How do I know China wrecked the Copenhagen deal? I was in the room | Mark Lynas | Environment | The Guardian

How do I know China wrecked the Copenhagen deal? I was in the room | Mark Lynas | Environment | The Guardian.

Read it – no really read it…  This is “need to know” information and a little depressing, but please read it.

Before anyone says that…

…by encouraging people to NOT buy the X-Factor single(s) I’m denying charity money, please, please, please go and donate at least £1 to Shelter, in association with the people who started the Rage Against The Machine for Christmas Number 1 campaign, through Just Giving, here:

That way Shelter will get £1 + Gift Aid (at least) from everyone who’s bought “Killing in the Name” in order to protest against the X-Factor, and that’s MUCH more important than who is number 1 this Christmas.

Right, back to the coding!

“England expects that every man will do his duty”…

…and every woman will do her duty as well, I pray!

Please help to make a stand against X-Factor, Simon Cowell and the general dumbing down of mainstream culture in the UK by buying a copy of “Killing in the Name” by Rage Against the Machine from a UK digital download provider, such as iTunes (UK), Amazon (UK) or, as all of these services contribute data to the UK chart.

If enough people buy this single instead of the vacuous crap put out by Cowell’s X-Factory there is a __hope__ that the Xmas number #1 can be a song that means something and represents the true meaning of rock and roll instead of being some half-baked wannabe covering a power ballad with Auto-Tune and a ridiculous production budget hastily papering over the cracks in a questionable talent that needed a brainless talent show to rise to the top rather than appearing on its own merits.

Thanks for your attention – I reckon it would be a quid very well spent…

Riding the Rails

I hate travelling by train. I know it’s irrational, but it is basically about control. When I travel by train someone else decides when I leave and when I arrive, and if I am delayed it is only ever because I am at the mercy of others. Even so, I often do travel by train; I commute to my office in London, and I am currently taking a break from driving, due to my knee injury, so trains represent a necessary evil.

There are upsides to travelling by train, and my journey towards Manchester today has benefited greatly from one of them; the opportunity to meet people. We were just pulling out of Oxford when I looked up from my book to be asked by a young woman if there was anyone using the seat opposite me. I smiled, told her that both seats were indeed free and she sat down. From that point until we arrived at New Street (where she left the train to catch another to Nottingham) we talked about our lives, likes and dreams without any sense of discomfort or self-conscious British reserve. In my experience there is a strange alchemy to these things; one rarely ends up with an enjoyable conversation after ‘breaking the ice’, but now and again something truly special and enjoyable can grow out of a simple “going far?”, or “heading home for the weekend, then?”.

Grace is in her final year at Oxford, studying PPE (Politics, Philosophy and Economics). At twenty-one years of age and all of 4 months away from holding an Oxford degree she has already worked out that she wants to spend a few years teaching in order to give something back to our society and then continuing in the vein of service, would like to work for an NGO or the Civil Service in development or diplomacy. I was intoxicated by her intelligence and wit, and very sincere commitment to doing something worthwhile with the opportunities that she has had, while still being human and unpretentious. I spend a lot of time being infuriated by a media and an older generation that speaks about my generation (which I can just about say that I share with a twenty-one year old, but perhaps not for very much longer) as if it were populated solely by selfish, feckless wasters, looking out only for number one and the easiest possible way to make a buck. I could honestly say that I don’t know a single person of my generation who actively prizes money and perceived success above happiness and as clear a conscience as one can muster as a member of a first world nation at the start of the twenty-first century.

It was a genuine pleasure to meet a fellow mind, a fellow young and energetic person on my train journey today and to simply converse, about both the weighty and the sublimely trivial, about the future and the past, and more than anything to do so merely for the joy of human company between two strangers who will likely as not never see one another again.

I hope that I will remember to spare her a thought in September, when she starts teaching full-time, and remember to thank her in my mind for doing what I lacked the courage to do when I left University; for becoming a teacher. I cannot say that I regret my decision, mainly because I still maintain that I would have made a lousy teacher at that point in my life. Even now I am unsure that I possess the temperament to be a good and nurturing teacher, but I suppose it would also be fair to say that my involvement in erotic photography leads me to wonder if I would ever be permitted to become a teacher. I know that I am not a danger to children, and that I have no inappropriate interest in them but in the current social climate, where as a single man I feel I have to be careful about playing innocently and joyfully with my friends’ kids, I fear that my work thus far might be too much of a red flag for some parents and education authorities.

Still, my current job is proving to be fulfilling and interesting, so perhaps I won’t have to think about it for a while yet. For now I can focus on doing my part to make RiverMuse a success and worry about the latter half of my career on another day.

Where the Hell am I living again..?

Freelance Photographer covering a peaceful demo in London was harassed by Police after photographing one of the officers working the demonstration…

I read this and I just can’t believe that I am living in a so-called ‘Free Country’, and I think more and more about leaving…


I want more people to see this…