Hi, it’s Jack Wolfpac, travel writing correspondent at the Greenygrey inspired by the legendary travel writer Jack Kerouac. I was delighted to see this morning that there’s a new travel article on Leeds hosting Le Grande Depart of the Tour de France on July 5th.
Go Nomad Travel Site
The article is on the Go Nomad site, which has been a leader in alternative travel writing on the web since 2000.
The article provides travel info about Leeds and Yorkshire through a virtual tour of the city, as well as providing a little historical and retail facts. There’s also a lot of photos and a little of the author’s endurance sport history in the region linking the info and facts together into a travel article.
Marc Latham’s latest Folding Mirror poem needs no introduction.
If you follow the tale
to the end of the tail,
you may get the idea
but you might also fail.
Limits of Freedom Poetry Reflection
The above is the introduction to Marc Latham’s Tale of the Weakness Tail Folding Mirror poem posted on fmpoetry in July 2012. I wish its reflection didn’t need an introduction, as I could be out enjoying the delightful spring sunshine, but we believe in doing things properly at the Greenygrey, and time waits for no-one in the fast-paced modern rebranded greenYgrey world… and by the end of writing this post I had found a happy place…
Hi, regular readers and garrulous greenygreyliens might already have guessed that it’s William Wolfsworth, satirical comedy poetry correspondent at the Greenygrey inspired by legendary Romantic poet William Wordsworth.
What is Freedom?
Freedom’s just another word, for nothing left to lose sang legendary songstress Janis Joplin. Having escaped a negative upbringing, she found fame and success, but it helped drive her over the edge. Would she have been happier if she’d sought a normal life? I don’t know.
Legendary travel writer Jack Kerouac found freedom On The Road, but lived long enough to reach its end; ending up disillusioned with the counter-culture’s helter-skelter spiral towards self-destruction at the end of the 1960s.
British homes children under the New Labour government thought they had more freedom, but many ended up being enslaved by child grooming gangs. Their social workers believed in them having freedom, so they left them to the mercy of the groomers, who only believed in their own freedom, and cared nothing for anybody else.
Limits of Freedom
When birds have freedom they don’t fly into the stratosphere
but sometimes bump into windows.
Yes, the above Limits of Freedom was reflection 11 in 242 Mirror Poems and Reflections, reflecting the mirror poem Tale of the Weakness Tail.
Eagle-eyed readers might be scratching their heads, as they may think that reflection had a totally different meaning to Reflection 10, which wrote about seeking the mind void.
They will have forgotten that this is the greenYgrey world, where like in a parallel universe, two ideas and theories can coexist, and sometimes even merge.
Explaining this in human terms, Marc Latham has lived a life of youth, and now crossed the hinterland into middle-age. Crossing from one world into the other doesn’t mean he has left all his youth behind, or forgotten how he felt then, so he is in some ways living two lives; or three if you count the transitional stage.
Is There Anybody Out There?
once sang Pink Floyd. It’s impossible to tell if searching in the void brings any benefits. Although it can seem as if it brought new insights, it’s not really possible to separate them from other factors: such as ageing, life experiences, education, physical changes, world events and exercise.
I remember reading about an enlightened Buddhist monk who thought that recreational drink and drugs in modern society were short-cuts to what he searched for in life. He didn’t regret the time he spent meditating. I guess that’s because he enjoyed it.
While we found an article describing the Kamchatka Peninsula as fish-shaped, our intrepid researchers did not find one describing its neighbouring island Karaginsky as also being fish-shaped: to us it looks like a little fish just born from Kamchatka, and shot out facing the other direction. Here’s a photo of them together, with Karaginsky at the top-right of the image:
XaW Files Episode 3 Follows Claim Discovery
Hi, it’s Jack Wolfpac, legendary travel writer correspondent at the Greenygrey inspired by Jack Kerouac in the human world.
The Greenygrey hereby claims rights to the discovery of Karaginsky as a little fish-shape to Kamchatka’s big; putting down the virtual Greenygrey flag. If one day approved, it would be the first great discovery of the Greenygrey’s epic fantasy travels byGoogle Maps.
While you might think that’s enough for one blog; and if you did you’ll be delighted … or disappointed…; to read that we’ve also got the third thrilling episode of the story, which also provides the first prattle of poetry. Here it is:
Chapter 1 Episode 3
Can’t see in Karaginsky.
Falling through earth
emerging in rocks like birth.
Sitting in a cavernous belly
water washing around
multiple boulders and me.
Come chat with me
I look like I just shot
out of a dolphin
to my mother’s mouth.
I’m a rock fish baby
I can live on seaweed
and a little summer time
haven’t had werewolf for a while.
So tell me lost traveller
what you think I should do
should I rock you in
or roll you out
it’s still your shout
but please don’t hang about
because I can hear winter start to shout.
That was some carousing
Karaginsky I did reply
I like your belly
in a way I can’t describe
but I’m on a quest
to find another lost werewolf
who’s been this way
for a much longer time.
So please do send me
on my way
and if you saw pure folklore
pass this way
could you let me know
what direction it did take
so I can continue my just
started new ramble Eurasia
somewhere in east Russia.
It’s not your time to rock
I can see you have work to do
it’s obvious to me
there was a werewolf
going to the Okhotsk Sea
we had a similar conversation
over a cup of tea
only it said ‘Y: wolf not war’
not all the time, not repeatedly.
It was exciting to receive the Greenygrey’s first message from the Chukchi Sea yesterday, and great to read that it’s yet again on a thrilling virtual travelling epic fantasy ramble by Google Maps. We’re just decoding the message from the Mapshere, and hope to have it posted pronto tomorrow right here.
Fantasy Travel Book Plans
Hi, it’s Jack Wolfpac, legendary travel writer correspondent inspired by Jack Kerouac in the human world. While we wait for the Greenygrey’s first message, here’s the plans it left behind from its research into the X Files, which seems to set the template for the mysterious disappearance of the A.W.O.L A. Wolfhol.
Greenygreyologists are discussing whether this is a victory for freedom of information, or an easy way to write a blog post. They may be some time… unlike the Greenygrey’s research, which doesn’t seem to have taken long at all.
The research was done on Wikipedia, which is the information arm to the geography leg of Google Maps for our virtual travelling like Green is to Grey!
The first few sentences are notes made by Greenygrey, while the last few paragraphs are copied from Wikipedia. I had a feeling of X Filesish deja vu when I read about the mythology and standalone episodes that made up the X Files series, as that was how the first two Greengyrey’sRambles books were written!
As with the Werewolf of Oz – Wizard of Oz the XaW Files is unlikely to mirror the X Files very closely.
X Files Research for New Parody
9 seasons 202 episodes – could have 9 chapters and 202 sub-chapters
as well as local people for mine I could have characters from my previous work appear, like the 50s books etc
geographical template set by book 1, but travelling opposite direction. chapter size set by book 2 – 142 then, so 202 seems good for this one.
gender reversal – scully more rational/sceptical, mulder more fantastical/open
green positive/naive, grey negative/wise
In addition to the series-spanning story arc, “Monster-of-the-Week” episodes form roughly two-thirds of the episodes. Such stand-alone episodes enrich the show’s background while not affecting its ongoing mythology.
The main story arc involves the agents’ efforts to uncover a government conspiracy to hide the existence of extraterrestrials on earth and their sinister collaboration with those governments. Mysterious men comprising a shadowelement within the U.S. government, known as “The Syndicate“, are the major villains in the series; late in the series it is revealed that The Syndicate acts as the only liaison between mankind and a group of extraterrestrials that intends to destroy the human species. They are usually represented by The Smoking Man (William B. Davis), a ruthless killer and a masterful politician and negotiator and the series’ principal antagonist.
As the series goes along, Mulder and Scully learn about evidence of the alien invasion piece by piece. It is revealed that the extraterrestrials plan on using a sentient virus, known as the black oil, to infect mankind and turn the population of the world into a slave race. The Syndicate—having made a deal to be spared by the aliens—have been working to develop an alien-human hybrid that will be able to withstand the effects of the black oil. The group has also been secretly working on a vaccine to overcome the black oil; this vaccine is later revealed in the latter parts of season five, as well as the 1998 film. Counter to the alien colonization effort, another faction of aliens, the faceless rebels, are working to stop alien colonization. Eventually, in the season six episodes “Two Fathers“/”One Son“, the rebels manage to destroy the Syndicate. The colonists, now without human liaisons, dispatch the “Super Soldiers“: beings that resemble humans, but are biologically alien. In the latter parts of season eight, and the whole of season nine, the Super Soldiers manage to replace key individuals in the government, forcing Mulder and Scully to go into hiding.
Marc Latham’s liked quotes in Goodreads have reached double figures, and we don’t like to waste work at the Greenygrey, so it’s time for moi, G.G. Howling, literary correspondent at the Greenygrey inspired by J.K. Rowling, to bring you right up to date.
Marc started his Goodreads quotes career by liking three Socrates quotes. Socrates was a philosopher in Greece 2500 years ago, when Greek mythology was still Greek religion.
He was executed for challenging orthodox thinking. Here’s the three quotes attributed to him:
“The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.”
“I cannot teach anybody anything. I can only make them think”
“To find yourself, think for yourself.”
Jack Wolfpac’s recent quote about the Greenygrey on this very blog about Marc’sVery Inspiring Blogger Awardseems to reflect them: ‘If we want to inspire anything it’s independent thought, so you inspire yourself!!’
Travel Writing Quotes
Talking of Jack Wolfpac, his human inspiration Jack Kerouac has a quote from his Big Sur book, which could be seen as quite greenygreyish, a long time before the Greenygrey entered the human world!:
“…Cody is furiously explaining to his little son Tim ‘Never let the right know what your left hand is doing’…”
Marc also likes the writing of another American travel writer, Paul Theroux, and there’s a quote of his from The Great Railway Bazaar there. That seems to mirror the photo used by Marc with the above flexible thinking poem, and here it is again accompanying this. Here’s the quote:
“Ever since childhood, when I lived within earshot of the Boston and Maine, I have seldom heard a train go by and not wished I was on it. Those whistles sing bewitchment: railways are irresistible bazaars… Anything is possible on a train…”
Marc had previously liked Theroux’s The Old Patagonian Express, after reading it in South America when travelling there in 1994. In an exclusive update especially for the Greenygrey, Marc has just included a couple of his favourite quotes from that book:
“A slow feeling of gathering sadness as each familiar place flashes by the window and disappears and becomes part of the past. Time is made visible, and it moves as the landscape moves.”
“And yet on that bench at Jacobacci, I was glad I had left everyone else behind. Although this was a town with a main street and a railway station, and people with dogs and electric lights it was near enough to the end of the earth to give me the impression that I was a solitary explorer in a strange land. That illusion (which was an illusion in the South Pole and at the headwaters of the Nile) was enough of a satisfaction to me to make me want to go forward.”
There’s a line of poetry from Lewis Turco‘s The Death of the Astronaut, from his The Book of Forms: A Handbook of Poetics.
Marc’s Folding Mirror poetry form is of course featured in that book, but Marc does genuinely like a lot of the poetry in the book, and especially the extract below.
“I saw sunrises fade and burn among fleets of sparks. The moon blossomed like a lily carved of bone…’
The second line has a nice twisting metaphor, which he thought was a good lesson in how to create distinguished poetry: evoking an image of something from something else, but additionally also making the metaphor out of two seemingly unrelated items/words: lily and bone.
“It’s from the newspapers that people I know – relatives and co-workers – have got the idea that crosswords are a prophylactic against Alzheimer’s. Newspapers are of course also the place where crosswords (and now sudokus) are most readily available, so the association is presumably good for circulation.”
Lone Wolf by Jodi Picoult
That brings us to Jodi Picoult’s Lone Wolf, which set the quote quota off the richter scale, increasing them by 50%: from five to ten.
That’s because it has lots of quotes relevant to the Greenygrey, inspired by Shaun Ellis living with Native Americans and wolves in real life (a character called Luke in the book was based on him); so they contrast the ancient world with the modern, the animal world with the human, and returning to ‘normal’ society after having travelled outside.
Lone Wolf Quotes
More like Diogenes than Socrates, but independent of either, Ellis is thankfully still with us, and still working with wolves, trying to educate humanity about the wolf’s worth, like our very own poetry correspondent William Wolfsworth! Here’s the five:
“The Abenaki also believe that there are some people who live between the animal world and the human world, never fully belonging to either one.”
“Limbo. It’s not Heaven, and it’s not Hell. It’s the in-between.’ (Edward speaking about reading the Divine Comedy.)
Luke: ‘This was, I realised, my new address.”
“The hardest part about being back in the human world was relearning emotion. Everything a wolf does has a practical, simple reason. There is no cold shoulder, no saying one thing when you mean something else, no innuendo. Wolves fight for two reasons: family and territory. Humans are driven by ego; wolves have no room for it and will literally nip it out of you. For a wolf, the world is about understanding, knowledge, respect – attributes that many humans have cast off, along with an appreciation of the natural world.”
“The Native Americans know that wolves are mirrors for humans. What they show us are our strengths and weaknesses… When I lived with the wolves, I was proud of the reflection of myself. But when I came back, I always paled in comparison.”
“ The first Abenaki word I ever learned was Bitawbagok – the word they use for Lake Champlain. It means, literally, the waters between. Since I’ve come back from Quebec, I have thought of my address as Bitawkdakinna. I don’t know enough Abenaki to be sure it’s a real word, but translated, it is the world between. I had become a bridge between the natural world and the human one. I fit into both places and belonged to neither. Half of my heart lived with the wild wolves, the other half lived with my family.”
Hi, it’s Jack Wolfpac, poetic travel correspondent at the Greenygrey. With the WWW three-week spectacular having taken precedence here, we’ve fallen behind with Marc Latham’s travel25years.wordpress.com website, which ended its Scandinavian journey on the same day as the WWW-3-week; by the way, we’d like a three-week working month at the Greenygrey; including a great greenygrey Stockholm fountain. My human parallel, Jack Kerouac, got a mention as well as Abba‘s Agnetha.
With a few hours to spare in the small town of Eidfjord, whose spectacular mountains were under thick cloud at the time, Marc walked a little up the mountain on a forest path.
Leaving humanity behind, and unable to see the spectacular, Marc had time to appreciate the beauty of the natural world that is often overlooked; a natural world that is often greenygrey.
Marc said that in a land dominated by awesome natural beauty, it was a time of quiet contemplation and reflection amongst nature that is often passed without being noticed.
However, once the outside world was forgotten, and the mind absorbed into the quiet surroundings; hearing only rushing water, and seeing only nature, time passed quickly, and there was not time to see it all, or to go farther into the greenygrey void.
Here’s some photos; you can enlarge them by clicking on them. There’ll be a more human discussion deriving from Eidfjord tomorrow:
Hi, it’s Grey Greyvara, social conscience at the Gr8 Greenygrey, reporting on the G8 conference. Back in the ’80s I hoped that Britain and the world would become a socialist utopia; kind of like my human parallel Che Guevara in the ’50s. Then New Labour got power! After cool Brittania turned to bankrupt Britain, with the rich richer and poor poorer, and most communist countries like Russia and China going more capitalist, as well as socialist countries like Sweden, it’s made me think that ethical green capitalism is about the best we can work towards.
G8 Too Late To Set GB Straight?
Has the British working class become lazy, or is it a victim of globalisation? Many of the rich liberal elite running the country (like Piers Morgan before he thankfully left!) claim the British working-class has become lazy, and doesn’t want to work; that’s why they have to import foreign labour.
Most of the economic immigrants are probably harder workers than the British in Britain. When Marc Latham was working his way around the world he was more willing to work longer hours when working: when you’re in a worker-traveller community life revolves around work, and you want to save up for long periods of travelling.
British people working in Britain want to spend time with family or friends, or doing other things than work; as decades of fighting for freedom from serfdom and slavery has stopped them having to work all the hours they can to keep from starvation.
So foreign workers who are used to earning much less are probably going to be better and more willing workers than British workers, whose ancestors have been fighting for better and easier working conditions for generations.
Only last week the BBC’s Panorama current affairs programme had a documentary about builders and dockers being blacklisted from work for fighting for better working conditions in industries where dozens of people still die every year. Actor Ricky Tomlinson was on the breakfast news talking about it.
Mass immigration has seen an increase in cases of poor workplace quality in Britain; including sweat shops and even some cases of modern slavery.
I and most of the working-class in Britain mainly opposed mass immigration because we saw how it was turning back workers’-rights fought for over centuries; not because of racism or bigotry like Gordon Brown thought at the end of New Labour.
Why Can’t I Have a California Mansion?
I don’t blame most of the foreign workers who come to Britain. If the California government was giving out mansions and enough benefits to live comfortably on I’d probably be on the first available plane.
That might seem a crass comparison, but some immigrants to Britain have been housed in mansions, and received massive benefits to live comfortably.
Britain Needs Balance
Maybe some workers and unions were trying to hold the country to ransom, and were pushing it too far in the 1970s. I believe in unions and workers rights, but think it should be within the service of the people of the country.
The same as the executives and liberal elite should be rewarding themselves to what they’re worth, not filling up their own pockets from the country’s finances.
Since Thatcherism took power in the ’80s and has been continued by successive governments, including New Labour, the pendulum has swung too much towards the rich minority from the poor majority. The Conservatives-Liberals government has been no worse than New Labour overall, in my opinion. I prefer Cameron to Blair and Brown so far.
Britain Should Aim for Lake not Sea
After the mass immigration under New Labour the old British working class; those who’ve kept working to keep treading water; are likely to lose out twice, with the recent immigrants taking their place in line for poverty payouts, educational grants etc.
Mass immigration was promoted by New Labour as being good for the economy… before it all collapsed and they were exposed as having bankrupted the country with the bankers.
While mass immigration might have had some benefits for the economy it certainly wasn’t good for the welfare state, and the recent cutbacks and stress on the system are obviously because there’s been a massive increase in the amount of people claiming benefits.
Britain felt like a stormy sea under New Labour, with the murder of Lee Rigby the most recent tragedy from the waves created.
The leaders of our country should aim to make Britain more lake than sea: keeping it calm and quiet. The best way to do that is with controlled low immigration, the rich paying their share, and enough benefits for people who really need them to live on. The people can play their part by working whenever possible.
Maybe I’d feel different if I was younger, a rich boss or an immigrant wanting more people of my community (in multicultural rather than integrated Britain) to feel safer or stronger; but that’s the way I feel as I am in this point of time in my country of birth; it’s just my opinion, one of about 60 million under our government.
British socialists often cite the decline in industry as the reason for working-class communities deteriorating. While mines and steelworks didn’t look nice places to work, they did provide good pay and a communal identity.
Now, they have largely been replaced by the service industries. The BBC has a documentary about a call centre on at the moment, and it shows how the new industries look nicer places to work than the old industries, but they also have other stresses and generally don’t provide as much money and identity.
While the management seem nicer than decades ago, the workers have to call people and try and sell products they don’t usually believe in, meaning they don’t have the job satisfaction of providing something really worthwhile, like in the old coal and steel industries; or crafting their own specialty, like Marx’s pre-industrial self-employed workers.
Maybe the green industries will be the saviour for people and planet? To show that I don’t think green industries are all good, and in line with Greenygrey theory, I was reading yesterday in the Geographical how wind turbines can be deadly for birds.
Many of the people in the call centre documentary seem to be the modern versions of Willy Loman, protagonist of Arthur Miller’s 1949 play Death of a Salesman; one of the first critical commentaries on American consumer capitalism; at about the same time as our legendary travel correspondent Jack Wolfpac’s human parallel Jack Kerouac was escaping it On The Road.
I recently read Stephen King’sOn Writing, where he said the choice between a brave new world and the shopping centre was made in the 1960s. Will we have a second chance?
In the ’80s I felt like Miller and Keroauc, but now I’m an older werewolf living in a country that has gone downhill for the working-class; a 9-5 regular job living in a nice suburban cloned detached house with a garden and picket fence doesn’t seem too bad.
In his middle-age, which turned into his last age, Kerouac felt as alienated and disillusioned with the counter-culture he’d helped create as Miller’s Loman did about the capitalist system he’d worked in; and my human parallel Che did about a lot of the communist revolution.
And 2500 years ago Socrates readily acquiesced with his own execution, thinking he’d done all he could challenging the egos of leaders who thought they and the societies they helped sustain were superior.
A Site for Reading and Publishing Folding Mirror and Related Poetry