Monthly Archives: September 2014

Syria’s Cost

Syria and coverage casualties Image taken from:

Committee to Project Journalists – Journalist beheadings in Syria reignite debate over risk and safety for freelancers – “Once you are kidnapped in Syria it’s a completely black hole you’re never going to come out of,”

Guardian – Freelances like James Foley are all we have to face the horror – “With major news organisations in financial retreat, dangerous international reporting is being left to the young and unprotected”

Reporters Instructed in Saving Colleagues – “We train and equip freelance journalists in all media to treat life-threatening injuries on the battlefield. Freelancers comprise the vast majority of those who cover wars, and consequently make up the vast majority of deaths and injuries…” “It is our hope to make first aid training the industry norm – like having a flak jacket or sat phone – and to prevent unnecessary deaths in a job that is so vital to human dignity and human rights.”

Frontline Club – “…exists to promote freedom of expression and support journalists, cameramen and photographers who risk their lives in the course of their work.”
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John Cantlie

John Cantlie / Getty Images from NBC – Patrols in Afghanistan proceed as pullout begins
“After 1st Platoon, 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines make a routine patrol in the upper Gereshk Valley, a Marine’s helmet has a picture of his daughter, Angelina, inside on June 26 in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.”
Guardian – Press photographer held by Islamic State for almost two years, says: ‘I’ve been abandoned by my government’

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Non-Union Flag

BBC – What would the union jack look like if the Scottish bit were removed?

So, I could be living through the last couple of days of the Union. If Scotland decides to separate, i’ll be shocked, and how things will go in the future I am very unsure; Salmond has been very unconvincing in his appeals – the naked nationalism makes me feel quite uncomfortable – and if Gordon Brown is making a good argument, you know you’re in trouble.

I’m a Scot who can’t vote as I don’t live there, and I also get no say as a member of the United Kingdom of which Scotland is a member. This pisses me off – the land of my birth wants to fuck off and I get no say in it? WTF.

Personally, I don’t think “they” should vote Yes, as much as I understand the sentiment; I think that much of the reasoning to leave rests upon the idea that Westminster/the English/The Fucking Tories are to blame for all Scotland’s ills, and that to leave is therefore reactionary – leaving rather than trying to stay and make a difference, or looking at it the other way, jumping rather than deciding to be proactive to make a more just society.

A bit of research I heard about on Radio 4 said that although Scots see themselves as more left-leaning and more interested in social justice, they are in fact very similarly aligned with the rest of the UK in their beliefs. Devo Max i’d vote for, but I see the independence vote as a symptom of a greater problem, that of the political system being broken.

We vote them in, we get the politicians we deserve. Which is a tiiiiny bit of a downer.

I’m not convinced independence is the answer.

But I will apply for a passport if they’re offered.
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Peaks, Troughs

Totes Meer

Totes Meer (Dead Sea)
Paul Nash

Very enjoyable Friday evening with McCy in Lahndahn tahn for Cowfields open studios at the Bermondsey Project. SO awesome to wander about an entire building filled with artists – three floors’ worth – 160 or thereabouts. I love looking at how people organise their spaces, what stuff they use, so, aside from seeing some great work, it was very satisfying to wander about being nosy and chat with artists in their studios.

I wish I had a space nearby where I could do art proper. It’s a very common problem where I live – no where that’s appropriate or affordable; I have The Art Table which is usually covered in ceramics junk, but it would be lovely to be able to make work that was larger in scale, where I didn’t have to worry about making a mess.

Anyway, got pretty drunk on plastic tumblers full of the cheapest red wine I could find in the local shop (actually tasty) as I had a chocolate bar for dinner prior to heading out. Balanced! Ended the night at around 4.30am after an evening of burritos, more wine, aciiiiiid techno, kittens, and drug taking avoidance. I’ll stick with what I know is pure thanks – alcohol it is then. I am square in some odd ways.

Today – Get home from work early as I try to make the most of the light workload (before it hits next week), still no enrolment stuff for my course (it’s been three fucking weeks now) which means I can’t access the library to read the articles I need to for my upcoming project. WTF.

Decide to cook a giant batch of pasta sauce to freeze later (thanks Leia Ewok Village for the cost-cutting reminder), eat dinner to Doctor Who (FINALLY a Doctor I actually like – Ecclestone was the last), watch a bit of the wonderful Andrew Graham-Dixon on War Art – Paul Nash – accompanied by a mug of hot chocolate (I seem to be having a thing for it of late) before admitting defeat at around eight motherfucking thirty.

Sort of pass out in front of Graham-Dixon, come to, pack my shit up head into bed. EXHAUSTED.

Can I get to sleep? NO. Of course not.

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Colorado Course Whiteboardface

Yeah, I know, still not posted any photos or description of my experiences in Colorado. It’s been a busy couple of weeks, give me a break.

Finished my last day on my course for the mo, got the car fixed (it finally passed its MOT hurrah!) returned to work, did some yoga (more on that later sometime this decade), had a recycling blitz and actually tidied.

I met with Flambé for coffee, DIY foiled my washed-out hair blue and pink, binge-watched The West Wing and The Knick (this is recommended – I like that it makes you follow closely and doesn’t telegraph plot) and drove 45mins to pick up a little Chromebook – I thought I could do with something cheap-ish that’s actually portable and reliable for my course (as opposed to my laptop that randomly switches off all the goddamned time and doesn’t work if it’s not plugged in). The Chromebook is grand, although i’ve just this minute noticed that its got a slight screen flicker. Oh.

Super concise summary of my time Stateside: A holiday of two unequal halves. Some wonderful experiences combined with stressful ones, a smattering of deep sadness and a lot of time spent sat alone in my room at my Aunts. So fabulous, and reeeaally notsomuch. Yay?
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Why am I

awake at half midnight when I was exhausted at half nine?
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