academic seminar blockade against Trident with almost zero interest in participation academics. Don't get too excited about working with a non-hierarchical organisation in case it doesn't come off. Think ethics, ethics of care, vital materiality (NB Sartre's throbbing tree) and veganism. Forum theatre, playback theatre and rebel clowning... (Poor Lauren!) Diet. Drink water. Watch football. Play football. Be careful of nagging Achilles injury. Get together activist stuff around Reclaim the Power camp in Merthyr. Exercise. Listen to Michael Sandel's global philosopher programme on borders. Olivia... Make a list.
'Is it me, or...'
A ska dancin' toon
You don’t know me from Adam
You don’t know where I’m at
You don’t nuffink, madam
You just don’t like my hat
Skallies wear their hats like this
Skallies wear their hats like that
Skallies wear their hats like this
Skallies wear their hats like that
You don’t know where I’m going
You don’t know where I’ve been
You don’t know what I’m knowing
You don’t know what I’ve seen
You don’t trust me round your daughter
You don’t don’t trust me round your car
You don’t really think I oughta
You don’t really think that far
You don’t want us in your village
You don’t want us in your land
You don’t think we’ll rape and pillage
You just don’t like our band
You don’t like the look of that one
You don’t want him hanging round
You’d best be on your way, son
We don’t want you in our town
You really are a bigot
You haven’t got a clue
Why don’t you plug your spigot
Cos we’ve got more wag than you!
‘Seed’ Allan Exit, a woman undertaker of living wills on a planet with no other life except humans, lands a job to undertake the Green Man – who resists, and all sorts of forces are set in motion! (written as a novella/novel with a screenplay in mind?)
Matilda/Mathilde is about a woman who inhabits alternative futures. These futures are both cause and effect of a head injury sustained when Matilda/Mathilde is beaten by riot police while taking part in protest against climate change. In one future, the assault on Matilda goes virtually unnoticed and she lives in an inner city eco-village community, The Deep. In the alternative future, Mathilde is a celbrity who lives in the ‘perfect’ environmentalist world, Ecotopia… (a TV series)
Advent: Scotland, a not too distant future: Saved from street execution by a supernatural force, Mick bears the evidence of his reprieve as stigmata. In company with his best friend’s girlfriend, Kathy, and her long-lost brother, a world-wise dwarf, Tam, Mick runs for his life into the highlands to escape sadistic agents of an eco-authoritarian Extended European Union. (a TV series from my novel The Advent of the Incredulous Stigmata Man. Pitch is with Red Planet)
Athena: Inside the prison cell of an environmentalist accused of ecoterrorism as friends, lawyers and politicians try to persuade her to renounce direct action, apologise and stay her execution (a stageplay)
Indigo: Each of Indigo’s three acts is a distinct exploration around the common theme of climate change. In addition to the conceptual theme, the play is visually united by the through-going motif of indigo, the colour of the robes of the Tuareg people who are invoked to represent resilient humanity in future worlds warming towards apocalyptic temperatures (submitter do playwriting competition)
Who Cares? A piece of forum theatre about direct action (by academics against nuclear proliferation) that it would be great to perform – at least a part of – with emerging platform theatre colleagues.
Friends on Facebook A play for voices about refugees coming to Britain and meeting British culture that needs recording and posting on YouTube
Well, that was a very good birthday: climbing Cadair Idris with Lotte and Tan, sampling my very first homebrew at the summit (a truly excellent American style IPA - thankfully, it would have been such a downer if it had been rubbish). Then a phone call with my wonderful granddaughter, Olivia, and of course her wonderful parents. A night in the pub with good mates and a beautifully still Cardigan Bay in the background (though my food in the Glen was a bit crap and expensive!). Some nice cards and a lot of best wishes on that Facebook they have these days - much appreciated, strangely moving actually). A couple of good book presents, including China Mieville's 'Three Moments of an Explosion' which I'm SO looking forward to. Finally, a nice present (parting gift?) from the academy, page proofs for 'The Radicalization of Pedagogy' in which Kye Askins and I have a chapter - a piece of fourm theatre, 'Who Cares?'
Cheers everyone for making my birthday such a good day in so many ways
Last year my mate Jan bought me a tin of mints with 'Grumpy Old Git' stamped on the lid.
They're still on my desk.
I bloody hate them.
Tomorrow's my birthday.
I hope I don't get mints.
'Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me...'
It's one of those days. At breakfast I realised I'd never heard of heart cancer. Checked with a doctor friend, gynaecologist was as close as I could get, and sure enough heart cancer is very rare. So, a bit of technical work on gene editing, put a sliver
of heart DNA in every organ, and Bob is you ever-loving uncle. He's also going to live a lot longer, probably. I'm also pleased that this medical advance will give fresh meaning to the phrase 'you're all heart'.
After breakfast, I solved the perennial problem of rabbits eating seedlings at no cost whatsoever. Simply 'appropriate' wire shopping baskets from your local supermarket, invert and place over seedlings. Every little helps.
This afternoon I'm working on the slug problem... I think the solution might involve an immoral pact with Turkey.
Your days are numbered!
Matilda is very rural in the heart of the city. She is weather beaten, has rough hands and dirt under her nails. She thinks about nature as alive and relational, talking to plants, investing all nature with intrinsic value. Though she knows that a few deep ecologists can’t save the world, she nevertheless continues to try to do ‘the right thing’. She is generally self-effacing but with occasional shows of a steel will and a wicked sense humour. This side of herself she reveals most with the permaculture gardener G when they are alone in the garden. She is attractive in a hippy style but does nothing to deliberately ‘sell herself’. She wears second-hand, faded and practical clothes. Her sexuality is ambiguous. Though assumedly heterosexual, she unpredictably flirts with or cold-shoulders Jordan, the eco-feminist activist. Generally, Matilda is warm and friendly, though sudden blinding headaches can cause her to occasionally speak sharply or even lash out. As a cliché, she’d be the earth mother type, though, perhaps earth sister is a better description.
Mathilde has become a ‘city girl’. Still a committed environmentalist, she mostly thinks about nature very-technocratically, as something to be managed, adopting an antrhropocentric eco-system services approach. She does, however, have moments of distraction and hence insight/doubt – finds herself faraway, stroking the leaf of a plant etc. She is confident and competent, serious and sincere but politically and personally somewhat naive. Though she is attractive and dresses smartly – in ecologically correct fashions, of course – she keeps her sexuality on a tight rein. The cliché would be that she is an ice-queen. She is emotionally warmest with the much older academic ecologist, George Gee. She is disdainful of the sensuous, perhaps bisexual, Joe Dann, repulsed but strangely drawn by his reptilian charm.
Merthyr Tydfil RTP camp 30 April - 4th May
Roll up, roll up - ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, friends and foes - welcome to the unparalleled, the unexpected, the perfectly paradoxical, the grotesquely beautiful, the new-fangled world of the Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Clown Army (CIRCA).
We are clandestine because by hiding our identity we recover the power of our acts. Because with greasepaint we
give resistance a funny face and become visible once again.
We are insurgent because we have risen up from nowhere and are everywhere. Ideas can be ignored but not suppressed and an insurrection of the imagination is irresistible. Because history doesn't move in straight lines but surges like water, sometimes swirling, sometimes dripping, flowing, flooding - always unknowable, unexpected, uncertain. Because the key to insurgency is brilliant improvisation, not perfect blueprints.
We are rebels because we love life and happiness more than 'revolution'. Because no revolution is ever complete and rebellions continue forever. Because we will dismantle the ghost-machine of abstraction with means that are indistinguishable from ends.
We are clowns because what else can one be in such a stupid world. Because inside everyone is a lawless clown trying to escape. Nothing undermines authority like holding it up to ridicule.
We are an army because we live on a planet in permanent war - a war of money against life, of profit against dignity, of progress against the future. Because a war that gorges itself on death and blood and shits money and toxins, deserves an obscene body of deviant soldiers We are circa because we are approximate and ambivalent, neither here nor there, but in the most powerful of all places, the place in-between order and chaos.
Because since the beginning of time tricksters have embraced life's contradictions, creating coherence through confusion. Because fools are both fearsome and innocent, wise and stupid, entertainers and dissenters, healers and laughing stocks, scapegoats and subversives. Because whenever we fall over we rise up again and again and again, knowing that nothing is lost for history, that nothing is final…..RUN AWAY FROM THE CIRCUS!
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Rebel Clowns stage a marriage between Merthyr Council and Miller Argent!
Yesterday, Lotte and I took part in our first Playback Theatre performance with an emergent company in Machynlleth (which as yet has no name). It went well and we both thoroughly enjoyed it. Highlight among a number of good moments was one actor, Petra, playing frogspawn drying and dying in the sun (okay, you had to be there!). Looking forward to more Playback for diverse audiences,particularly engaging more politically, and to exploring other forms in practice with some great actors, especially Boal's Theatre of the Oppressed - Forum and Platform Theatre etc.
Our Rebel Clown and Playback mate Cath (BTW Dave Ellison is doing great work recording the UK's fracking wars)
I am he as you are he as you are me, and we are all together
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A story, essay, lyric or rhyme with no reason almost every day...