Only Mass Protests Can Prevent an Ecological Apocalypse

In an opinion piece for the Guardian, George Monbiot argues that mass protests are “essential” to force a political response to climate change.

As the environmental crisis accelerates, and as protest movements like YouthStrike4Climate and Extinction Rebellion make it harder not to see what we face, people discover more inventive means of shutting their eyes and shedding responsibility. Underlying these excuses is a deep-rooted belief that if we really are in trouble, someone somewhere will come to our rescue: “they” won’t let it happen. But there is no they, just us.

The political class, as anyone who has followed its progress over the past three years can surely now see, is chaotic, unwilling and, in isolation, strategically incapable of addressing even short-term crises, let alone a vast existential predicament.

What’s up, January 2011 edition

Things have been fairly quiet here on my home-blog, as it were, but nothing’s been very quiet for me, so I figured I’d document my current areas of activity, just so people know.

Those of you who see what I see on Twitter and in GReader might be aware that I’m writing stuff for MMO Reporter now. It’s a newish gig, but a topic I enjoy, and I’m learning a lot about the industry in the process. I’ve also been sharing a less newsy rant or two with their sister site, the Green Dragon Inn, though that’s a bit more intermittent, since I have other ports through which to vent my spleen.

In related writing-for-other-people’s-internets stuff, I’ve been asked aboard a new webzine project targeted towards gamer women ages 25+ with families and/or careers. You might ask why me, since I’m am not a woman aged 25+ and very likely never will be, but that’s OKAY, since I will in fact be providing a weekly column from the point of view of a dad+gamer, something I’ve got some experience with. The title of the column has been determined, though not by me, and it’s not something I’d have suggested, so we’ll just forget to mention it for now, shall we? Title notwithstanding, I’m excited about this project.

There has been some bookish news that I can’t really talk about yet, but I will say: when I got it, it did not ruin my day. So there’s that.

What am I working on? Well, it's not steampunk.

Speaking of writing, I neglected to save my work and lost several key and painfully constructed scenes in my current novel to power failure. There may have been a lot of primal roars and some swearing. I’m quite angry with myself over the whole stupid thing, and have assigned myself nothing but apples and porridge until the scenes in question have been rewritten to everyone’s satisfaction. (Not much of a punishment, since my porridge is actually oatmeal with honey and raisins in it, but it’s the best I’ve got.)

In any case, learn from my mistakes and make sure your autosave function is actually ENGAGED, and not simply adorning your options panel like a quaint but dusty cameo necklace.

Anything else? Oh yes, I’ll be a father (again) in a few short weeks, and we (read: our contractors) are racing to finish Kaylee’s new bedroom in time to get all her stuff moved and all of the bear cub’s stuff in place. Permit delays are a killer. (As is the stress of finding out one of your foundation walls is not so much a “foundation” as a vague suggestion of stability.)

Have I found a “regular” job? No I have not. The market is so terrible it can hardly be dignified with the name; it’s really just ten million people wandering the aisles of eight million empty stalls — bit more of a maze than a market — a maze with no entrance or exit. Cheerful!

And that’s it — now you know where I’ve been, and I’ve blown the dust off this particular window enough to realize I’d like to clean it off properly and do some work here.

Happy new year and all that; talk to soon.

Publetariat Interview: New mediums, Twitter, and storytelling

Last week, I was interviewed by April over at Publetariat about the story I’m telling via Twitter. As one of the central touchstones for the indie publishing movement, she thought the whole idea of creating a story via Twitter — something that would really never transfer to paper in its original format — was interesting, and that’s where our conversation kind of started.

The interview went on for a bit, so it had to be broken into a couple parts, but part one is over here: Twitter As A New Medium In Authorship.

Because it went on a while (and because I’m unforgivably verbose when I get going) some bits had to be left on the cutting room floor, but I’m really happy with the thing as a whole, even if the transitions from one question to the next are a little herky-jerky, due to the necessities of editing.

One piece that makes me sound nearly intelligent:

I think it’s long past time that writers look at new mediums for their work. Paper is just a medium, and as our world (and the smaller publishing world within it) changes, it makes sense for writers to take a look at the tools around us and see if there aren’t some that we overlooked. Artists and sculptors do this sort of thing all the time; “Maybe I can paint on this building, maybe I can make something out of this old car… wait, even better: maybe I can paint on this building with this old car! Genius!” Tom Waits likes to go into hardware stores with a mallet and see what kind of sounds he can find.

What do storytellers use? Spoken words… and paper. That’s it. Very recently, people have considered the still hotly-contested idea of taking the-thing-that’s-on-the-paper and reproducing that exact same thing electronically, and that’s fine, but that isn’t storytelling intrinsically designed for the electronic medium – I mean so intrinsically designed for that medium that it doesn’t actually translate well back to paper or spoken words.

Maybe this story about Finnras is that kind of non-transferable thing – if so, I’m comfortable with that. It’s fun for me and for the people reading it.

The following sentence, which was cut for good reasons, but which I like: “People are trying to take things that were built in/for an electronic medium and force it ‘back’ into a paper format. I’m starting to think ‘maybe you can’t always do that, and maybe that’s okay.'”
Anyway, it was a lot of fun, and got me thinking about things which, frankly, I usually don’t. Parts 2 and 3 go up next week.