Reasons I don't write this blog
1. I'm too lazy.
This isn't entirely true. Sometimes it is, but I'm generally a pretty active person. I even get up and go swimming some mornings. When I think about it, most of the time what I feel is laziness is actually apathy , lethargy or despondency caused by some of the other reasons given below.
2. I'm too busy.
Again, this is only partly true. I am involved in a lot of other things than this project, and have to be in order to stay afloat as an artist living in a market dominated society. But I'm also getting a lot better organised, and could write more regular blog posts if I gave myself the opportunity.
3. Other people are writing much better blogs about the environment.
Now we're getting to the roots of things. It's so easy to look at the reams of writing out there that deal with these issues from a much more informed and active point of view, and just think 'what's the point?' I can't add anything to the 'debate' apart from opinions I've received from other writers, most of whom know more than me, or are doing much more about it than writing poems and making theatre pieces noone comes to see. But if there's anything interesting about this blog, I think it will be just that - a pretty ordinary sort of artist trying to make sense of a lot of overwhelming scientific evidence and political opinion, trying to make entertaining performance work about it, whilst dealing with the apparent contradictions of the urgency of the situation we face, and the sort of reflective work I think is necessary in order to consider where we are, how we got here, and where we need to go...
4. No one will read it anyway.
Well, that's as maybe. But you won't know until you start doing it more reguarly than every three months. And I learned recently, from my girlfriend (whose excellent blog you can read here) that the way to increase your readership is to read other people's and comment on them. Which concerns me slightly as I find it hard enough writing my two blogs, and all the creative stuff that they're supposed to be about, but I think if I stop letting my insecurities and self-doubt get in my way, I should free up some time to be interested in what other people are writing.
5. I should be going out and taking action, rather than sitting at home writing about it.
This is partly true, and being at Climate Camp for a few days this summer (which I haven't yet written about, because as soon as I started looking around for what other people had written so I didn't duplicate too much information, I immediately felt innadequate and got put off. See above.) has reignited my taste for being involved in direct action and protest. But it's important to reflect on the nature of that action, what the motivations are, how effective it is etc. So whilst I am going to be involved in more actions in future, and continue to make theatrical/literary work about it, this will also be the space where I will write about being involved in both of those processes. It's all about balance...
6. We're all f**cked anyway, what's the point writing a blog about it?
Yeah, it's easy to look at the evidence laid before us and give up all hope, but the truth is that's just not as much fun as trying to do something about it! My experiences over the last few months - at Climate Camp, at the Permaculture Convergence, at various theatre events - have reminded me that being engaged in creative grassroots movements - be they trying to shut down power stations, or getting involved in community urban gardening projects, or performing to people in fields on bike powered sound systems - is loads of fun! Much more enjoyable than sitting around all defeated, or going out and hedonistically burning as many fossil fuels as possible while we still can (which sounds fun, but had you the least conscience or understanding of the likely impacts, would be impossible without releasing simultaneous plumes of guilt).
I'll end this little public session of self-therapy with a quote I found in my notebook as I was desperately scouring around for some inspiration. It's by Howard Zinn, from the documentary You Can't Be Neutral On A Moving Train (which is quite apt in itself...):
'The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now, as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvellous victory.'