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Today the cities were full of people marching to demand action to prevent global warming. A good thing of course. It prompted TV news stations to dust off their stock footage of ‘natural’ disasters and smog-filled cities.

As individuals we can save water, ride bikes and use energy-saving lightbulbs but even if everyone diligently did all these things the problem would not go away.

Animal agriculture is the number one cause of climate change, a fact that governments and businesses have kept quiet for obvious reasons. To make matters worse, Al Gore, Greenpeace, Naomi Klein and other campaigners have also all but ignored this issue. View full article »

Illustration by Lizzy Stewart.

Illustration by Lizzy Stewart.

‘Don’t Make A Scene – A field guide to putting on DIY gigs’ is a ‘zine compiled by Rob St John and Bartholomew Owl; two dedicated Alt.Folk musicians and all round decent guys.

The 2014 booklet was originally charged at a highly reasonable £4. Now it’s an even better deal as it’s just been made available as a free to download PDF. This generous offer is a way of sticking two fingers up to Black Friday zombie consumption and to embrace the spirit of buy nothing day. View full article »

I am thankful to a blog about David Foster Wallace’s ‘Octet’ for introducing me to the works of Anne Lamott. She’s a writer I definitely need to get to know better.

So far, I have only read a PDF copy of one chapter from Bird By Bird: Some Instructions On Writing And Life’  but already I feel myself getting hooked.

One of her numerous pearls of wisdom is as follows:
“Writing can be a pretty desperate endeavor, because it is about some of our deepest needs: our need to be visible, to be heard, our need to make sense of our lives, to wake up and grow and belong”. View full article »

This made me laugh:


THE ART OF ASKING by Amanda Palmer (PIatkus Books, 2014)

This book is part memoir, part manifesto and part egocentric vanity project.

Amanda Palmer is a performance artist. She has been a human statue, a stripper and is best known as the lead singer of The Dresden Dolls who, in their early years were, in her own words, “a punk-cabaret duo specializing in tear-jerking seven-minute songs with drum solos”.

The manifesto part, is her fervent belief that artists, and by extension all human beings, need to learn that there is no shame in asking for help when you need a place to sleep or money to finance projects.

The experiences she recounts are proof that this can work. The most dramatic example is a Kickstarter campaign to fund an album. She set a relatively modest target of $100,000 but eventually raised a record-breaking $1 million. This level of success was not without its critics. She has been labelled a “self-serving, greedy, superficial attention whore” but is thick-skinned enough to overcome such unmerited slurs. View full article »


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