Festival phenomena and one woman bands

Throat a little sore from lots of talking last night. Like many towns in our little island Swanage has created a number of festivals throughout the year, there was even a literary one a couple of weeks ago which I missed during which an old friend Andy organised a Barne’s night to celebrate a Dorset poet of that name. Seems like this festival phenomena has mushroomed over recent years, are there any fungal festivals out there yet? I wonder why we are creating so many?

Anyway this weekend is the first of two annual blues weekends so I was in the Red Lion with a bunch of chums and we were entertained by a one man band who created a sound as if it were a band. A crowded pub with loud music meant louder talking and my current sore throat.

Met up with Mark Hopper who I’ve not seen in a while, we walked home together and one thing we agreed on was me working towards being fit enough to cycle to the Square and Compass pub with Mark, Mike and any others playing tunes and singing like in the olden days. One of the greatest pleasures in life is cycling home from the Square and Compass after another magical evening, a few beers in your belly and the sheer visceral pleasure of speeding down the hill on a bike. It is for me such a life affirming thrill and one I’ve missed for a while.

As Mark and I were chatting outside number 24 Bell Street two young lads walked by saying bonjour, I replied and realised it was young Hamish. He stopped with us a while and told us about being in Bristol where he lives now, but also about some imminent writing of his on an anarchist website, I must check it out.

‘To do’ lists cropped up in my daily reading today after talking about them with Mark Brydsen yesterday, he said his ‘to do’ list gets longer every day. In Oliver Burkeman’s column he writes about a new book: The Organised Mind by psychologist Daniel Levitin. He notes that we now consume 5 times more information than we did in 1986, that’s a massive increase but he believes we’re not actually suffering from “information overload” and the brain takes in and somehow stores all this information, which is quite remarkable. The problem is we feel overloaded with information and that of ‘retrieval and management’. His solution is “that we need better systems for organising it”, and this can be done by using external support. If you can afford it employ people, so Mark as SNP branch secretary needs a secretary. But for those of us who haven’t the money for human support can do things like leaving work items on the doormat or as Mike does leave a mug out in the kitchen with a tea bag in it the night before. Or there’s Oliver Sacks’ idea of having different writing projects in different rooms or on different computers.

Dear Oliver Sacks, he’s recently revealed he has a terminal illness. He wrote what was a seminal book for me: ‘The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat’ which is a collection of the weird and wonderful world of neurological disorders.

Following on from the ‘controversy’ in India over the documantary ‘India’s Daughter’ Jayati Ghosh today writes about how things are getting worse in India for women. She says that the government’s reason for banning the film are that the film’s expression of such extreme views can cause greater incitement against women when really they’re trying to protect India’s international image. This reflects so much how multinationals and the like expend so much on projecting and protecting their ‘image’ and that dodgy term ‘reputational risk’. She extends the denigration of women’s rights to beyond India citing the cases of Dominique Strauss-Kahn and RK Pachauri and the suggestion that “to blame the victim is rampant among the international elite. The culture of patriarchy is inextricably linked with global capitalism”.

And this is confirmed with a namecheck of the FTSE 100 shows there are more chief executives called John than women, and also Davids, Ians, Marks and Andrews. Same in the US with Johns and it’s Peters in Australia. Not only do we need a remonstrance against neoliberal capitalism but also a real and present feminism. Britain is 57th in world ranking for female parliamentary representation and as Dr Helen Pankhurst and Laura Pankhurst write in a letter: “Without equal representation, policies are skewed by the interests of those who govern and we end up with a government of the few, by the few, for the few”. buller, buller. Tomorrow is International Women’s Day.

And Mark B, a new series of Poldark starts tomorrow.

Manifesto 95:

  • let’s have more one woman bands.

Keep on keeping on, love Duncan.


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