Tuesday, March 28, 2006

what a long strange trip it's been!

I need to learn much more about blogging. in the last two or three years it has exploded on the scene as the first serious threat to the mainstream media since (unless you count the pirate radio stations of the sixties and seventies , which never really did anything but play pop music) the British underground press of late sixties, ‘OZ’, ‘Gandalf’s Garden’, ‘Frendz’ and ‘IT’ were on the street when I was 13-14 and I used to sell copies of ‘The International Times’ (when it had a ‘broadsheet’ format) around the more hip parts of Carlisle. (Does anyone remember the ‘Cellar' café near Tullie house; circa 1968?) In those days we never thought that the underground press (or for that matter the ‘underground’ movement) as we liked to call it would ever die, It was not until recently rereading Richard Neville’s ‘Playpower’ recently that I remembered that overpowering sense of optimism and confidence that we all had then, that feeling of “we just can’t lose” I’d completely forgotten all about that feeling which was so prevalent then. Suddenly we find ourselves with the ability to broadcast our thoughts opinions and much more, for anyone in the world who cares to listen, never before has the world population had such an opportunity to meet each other communicate and discuss whatever’s on their minds, and sort their problems by talking! “Sooner jaw jaw than war war” as Winston Churchill famously said, the more we know about each other, the more we understand each other, and the more we talk to each other; then surely the less chance there is of us resorting to violence against each other. I’ve always thought of spying as a particularly noble and worthwhile profession, if each and every country had such an efficient spying network that no others could plot or plan any kind of attack or offensive without everyone else discovering it immediately, then no country could plot against another, conflict would be futile, and other ways to solve disagreements would have to be found! I think what I’m trying to say here is that communication, knowledge and understanding are the key.

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