Category Archives: Reportage

Not All Men

“Not all Men” I said and I meant it once upon a time, but not anymore.

I always felt it needed saying that whilst, yes some men are so fearful of Women they have to weigh them down at every turn, it’s not the case of all men. I was taught from an early age that ladies are equal, skin colour, religion and any other sub category doesn’t make anyone willing to work for something less entitled to have it. So my “not all men” comes from a family, more importantly a Mum, that have quietly championed equality, the odd insensitive joke and crass comment aside when ‘push came to shove’ no one was any less deserving of the best fairness that could be offered. They would stand against it inequality when they saw it and taught me to do the same. I felt it some kind of duty to remind these ladies making accusatory remarks about men, that while they might feel alienated and demeaned by men, not all of them think this way so change will come.

As with many things that have the best of intentions this ‘noble quest’ was flawed, only I couldn’t see it. I maintained a stance of “not all men”, going so far as do it more, because after all “why should I support a cause that isn’t willing separate me from the oppressors they scorn?”. I would argue with every kind of feminist that I came across, pitching the notion that to alienate ‘good men’ for their presence was surely going to backfire. Not because women aren’t capable, but because the men keeping them down lack enough empathetic intelligence to have their minds changed by feminism, men would have to be a  trojan horse in the single minded psyche of misogynists.

Eventually I abandoned my “crusade”, the deeper I went the more warped feminists were. It became more about vengeance than equality and started to cloud my thoughts on feminism. I began thinking about waiting on a time when a more inclusive alternative would rise like a mountain, forced up by the opposing forces surrounding it.  My belief in equality never tired, but I became transfixed on the platform of delivery. Modern feminism I felt was hypocritical, it’s to at risk of becoming the monster it’s fighting. To many “third” and “fourth wave” type terms, the narrow mindedness made the water to easily muddied by the few who do seek vengeance for oppression that runs far deeper than high heels and quips about driving ability.

Then one day I was hit in the face by a pan. A greasy, filthy pan that leaves it’s mark on your skin and seems to be everywhere once you notice it, leaving you craving a thorough scrub, preferably with a wire brush and industrial strength acid. Trawling though the world of social media I had been looking for pages that would give me up to the minute, accurate news that I could cross check almost in realtime, that meant following news agencies, writers, artists and journalists alike.  I noticed  a fair amount of ‘hub ub’ surrounding Lilly Allen, she was being lambasted for visiting “The Jungle” in Calais, specifically for saying to a young person their that she was sorry her country had failed them. Every opinion she tables is met with the sort animosity I wouldn’t expect the lowest forms of social life to endure, comments about her miscarriage that cut me deep, let alone her!  Then Tucker Carlsons news program featuring Lauren Duca hit the Twitter waves, again the comments being levied were vile and a sort of misogyny I thought was long gone, it is 2017 after all. I started to follow more female journalists, writers and academics, apart from variances in words the sentiments were still the same, women are lesser and men have the role of keeping them in their place. Then came the regularity of casual barrier crossing in the sexual sense, inappropriate touching on the underground, high heels being forced as part of uniform, manoeuvred into a vulnerable situations and propositioned forcefully, so on and so on and so on regardless of fame or fortune. A never ending cycle of daily small to large events that show misogyny isn’t dead, but lurking, shamefully waiting for each moment to reach out a lecherous hand and make contact. One story that really caught me was of a fifteen year old girl who started to ride the underground to work, one morning a man stood close to her on the platform, she didn’t think much of it, nor would I in fairness. For what ever reason they silently parted their mentally distant ways and she found her back pocket slimy and wet. The ‘man’ had used the crowded platform and close proximity to ejaculate into her back pocket, the first lady she spoke to was apathetic, it happens was the sentiment. Her first experience of independence similar to the scale she will experience ‘in the real world’ and she gets it tainted in a way few could have predicted, I suddenly saw why “not all men” carried no favour or merit.

“It happens” was the catalyst for a U turn on modern feminism and my, all be it nothing exceptional, stronger backing. Having a child and getting covered in sick is something that “happens”, cooking dinner and getting covered in grease is something that “happens”, getting wet because you forgot an umbrella is something that “happens”. Being a young lady and having some swine cum in your back pocket is not something that should just “happen” and be belittled or ignored. Going to work and being brushed aside in favour of a male counter part shouldn’t be shrugged at, tabling an opinion and having it ignored because your a woman isn’t something to scoffed at, being labeled a whore because you’ve had an abortion isn’t something to be swept aside and being payed less because of a different set of genitals isn’t something to begrudgingly accept. “It happens” is one of the terms used for cases of domestic rape when the law wasn’t so involved, its archaic and a sign of how little we as humans have really progressed, it’s a pathetic endowment of ‘us’ if we can sit back and let it carry on. I realised that whilst I am “not all men”, that makes no difference when a woman is faced with a barrage of ‘those’ men. It offers no help to the person being targeted and simultaneously has the potential of giving an escape route for the aggressor. The “it happens” of a man being caught under the umbrella of “all men” is a far less relevant than the “it happens” of sexual assault and oppressive sexism women are experiencing today, everyday. If you are saying to a lady arguing a case of misogyny that their statement has no merit because “not all men”, then your belittling the real life event that has created the need for it to be said. Ultimately you shift the focus away from women back onto men and how even when a woman is right she is still wrong. The biggest lesson I learnt was that however much I might have a point, it’s not bringing anything to the table that will effect change, the statement is simply like lighting a BBQ in the woods while firefighters are tackling a forest fire.

It’s true that there are some real batshit crazy women that will do and say things for attention or greed, but that is no different to the world of men. Every human entity regardless of sub category has it in them to be beautifully compassionate or a degrading shit! The one thing that can be clung to is that change can happen, but water doesn’t boil without enough heat. This pan is big, thick and regularly has chunks of ice dropped in for good measure, the water will boil and it when it does we can all share the warmth of the sweet tea it’ll make, but if “she puts the kettle on, men can make the tea”.



08:00 – 08:45

Full of foul language so maybe not a good thing to read around the kids!

I’m Not The Only One Here Am I?

Extract from the voice inside my head, it’s loud, obnoxious, demeaning and I’m pretty sure a sadist to boot. There most of the time some days are quieter than others most days are like this all day. Distractions help push it further back, but some days it’s a bit more difficult to cover up.

Come on mate up you get. Look your not even comfortable, your head aches and that back pain you’ve got will only get worse. No man, rolling over isn’t enough, you’ve got to get up and put something on. You even need a piss now too, you going to ignore that? It gives you a stomach ache when you do! Theres no way around it you need to get up for that. What do you mean no?!

The fuck is wrong with you? Your daughters waiting for you, your wife is ready to start the day and your there, fucking vegetating in your own sweat. Listen up you filthy cunt, enough’s enough, you either get up now or your going to have the shittest day I can throw at you! Hows that stomach ache going? Ay, does it hurt yet? Haha keep it up dickhead this is only the start, your heads really killing now though isn’t it? Yeah, can you feel it? Like someones driving little screws into your head, pushing hard against your temples, haha prick, you think you don’t deserve this? You fucking asked for it, get up, roll over, put your feet on the floor and do something. Useless cunt, fuck you. What do you mean “you can’t”? Jesus fucking wept, you are some piece of work, you really are. Lying there all pathetic and limp. You can’t feel anything but pain, yeah, well get up then.

What do you mean “why”, did I not make it clear enough the first time around, fuck you and whatever bullshit your thinking, get up, go and see your family, say hi and give them a cuddle. It’s the least you can do to be fair, your no fucking good for anything else. Sack of shit you are, reading all your nonsense political crap, no one cares shit stain. You might think that one day you’ll be able to make some use of it, but heres the skinny on that one, no one gives a shit what you think. You think your so smart, your not, everybody is smarter than you, fuck me even the dog can sort his shit out better than you, cunt.

Your still there then? Ooohhhh you’ve moved a few inches! What do you want me to say about that? What you want a fucking medal or something? People your age years ago were facing down machine guns in a field for you to just lay there, fuck me your an embarrassment to what they died for. Come on shit head, keep moving, thats right move a bit more and again. Don’t stop now wanker, your nearly there. What do you mean “will I leave you alone if I get up”, no I fucking won’t. You know I wont because I’m always here, someones got to hold your fucking hand through out a day, your pathetic mate. Hows your head? Oh well if its a little better its time for some bigger screws, you’ll like these ones, I’ve had them on the gas burner for a while now, not to going to bother screwing them either, I’m just going to hammer them in, real slow like, haha you’ll regret laying there like a cunt I tell you.

Whey, your up! Hoo fuckin’ ray, it’s about time you cunt. Oh stop it, just bloody walk. Gut ache? Well yeah thats because you didn’t get up for that piss you were busting for twenty minutes a go. Dickhead, don’t think its over just because you’ve been now, oh fucking no, your going to keep that feeling and a few others I’ve got lined up, haha prick. The best part is no ones going to give a shit when it hurts, you know why, they cant see it, can’t feel it and no one gives a fuck about your latest bit of pain. “Pain, pain, you haven’t done anything, how can you be in pain” they’ll say. Hahaha, you and I’ll be the only ones that know how it feels and I’m the deliverer so I cant feel shit, hahaha, I love it. Oh fuck off, its not that bad, cunt.

Hahaha, this ain’t nothing mate, this is just a fucking warm up. The rest of the day is going to be like this and your too much of a dick to say anything, too scared that I’ll leave you, too scared they wont believe you, haha they already don’t believe you. Thats the best part, if they don’t think I’m real your just sitting there thinking this shit to yourself, your the one doing this, not me! This is your fault, you made me, I am your creation and you can pay the fucking price of it. Now get some clothes on shitface, don’t bother with anything nice you look like a bag of shit no matter what. Fat cunt, look at you, fat cunt, big fat fucking cunt. Jesus I can’t bear to even look at you, let alone anybody else. Your sickening, you know that, really sickening. Stretch marks and a gut, look at you. No money, look like shit, thick as fuck, useless excuse of a human, you’d make better grass food you would, no coffin or anything, just a shallow ditch, give the animals something to munch on, might as well make use of you, fat cunt.

Go on dickhead up the stairs, and put a fucking smile on your face, they don’t need to hear how you ‘feel’, fucking idiot with your ‘feelings’ get over yourself. I’m not going anywhere, you and I both know that, so put a smile on your face and pretend to everyone else I’m not there, they don’t know about me and it’s going to fucking stay like that, you understand me? You don’t want a punch in the face again like the other day do you? Hahaha idiot hitting yourself like that, oh man that was funny.

Anyway your there now, pretend all is well and don’t you fucking dare mention me, I’m listening, always listening, you fuck up and I’m coming for you. Now get to it……..

“Morning, oh wow that smells nice” “oh yes please, coffee would be great thanks”, “yeah not bad, sorry I slept in, what did I miss?”

Badlands to No Mans Land

Four days after an EPA employee retweeted a post about Donald Trumps low inauguration attendance in comparison to Obamas and following an initial order to cease social media interaction the Trump Administration has ordered an effective ‘gag’ order on federal tax funded agencies. The order prevents agencies from giving out any information to the public without prior government screening.
In addition all grant funding and federal hiring has been frozen for the EPA, rendering scientific research and aspiring environmental researchers without financial backing. According to information obtained by the Associated Press no prior consultation with any relevant department was sought.
An eight point memo was sent out to senior staff detailing the new restrictions they must adhere to:
1)No Press releases will be going out to external audiences
2)No social media will be going out. A Digital Strategist will be coming on board to oversee social media. Existing, individually controlled social media accounts may become more centrally controlled.
3)No blog messages.
4)The Beach Team will review the list of upcoming webinars and decide which will go forward.
5)Please send me a list of any external speaking engagements that are currently scheduled among any of your staff from today through February.
6)Incoming media requests will be carefully screened.
7)No new content can be placed on any website. Only do clean up where essential.
8)List servers will be reviewed. Only send out critical messages, as messages can be shared broadly and end up in the press.
A series of protest tweets were published by a rogue on the Badlands National Park Twitter page. These detailed various facts from the agency about climate change including key statistics with regards the condition of our planet. As of writing this they have been removed and the feed has been reset to an earlier time stamp.
Donald Trump has been vocal about his disbelief in the science communities findings on our climate conditions, announcing at a rally his belief that climate change was invented by China. The move advances theories around Donald Trumps wish to prevent scientists from providing potentially conflicting information around fossil fuels. A similar order was tabled by the Bush Administration back 2006 after a long serving scientist called for “prompt reductions in emissions from greenhouse gases linked to global warming”.
At a Press conference held on Tuesday White House Spokesman Sean Spicer was asked if the EPA had been gagged. He replied “I don’t know….We’re looking into it…I don’t think it’s a surprise were going to review the policies, but I don’t have any info at this time.
On the same day reports that Donald Trump had signed another executive order allowing the heavily protested Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) to go through after the former President Barock Obama and the Army Corps of Engineers had ordered for alternatives to be investigated.
The White House Website has been updated with previous policies on climate change omitted. In their stead a revised action plan that includes the repealing of the Climate Action Plan, first established by former President Barack Obama back in 2008 as a way to reduce the effects of climate change.
The White House website claims the abolitions will generate more money for American Workers, purporting that $30 billion in additional wages will “greatly help American workers”. This figure is widely contested so too is the prospective number of jobs it will create.
The revised energy policy plans to tap into the existing domestic supplies found in the shale deposits, this is often extracted using the controversial Hydraulic Fracking method, although the White House policy does not mention Fracking.
The closing paragraph “A brighter future depends on energy policies that stimulate our economy, ensure our security, and protect our health. Under the Trump Administration’s energy policies, that future can become a reality”, shows a signal of what markers Donald Tump intends to pursue.
This could be yet another incident where the Trump administration is attempting to censor facts, running it congruently with a succession of “alternative facts” that bolster reporter Lauren Duca’s early suggestion that Donald Trump is “gas lighting” the people of America.

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City of Lights Festival Truro

After a nerve racking year the Truro light festival went ahead and was superb. The theme “tell me a story” was encapsulated perfectly by the resident artists and attending school children alike, combinations of gigantic willow weaved marvels and gentle mood setting smaller pieces coming together for a procession of lanterns that is truly a sign of Cornwall residents creative flair.

Layered in between the lanterns were light lashed dancers, marching bands and even a lady twirling curved light batons as though she was a 21st century Samurai.

Huddled in bustling groups the spectators mingled an hour or so before the parade, the rows only got deeper and deeper as we waited. Old and young stood in the bracing coastal wind drinking hot chocolates, chatting idly and cuddling fur lined coat collars.

Funding difficulties had left the future of the twenty year event hanging in the balance. Costs of £42,000 for crowd controls and other costs had left the event looking like it wasn’t going to ‘be’ back in August this year, but with the injection of funding from local businesses and other notable outlets like the Truro City Council and the Business Improvement District it did, to the relief of many. An option had been floated earlier in the year to hold the event as a static festival in the local Victoria Park, although a pleasant location the theatrical brilliance of a parade is what makes this community event really special.

The support offered by the public for the parade was humbling and very much appreciated. I watched as a homeless, bongo playing gentlemen who had earned a few silver ‘nuggets’ stopped one of the bucket rattlers to offer his share towards the evening. Many revellers happily stopped to chat with the ‘Bongo’ man, stroke his dog and wish him well, his thanks was also touching.

Gazing around the scene in front of me the troubles of daily life melted away for this night and its message of beauty in tradition and the importance of creativity in adversity. Three generations of our family watched and were left with an indelible impression of the magic light and community can create, leaving us with our own story to tell many times over.

The City Of Lights Festival organisers are hopeful that the charitable donations from this years event will go someway to enabling its return next year. Much the same as this year it’s future is still uncertain, although hope remains that this fairly infant tradition will be around for generations to come, inspiring the children of tomorrow to realise the great big dreams they harbour inside their wonderful minds._dsc2679_dsc2688_dsc2721_dsc2743_dsc2735_dsc2754_dsc2757_dsc2761_dsc2765_dsc2771_dsc2785_dsc2779_dsc2788_dsc2790_dsc2796_dsc2804_dsc2807_dsc2824_dsc2829_dsc2838_dsc2841_dsc2847