Activist virgin

I stand and wait. It is warm but not windy. Dozens of bodies are scattered around me…on this significant afternoon. Significant because it’s my first major protest…second in all, but the only one where I haven’t been granted permission to express my views.

(Side note: Protest = formal, historical way of protesting. Rejection = modern, less cooperative version of protest. I reject.)

I am holding a sign. And I have a mask in my bag. The people around me are dressed in sarcastic, liberal T-shirts…and punk attire.

We are here for child abuse today. And sexual abuse. But I know, as we sip our beers and wait our turn for the megaphone…that this is about much more than the proclaimed subject.

This is about power. And the slavery people do not see. This is about language…and money…and equality.

No everybody speaks. Mainly victims speak – by this statue. Victim stories capture many passers-by, but completely scare some…Some of the public cower away into their murmurs of ‘pathetic’ and look down at Iphones.

Pathetic.

In some ways, activism makes it worse. You go home – after pumping up all that anger to release – but nothing major seems to change. I know, I know…this is a gradual process. Revolution has to be gradual…we have to take stands in order for others to take a stand.

On my return…after stopping traffic outside parliament…I have thoughts. Lots of thoughts.

Thoughts like…

It is very sad to see thirteen year old girls walk around with orange faces and boob tops. It is very sad to see grey haired women speak to their managers with fear in their eyes…as I pass by the windows of shops and businesses.

It is sad to see parents lying to their children…then not expecting them to grow up confused and rebellious.

Anyway.

I recently lost my activism virginity. And it has left me with a beautiful dialogue in my head…I finally feel like I don’t need an audience or to explain myself. I now know how I feel.

Many people go about life planning to say or do things…but not really for themselves. People are insecure.

When I walk down the road, I see flames. And I feel shame. And I choose to observe rather than speak…just like all the wise men suggest.

It works. It is underrated, the act of observing fellow-man.

I’ll get back to you when I stop enjoying taking a stand so much…much of my writing comes from a place where I am angry at not being able to vent…but now I am venting, and other people see and hear and feel and agree…I think I am addicted.

A genetic component to extremism and cruelty?

The k2p blog

One hundred and thirty two children were massacred by seven Taliban heroes in Peshawar yesterday. Three of the seven were suicide bombers seeking paradise who blew themselves up in an auditorium filled with 9th and 10th grade children. It was a public but an army-run school. The Taliban see anything connected with the Pakistan army as a legitimate target – even children. They have targeted and attacked the families of soldiers before. The day before the valiant heroes of ISIS beheaded another 13 people. Last week we heard about the brutal and degrading methods employed by the CIA. Every other day Al Shabab and Boko Haram kidnap, mutilate and kill innocents – often children. One despairs that humanity has not evolved away from this behaviour. Extremism and unfathomable cruelty is dominated by, but is not the exclusive domain of, religious fanatics. We find fanatics about other causes too. There are fanatics prepared to go…

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How ugly is the Orbit?

Stevie Martin asked members of the Harlow public what they thought of this piece of architecture, as the Orbit has provoked great public debate. Some feel it is an architectural wonder, while others think it is a blot on the landscape.

The ArchlorMittal Orbit or ‘Orbit’, as its otherwise known, was built for the 2012 Olympic Games by Turner prize winning artist ‘Sir Anish Kapoor’. Continue reading

My mother was sectioned. Again

psychiatrists

So I am going about my life…stirring cups of coffee, people watching on the way to university and writing overly-enthusiastic love notes to people out of my league.

Suddenly, (thanks primary school English teacher), the phone rings.
“It’s urgent!”
I pick up – feeling flawless in my new home. Feeling satisfied and happy, the nurse says “Hello – Is this Stevie?”
Yes.
“Your mother is staying at a psychiatric hospital after a break down, we have been trying to contact you for days.”
This hasn’t happened before. I look around at my life, just starting to come together, and sigh.

Continue reading

Unfinished canvas

I’ve never had it like this,

the perfect mix

Danger and a committed kiss like

Religious, circus performers.

wild and secure, my electric juxtaposition

Beats complete us like

clothing and cosmetics.

even your friends can’t relate…

Our tiny orb, our business

It fits, clear and rich

Beneath a fragile hitched

Roof. I root

For your next move.

 

(c) Stevie Martin 2014, All Rights Reserved