5 April 1999.
Last week I asked if anyone could think of anything other than fear that could lead to the desire for power, the desire to oppress, to make war, or to govern, and now I think I might have an answer.
I am not quite sure yet, but it may be that the desire to have things that you otherwise would not have, or to travel to places you could not otherwise go to could be from a difference source.
But that is the only answer I can so far find!
As far as I know there has been nothing in the papers at all to talk about this week except Kosovo, Serbs, Albania, Yugoslavia, and refugees. These are all subjects of great concern to me, as they must be to you, and I wonder how fear first came into the growing discomfort of all these people and the growing discomfort of the world generally over their fate and the long-term political outcome of the military action there. When I say 'all these people', I mean all - not just the Serbs, the Kosovans, the Albanians and the Macedonians, but also the discomfort of those who feel they must attack the Milosevic regime, and the Milosevic regime itself.
One part of me says 'yes, I chould go out there and let 'em have it', whilst the other part says 'if I cannot be civilised towards other people I cannot expect other people to be civilised towards me', but a much more complex part of the problem for me is that I know that all the various tribes who have lived in that part of the world have been fighting over territory for at least the past two thousand years. It therefore looks very much like a part of human nature, and the only way we (humans) have yet found to cull our numbers when the population gets too great.
I find myself wanting to know when war is justified, and completely unable to find a sensible answer. Do you only wage war on a level playing field? If you do, then NATO has gone in breaking the rules from the start - they are far too powerful. If NATO had not gone in, then Milosevic would have been (and is) breaking the rules - they are too big a team for the Kosovan Albanians.
However, from Milosevic's point of view, one imagines, this is just another war, and if you fight a war you don't go in with the intention of losing, so they are doing everything in their power to achieve whatever the goal is - to 'win'. One gets the impression that even if he dies doing it he will in some way feel he has 'won' - as Hitler might have done in the last big European war. It may well be that Hitler, having brought on the nearly total destruction of Germany, nevertheless thought of himself as a great martyr, sacrificing his life for what he thought of as a great purpose. The bit that nobody dares say because it is so difficult to say without sounding prejudiced against certain groups is that he rid Germany permanently of 6 or 8 million people that his regime considered to be 'unGerman', and shocked the world greatly, but it is possible that the German economy has benefited to this day from that action. I don't like it.
Aside from wanting to maintain a political status quo, I am sure it is more the genocide part of it than anything else that the international community is now objecting to. Before, they seemed to be objecting to the Yugoslavs bullying the Kosovans, because they would not like to be bullied themselves. They remember Hitler, and the playground bully at school, and they respond emotionally - just like I do. One imagines that someone like Milosevic either cannot imagine what it is like to be bullied (how?), or (much more important, and more likely) has been so much bullied that he feels there is nothing to lose, and that if it is OK for people to bully him then it is OK for him to bully others. So he carries on - but one must not forget that those who do it for him may well be completely committed to it, for whatever reason, and the same might apply to the NATO forces.
Fear? Well, fear of not being respected (like a NATO attack), fear of not being liked, fear of losing territory, fear of not having a bit of extra territory between your country and the next, fear of overpopulation, fear of starvation, fear of the populace turning against you, fear of the collapse of your state, and a takeover by some other frightened state, fear of execution by your attackers, fear of imprisonment, poverty, even boredom..........fear of being governed from outside by an avenging NATO, fear of NATO being defeated (just think what that could lead to if you live in a NATO country!!).
Still I cannot find any other reason for this conflict than fear. Unfortunately that doesn't help.
There's always something amiss in Southwark, but it's Easter so I'll briefly talk about something positive. The council is trying to bump start a rejuvination programme for Peckham.
And I am the author of Peckham Calypso!
Get in there....
early Othernews - 1992, 93, 94.
There were a few essays that went out with the early Other News as a freestanding item. You can read these by clicking below.
The Soup Designer`s Handbook.
London Journey - a trip from Docklands through Beckenham and back to Docklands.
(Friday Woodworkers are suffering a temporary break due to some of the episodes not having been fully edited at the time of writing. It may take some timne to fix this problem.
(These articles were written in 1988, and were my first attempt at writing. Some people when shown these fell about laughing, some smiled faintly - and some yawned. I thought I was going to write a technical book, but it soon became apparent that I was much more interested in the people than the technology - and that is the main reason there are no drawings - although it might be rather good to do a couple of caricatures sometime.)
Index of Friday Woodorker articles (and a means of access).
We are still redesigning The Other News From England.
There is at least one new article this week, and articles on many subjects in earlier issues (which can be seen by clicking below).
Index of earlier issues.
A READER COMPLAINED that it was not possible to go back more than 6 articles in Gabriele`s area. Regrettably this is because there is no index, and I have not the time to organise one yet. However, for those determined enough to find the early ones, they should be accessible by going to an early Other News and clicking through from it. This will not be fast, but I think will do the job. They started about November 1997 I think.
(I wish someone would make a contribution before I am forced to put in some of my own stuff here).
So new, in fact, that there is nothing there. I want to open a section of this site to be used as a kind of green reference. Ordinary folks usually know what to do in order to be green, but there are times when (a) they don`t know the technology, or (b)they are short of ideas, or (c) they would like to see what some other people think.
So the purpose of this area will be for people to describe to others how they made their own electricity, or saved a great deal of domestic water being wasted, or captured the methane gas from their cesspit, designed their solar bicycle with regenerative braking and portable overnight windcharger, caused plants to grow in a desert, made a solar water pump, etc.
A site for forward-looking people, in fact.
It may be very difficult to edit, but I would like a few articles and tips that are concise, easily understood and ecologically useful. These will be left on the site, and gradually as the number of articles builds up hopefully somebody will construct an index. I won`t volunteer myself, as I have yet to make a subject index for the whole Other News site.
Last week but three carried an article that might be of interest to anybody thinking of taking out an Abbey National mortgage - or those who already have one.
Interestingly, one of the London papers described them as being "among the greediest".
There will soon be a new twist to this story, but I am not sure what it will be until it happens. They are trying to make it as difficult as possible instead of as easy as possible to resolve the present dispute.
(see last week but one).
This Lexmark business gets worse. I refilled the black cartridge with an ordinary cartridge refilling outfit and it won`t print despite telling me that the cartridge is full and that it is printing.
In an earlier issue I told you about my feelings regarding Tempo retailers and the Lexmark 3200 printer I bought from them. I have now found out another thing about it.
The Lexmark 3200 printer I got from Tempo must surely be the most uneconomical printer I could possibly have bought. The black cartridge only does about 250 pages of ordinary type - for £28! That makes each sheet cost 11.2 pence plus the cost of the paper and probably another 11.2 pence more if any colour is used! - ABOUT 22.4 PENCE A SHEET! Nearly a pound for every four sheets!
I wouldn`t recommend you to buy it - but also look at my earlier article for an idea of Tempo`s service.
These people keep springing up and then disappearing again. They have used a selection of names, but the people always seem to be the same. They are a disco without smoke, alcohol or drugs, and serve refreshments (probably very healthy, macrobiotic, veggy, etc) and dance to a wide range of types of music - including "classical", I am told. Sometimes they go to the Bonnington Cafe afterwards. Also, they occasionally turn up at a LETSSwing gig as a dancing group, and make the dancing a great deal more fun.
Saturdays 7-10pm , 6 March, 3 April, 8th May, at The Contact Centre, 60 Hambolt Rd., London SW4. (10 mins from Clapham Common tube stn. or buses 137, 35, 37. For info ring Kathy Hughes 0181 671 7300. They would like more participants.
A person to help make up a subject index for the growing numbers of articles on The Other News From England. Email email@example.com
8- or more-track tape recorder. email firstname.lastname@example.org
Also want good working VW or Volvo 7 series 2.4litre turbodiesel engine. This is the type that goes in an LT van or a Volvo 740TD. email email@example.com
£2,000,000 at 0% interest would quite good too, although I would probably waste quite a lot of it employing musicians to do the great work.
All material on this site is copyright. Contact me if you want to use it. I am quite flexible. firstname.lastname@example.org
Educational non-profit use is free - but ask for permission and print an acknowledgement. If you can`t think what to print, put:
From The Other News From England. http://www.othernews.co.uk