When I started writing Folding Mirror poems I was looking for an ideal identity, hoping that I would find ancestors I could really relate with; maybe in line with the hippy ideal.
But I had to face the reality that the first settler-ancestors were forest-felling, meat-slaughtering, people-sacrificing humans.
They also did great things of course, such as surviving in harsh conditions, creating art and stone circles, and worshipping nature.
In other words, they lived like most human communities around the world, before being invaded by other humans with superior technology.
While the ancients’ world seems better than ours in many ways; such as freedom, space and the amount of nature; for comfort, peacefulness and human rights ours seems preferable.
Most of my interest is in humanity
but its tainted with concern,
for we seem out of control
on a global scale:
tearing down the forests,
cutting up the animals,
polluting the seas,
thawing the glaciers,
increasing the likelihood of more war.
We’ve had greenygrey human, wolves, animals and natural environment focused XaW Files, so what could be the fifth and last XaW File. Well, super fittingly for the former Andy Wolfhol, it’s art focusing on the previous four categories.
Hi, it’s Baron Wolfman, head honcho of Greenygrey Creation in the absence of Andy Wolfhol; our inspirations in the human world are Baron Wolman and Andy Warhol.
Having analysed my files, the Greenygrey has decided that the far east of Russia is the best place to start the search for ol’ Wolfhol, with strong signals received from that location in the Googlesphere.
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 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 Harry Silhouetteof-Wolfhowlingonhill, television correspondent at the Greenygrey. Hot off the press news from a just taken place Dan BrownBBC Breakfast interview. It’s a serious blog post though, so if you expect and need my usual attempts at comedy to brighten a Monday morning I’d advise leaving now; the same goes for devout/delusional believers in monotheistic religions, which still means the vast majority of the world, cutting our readership and sales opportunities down somewhat, but again suggesting that we blog what we really think, rather than what we think will sell.
Talking about his new Inferno book, Dan Brown explained that it is about Dante’s Middle-ages epic poem, which after conducting strenuous research, Brown discovered has created our modern version of Hell. It had only been alluded to before that.
Brown’s book twists Dante’s Hell into prophecy rather than commentary, with our planet’s overpopulation spiralling our planet into a Hell on Earth.
Earth, Environment and Hell
I don’t know if Brown’s Hell on Earth will come true; I’d probably be accused of being an environmental extremist if I said I thought it likely to happen.
Today’s Earth might seem like Hell to somebody of a few centuries ago, when nature was in balance and animal life plentiful.
A hellish Earth certainly seems to be coming true for many animals and species, but they don’t really count under monotheism, which proclaims them as mere servants and products for humanity, rather than our close cousins and sharers of most DNA as in evolutionary science.
We don’t believe in monotheistic religion, therefore we don’t believe in the Devil and Hell, which are part of the scripts, so please don’t accuse us of being Devil-worshippers, or being on the ‘dark-side’, because we don’t believe in a Devil, seeing as there is clear historical evidence to prove that it was created out of old pagan deities: as Dante’s Hell was created; the Wizard of Oz was created; and Greenygrey’s Rambles was created.
Dante’s Hell might have been useful as a Middle-Ages control mechanism, but the monotheistic religions usually provided a get-out clause, with men given dominion over women and animals, to treat them as they wished; and the fallen forgiven as long as they repented/converted.
Modern monotheistic religion still provides a guide to many people, and is practised properly by some people, but to many it is just used as an excuse for power and preferential treatment.
People who put other people through Hell on Earth suddenly remember their godly ways when caught out, and demand preferential treatment in line with their until-then-forgotten religious beliefs; playing the human rights card that they only believe in for themselves; sure in the belief that their God will be pleased with them, and provide a wonderful afterlife… not caring about the life they leave behind on Earth.
A Site for Reading and Publishing Folding Mirror and Related Poetry