15th. Oct. 2001.
It is intended to renew The Other News weekly, but there are occasions when this is not possible. We apologise in advance for when this occurs.
Index of earlier issues - click here.
(Those who like digging about will find that there are hundreds of articles on many subjects to be found on this site.)
There are some much earlier Other News on this site. Click below.
early Othernews - 1992, 93, 94.
Bonnington Cafe and Bonnington Square.
This Saturday 20 October should be Phil, but no final arrangements have yet been made for any band at time of going to press.
Bonnington Cafe is a communally owned cafe in Vauxhall, Central London. The atmosphere is somewhat Bohemian, international, friendly, educated, and much wine (bought from the corner shop across the road) gets drunk. Good quality vegetarian. Cheap. The only lighting is usually candles stuck in wine bottles, and the furniture is a collection of odds and sods that people have thrown out. The overall result is relaxed and pleasing. People tend to spend the whole evening over their meal, and engage in discussion with those on other tables, the caterer, the band, passers through......
Bonnington Cafe, Vauxhall Grove, London SW8 UK. Near Vauxhall underground and mainline station, buses 185, 36, 2, 88, 322 and others. Booking is difficult.
A great deal of talk has been used up on the subject of Afghanistan this week, and what has surprised me about a lot of it is the way people have been objecting to the bombing and the reasons for their objections.
At the beginning of the week I was avoiding people altogether, but by the time we reached Thursday I was once again in the world of the living. The first comment that came to me was regarding the meeting between Arab heads of state.
(I had picked up a report and commented that it was a good thing they were doing this) "Yes," my friend said, "There is not one mention of of any attempt at all to discover why it happened. What a waste of time."
On Saturday night I consulted a young woman guitarist whom I had always thought to be a person with pretty much the standard European view of things. "What are your thoughts on what is going on in Afghanistan?" I said, not having stated any thoughts of my own.
She was very quick indeed to respond, and had obviously spent a lot of time thinking about the subject. "I think it's a very grave mistake for America, the most powerful country in the world, to be bombing one of the weakest, when they are not even sure who was responsible. I mean, all they are doing is making enemies of uneducated people in one of the poorest countries in the world. After all, the Taliban are (she said "are") emotionally damaged people - that's why they have all this rigid religious fanaticism. They do it to try to make some sense out of their hopelessly wrecked and insecure lives."
"OK. How would you feel if an individual came to your house, wrecked the place, and killed off your family? Would you not want revenge?"
"I would want revenge, but I like to think that I would still try to make sure I knew who it was I was gunning for, and I thnk that probably by the time I had worked it out for certain I would have cooled down enough to have given the matter some thought. Yes, I would want revenge, but I think I would manage to hold myself back. After all, I would still be seeking revenge on emotionally damaged inadequates, and it would not bring back my family. There must be some better way."
She did not ask for my thoughts, which is just as well because I really do not know what they are.
On Sunday morning, Quakers in my district decided to ask the government whether they had made any attempt to understand why people do these mad things.
On Sunday afternoon, I asked a teacher what he thought -
"All the Americans are doing is making more enemies for all of us. They won't manage to kill all those responsible, and anyway there must be some sort of explanation for how a person can believe it to be OK to kill 7000 people and themselves just to get a bit of financial profit for somebody else. These people must have thought it was something very important they were doing, and Osama Bin Laden, if he is behind it, saw the potential in their fanaticism, and has taken the role that our generals have taken in this society for centuries, that is, he stays well back from the action avoiding getting killed (or even hurt) whilst others sacrifice their lives for him. It seems highly unlikely he would be willing to commit suicide himself to achieve anything, and when you consider that all he has achieved (if he is responsible) was the death of 7000 innocent people, a large profit in US Dollars, and the wrath of most of the world, one wonders if he is entirely of sound mind. But we do need to consider how people get into this sad and dangerous state of mind....."
From this point on, we ventured into the territory of envy, greed, equal shares, hierarchies, over-population, and the relationships between them all, and at one point decided that it was remarkable that a person with so much could possibly get a following from a collection of people who are thought to have nothing. Do they not envy him? Do they not find the whole thing so very unfair? If he is anything like the picture we have been given of him, he is far richer than the great majority of Britons and Americans. What, then, is going on here? Has no member of his entourage thought of capturing or killing him and turning him in to the Americans, who would no doubt pay some very big money for him, like several million dollars?
Whatever the answer to all thse things, it would be a very good idea if the whole world made some effort to find out what causes people to behave like this, so that there might be some chance of avoiding a repeat. In other words, if we knew where their anger came from (and not a few people believe they do know) then we would have some chance of doing something about it before it becomes a crisis. Furthermore, even if we were not willing to do something about it we would still be slightly further ahead of the game and could possibly avoid problems by that alone.
You know, everybody I spoke to knew what they thought people should not be doing, but nobody thought they knew what people should be doing.
A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, by william shakespeare.
A wood near Athens.
Enter a fairy at one door and a fairy at the other.
Hello spirit. Where are you going?
Over hill, over dale, through bush, through brier, over park, over pale, through flood, through fire, I do wander everywhere, swifter than the moon's sphere, and I serve the fairy queen, and damp her orbs upon the green. The tall cowslips her pensioners be, in their gold coats spots you see. Those be rubies, fairy favours, in those freckles live their savours.
I must go seek some dewdrops here, and hang a pearl in every cowslip's ear. Farewell thou lob of spirits; I'll be gone: Our queen and all her elves come here anon.
(Sorry. This is as far as we can get this week owing to pressure of work and time.)
More next week.
THAT GANG OF FRUIT-FLIES I talked about two weeks ago disappeared as soon as the weather cooled down. Today, however, it warmed up considerably, and this evening there was a great cloud of them in the kitchen. Sterner measures will be needed, I fear.
Alternet News might appeal to some readers as a regular list of goings-on in the human rights/green areas of life. You can receive it by email. I have put one copy on this site so that you get an idea of what it is about and how to subscribe.
For sample Alternet email click here.
Click here for an email that arrived in January 2000 concerning a proposed reasoned approach to this tricky subject
This interesting email magazine comes at fairly regular intervals and is of interest to almost anybody who is interested in human rights and green issues. In November 2000 it was going out to about 10,000 addresses. Try it. It won't cost you anything, and you can reproduce the contents without paying. You can subscribe by writing to them at: firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit: Goforth's site
This website is about accounting investigations and fiddles. If you like to look at financial scandals (both hidden and public) this might be worth a look. I have not been there myself, but the books produced by these people, although difficult to follow, cover a lot of mysterious ground.
This website is about the destruction of countryside and agriculture. Worth a visit if you want to find out about how it is thought the British countryside will fair under the ongoing creep of the multinationals.
This website is one to do with monetary reform.The British Association for Monetary Reform. If you are interested in economics it is worth a look. http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~bamr1
This is a website about alternative currencies.Might be worth a look to those who have realised that you don't necessarily have to have money as such to be prosperous.
This is a website for something called The Green Guide. I know nothing about it, but am hoping it is something worthy. Please let me know if it is questionable.
This is a site concerned with one of the most unpopular planning decisions ever made in Greater London, the Crystal Palace Complex. It is so stunningly awful that only a handful of people who do not live near it appear to approve, whilst the rest are not entirely uninclined to mention such things as payola, freemasons....you name it! The site belongs to the London Borough of Bromley, but the aggro generated by it and the destruction of amenity caused by it will be almost entirely suffered by residents of adjoining boroughs and not the people of Bromley themselves.
This is a recycling site based in London, and offering materials to anybody. The organisation is a charity seeking to link suppliers of surplus materials with users. Especially good for the more ingenious designers amongst us.
The email of the people who run the above site is email@example.com. They are called Creative Supplies. Look them up for more info.
Here's an interesting education site - particularly for those who have young children and are not quite sure what to do to avoid the worst of what`s on offer in the mainstream of education.They are called www.edrev.org.
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).
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.
In an earlier issue I told you about my feelings regarding Tempo retailers and the Lexmark 3200 printer I bought from them.
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.
A person to help make up a subject index for the growing numbers of articles on The Other News From England. Email firstname.lastname@example.org (this may now have been provided, but please email if you might like to join in in some way - ed.)
All material on this site is copyright. Contact me if you want to use it. I am quite flexible. 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
Even better if you print the date of the article.