While the Greenygrey world is just a virtual world, and Britain doesn’t have many big wild animals left, the U.S.A. has lots (and lots more space of course). Defenders of Wildlife is at the forefront of defending animals and habitat both in North America and around the world.
Until tomorrow, August 31st, the Defenders hierarchy are willing to match donations up to $100,000. And here’s some of the wolves you’ll be helping protect, in a nice greenygrey image, with a link (http://www.defenders.org/) to the Defenders website embedded in the photo:
Hi, it’s Greenygrey. First of all, I’d like to congratulate the British parliament for voting against military action in Syria. It’s a sensible decision reflecting the will of the majority of the British people, showing democracy working well. I think Prime-Minister Cameron was rash in his calls for action, but magnanimous after the House of Commons defeat.
Badger’s Bane to Potty Pigeons
On a more environmental note in the U.K.,
for wolf – environmental week at the Greenygrey,
I also disagree with David Cameron‘s decision to cull badgers, but accept the government’s decision in line with our democracy; although it wasn’t put to a vote in parliament.
Anyway, enough of the serious stuff, here’s the next episode of Werewolf of Oz: Fantasy Travel by Google Maps. After the extended episodes epic Lord of the Rings themed story, this episode is another standalone breather like the last one in Berridale, as the travel quest quartet reach Cooma for more pigeon and partridge pottiness.
Pigeon Partridge Potty Pranks
Yes, I did mean to write ‘more’ above, because this episode connects back to an earlier episode with pigeon pranks-a-plenty.
Yes, all the way back to chapter thirteen, when Grey was still a lone travelling werewolf in Western Australia, before it met Bonzo, Elle, Angry and Cathy; and got into trouble with the Monotonous Monotheists at Meekatharra before being helped out by the Mildly Monotonous Moby in chapter twenty.
Anyway, there’s links to the old chapter above, and here’s the new:
Chapter 101. Coo ma, it’s the Pigeon Mothers of Cooma
We didn’t know what Cooma could provide at the late hour we arrived. Our bellies were all berried out, and seemed to have been racing to rumble the roarest more than our legs had been spinning to speed the slickest. My hopes rose at the Cooma city limits when we were met by a pigeon in a pinafore that was quick to come to the fore.
Pigeon Mothers of Cooma
She cooed a welcoome and introduced herself as Patricia. She said she was one of the many pigeon mothers of Cooma, although she’d been named after her grandmother, who was a member of The Partridge Family.
Patricia said they’d heard we were on our way from the pigeons in Coorow; the Coorowgeons had sent a carrier with a message about our journey. As time passed, they’d thought it must be literary nonsense, and Coorow had just wanted something to coo about; but our arrival meant it had not been nonsense after all. It had all turned out cooshty in the end.
The not nonsense phrase was probably inspired by Joseph Heller’s Catch-22, which the author was reading at the time.
cooshty – cushty is slang for good. The Partridge Family was a television series.
Marc Latham’s latest Folding Mirror poem was inspired by an article he just wrote about Bergen for the TravelThruHistory website (not published yet). It brought back memories of his journeys between Haugesund, Bergen, Voss and Oslo alongside fjords and over mountains on the Hardangervidda plateau. Here it is:
Highest Railway Line, A Beautiful Time
Riding fjord mountain roads
ferry keeps afloat
by bus and boat.
Ruby Sunday snaking
east with Osteroy
Dale, Voss and Naeroy
lead to Flam – Myrdal, metres 1222 ascent at Finse
Orteren, Ustevatn and Rodungen
swallowed wide open
Hardangervidda plateau mouth
Forest and lake scenery
waterfalls accompany descent
completing la vida loco.
Hi, it’s Baron Wolfman, head honcho of Greenygrey arts in the absence of Andy Wolfhol, who is still awol (that’s an acronym for ‘absent without official leave‘, rather than an abbreviation of ‘a werewolf’). They say a picture tells a thousand words, and I think that’s especially true of the greenygrey environment.
So instead of writing any more, here’s some photos I collected from Marc Latham’s Google+ profile for wolf -environment week. By the way, you can now follow Marc on Google+ from the badge at the bottom of this blog page.
We don’t ask you for much at the Greenygrey,
such as asking you to pay,
for the innovative information,
and exciting entertainment,
we poetically send your way.
I just let a teabag fall into the last tea at the bottom of my mug after thinking it might happen. Did I do it because:
I took a risk it wouldn’t happen?
I didn’t really care if the teabag dropped?
all three of the above?
Oops, got distracted from the photos with more words. No more. On with some greenygrey environment photos:
Hi, it’s Rudi Skollpack, fresh new food and drink correspondent at the Greenygrey for wolf – animal welfare and environment – week at the Greenygrey. My closest human parallel is famous award winning vegetarian chef Eddie Shepherd. My names are derived from the famous wolf names:
The episode sees the travel quest quartet leaving Smiggin Holes, and starting to head north towards the epic Brisbane fun finale. Reaching Berridale sets the tone for the episode.
It ends up so full of berryment that I don’t feel the need to add any more of my own, apart from berryment for merriment above, so I hope you enjoyed my first blog, and don’t think I made a meal of it!
Chapter 100. Australia’s Greytest Travellers Reach the Capital
We left Smiggin Holes where it was, and headed east on the dust sandy path. I thought we’d left the Lord of the Rings influence behind, but that turned out to be nonsense, because I was reminded of it again when we stopped for supper: a berry dal in Berridale.
We were berry impressed with the berries in the dal, and it made us all feel much berrter after our Smiggin Holes ordeal. So we thought we’d try to go beyond the pain berryer; searching for more berries even if it meant a long endurance journey. Angry suggested trying Canberra, as he thought we could berryer there. And you know what, he was right, you can berryer in Canberra. It didn’t take long before we were berrying an incrediberryble amount of berries into our bellies. I don’t know what type the Canberra berries were; maybe cranberries with the r left out.
Missing Dairymans Plains Makes My Mind Complains
We headed back down south once our berry ballooned bellies felt balanced, but we made slow progress; because we took along some sloe berries. However, the sloe berries did satisfy my desire for more berries and set my mind at rest; because prior to berrying them, I’d been regretting our decision not to detour to Dairymans Plains, as it sounded good for a raspberry ripple.
Dale is a region and battle in Lord of the Rings.
Dal is an Indian food pulse dish.
Berry language: berry – very, berrter – better, pain berryer – pain barrier, can berryer – Canberra, berrying – burying, incrediberryable – incredible.
Berridale, Dairymans Plains and Cooma are real places. Canberra is Australia’s capital.
Hi, it’s Chris Packwolf, animal welfare correspondent at the Greenygrey; with Chris Packham a parallel for those reading this in the human world. As wolf week takes over from working-class week, yesterday the Greenygrey reported how Gemma Atkinson is a working-class woman animal welfare supporter and environmentally conscious. Tom Hardy stars today.
Gemma is probably not the stereotypical animal welfare supporter, and neither is the actor Tom Hardy. Hardy is best known for being a bad boy celebrity, and playing baddie roles such as Bronson and Bane; as told in his biography. Bri’s bane was of course the ultimate Brisbane baddie at the end of Werewolf of Oz.
However, Tom Hardy this week starred in a documentary visiting Africa to report on the struggle to save elephants and rhinos from poachers in the first of the two-part Poaching Wars With Tom Hardy.
Use of Iconic Logos
Although it would be nice to raise awareness using just the animals, I think it sometimes needs stars and icons to attract new supporters. That’s why we have the greenygrey wolf as the logo for the Greenygrey website.
We could have chosen a less controversial animal, but felt that the wolf was right; and Lacoste hasn’t done too bad with the crocodile, which of course starred in the Werewolf of Oz pirate story. Crocodiles seem even less popular and iconic an animal to humans than our best friend dog’s close wild cousin.
Being True to Oneself
Remembering working-class week and Tom Hardy above, the Greenygrey’s struggle between the human and wild animal world is reminiscent of Tom Hardy’s Victorian namesake writer Thomas Hardy’s struggle with class identity.
Thomas Hardy the writer found it difficult to live in upper class life after becoming a successful writer, and felt he would have to lose some of his good working-class qualities to be accepted into the upper echelons; where he would be able to fulfill his literary potential.
I remember hearing a jokey observation that when the upper classes see a fox they hunt it; when the working-class see a fox they hit it on the head and eat it; when the middle-class see a fox they photograph it.
So although I am a working-class werewolf, in that respect I am more stereotypically middle-class.
Although vegetarianism and animal welfare support are more typically middle-class I do it out of a liking for animals and the environment rather than social factors. In fact, life would be much easier, and I would probably be more acceptable in my current life, if I did eat meat and not care so much about animals.
And in reality, I think animal lovers cross class and cultural boundaries. An early fictional example of a working-class person finding an interest in life through animals was Kes, a Ken Loach film adapted from the Barry Hines book A Kestrel for a Knave.
Whether it’s kestrels in Britain or elephants in Africa, the Greenygrey totally supports the efforts of animal welfare supporters to try and protect endangered animals for both the animals and humans; the world will be a much poorer place without all the animal species that brighten it with life.
Hi, it’s Paco Wolfsang, fashionista extraordinaire understudy to Stella Lagerwolf-Bruno at the Greenygrey. I’ve been loving the WWW weeks at the Greenygrey, and think I spotted the perfect link between the women and working-class weeks just past, and the wolf week to come.
Wolf is of course the iconic logo for all animal welfare and environmental matters, as women is for people and working-class for equality.
In the Metro newspaper on Thursday (August 22nd) glamour model turned actress Gemma Atkinson was asked about her most extravagant purchase, and she replied:
‘I don’t know if it’s from being up north or just being a tight b*****d but when it comes to fashion I’ve always been one of those that says: ‘I’m not paying that amount of money for a pair of shoes.’ My mum says: ‘Life’s too short, buy them,’ but I can’t do it. I can’t pay £800 for a pair of shoes when I could just spend £40. I’ll spend money on organic food but I’m not extravagant other than that.’
Chapter 99. Snakes and Ladderless Holes for Snaggin’ Smiggin
I mentally prepared myself for a long fall into a deep chasm, but then the hole suddenly moved to the left, and I landed head-first in a muddy puddle. I didn’t even have my hat on to cushion the fall; but was relieved I’d avoided the hole.
After I’d sat up and wiped the mud from my eyes, I saw the hole had moved under where Smiggin had been. Elle was standing beside the hole, but the holiculturist was nowhere to be seen.
I put my hat back on, and it felt good to be reunited with ol’ corky. We all gathered around the hole. Smiggin was sitting at the bottom of it; looking disconsolate but still clutching some of its green hoard.
Cathy Keeps Quiet about Snaggin’ Smiggin
I asked Cathy how she’d turned the hat into a snake and moved the hole. She said we all have our own special powers, and they wouldn’t be special if everybody knew about them.
Being a shapeshifting, chameleonic one-half of a legendary vegetarian werewolf I just had to agree with her, and left it at that.
Snakes and ladders is a popular board game.
Down in a Hole is an Alice in Chains song.
Hi, it’s G.G. Howling, literary correspondent at the Greenygrey, finishing off working-class week at the Greenygrey. My human parallel, J.K. Rowling, is a woman done good from an ordinary background, living as a single mother on benefits before finding success.
While I haven’t heard J.K. talk about class I remember Adrian Mole author Sue Townsend talking about her struggles as a working-class writer; on Melvyn Bragg’s On Class and Culture I think; with her (working) class not really valuing her work, and the upper classes not really interested in a working-class writer.
Marc Latham can relate to this, although he has also had help and made valued connections with people from both the working-class and upper classes.
So, after focusing on the working-class this week, we’ll end it by considering its place amongst other classes and cultures in modern Britain.
As this is the Greenygrey, we of course have to consider both sides of the argument. Film-makers like Ken Loach and Alan Bleasdale created realistic but romantic portrayals of the working-class from the 1960s to 1990s, mixing gritty depressing situations with the hope and spirit of people determined not to let the system grind them down.
John Lennon of course sung of this in the Working-Class Hero song.
Perhaps these are old hat to the younger multicultural generation, and they relate more to the street stories of Noel Clarke and Ronan Bennett?
The other side of the coin to the romantic – realistic portrayal of the working-class is like that of Boris Johnson, who blames the working-class for not trying hard enough; living instead in a hazy old world self-sympathising stupor.
But even if the working-class try, it’s not always easy. Mass immigration means there’s more competition, which is usually the government or EU’s fault rather than the migrants, and employers are able to hire and fire more easily, as well as offering less work. Zero-hour contracts are the new novelty harking back to Victorian workhouse times.
And work environments aren’t always that nice anyway; or even universities. When Marc Latham tried to work hard at the start of his PhD thesis in university because of financial difficulties he was persecuted as a pushy troublemaker by his first year supervisors!
The Working-Class Green and Grey
In social terms, the Greenygrey was born between the more green upper classes Marc Latham had mixed with while travelling and in university, and the more grey traditional working-class life portrayed by Loach and Bleasdale Marc related to; although he grew up in a working-class green countryside town.
But, as with everything Greenygrey, the two sides (classes) are not entirely separate, and there are green working-class people and grey upper classes; and Marc Latham similarly thinks green sometimes, and other times grey.
While in some ways, some times he agrees with Boris Johnson that people should work more, in other ways he thinks that the working-class who don’t work to chase money and materialism are living an ideal life; like Native Americans, African tribal people or Australian aborigines.
But, trying to live a life focused on old ways family and community is precarious in a globalised world, and as the plight of other indigenous people has shown, it’s an almost certainty that they’ll be preyed upon by other cultures and big business.
Leading into Wolf, Wildlife and Environment Week
While Jeremy Clarkson’s anti-environmentalism is about as grey as can be, so is usually anathema to Marc, sometimes he does seem to make sense when arguing against policies that are going to have little or no impact on the environment.
While the green of Marc doesn’t like policies that unnecessarily harm the environment, the grey of Marc doesn’t like policies that unnecessarily make life difficult for the poor and vulnerable.
Therefore, he is still open-minded about fracking, which is currently dividing the green and grey worlds. Although in a perfect world it would be nice if it was unnecessary, in the real world green energy can only supply a small fraction of our energy needs; and fracking might make Britain energy rich and reduce bills for the people. Although knowing how the energy companies have profited while raising bills over the last twenty years, we don’t trust them at all.
And that leads nicely into the third and final w of the www of the Greenygrey philosophy: wolf. Wolf is the icon for wildlife and environment, and of course also the Greenygrey website.
Although the last couple of weeks have been enjoyable and rewarding, it’ll be a relief to escape into nature and wildlife; writing about women and the working-class can be controversial and divisive, and everybody loves a wolf don’t they…
Hi, it’s Grey Greyvara, the Greenygrey’s political conscience, and werewolf parallel to the human Che Guevara. Today, we start to round off working-class week with a summary of how and why we view the current U.K. and world political situation.
When Marc Latham was in university he felt prejudiced against, like a microcosm of the British situation told in Chavs: The Demonising of the Working-Class, with an international emphasis on everything, and the old working-class being framed as backward; being blamed for holding Britain back.
Marc started his PhD in line with the far left of Noam Chomsky and the Glasgow Media Group; socialist criticism of the British and ‘Western’ establishment; hoping for a more equal Britain and less international conflict. At the time he thought he was quite rare in his outlook.
But under New Labour’s revisionist internationalism, criticising Britain seemed to become the norm, while criticising other cultures was ‘racist’, and risked social exclusion. Islamism replaced socialism as the likely successor to Western capitalism in British and world hegemony.
New Labour and the Working-Class
While Marc’s hopes for hegemonic theory supported all races and genders gaining more equality under a more socialist Britain, like Che Guevara’s philosophy, New Labour’s multiculturalism seemed to be supporting other cultures while neglecting or persecuting the traditional British working-class; and women under Islamism.
Gordon Brown seemed to confirm this when he called Gillian Duffy a bigot in Rochdale for asking about immigration near the end of the New Labour tenure. Rochdale later emerged in a related infamous story, with a Muslim paedophile ring having been targeting poor and vulnerable children for years during the New Labour government.
Current Labour leader, Ed Miliband, has now admitted New Labour got it wrong on immigration and multiculturalism.
Allowed hate preachers to radicalise ordinary Muslims.
Went to war in Afghanistan and Iraq against Muslims.
I think Tony Blair was naive, and as a Christian thought he could work with his fellow monotheist Muslims; preferring them to the pagan communist Slav Russians and allies.
This was shown by New Labour’s first war; supporting Muslim Kosovars against Communist Serbs. Blair was also the only Allied leader not to attend the Russians’ VE Day 60th anniversary celebration.
Tony Blair has now stressed that Islamism is the big threat to world peace.
British Post-Modern Political System
Marc had wondered why some working-class people supported the Conservatives, as he grew up under Thatcher, but the New Labour government showed him why!
The British political system is no longer like the one Marc grew up under in the 1980s anyway, and is now more post-modern issues based.
While Marc had called for a wider hegemony in his PhD thesis, hoping for more access for the old socialism, politics in the U.K. and the world overtook him; especially as he was held up (both time-wise and financially!) by his department.
The rise of the extreme right-wing Islamic hate preachers in Britain (and I include George Galloway!), and extreme right-wing fascists in southern Europe showed him that a wider access to the political debate has as many negatives as positives.
The old communist systems were full of poor treatment of people as well, and even Che Guevara didn’t do as well in peacetime as he did in war.
So Marc is now in the Greenygrey middle, reacting to policies as much as political ideologies and traditions, and a little disillusioned with it all really. Funnily enough, that might be in line with the ‘Third Way‘ policy supported by New Labour!!!
A Site for Reading and Publishing Folding Mirror and Related Poetry