Thursday, 11 August 2011

A very rambly Toos and Frows - of the Riots

Last night I had a mini epiphany, kind of to do with Nietzsche and his ideas on Will to Power and softer and more positive or realistic ideas of Empowerment and Self-Empowerment .. An epiphany to do with anyone who lives on a dangerous estate, or one where you need a certain attitude or bravado just to walk with your head high; why these guys might be doing some of these mindless things we've seen on the TV, or been afraid of, been barricaded against in the actual hot spots.. I have been pretty safe here in Huddersfield and I have had some friends who have been not so safe in the midst of the fires of London and I have felt the shame and anger as strongly as anyone.

I needed to ask myself some questions. Where can one feel empowered? What power? And where does it come from? And how can it be directed positively? And isn't it something we all need as humans, a power, an assurance of ones own strength and ability to live safely with honour, with the option of being heard? How can one say anything, be anything without the self assurance, and IMAGINATION to do something of worth!? With out these tools, living in certain conditions, and being of a certain character, what mindless expression will occur? This is not a lefty social get out, this is humanity... I am sad that such humanity is going to waste.

I have gone through anger and wanting the perpetrators to get all they deserve and more.. I'm possibly still of this mind, however I feel ashamed that it took me a few days to regain some humanity. The lack of humanity we label those creating such mayhem, havoc and fear.

Mayhem, Havoc and Fear. I don't have to use these as a tool to regain some power. I can hold my head up high most of the time where I live and not think, who's that looking at me? Am I in danger? Do I have to show some strength just to go to the shop? That must be exhausting to  live in fear or have to show feats of strength and intimidation constantly.

I am very lucky to have been given, or learnt the tools to imagine things to do. I don't need the government to supply me with basket ball courts and playgrounds, youth clubs etc etc to imagine a dream being fulfilled. How do we give these tools to the youth, and this is not just for those we so easily dismiss but to all those in school where statistics rather than inspiration within learning is so highly prized by the government and educational system.

I feel so very sad today as I walk around Huddersfield and see a few intimidating characters cycling around, big men on phones making out that things maybe about to kick off in town. That our police force may or may not have to deal with the situation, that innocent shopkeepers, shoppers, the innocent public may have to deal with fire, death, danger, havoc and mayhem, sneers, cajoling.

What I mean to say, what I find terribly sad is that when I see these intimidating characters I also see handsome men who could easily be models for Dazed and Confused or I-D Magazine, I see people organising this fucking mission of theft and/or intimidation, there are even strange talents of crossing physical social boundaries that are scary to normal people that could be useful in business and in the army and in the police force... there is humour and each individual behind the bravado and fucked up armour has kindness.... at least 98% do.

I am not saying we have caused this as a society.. I don't want to lay blame.

What is the answer?

Poverty, the word is bandied about and then you see fucking drought and true poverty in the 3rd world and the criteria we give to the word seems ridiculous. Objects & Materialistic poverty has nothing to do with this. It is the atmosphere of living in the world any human would hate to live in and having to get by. Bit by bit this would be soul destroying, character destroying to some and those it doesn't destroy, for those many trying to stick this out, how great is my respect to these people... and then there is this opportunity to stick 2 fingers up at the world and say fuck you, fuck off, we exist, and the mayhem and havoc and destruction is the two fingers. By these with lower character and lower strength and lower possibilities.

What else can these guys do to feel power? What can these people do to feel power that is safe, and can hold onto dreams and to try to fulfil them?

  • Imagination is not taught or .. very little thought about as something important. But this is all important. In a society where measuring poverty includes having flat screen TVs ... MAN!!!! (Although I myself lived in a family of 4 on £56 a week and that was for mortgage, bills, food etc, as a child... My Mum worked miracles.)
  • All the social things you all know about... I am not equipped as you may or may not be, to talk about these things but you know them. Single Parent Mothers trying desperately to deal with life and children, Low Incomes, Benefits (when gone wrong) making people lose faith in ones own power and possibilities... Discipline, the celebration of Mediocrity... While SATS fuck our kids up more and more etc etc And ambitions of success are measured by fame and material gain as opposed to happiness, community and getting by with pride and honour. Which lesson teaches honour and imagination at schools, which role model shows this at home. And how can this be taught at home in the environments discussed. Honour comes out in different ways. At worst, Gang mentality and neighbourhood wars.
  • Empowerment!!! We all want empowerment, to be alive and heard. Without the channels to do this, without the tools to do this we have a major problem.
  • I feel so sad that the Riots and the shitness of them, the hatred I feel for those purpetrators and yet I see Individuals who could so easily be those doing this stuff and I see amazing people wasted in some estate. That is fucked up. Playstation, Teaching syllabusses that are so tedious that I would want to leave school, lack of dreams and inspiration allowed in to teaching by the strict strict ways of the new structures, and lack of the need to dream and imagine. For what is the point!!! WE SEE THE POINT RIGHT NOW... No IMAGINATION, NO PRIDE, NO EMPATHY (EMPATHY COMES FROM IMAGINATION, HONOUR, and CONSIDERATION..) All these great considerations need high levels of Imagination to function properly and where are we teaching this.
  • How do I try to empower my children? By Loving them and giving them options for a world that is their oyster to see and partake in. How would you empower your children growing up in a difficult sometimes dangerous world, your home? You need imagination, consideration, honesty and yes even LOVE to try to understand.
  • And My HYPOCRACY would be I would be so very vengeful if someone had done anything of this rioting to me. And so I do want to say you are amazing to the FATHER who lost his CHILDREN in the riots and the POLICE who ahve been so brave and all those who have had damage and lives crushed.
  • I DO NOT CONDONE IN ANY WAY what has happened. It is shit and I hate it. I am just so sad so very sad that thousands possibly millions of people do not know how wonderful this world can be and some of these mindless harsh people turn to Mayhem, Havoc, Intimidation, thoughtless violence, thoughtless expression, in this kind of X-Factor moment of fame. And to those who try to survive peacefully in the more difficult places to live I think you are wonderful!

My Dad lived as a peasant in Calabria, 5 slept in a bed, my Granddad came from literally 3rd world poverty in the back streets of Naples (Napoli is often quoted as being near 3rd world conditions) and through imagining a different world, they left and started a new world. Without Imagination, visualisation we would accept the shit we come from and we would fight only the shit but still live in it, shitting in our own backyards as the short sighted did in these riots, without the thoughts of a grand future, without a reason! Without thinking themselves out of their situation or mind set. We are the only ones who can do this. It is our Power to change our perspective to visualise a different world and fucking go for it. I commend any who try. And I truly am in awe of any who deal with those streets day to day I would be fearful to walk down.

with Love


  1. Thank you for sharing these thoughts Marco. I truely believe that we must keep onto the love in our hearts at this time. It is not a time to judge or to blame but a time to feel real gratitude for what we have and compassion to all things. Difficult I know, hey my daughter was in London when all this started, but if I give energy to feeling hatred, fear and judgement then I have less energy for love, peace and compassion.
    Be the change you want to see in the world. ... Mahatma Gandhi xxxx

  2. I think you're right, it's why I was said I was ashamed that I hadn't understood or thought earlier. I just saw the mindless-ness. But I had to empathise. And I had to think of how to have real solutions. LOVE is the back of anything positive, but just feeling love won't make you walk down the streets these guys live in safely or make them feel safe or kind towards their neighbours. These places are hard hard places to grow in. GROW how can these guys grow.

    The kindness and love must be directed and I feel the solution is in IMAGINATION, that's what I meant to talk about in this blog. And that the POWER was the human element that these guys were trying to instil, a human right, in their lives but without imagination their expression of helplessness is havoc and nearly un-understandable tactics of such mindlessness destruction.

    WIthout the imagination they can not and we cannot see outside the present moment for a positive future. Love is the highest goal but we have people in such hard scary places.. but they have no tools to get out of those hard places and those that can survive in peace... I have the most amazing respect for them.

    I even think metaphysically feeling peace and Intent for peace is the human possibility of salvation but again how many people are setting their intent this way... we need Imagination and empathy to feel Love for our neighbour!!! we need Non-metaphysical solutions or the negative might one day succeed. The hatred I expressed was an honest too and fro a human feels but it subsided and the solution became clear. That's what I was trying to say and I know to express just being love would turn many people away from love and honesty and what is needed for those feeling pure hatred or a need for an eye for an eye... they will not trust my words for peace if they don't see my real feelings. Do you know what I mean?