Personal Blog: 7th December 2018

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Hello internet friends.

Usually at this time of year I start to get a bit humbuggy but I’m pleasantly surprised to find myself in a somewhat more bouyant mood than usual. Don’t get me wrong. Everything’s still shit and I’m still depressed and cynical as hell about it all but Extinction Rebellion has far exceeded my expectations, on all fronts. In just a few short months, XR has proved that actually, people can handle the truth; many people are already awake and do care enough to take action. Everywhere. The rebellion has already spread to cities in at least 30 countries worldwide.

I had been networking and creating original Extinction Symbol artwork for years before the rebellion adopted it as their logo. I’ve been signing off all my posts on this website with links to the extinction symbol and the crisis we are facing for ages. I’ve also long participated in and advocated for non-violent civil disobedience, so I was emotionally invested in the movement before it began, whether I wanted to be or not. 

This year is the first festive season since Occupy in which I haven’t felt isolated by my rejection of the consumerist lifestyle and my willingness to meaningfully engage with the terrifying existential threats looming over us. Sincere thanks to all the rebels taking action everywhere in whatever way you’re able. From those just waking up to the perils of their personal lifestyle choices, to the 150 brave people who have been willingly arrested now, to the hundreds (if not thousands) who are prepared to be. You have restored my faith in humanity – even if we are all doomed.

Followers of this blog will already know that over the last few months I’ve been ‘informally’ helping out with various odds and sods for the rebellion. It’s been a struggle not to let it take over my life but I think I’m just about managing to make time for self care and objective critical thought too. 

After having joined the critical voices raising concerns last month, I was pleasantly surprised to be invited into the ‘core’ XR group’s conversation regarding their attitude to policing. I was greatly relieved to to discover that they are apparently taking this and other issues very seriously and are starting to respond collectively in a thoughtful way. Their new (and commendably comprehensive) FAQs are a necessarily imperfect iteration but excellent in terms of their attitude and willingness to meaningfully engage with friendly critics.

As far as I’m concerned, a movement which actually practices PRAXIS and decentralisation bodes extremely well.

All the help I’ve offered to the rebellion so far has been deliberately informal, so I was blown away when their compensatory budget team got in touch voluntarily offering to reimburse my travel and airtime costs for the Occupy News Network (ONN) livestreaming I did in London. I blew most of my dole on getting down there, (twice) so this made a huge difference to my material wellbeing. Thankyou very much team XR and special thanks to Donnachadh (and Pheonix) for putting me up.

You can watch all the ONN facebook playlists of the raw livestreams here:

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This laptop’s been struggling to edit video recently but I also managed to cut together and upload some edits to the Extinction Rebellion playlist on ONN’s youtube channel.

This long, realtime cut was created using both Dan and my livestreams, capturing different angles of a 22 minute emotional rollercoaster. A hilarious and tragic scene from Rebellion Day 2, in which graves were dug in Parliament Square, then kettled by the police. Twice.

While struggling with my laptop, I also managed to cut together my first short video using just my smartphone. Well, I say ‘just’. It required many hours and a combination of different new apps I found, which I’ll be adding to the technical list imminently along with some other freeware treats I’ve discovered recently.

The quality of the livestreams was somewhat disappointing to be honest. I think I’m going to spend more time capturing, editing and uploading HD footage from now on. A generous comrade has offered to acquire me a gimbal, which I only recently discovered is a thing. It’s a 3-axis gyroscopic device for stabilising video capture, if you didn’t know. An invaluable tool for my poor shaky hands.

The Extinction Report?

I’m proud to have become a regular contributor to the rebellion’s newsletter hivemind and to have introduced the ‘Latest News and Data’ and ‘Extreme Weather’ reports to the format, in line with their ‘Tell the Truth’ principle. I’ve been thinking for a while now that these sections deserve their own space and that I might start mirroring them here, under the auspices of “the Extinction Report”. Which again, I’ve been creating similar iterations of for ages, but sporadically. 

Compiling lists of the rapidly escalating trend of environmental disasters is an emotionally traumatic experience, which I wouldn’t have been able to maintain regularly alone, without the encouragement of the international rebellion and the support of my fellow rebel hivemind contributors. The scale of the suffering and death is overwhelming when you open your eyes to it. 

I think the best way to see if a standalone “Extinction Report” works would be to create a pilot episode and roadtest it, so watch this space for that.

Upcoming

I’m also proud of my small contributions to the XR blog site, xrblog.org which I was privileged to be invited to be an editor of – I’ll be updating the newsletter archive as soon as I figure out how not to email all wp subscribers in the process and will be getting more involved there too, as and when I can.

Also on my to do list is the poster design which Donnachadh’s asked me to do for the 2nd National Funeral for the Unknown Cyclist. Solutions Zone TV also want me to edit together XR montage clips for them, which I’ve started but as I mentioned, my laptop’s really struggling…

Finances, Damned Finances

While I was in London, Donnachadh kindly helped me create a personal affirmation to help me sort out my longstanding problems with finances. I accept voluntary contributions but I don’t ask for money for the things I do, so I’m always skint. I don’t mind being skint anymore but it is ineffecient, so I will also be launching some sort of Ann Narkeh Media fundraiser imminently.

I haven’t checked the date precisely but I’m pretty sure the subs for this website, annnarkehmedia.com are due imminently and wp have just announced a new £22 levy on the domain name registration. I should probably do a seperate post here just about that…but in the meantime if annnarkehmedia.com stops working, annnarkehmedia.wordpress.com or somesuch should still work…hopefully… :/

Yesterday, Extinction Rebellion announced that Saturday 15th December will be Regional Rebellion Day. and XR Reclaim the BBC will be on Friday 21st December. Any and all contributions towards travel and airtime to cover these events would be most gratefully appreciated.

I’m still brassic but privileged to have friends and family who let me take shelter with them and to live in a country which still provides me with enough dole for basic subsistence. I’m lucky to have the tools, skills and the time to be able to do the few things I’ve done so far. Despite suffering compound chronic health conditions, I’m determined to use my privileges to keep supporting the rebellion as best I can.

UP THE REBELS!

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