Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Stuff I've Been Doing While Away

Yes I've been away for a bit but instead of another apology post (I really need to get out of the habit) I figured I'd tell you a bit of what I've been doing whilst not updating this blog.  That way at least you can something of interest/use out of here again.


First up I've been writing up a few articles for Mobbly. I said before when I started writting for them that I'd do a few blog posts about articles I thought people who read this blog might be interested in, well obviously its been awhile since I did that, I have a non lazy reason though, given my slump in updates I didn't want this place to turn into a "re-blog" thing you know just advertising with no substance so I held off for a bit hoping to pick up the pace later. That obviously didn't happen so unless you follow my Twitter and not many do you'll have missed on some interesting information. So heres a recap of some of the articles I've written that you'll probably enjoy (not a guarantee).

 Castro: By Reinhard Kleist. Yes its a Comic biography of Fidel Castro, it covers everything from Fidel's childhood to his retirement and is told from the point of view of a West German immigrant journalist whom falls in love with Cuba but not necessarily with the Maximum Leader. Here's what I thought of it.

1948: By Andy Croft. Those whom know me will know I am a massive fan of George Orwell and while I had no idea at the time whom Andy Croft was (his main body of work revolves around sport) the cover and the blurb intrigued me so I picked it up and I did not regret it. Andy Croft was a member of the now defunct Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB) and he recently published a book about the collapse of the old CPGB that I will be reading up on soon. Review here.

Iron Sky: A film about Moon Nazi's. Actually to be fair whilst it is a modern day 1950's B-Movie complete with flying saucers it is also a very clever and accurate (Minus the living on the moon thing obviously) depiction of Nazi society as well as being coupled with some satire about modern (mostly American but you can still apply the jokes around the world) politics. It also looks amazing for the tiny budget and the cast especially the Germans work well. Click for more.

A Eulogy to Ray Bradbury and a review of Fahrenheit 451: This one combines two articles I did. As I'm sure you're all aware Ray Bradbury has died, naturally as a Science Fiction fan I was saddened and wished to convey why I felt the man was so treasured by genre fans. After doing so I felt it was a good time to review his most famous work Fahrenheit 451 for the benefit of those whom haven't yet had the pleasure and where curious about all the fuss. Read both  here.

Occupy: By Noam Chomsky. Of all the stuff I've written this probably deserved to be posted here the most. I did already blather on about the man and his opinions of the movement here. Anyway I found the book ( a collection of speeches and interviews) to be very informative, hopefully it will lead to more like it as the Occupy Movement progresses. Read about it here.

Free Speech Radio News

As you've probably noticed I've been embedding and sharing a lot of videos by the group Free Speech Radio News (FSRN). Why? well I quite like there coverage and I think its a good way to broaden and elaborate a point so your not just reading my dyslexic ramblings (thank you for spell checker). I'm also the guy who makes most of those videos so its nice to get some extra use out of the stuff you've already done.

Anyway the reason why FSRN has contributed to my tardiness, is because like most independently funded media groups they had a funding shortfall, quite a large one actually at a pretty delicate time. To spare the details the group were in trouble and had to begin aggressively touting for support and donations, readers of the Morning Star will know what I'm talking about. And I helped out as much as I could. You maybe thinking if that's the case then why the hell was this space so quiet? well I was just overwhelmed at the time and didn't get around too it. Still the good news is that FSRN is still on the air and secure for at least a little while.  And those wishing too can still donate and support it.

In fact to make up for my silence here's a few video reminders of the important work FSRN does.

Mumia Abu-Jamal's appeals for support on the behalf of the team. FSRN has been broadcasting his commentaries from Death Row, and now from the prison general population for awhile.

And here we have two reports on the ongoing escalation of violence in the Eastern Kivu (both North and South) provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Including an investigation into allegations that the M23 "Rebellions" receive support from neighbouring Rwanda. All while US and European Mining companies continue to make profits from the war torn areas.

There was also another report about Gold prospecting in Haiti and the dangers to the local population if the widespread corruption and exploitation aren't addressed.

Other Stuff

It may surprise you to learn but I do have a life outside the internet. In the fresh air and daylight I have also been quite busy. I've been undergoing training and become a Regulator of a local Housing Association. I know, those associations shouldn't exist, and the Council should be providing housing for its residents and tenants, but the Council isn't in any state to take back that stock at the moment and this way I might be able to make some difference on behalf of vulnerable tenants.

I've also been hard at work at my local boxing club shedding weight and taking a few steps on the path of the pugilist. Its very efficient way to improve your fitness levels, and it lets you eat all the delicious protein rich foods you want. Oh and I've also been tinkering away at some fiction, don't worry I won't turn this blog into my Live Journal, and if your wondering no I do not have a Live Journal. Its just something I've been working on to see what can do. If I get better at it I might start uploading some of it but that would be a ways off.

So yeah that's what I did with my mid June to early July. How was your time three and a bit weeks? Hope it was good despite the abysmal weather.

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