between the naked window
and open door
and this fools lips
work still in
of sweating dreams
spear sleep from drifts
in pillowed temples
the obscure, the dear,
the loved, unfucked.
Someone may come,
turn the world from me,
naked at the door
the open window
the ground below.
Oh how I wish it.
no-one may come at all.
I’ve been banging on for years about the failings of the Democratic and Economic systems the majority of Humanity lives under.
Perhaps I’ve been looking for proof of their success in the wrong places, perhaps I’m too blind to see what’s right under my nose or maybe I’m just too stupid to recognise triumphs when they’re staring me in the face. But honestly, even after all this time, I am still unable to see how any of these systems work cohesively and consistently for the benefit of everyone. Further than that, in the West at least, in spite of their promises of prosperity, there is strong evidence of a deep and overwhelming sense of unhappiness in just about every social level.
Capitalism and Democracy fail to provide even the most basic needs for a huge number of Human Beings across the globe, even those living in supposedly rich countries. For example, Venezuela has larger oil reserves than Saudi Arabia by quite some margin and yet millions in that country do not have the money to pay for basic food or medicine. The truth is these two systems have presided over a world in which just 63 people control the equivalent of the combined wealth of almost 4 billion.
Capitalism requires growth, growth requires consumption, consumption requires making something people are compelled to buy out of other things which all derive from natural resources. That is a fundamental fact because, as yet, not even Trump has the godlike ability to create something from nothing. Everything comes from the Earth and as a result, by clinging to these systems, we are failing not only ourselves but also our home planet whose finite resources, we demand, support us all.
The Justice system is no longer the means by which common people are protected from the deviousness and cruelty of a few bad apples. No, Justice has been hijacked by unscrupulous and often ridiculously ignorant politicians (TTIP) as well as being deployed as the weapon of choice for a select few to control and suppress the many (Nestle, Monsanto etc. etc.).
The leaders of people, whether industrialist or career politician, take pride in the ease with which they are able to harvest the bountiful pleasures life offers. No doubt they swap stories about how brilliant they are at networking and name dropping. Rarely will they speak of the minimum wages they pay their workers or the taxes they evade. After all, talk is cheap and produces fuck all. These people drain whatever they want to fuel their own ambitions, to grow their dominion over their fellows and yet, bizarrely, instead of their greed and chicanery being regarded as bad things they are liberally celebrated. Sadly, whilst they see everything and know everything most of them still choose to change nothing. Of course, we must not forget it is their Democratic Right to be weak.
Will they make changes to the Democratic system on our behalf, to ensure everyone is honestly represented? No, they won’t. Do we need these people on side to dismantle Capitalism and establish a more Essentialist Economic System? Not really. Will these people willingly accept a system of Justice which does not seek to control but to liberate? No, definitely not. Will they join with us in placing Humanity once more at the very heart of existence?
To do what is necessary, to change the world and give the Human species a fighting chance of survival, will take great courage and great strength. Whilst it is a massive challenge, the road to success begins with one person making one small step and if we must, we can do it all for ourselves, thank you.
A good place to start is right here: SpeakOut
This film provides a glimpse of an alternative way of living.
Bhutan is a living example that it’s possible to develop in a different way, and is creating a caring economy based on the values of altruism, compassion and collaboration.
It is clear to the billions still living in poverty today that the globalised capitalist economy is failing to deliver on its promise to bring prosperity to all. Establishment economists measure the progress of our economy with obscure measurements like “Gross Domestic Product” – GDP, but this actually tells us nothing about what actually matters – the health and happiness of people and planet.
Gross National Happiness is a profound alternative that is not just economically sound, it is more in tune with our values as compassionate, caring human beings.
Picture: “Styx” by Jei Ma
(C) Rivenrod 2016
But I am anti-evil bastards
Apparently the mere mention of Hitler in the same sentence as anything connected with Judaism is a clear sign you are anti-Semitic. It seems that lots of people who weren’t tainted by that particular spectre, now are. In fact, if the media is to be believed, every man Jack of us has been up to our necks in prejudice and bigotry against the Jews since Methuselah was a lad. Utter nonsense of course along the same lines as using the words cow and vegetarian together makes you anti-cabbagist.
There must be a word for it when people get really worked up about something even though it bears the hallmarks of ‘false witness’ and stirring up mischief simply to get someone into trouble for something utterly spurious. As well as jumping to conclusions that are almost certainly untrue, or are at the very least a bit bendy, but the accusers know the tabloid press will be all over it like monkeys in a cake shop, making up even more stuff, compounding the nonsense, gilding the tarnished lily, on the basis that the more far-fetched and outlandish their coverage, the more likely the whole saga will revolve full circle and re-enter the real world by the back-door magically transformed into the Indefatigable Truth.
So, before I say anything more I want to make it very clear indeed that like most people, I am not anti-Semitic. I don’t even know anyone who is or was. What’s more, I have yet to meet one single person who does not recognise the significance of the Holocaust for Jewish people. I am equally aware of the untold millions of black people, Asians, Arabs, Freemasons, the handicapped, homosexuals, the mentally ill, gypsies and many other people from targeted ethnicities and cultures murdered in death camps by Nazis. Furthermore, alongside millions (if not billions) of Humanitarians, I have undertaken to do whatever I can to prevent such atrocities happening again. Ever.
So, no, I am not anti-Semitic, but I am anti-evil bastards. Particularly those who commit crimes against humanity. Specifically, Leaders of militarised States supported by shamelessly immoral politicians and business people in Russia, Europe, and the United States, who propagate the repression of civilians in their home territories, who conduct illegal occupations and blockades and carry out genocide by stealth or, god forbid, by other more expedient means.
Regarding Israel, in common with everyone else, I am bound to accept the findings concerning the siege of Gaza by the United Nations Special Rapporteur for the Occupied Palestinian Territories: “Such a massive form of collective punishment is a crime against humanity, as well as a gross violation of the prohibition on collective punishment in Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.”
It is clear that Palestine is not a conflict between two equal sides, it is an occupation by a powerful military state, armed by the West, against an impoverished, stateless and displaced people.
Israel’s crimes against humanity are so grave, so dehumanising, so contrary to the viability of human beings as an elevated species, it is unthinkable that anyone should be prevented from calling to account those who choose to support Israel’s conduct whether by reason of religious association, political affiliation, trade agreement, arms dealing, even by shirking responsibility and doing nothing, simply because two or three so-called provocative words might be employed in the same sentence.
In all engagements, how you do something is as important as what you do. Words, whether perceived as provocative or not, count for very little indeed.
Picture: ClownHitler is the photographic nightmare of French-born photographer Eolo Perfido. The image is intended to be offensive to supporters and followers of Adolf Hitler and a prompt for them to seek professional help without delay. Hitler is represented as a loon, a figure to be derided and humiliated. In no way is it a call to arms for transgender, transvestite, camp, homosexual, heterosexual, mentally disadvantaged, completely sane or any other character type of cream-faced loon Hitler impersonator.
ALSO, by Israel, I mean the Government of that potentially beautiful country, the Leaders and Policy Makers who direct the atrocities against Palestine as well as their officials, officers, and supporters.
(C) Rivenrod 2016
An open letter to Members of UK Parliament
In December 2015, most of you voted with the Prime Minister to scale up airstrikes against targets in Syria with the commendable though vague notion of ‘destroying ISIS’. In reaching a decision I would like to believe you diligently considered the likely consequences of your actions including the direct impact on the lives of the men, women, and children who constitute the civilian population of that stricken country.
You will have already known from previous actions in, for example, Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan, that missile attacks and bombings are well established tactical means for forcing large-scale evacuation from a war-zone. I would be amazed, therefore, if your deliberations did not lead you to conclude that a significant number of people, terrified and homeless, would be likely to seek refuge in friendly countries throughout Europe.
Given that you considered all the implications very carefully indeed, and not just the obvious, it will have come as no surprise to be asked, a couple of months afterwards, to allow sanctuary for 3,000 unaccompanied Syrian refugee children.
On April 25th, a vote was called and instead of rubber stamping your approval, you chose to refuse them entry into the UK. It is unthinkable that you could have so readily forgotten your obligation. You are responsible for displacing those same children when you unleashed the machinery of war against them. Having been instrumental in blowing their homes to kingdom come, it was your duty to do all you could to provide them with a place of safety.
Whilst I understand the decision is currently in the process of being reversed, the fact remains you did shut the door on them in the first instance and you did so on your own recognizance; most certainly not in the name of the public you serve. It is no act of benevolence on your part that you have now been shamed into reconsidering.
Can we, your voting public, can we trust you? The simple answer is an emphatic, No! Not so long as Members of our Parliament, both collectively and individually, can so blithely shrug off responsibility for their actions.
Picture: “The Blind Child” by Eve, extraordinary photographer from Sweden. Find more of her work here.
(C) Rivenrod 2016
What with all the talk about Mars and the age of the water that may or may not be found on its surface, well . . . a red sketch painting was always on the cards. On such a small scale the cloud formations are difficult to form, every brush seems to be too big as is the smallest of my fingers. As they say, “Practice makes perfect” but it also makes for being bored too.
Painting by Rivenrod in acrylic and oils on cotton canvas. (C) Rivenrod 2016
A general definition of Prick up your ears is “to begin listening attentively” – Listen hard! Listen up! – and derives from the ability of dogs and horses amongst other animals to lift up their ears, to make them stand erect, in order to hear more clearly.
Francis Bacon used the idiom in 1626 in his Essays on Fame: “Look how many feathers she hath, so many eyes she hath underneath; so many tongues; so many voices; she pricks up so many ears.”
The allusion to the erectness of, shall we say, a gentleman’s paraphernalia and the similar Cock an ear are the source of the slang terms ‘prick’ and ‘cock’ for penis.
It’s fair to say that Penis up your ears doesn’t quite work and it’s only when the Dutch word for penis is introduced (Pik) do we begin to get somewhere close to the gist of the matter in hand – Pik up your ears!
Pik = Penis = Prick
Now, having got the definitions straight, I must say that the word Prick is, I believe, much under-used. In my view, when it comes to profanity, Prick is up there with Cock, Fuck and Bollocks, all of which, incidentally, have a Dutch flavour to them.
So. Let us resurrect this ancient term of derision and contempt! Let us scatter our profanities willy-nilly upon the ever growing number of deserving candidates: Trump? He’s a prick. Cameron? He’s a prick too. Merkel? Now that’s a hard one. Oh go on then, yeah, she’s a prick. Obama? An incidental prick, maybe. Assad? Evil prick. Netanyahu? Out and out evil prick. . . . etc. etc. etc.
I think the point is made.
Here’s some reviews of my latest book: Swell
(C) Rivenrod 2015
Music: TubThumping by Chumbawamba Picture: “PrickPig” by WhoTheFuckCares