Dare to be Yourself — Eddie Two Hawks

Now here’s a quotation that I definitely could do with today! Strongly advise you to follow this Eddie Two Hawks if you’re looking for something with a little inspiration. It’s especially good on his page, which you can click through below, because he kind of breaks them up so they take on the shape of poetry.

We have to dare to be ourselves, however frightening or strange that self may prove to be. May Sarton

via Dare to be Yourself — Eddie Two Hawks

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Five Songs About Revolution

In this listicle, Fraser Medvedik-Horn writes about songs about revolution

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In dark times like these, all over the anglosphere, with Mueller’s report into collusion raising important questions and with Brexit continuing to cause hassle in British politics , it is valuable to consider revolution as a potential option. With this in mind, here are five songs about revolution and what they say.

The Revolution Starts Now by Steve Earle (2004)

Top lad is Steve Earle, one of my dad’s favourites (and my dad’s actually pretty cool with music), and a perfectly good place to start. From his album of the same name, The Revolution Starts Now starts off a collection of political protest songs about Iraq. It’s the perfect tune for something kicking off but is a bit vague about what Revolution entails. I suppose that’s what the rest of the album is for.

I was walkin’ down the street
In the town where I was born
I was movin’ to a beat
That I’d never felt before
So I opened up my eyes
And I took a look around
I saw it written ‘cross the sky
The revolution starts now
Yeah, the revolution starts now

So get out into the street, start singing a protest song and make revolution.

Bloody Revolutions by Crass (1980)

Crass’ Bloody Revolutions is a brilliant song for anyone interested in having an actual revolution as it goes into the way it works. The central thesis is that violence begets violence and the society that evolved from a violent revolution would itself be violent.

You talk of overthrowing power with violence as your tool
You speak of liberation and when the people rule
Well ain’t it people rule right now, what difference would there be?
Just another set of bigots with their rifle-sights on me

It’s a great song because it effectively combs La Marseillaise into the guitar.

In general, it’s be careful what you wish for. A revolution seems like it could answer certain issues and there are a lot of people prepared to use violence for make it happen but that replaces the powerful with another set of powerful people.

It would be nice if we could just push a revolution button and it happened but instead it’s a lot of long, boring work about deconstructing power.

The Revolution Will Not be Televised by Gil-Scott Heron (1970)

On the surface it feels like this poem set to music is irrelevant. Of course the revolution will not be the televised, who watches TV these days, anyway? We’re in the digital world now. Social media. The revolution will be on Twitter. More likely, it’ll be made of Instagram stories, since those get watched.

You will not be able to stay home, brother
You will not be able to plug in, turn on and drop out
You will not be able to lose yourself on skag and skip
Skip out for beer during commercials
Because the revolution will not be televised

On the other hand, it’s more relevant than ever. The whole point was that the revolution is not just about content and media, the revolution is about actually making stuff happen. In a world of keyboard warriors, trolls, various antisemites, and racists noisying up Twitter 24 hours a day, nothing tangible is achieved. If a revolution is to happen it needs to be a mass communal action which is actually out there instead of just online.

The revolution will be no re-run brothers
The revolution will be live

Revolution by Chumbawamba (1985)

Best known as the “I get knocked down/ But I get up again” band, Chumbawamba were so much more, working for 30 years to put anarchist ideas into their music and get the message out there. They’re great because it’s so easy to listen to their songs for hours at a time.

The history books from every age
Have the same words written on every page
Always starting with ‘Revolution’
And ending with ‘Capitulation’
Always silenced by the truncheon
Or bought out with concessions
Always repetition…
Repetition… repetition… repetition…
(Repeat)

Even lyrics like this, which is quite a depressing take on our ability to change anything, have a really strong rhythmic appeal.

Revolution by The Beatles (1968)

Ahh, The Beatles, they were great, weren’t they? Probably the balance between McCartney and Lennon led them to making music that was awesome, with heart but also a bit of edge. Revolution is kind of like an early take on the punks as it says how revolution can’t just be some random violent event because to support it you need to know what it is and what it’s about.

You say you got a real solution
Well, you know
We’d all love to see the plan

It’s probably why everyone is so tense at the minute because there are no revolutionary movements with plans being circulated (unless it hasn’t reached me yet) and the establishment also seems to lack any concrete plan.
But let’s not despair. There’s probably an idea for what to do next out there, but as Heron said it won’t be televised so the trick is to get involved and make it happen. If nothing else, join some community group and try make your own corner of the world a little more pleasant.

Fraser Medvedik-Horn

The writer of this piece was thinking of revolting but has talked himself out of it until he can think of what should happen next. He’ll let you know in time, stay involved!

The Way Things Go

In this article, Fraser Medvedik-Horn encounters something incredible at an art gallery and MUST. SHARE. IT. WITH. THE. WORLD.

We’re all busY people so I’ll keep this brief. I saw something amazing today and I must share it.

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Myself and my friend Roisin took an art gallery trip to discuss collaborative works

Roisin and I were at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art to discuss writing something together, play or screenplay. We took a break from writing to view some of the art and I saw the below work. Observe. Twice if possible.

That right there is ‘Der Lauf der Dinge’ (‘The Way Things Go’). The full piece is 30 minutes long. This excerpt is but a tenth. It never loses its charm.

It took two years for Peter Fischli and David Weiss to set it all up in a warehouse, and the result is just fantastic.

‘The Way’ is an expression of everything that makes art worthwhile. It took two years of hard work to make something which on the surface has no meaning, but at its heart has so much value. ‘The Way’ shows the relation between things, all things, how the relationships of objects is guided by physics, the natural laws of mechanics bringing everything into contact with each other at exactly the right moment. ‘The Way’ shows a solid through line of action, the camera follows the progression of force as it transforms from fire to water to tire to table to paint to chemicals to fire again.

This art project can be seen as an experiment in identity and the transmigration of souls. Alternatively, it could just be seen as a lot of planned a tions which go off without a hitch and highlight the intelligent planning of the artists.

Whichever meaning you decide to take from this film, I feel like my life is forever different. And that’s the power of modern art.

The writer of this piece loves thinking as much as drinking and finds neither especially handy for a acquiring steady paid employment 

 

The Thrill of Digital Marketing

Totally got another article published

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Thrilled but not going spare about it

My path from blogger to published writer was quite expected, to be honest. I had wanted to be published so badly for years as I felt like my work deserved a bigger audiences. It’s egocentric, I know, but why not? I can turn a phrase decent and I make interesting things happen. May as well let people know what it’s all about, right?

In order to let people know what’s up, I had to do two things. Read on to find out what!

Build a Network

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Easier said than done, right? That’s what I thought at first. But then I really thought to myself, what is a network?

A network is a relationship between multiple people working together in order to make things happen. It could also be called a community, a family, a friend group, my peeps, etc.

I had all these people. I’ve got a number of communities, high school, former work colleagues, former neighbours, current neighbours, LGBT peeps. I have a dedicated family, multiple dedicated families, maybe, since we’re talking paternal and maternal, plus in-laws. I have friends from multiple stages of life.

I have a network. You have a network. Increasing it is merely a matter of surface area, putting yourself out there and feeding the chemical reaction of the world with your atoms.

Be friendly to people you know. Having friendly relationships with people you know is great.

Meet people and befriend them. Friends are amazing.

Self-Publicize!

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Talking about yourself has a bad rap but if you actually think about conversation, so much of it is about talking about what you do. Why not talk about what you do in a positive way? Why not ask others to talk about what you do in a positive way?

So I say good things about my work, I self-publicize (American spelling used here because z’s are sexy) and then I try my hand at getting it out there. For starters, you don’t become a published writer by being silent about it. You need to talk to editors and publishers for a start. And you don’t become a bigger writer unless you can get your network engaged.

Thus, I have my network of trusted friends, family, and communities and I simply ask them “share this”. I do this primarily via a Facebook post but you know what else? DIrectly via messenger also works wonders. When I send it to them via messenger I don’t prioritise share – just read. After all, they’re my pals. I want them to see what I’ve done.

Of course, I also want to them to share it because I’m very proud about what I’m doing. But just them reading it is a win for me.

Currently I’m waiting for my digital marketing to land. Most people are at work at the minute so not able to do much to get the word out. But I have done everything I can with no budget (the bad kind of no budget). I’ve put a link on Instagram, Facebook, here on WordPress, and later Twitter.

I just need to hope now that it’s as obvious to everyone else why I should be a professional writer! Get involved by following me in my journey, or comment below if you fancy a guest post.

By Fraser Medvedik-Horn 

The writer of this piece feels like he’s being a bit braggy but he’s trying to overcome his Scottish cringe, the phenomenon that even though most Scots are immensely proud of being Scottish and our country’s achievements, we’re less big on our own. Forgive me and feel free to share this article and attack me for it

Shout a Bit

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Of course Johnny appreciated the blistering array of starlit expanse and the possibilities it seemed to offer, but he declined to mention this to Kathryn. It would be too much of a hassle to tell her that she was in a part of Scotland where sharing dreams was a bit like sharing needles; it seemed like a good idea at the time but it only served to fuck you up. – Glue, Irvine Welsh

When you’re looking for some modern Scottish wisdom there’s are few better places to look than the denouement of an Irvine Welsh novel. He captures so much of what it means to be Scottish, to have an uneasiness with the world. As a people, we’re actually pretty closed off most of the time. To my friends this would probably seem impossible, I talk quite a lot given the smallest provocation, but the truth is that, as with I hope everyone, there’s a lot more ticking away behind the eyes.

I shout from time to time to get things heard.

This is why I was so pleased when my old family friend Becca wrote a post on here. I can remember her talking about writing when we were younger, she was thinking of journalism at that point, but life gets in the way. It has this horrible habit of providing different ideas and inspirations, but then also dropping some immediate rent pavement or credit card bill through the post. Just when you want to do something great, an election or a family issue happens. Sometimes it’s your responsibility to do something else. It’s always gratifying to see people press on regardless. To shout in a world or a culture which suggests silence more often than speaking.

Maybe it’s a hangover from that whole Victorian idea of kids being “seen but not heard”. For women, it might be because they are told they are chatty and some of them don’t want to be stereotypical. For me, I probably keep some things to myself because that’s what being a man is, as I was taught. Guys are more often taught to be angry than say they are sad. If you’re sad, then you’re Some Crybaby or something, but if you’re angry, but the right kind of angry, not the silly sort of whinging angry, then you are being assertive and reasonable. Think Tony Soprano struggling with his anxiety attacks and turning it into anger because misery isn’t the sort of thing you express if you’re a boss.

It’s the same with dreams. They aren’t considered the right things to talk about in some parts of Scotland. In certain culture there’s a silence about that whole part of a person. It doesn’t feel like we talk about our wants and desires nearly enough. And so my reaction to this is that we all need to shout a bit more.

We need to do something.

There’s something about seeing others doing stuff that is inspirational. It’s the feeling that you aren’t alone, that whatever question you’re asking is also troubling someone else. It’s not schadenfreud, a love of another’s misery, but more of a kind of understanding, a spiritual connection with people searching for meaning. That’s  why people read. People absolutely should read, as well as possibly creating work for people like me, it also gives you so much more than it takes. And if people should read, then it also follows that they should also write. People should shout a bit.

Fortunately, we live in an age of mass production as well as mass consumption. Mass distribution is at our fingertips. For sure there are some people who create a lot more than others and some people who consume a lot without feeding back in, but we’re essentially now all at the level where we can easily use loudspeakers that connect us to a hundred plus people. We can share what we like and build each other up. We can shout together. This is the good side of social media. It’s now easier than ever to get your message, your world view, out there. It’s thrilling. The rush of shouting for the plain fun of it.

There are some massive downsides to it, of course. Things said on the internet don’t often go away, unless the company hosting that information goes bust and nobody saved a copy. But really this is a bigger problem for those who are viciously mean online than for others. If you’re not some dick you should shout!

Use these lungs that the internet gifted you and cry out!

Of course it’s terrifying at first to put anything out there. The fear of criticism is real. Worry less about other people. The biggest problem is usually the fear itself.  And conquering that fear is the prize.

The writer of this piece likes writing things telling people to write things but tries to only do it once a month.