My Confession

Have we evolved a consensus for a mass, hysterical psychopathy? Certainly, we have lost sympathy with the passage of human time – with the human consequences of our actions and of course, with other species besides… It is no coincidence that a post-modern insult is that we are (that horrible word) too judgemental. We all have rights to unlimited mirror-time; to me time; to our consumer rights. We’re worth it and you’ve no right to say otherwise. We don’t say, I disagree with this judgement, or that judgement, we say, you are judgemental – you have the quality of one who judges – and that is not permitted.
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I’ve been considering myself and so also my pictures of others. It is plain that most actions are bad actions. For the pleasures of the mirror, we do no less than dismiss and quite possibly, murder our children and their prospects of children. We narcissists don’t speak of defined right and wrong, yet wherever I go, I note that we do speak of vague good and vague evil – that is, the good of my ill-defined way of life and the shadowy evil which threatens it. Neither have form or definition. Our world is of hedonism, roulette wheels, witchcraft, spells and witch hunts. How do novelists depict the end of empires, such as Rome? We’d provide a template.
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The mirror provides my identity, so whatever distracts me from it, becomes an evil force. I lash out at distractions and judgements. Rules of proper behaviour are negated – we move from civil law to marshal law – from keeping the peace, to keeping the war.
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And here I am, keeping the war, because I need more time at the socially-just mirror. I say that as a collective, we have become the most narcissistic and socially-destructive ever to have inherited our spaces and times on this lovely Earth. How do I change that depiction of evil, into a reasoned and defined series of complex wrongs?
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How do I return to sympathetic judgement; to right and wrong and the compromises in between? Well many of us do so, but how do we remain thus, properly judgemental? There! – I have used the word, outside quotation, for the first time in my life. How do we keep the peace and end the war, yet also speak of right and wrong?
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Perhaps the Confession may provide a remedy. Here’s my world of witcheries. You’ll note that what distracts me most from my mirror-pool, are the goings-on, less of opposites, and more of compromised similarities.
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THE GUARDIAN NEWSPAPER has become a witch-finder for a mirror-pool of ill-defined, middle-class, liberal values. It is vaguely Green – the pool’s reflection is nicer that way. It is spitefully feminist, in the same way that other newspapers are brutally masculinist. Above all, it protects the reeds, irises, lilies and willows of the mirror image. It extols the bank accounts, consumer rights and wages which maintain and fund such garden ponds and so also the EU and corporate-sponsored members of parliament, who have been strategically placed to “represent the Left”. It describes Green back-packing in Cambodia, while conveniently obscuring the flight out.
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THE GREEN PARTY has mutated from its egalitarian, rag-tag, mish-mash of curious and interested humanity into just another Green Mirror faction, seeking political tit-for-tat advantages – even to the degree that the degrowth caused by leaving the corporate supplied, consumerist trade block of the EU, is depicted in the hustings, not as an opportunity, but as a tragedy! I have abandoned my membership, to pin hopes on rag-tag, mish-mashes of personal good behaviour and of course, on assisting the children – Greta’s children.
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THE SOIL ASSOCIATION in lobbying, not to end the corporate supply, but to Green and so improve its efficacy and credence, are complicit in the destruction of communities of proper trades’ people. It is a small force towards the ending of proper and curious shopping and meeting places – vibrant towns and villages which are connected to their particular terrains by the intelligent senses and probity of the trades – that is: the ingenuity and dexterity of living cultures. Such lobbying for improved enclosure, must also lobby for the dismantling of moral commons. It removes my skilled contribution to the culture, to replace it with consumer right (it hopes) to a negotiated quality of corporate supply.
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TRUE-COST ACCOUNTING in valuing priceless commons as capital – and to seem plausible, in under-valuing that capital is a road there and back to where we already stand. I confess (this is the confessional) that my witch-hunt is pricked by Patrick Holden’s re-invention (to step over to the right side of history) as an agroecological accountant from his original role of marketing the above, Soil-Associated, corporate supply. He remains exactly where he originally stood. I am not spell-bound. I’m sorry to be personal, but this is my confession.
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GRASS-FED, PASTURE-FED carbon-virtue signalling of rolling, unchanged acres is my next witchery. That land would photo-synthesise more powerfully as woodland. Grassland also contributes to an economic surplus (80% of Welsh lamb is exported), while removing what is in desperately-short supply – timber. I do think pasture (grazed green manure) is a useful – an essential part of arable and horticultural rotation and I do think that meat and milk can assist a natural enmeshing of human cultures with the natural ecologies, which must supply them. We are a long way from that difficult balance. We have too much pasture and too few trees – apart from exclusively arable regions, which would benefit from some new (and renewing) fertility-building pasture and the enriching culture of meat, milk, butter, cheese… which goes with it.
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Of course, what I write is only read by people like me and so it is that I speak to them. Certainly, no Tory, or New Labour journalist would survive the first sentence without disgust. Anyway, as man-made fires and internal combustions release still more CO.2 and as ice mutates into swelling sea water – as wind, rain, drought and temperature all jump crazily from their prevailing patterns – so we must also act outside our own prevailing patterns. We can act both as individuals and in concert. Most of today’s concerted action makes personal action difficult. Yet, without personal action we can have no concert. The passions rise. The witches increase. This is my confession. My penance is to re-imagine witches in their original human state and to speak, quietly and reasonably across our common ground – and also to both sow and share the seeds of old Voltaire’s garden. The old negates the ephemeral and depicts the passages of time – it implies the new.
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Because the present creates the future, I hope, amongst my failures that I don’t fail too much.
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