Tuesday, 24 December 2013
Monday, 18 November 2013
I am not an international man because I do not recognise the bullshit values of male honour, patriarchal family structures and patriotism. These are the ways patriarchy oppresses men and are not something to be celebrated:
Saturday, 16 November 2013
Bat Contradictions: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/nov/15/batkid-san-francisco-charity-make-wish
I do find this story heartwarming and at times it brings tears to my eyes when I consider the community spirit and compassion that went into it. Those bits in the movies always get me from "I'm Sparticus" to It Could Happen to You. And it's great to see people coming together and people embracing the magical and absurd. It is a candle in the darkness.
But it also makes me think about how this magic event for one lucky kid is such a stark contrast to the lives of many kids. It makes me wonder why something like this happens for a child recovering from cancer and yet children with the preventable and human caused conditions of poverty and war do not get such amazing moments.
I find myself questioning the value of a charity that provides wonderful moments to individual children who already have some luck and privilege going for them rather than putting those resources elsewhere. Even as I love them for making something so beautiful for all the rightest of right reasons.
It's a complicated mass of contradictions and overlapping truths really. Like most things in life.
One thing that I also find conflicting is that part of it involved the helpless woman tied up and saved by a hero trope. Which I'm not sure I'd advocate infusing the next generation with.
Wednesday, 13 November 2013
Sunday, 10 November 2013
WW1 was not a time when people gave their lives for our freedoms. It was a time when the ruling classes of many countries slaughtered a generation of men. And in that atrocity the conditions were created that led to WW2. The war was not a war to end all wars it was a war that spawned war. We are currently engaged in wars. We have not learned from our remembrance. We don't call our wars world wars now because they don't involve the civilian population (of our country, not in the countries that receive our troops and our drones.)
The brave and not brave men and the women and children who also struggled through these atrocities should not be forgotten. And part of that remembrance is the responsibility for us to remember things accurately and in context.
The wars have never been an abstract thing for me. My father was in the army during WW2 and whilst he had an incredibly lucky war many of his friends did not. He has always talked about it. I am proud that my Grandfather was a conscientious objector in both world wars (luckily his hypocratic oath meant he wasn't imprisoned or murdered for this principled position the way many "free" men were.) And I know many people who have or had grandparents who fought in the Wars. The sympathy and empathy we feel for these people we know is the same we should feel for those who are at war now.
Also our "freedom" is not unconditional nor universal. The men and women who fight our wars don't do so to give future generations freedom. They do it because they are ordered and paid to do it. They do it because they have little or no choice.
Peace offers freedom and we don't have peace. Some of us, the lucky and privileged ones, have the illusion of peace. The illusions of freedom and choice. But that is not the case either globally or nationally.
Remember the dead, grieve for them. I can understand donating to the veterans although since it was the state that harmed them arguably it should be the state that gives them reparations.
There are principled and reasonable POV's in terms of wearing or not wearing a red or white poppy, donating to or not donating to the poppy appeal, observing or not observing the silence. But patriotism and mythologising are not a part of that.
Don't use Remembrance Sunday to lie to yourself. Teenagers crying in the dirt, covered in blood and full of fear. That's who those poor people in the trenches were. And all over the world we still have teenagers in the same horrible position. They are there because of the intensions and interests not of themselves but of the people running the wars.
There is NOTHING honourable about war.
Tuesday, 1 October 2013
Thursday, 5 September 2013
Sunday, 28 July 2013
We are booked in nightly as part of the Spoken Word at PBH Free Fringe 2013 performing at 6.30pm at the Fiddlers Elbow from the 3rd to the 14th of August. We're also going to be releasing podcasts daily during the Fringe Festival. We'll be kicking off the daily Stand Up Tragedy season with a really amazing piece of true storytelling from comedian Josie Long on the 2nd of August.
We've been releasing podcasts weekly through 2013 and you can listen to them to get a taste of what is in store. They're available on iTunes, Stitcher Smart Radio and Soundcloud.
We have an amazing line-up booked in including Robin Ince, Rob Auton, Sarah Campbell, Jay Foreman, Superbard and more. We have cabaret acts, harpists, magicians, authors, true storytellers, poets, lecturers and more sharing their tragedies at our shows.
So if you are coming to the Fringe come and see us. We are on the Free Fringe so it is free to come and see us (although we will be passing around a hat at the end).
I am also going to be doing my weekly show Getting Better Acquainted at the Fringe. I'll be documenting the Fringe experience in one or two specials and releasing conversations that I record up there. Before that I'm releasing two conversations with remarkable true storytellers who have performed at Stand Up Tragedy. One with Allan Girod whose performance at SUT can be heard here, and the other with Daniel Simpson whose performance goes out on the SUT podcast on August 4th, but you can listen to him tell his story at Spark London here. Daniel will be performing with us again in Edinburgh.
I will also be recording two live GBA's as part of the PBH's Free Fringe 2013 at 1.40pm at the Banshee Labyrinth on the 12th and 13th of August. The guests are still to be confirmed but they will connected to the Festival. Come and join us if you're in town.
If you haven't heard the show yet there are lots of ways you can: It's available through via Stitcher Smart Radio and it's Soundcloud page. At this moment the iTunes feed is currently playing up but you can still get the first 119 episodes and eventually the feed will catch up. You can also follow it on twitter and like it on facebook.
The workshop will explore ways to locate stories from your life with the focus on connecting with an audience spontaneously, without the aid of notes.
The Hackney open mic isn't cancelled however. Radcliffe Royds is filling in for me and the them is Planes, Trains and Automobiles. There's a 2 for 1 offer if you quote "story time" to the box office. So if you're in London on Monday 12th August at 7.30pm why not go tell some stories at the Hackney Attic.
A Maze of Breaths:
Last month we launched A Maze of Breaths: Spoken Word at PBH's Free Fringe. The Stand Up Tragedy team put the album together. 19 tracks that show the variety, quality and energy of the Free Fringe's spoken word community. The whole album is £5 (or more if you wish to give it) and individual tracks are £1 (or more if you wish to give it). I've worked really long and hard on this over the last few weeks and I really think it's a quality album. It has at least something for everyone and is a mix of poetry, storytelling, music, comedy and everything in between.
Sunday, 21 July 2013
|All 4 guests new me at a time when I looked like this!|
I've had writing this blog on my list of things to do for weeks and I'm only just getting to it now, in the last week of the season of Getting Better Acquainted that it's supposed to comment on. I've been busy editing the season and the rest of my time has been spent working on the exciting and time consuming task of taking Stand Up Tragedy up to the Edinburgh Festival so it would be easy to put the delay down to that. But that's not quite right. I've been avoiding doing it.
|And they all knew me as a teenager too.|
Wednesday, 3 July 2013
Quick comment on http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2013/05/stay_at_home_dad_sexual_fantasies_why_i_d_like_to_stop.single.html
Wednesday, 26 June 2013
Friday, 21 June 2013
Stand Up Tragedy with Josie Long, the launch of A Maze of Breaths, GBA has 4 more weeks on Resonance FM and more!
- An overview of what Stand Up Tragedy is doing.
- Stand Up Tragedy's 4th July gig (which will feature Josie Long)
- Stand Up Tragedy's Crowd-funding campaign (14 days left)
- The Spoken Word at PBH's Free Fringe Fundraiser (which will feature me and Phill Jupitus) and "A Maze of Breaths" the spoken word album that I've put together to raise money for the PBH Free Fringe.
- Getting Better Acquainted is extended for 4 more weeks on Resonance 104.4 FM
- Spark London Hackney Open Mic (now with a 3 for 2 ticket offer)
We release a weekly free podcast produced by Bryony Hawkins with excellent sound quality that you can listen to to get a taste of our nights. They're available on iTunes, Stitcher Smart Radio and Soundcloud.
The Spoken Word at PBH's Free Fringe are having a fundraiser on June 26th at the Hackney Attic. I will be performing at this on behalf of SUT, along with an amazing line-up of amazing spoken word artists including Phill Jupitus, Rob Auton, Fay Roberts and Richard Tyrone Jones.
Ollie's Required Listening."
Smart Radio app.