Brexit Hiking: Who had the better march? (part 2)

(In the previous post, I discussed some background of the march to leave, and how come I ended up there. Here, I’ll talk a little about my visit to the march itself)

When we arrived at the carpark in Sutton Bonington, a car was parked across the entrance. A man beside it greeted me as we passed: “Hello, mate”. Like all members of the metropolitan liberal elite, I feel nervous when a stranger calls me mate without a bar between us. We continued into the car park, where the March to Leave was gathering.

Welcome to part two of a longer essay in which spend about 2,500 words trying to talk about Brexit – but instead talk self-indulgently about hiking. Having missed the March to Remain in London the day before, my Dad and I were checking out the March to Leave.

I was definitely in the wrong place: I voted remain in the referendum, think article 50 should be revoked, and loathe much of what leave stands for: the dog-whistle racism of some proponents, the childish economics and the mockery of anyone who doesn’t agree with them. Walking into that car-park, I felt like Agent Philip Jeffries walking into the Black Lodge meeting – and we know how well that went.

That charge of racism is incendiary, and many leave voters would protest it. It’s undeniable that there is a racist element to the leave vote (as shown by the 29th March protests in London). Having the renegade leave.eu campaign running allowed leave to have the unsayable said, while standing aside from it. As former-MP Matthew Paris said of Daniel Hannan, “he has ridden a tiger, and knows the tiger he rides”. But I was also aware that many leave campaigners were not racist, talking about democracy and economics instead. I came with as open a mind as possible, while being very cautious about what I would find.

The march had travelled from Sunderland and is due to arrive in London on March 29th, Brexit Day on Earth-Three. It’s been mocked for the fact that it has not walked the full length between points, and the daily route maps had disappeared from the website, making it harder to find the marchers. Emails about the meeting place were sent quite late, with a time of 8am to 10am for gathering, and a stern warning that we were here at our own risk.

Sutton Bonington is a sleepy English village, with attractive cottages and green open spaces. The march was gathered in a small car-park there, with a playground at one end. Standing by the entrance was a lorry with a video screen. This had been hired by pro-Remain group Lions Led By Donkeys,. Nearby stood a man wearing a keffiyeh, with a sign reading ‘Let my people go’, foreshadowing Boris Johnson’s front page Telegraph column, published the following day.

After passing the parked-car barricade, we walked down a short track. Most of the people there were middle-aged men, but everyone seemed friendly enough. People milled around, waiting for things to get going, and talked about how the walk was going and its representation in the media. Some of them mocked the previous day’s march in London, which might have had the crowds, but was slight compared to what they were doing.

Most of the attendees seemed, you know, OK. I mean, as normal as anyone who is too interested about one particular thing, right. If these men are too interested in Brexit, and they like walking, then they are, in a way, my people. We have the same hobby, we just disagree about how it should be followed, right?

A woman arrived in suffragette cosplay, and people photographed and posed with her. One person commented that it was “as if a Page 3 turned up”. I saw a walker with four spare plastic union jacks in his backpack. The woman beside him wore a sweatshirt with a ‘PARIS’ logo, so I’m not certain whether she was leave or remain. I definitely don’t know her dog’s opinion, but expect they were in favour of free movement of pets, rather than the six-month quarantine we used to have. And more foreign dogs means more interesting new friends to sniff.

Looking at the gathering marchers, before the support bus arrived, my strongest feeling was that these people were fighting a losing battle. I couldn’t see the young people pictured on the march the day before. Despite being close to what they wanted, there was no sense of celebration, just gloom and defeat.

I was surprised by the defensiveness in the speeches and conversation: after almost three years, Leave have not made Brexit sound like the default option, even in their own minds. There’s a sort of flop-sweat about the whole thing. Leave might have won the referendum, but they need to “get on with it” because they know that history is against them, and this is the only chance they’ll have. Even so close to victory, the whole thing felt like an imminent defeat.

The saddest thing is, I think, that the people in this car park are going to be disappointed in the long term. As the writer Tom Bolton put it, they are flag-waving while drowning.

Anyway, that’s part 2, and the Brexit bus has not yet arrived at the car park. Continue to part 3, where I’ll talk about speeches, ask which side is being manipulated by elites, and describe a brush with the dark side of leave. I’ll also get on with actually talking about hiking. Maybe.

Brexit Hiking: Who had the better march? (part 1)

We’re not going to settle the leave or remain argument, so let’s talk about who had the better march last weekend.

 

Long after all this is over, school children will write essays on the 2016 referendum: 15 marks for a summary of whose argument was more compelling, making sure to consider the claims of both sides. The marking scheme will call for answers that provide a balanced argument, with the benefit of hindsight.

None of those children will understand how batshit crazy this all feels, and how irreconcilable the two sides are. Leave or remain is not something that can be solved with rational debate. I’m not even sure it matters – the bitter division in the country might actually prove more dangerous than either option, leave or remain.

How much better if we settled this, not with anger, death threats and eventually violence, but through the medium of hiking?

 

I did a bad thing this weekend. I know I was supposed to go to London to march with the million. But I wanted to catch up with family and, you know, I still feel disappointed over the Iraq march. No, not the big one everyone went to, but the next one, in March 2003, after the bombs started dropping, when most of you didn’t bother. So I went to the Midlands instead of to London.

But then I realised that the other march, the leave one, was passing near the Burt family estate, so I decided to pop by to take a look.

James at the wrong march
Cock. I’ve turned up at the wrong march.

I missed the Saturday march, which included an appearance from Nigel Farage cameo (described by my friend DaveP as the Earth-1218 version of Sir Jim Jaspers). The times on the march invite were vague, so we went along later, arriving after the speeches happened and the walkers set off. We drove around looking for the marchers, couldn’t find them, and I realised I was near Sherwood Forest, and eight-year-old me is still disappointed at never having seen the Major Oak, so we went there instead. So that was good.

The Major Oak
The Major Oak

The Remain march took place on March 22nd. It was organised by the People’s Vote and travelled a mile or so through central London. Estimates are that a million people took part, making it one of the largest political protests in British history.

The March to Leave is a cover version of the Jarrow March, travelling from Sunderland to London. It set off on March 16th, aiming to arrive in London on March 29th – orginally planned as Brexit day, now just Friday. A core group of about 75 marchers are joined by local people each day, with speeches as they set off. These core marchers paid £50 through PayPal, and received accommodation as well as food and transfers to the start and end points for each day. This is actually a pretty good deal if you wanted to do a hike.

The March to Leave’s website describes their aims:

It is now clear the Westminster elite are preparing to betray the will of the people over Brexit. To counter this, Leave Means Leave are undertaking a peaceful protest to demonstrate the depth and breadth of popular discontent with the way Brexit has been handled. The UK has a long history of successful popular protests, where the establishment have been forced to deliver much-needed reform by widespread demonstrations of large scale dissatisfaction.

One of the most common arguments given by the leave side is about democracy, and the March to Leave claims that, given the referendum saw the highest turnout in a UK ballot, “Failing to deliver a true Brexit will permanently damage the British people’s faith in democracy.

I am not sure what a true Brexit is, as it was not one of the options on my ballot paper. Any research I do for this essay is unlikely to answer any questions about Brexit. And then there are the associated questions about democracy. Throughout the last two years, we’ve been talking about different ways of deciding the ‘will of the people’. Does a referendum trump MP’s votes? Does a petition cancel out a referendum if it hits the same numbers? Does a political party leader gain their power and authority from the country, their voters, their party members or their MPs?

These are not questions I am qualified to answer. Instead I will stick to my area of expertise. I am quite capable of figuring out which of the two events was the better hike: the ‘Put it to the People’ march, or the ‘March to Leave’?

 

Broadly put: remain had the numbers, leave has the distance. Does a million people walking a single mile trump a couple of hundred people walking a couple of hundred miles?

A lot of people are mocking the March to Leave, claiming they are not doing the hike ‘properly’. ‘Proper hiking’ is something I have strong feelings about. I have watched and occasionally participated in debates about whether it counts if you miss a bit, whether you have to walk to the accommodation, and what needs to be carried. I might not be able to solve the Brexit crisis, but I am qualified to judge the two marches as hikes.

But I’ll stop there for now. Next up, will be my account of my visit to the March to Leave.

 

A story of hyperpedestrianism, and two walks

The random page link on wikipedia is amazing. Sampling the site in this way gives you an idea of the shape of the what’s recorded there, and how odd it can be (there is an a list fictional pigs.  Really, fictional pigs!) And the random pages sometimes offer trailheads to strange explorations and wikiholes.

One recent trail led me to Captain Barclay, who trained the bare-knuckle boxer Tom Cribb; but he is more famous for hyper-pedestrianism. In 1809 he took a bet to walk 1000 miles in 1000 hours, walking a mile each hour. A huge crowd gathered to watch him, and kept getting in the way, almost putting his endeavour at risk. People were so excited about the end of the walk that every available guest room in Newmarket, Cambridge and the vicinity was taken.

In 1864, a woman named Emma Sharp set out to duplicate this feat. I’d not heard of her before, but there is a contrast between her attempt and Captain Barclay’s. She completed the challenge on 29th October. Wikipedia states “[Sharp] rested in the Quarry Gap pub in between walking approximately two mile stints every 90 minutes and completing 14,600 laps of 120 yards over the course of 1000 hours.” And then continues, “It is reported that her food was drugged and people attempted to trip her to prevent her from finishing, for the last two days she carried a pistol to protect herself.”

Wikipedia mentions there was a great deal of money wagered on Sharp, and many accounts so this was why she was harrassed. But this is a story I’d love to know more about – more than can fit into a wikipedia page.

Still seeking the Man in the Iron Mask

There was an excellent article in this month’s Fortean Times, Walking around the World: From the Annals of Human Hyperpedestrianism. This is the first of a pair of articles from Jan Bondeson, and is an excerpt from their book The Lion Boy and other Medical Curiosities.

A few years back, I wrote a chapter in the Odditorium book about a mysterious walker called Harry Bensley. I’ve been obsessed with the story since 1998, when I read about it over breakfast in a Norwich Guesthouse. Over the years I found various English newspapers which described Bensley’s lecture tour in 1908, before he set off. It is claimed that Bensley had almost completed the challenge by 1914, but there is little evidence of him actually making the journey.

Bondeson’s article tells the story of George Matthew Schilling, who was born in Pittsburgh, in 1874. After causing a stir by walking 1000 miles in 21 days, Schilling took another bet and set out on 3rd August 1897 to walk around the world. A boxing-and-theatre impressario had offered a wager of $5,000.

Like Bensley’s challenge, Schilling’s bet had a number of strange conditions, including not being allowed to beg, borrow or spend money. Schilling set off dressed in a suit of newspaper and went from New York to Southern California, where he couldn’t find a ship to carry his dog, causing him to travel yet further to Vancouver. He later travelled Australia, giving talks about his adventures.

By August 1900 Schilling reached Colombo, in what is now Sri Lanka, and reached South Africa in October 1901. Despite an extension due to wars on the way, Schilling lost the bet, and in November 1904 he reached London, giving further lectures around the UK. He remained in Britain for many years, performing stunts to make money. He returned to the US in 1914 and died there in 1920.

The story of Schilling reads like a template for Benson’s adventures, but with more evidence of him actually doing the walk. There are even earlier stories, like a Russian called Greathead, who was bet in a Vancouver club that he could not travel the world without money or luggage. It’s really exciting to learn that Bensley fitted into an ongoing tradition, and a shame I had not found more trace of this myself.

Bondeson’s article is the first of two, and ends with a tantalising mention of “The Masked Walker (who we will meet in a future issue) [who] was a hoaxer who never left England”. Hopefully, Bondeson can settle the story of Harry Bensley.

Some other Brightons

This is not the only Brighton. This is Brighton-1218, Brighton Prime. It’s a nice, safe place to be if you’re a regular person.

Brighton-616 is an exciting one, a world of superheroes; sometimes you see visitors from the Xavier School in Upstate New York, over to visit Braddock Manor to the town’s north. There is Brighton-1705, where a succession of storms wrecked the town – nothing remains, just piles of shingle. Brighton-199999 is made up of the Brightons seen in movies: Quadrophenia and Brighton Rock are real in this universe. In Brighton-54, technology has run wild, but people still aren’t happy. In Brighton-2376 the town has been swamped by the ocean, and amphibious people live among the shells. Brighton-72 is where a local kid became prime minister at the age of 17. Brighton-8311 is populated by anthropomorphic animals – they have mated among themselves and produced chimeras. Brighton-14 is a world of grimdark violence. In Brighton-2149, the dead have risen and everyone has been turned to a zombie; they pace the promenade, no need to work. In Brighton-1602 it is still the Elizabethan age, but as a world of wonders. Brighton-3165 is a world of sentient cars. Brighton-1588 is ruled as an outpost of the American Empire. In Brighton-25, all the men have died from a virus, and women have created a new world. Another virus struck Brighton-2323, but killed no-one – instead their skin turned white, except for lips and noses which became bright red, hair turning green. But an ever-increasing number of the Brightons are like Brighton-11, destroyed by nuclear war, different arrangements of debris. Some were sterilised by fallout from blasts over Newhaven Fort .

So many Brightons, but Brighton-1218 is the safest place to be if you are ordinary.

Why would I want to stay in Brexit Britain?

  • Whatever happens in Thursday’s vote (if it is not further delayed), the Brexit saga will drag on for many years.
  • Even if we avoid a no-deal in March, the crisis is only postponed – we still need to agree the post-Brexit settlement with the EU, with a hard deadline for that of December 2020.
  • Companies are taking evasive action to avoid no-deal already. Those exporting to Australia face exporting goods that could be taxed punitively on arrival. If companies start no-deal plans, there is little point in stopping them when there could be another no-deal scenario in 2020.
  • The trade deals on offer from Japan, South Korea and the US are harsh – and the EU has been clear that any terms they offer will always be worse than being in the EU. So, the referendum has turned out to a vote to constrain and contract British industry.
  • As Donald Tusk pointed out in his controversial speech, the remain voters (48%) have had no real representation. A second referendum is pointless, as there has been little groundwork to promote remain over the last 2½ years. Even with the fiasco the government has made of implementing Brexit, 40% of people are very fixed as leavers. Another referendum is not likely to resolve anything.
  • The mood in the country is increasingly ugly and divided. A 48/52 split was not a mandate for a hard Brexit, rather it suggested the need for a considered, thoughtful response. Instead, we have ‘Brexit-means-Brexit’ and the idea that this must happen at any cost.
  • We’re also seeing discussion of impending civil unrest, against a background of increased racism and intolerance. While vox-pops are a poor representation of the actual opinion of the country, the media are broadcasting ill thought-out and aggressive views about Europe and immigrants, as well as supporting a weird  nostalgia for wartime Britain.
  • One of the biggest achievements of Cameron’s badly-planned referendum was to take an issue rated as unimportant for most voters and turn it into something that has consumed all British politics. We still need to deal with the fallout from austerity; instead, civil servants are being moved from their current work to deal with Brexit.
  • Britain appears to have chosen to launch a national calamity by choice, and nobody is doing anything to stop it. The opposition are abetting this rather than taking any sort of clear or principled stand – apparently due to their leader’s desire for an election he is likely to lose even worse than last time.
  • Britain is completely broken. We’re in an impossible political situation with no way out. It is going to take years to resolve these problems and tensions, while reducing us, once more, to being the sick man of Europe.
  • I acknowledge that my skills and background give me opportunities a lot of people don’t have. But those opportunities are there. Why would I want to stay in Britain?

More lost Brighton bookshops

Brighton’s bookshops continue disappearing. After the sad loss of PS Brighton in 2017, Brighton Books has also gone from Kensington Gardens. And, late last year, Colin Page books quit the Lanes.

One of the things I loved about Brighton were the bookshops – enough that I sometimes sneaked away from school to spend a day searching them. Wax Factor continues to offer an amazing stock (and an often-tempting window display) and I hope it keeps going for many years yet. But these are hard times for second hand bookshops, finding themselves hammered by Amazon and charity bookshops, both of whom have a strong advantage in terms of tax.

My Favourite books of 2018

I finished 78 books this year. Looking back, there are still a fair few I’d have been better off abandoning rather than finishing – I still can’t break the habit of finishing books that was drummed into us at primary school. Despite that, I read some very good books, and picking an arbitrary ten means not talking about some of those.

My very favourite book this year was Rosy Carrick’s Chokey. Of course I’d say that, since this is a book I have a close connection with, having seen early performances of most of these pieces. All of them I love dearly, but the epic Thickening Water is one I remember from searing performances; and Vanishing Act is one that mentions my running – something I’ve been too injured to do for years and hearing that poem always makes me sad. But Chokey is a very good and moving book of poetry.

Ten other books, in alphabetical order by title:

  1. The 2020 Commission Report on the North Korean Nuclear Attacks Against the United States was recommended on Warren Ellis’ mailing list. It’s a fictional account of a nuclear war, written by Jeffrey Lewis, an expert on the North Korean nuclear program. What makes the book disturbing are the footnotes, showing how the scenario Lewis is describing is a plausible and real danger.
  2. I’ve been reading more horror and quite liked The Cabin at the end of the world. It was pulpy book, but read quickly. It describes a family who find themselves on the wrong side of a save-the-world scenario.
  3. An Era of Darkness is Shashi Tharoor’s brisk account of the British Empire’s crimes in India. Even having read a lot about India, elements of this came as a surprise to me. Given the resurgence of Imperial pride in Britain, this is a sobering read.
  4. Everyone I Know is Broken-Hearted is a collection of non-fiction by Josh Ellis. Some of these pieces I loved at the time and it was good to revisit them in a single batch. Ellis is an incredibly talented writer, and there is fire in these early pieces.
  5. Michal Lewis’s The Fifth Risk was heavily excerpted in the Guardian. It’s an interesting view on how government is more than politics, and how much work goes into keeping infrastructure running. In the midst of ongoing austerity it’s sober to see how much money goes into keeping us safe and how easily we take that for granted.
  6. Fire and Fury is an astounding book. Wolf has written a fascinating and gossipy account of Trump’s first months in office that reads like a Delillo novel. I read a lot of books on politics this year.
  7. New Dark Age by James Bridle was another Warren Ellis recommendation, which also featured in the Guardian. While it reads more as a collection than a single narrative, Bridle has drawn out some striking elements of the modern world.
  8. A chunk of Charlotte Higgins’ The Red Thread was also featured in the Guardian. It’s a book about Theseus and labyrinths that wanders through many academic and cultural themes. It was just what I hoped it would be.
  9. I saw Raynor Winn talk about The Salt Path at Port Eliot festival and it reduced much of the audience to tears. The book is unavoidably moving but it is also inspiring, the story of someone getting up and embarking on an epic walk against significant odds. This is one of the best books I’ve read on hiking.
  10. Wild by Cheryl Strayed is another book on hiking, most interesting for the vividness with which Strayed writes, and the trail culture they describe.

The Battle of the Thames

Back in the Summer of 2016, on June 15th, a naval engagement took place on the Thames. Boats left Ramsgate at 3am and Southend at 6am, heading towards Tower Bridge. Other vessels came from Brixham, Berwick, and Faversham, even some from Scotland. The fleet was prevented passing the Thames Barrier by the Harbour Master, who only allowed through four large boats and eight smaller ones, leaving about twenty behind. By the afternoon the fleet had reached central London, led by Edwardian, a “luxurious river cruiser”, where they were ambushed.

The admiral of the fishing fleet was Nigel Farage, leading boats assembled by Fishing for Leave. Leading the counter-demonstrators on a ‘party boat’ was Bob Geldof. His boat had a large sound system and kept playing a thirty second snippet of classic song ‘The In Crowd’. Again and again. Among the other vessels in this group were ones captained by Charlotte Church and Rachel Johnson, sister to Leave politician Boris.

On his flagship, Farage’s discussions with journalists were drowned out by Geldof, who attacked the UKIP politician’s record, accusing him of being a fraud. He pointed out that when Farage was on the European Parliament Fishing Committee, he attended one out of 43 meetings.

Farage was unimpressed with Geldof’s response to the fishermen. “It’s just insulting to these people. Some of these lads have come from the north of Scotland, communities… where we have seen tens of thousands of jobs lost and a way of life destroyed, and they come here to make their protest and be heard, and they get a multimillionaire laughing at them.”

And, to be fair, Geldof was not the best placed person to be leading the Remain fleet, given his interesting and complicated tax affairs . And raising two fingers at the fishermen and telling them to ‘fuck off’ was not a good look.  A group of activists left Geldof’s boat because of this, with one saying “these fishermen were working-class people with genuine issues and we didn’t think they should be erased by Bob Geldof”

The police did their best to prevent an actual battle. Water cannons were sprayed by the fishermen at their opposition. And Geldof’s boat came under direct attack. In the Guardian’s account of the battle, they wrote “Richard Eves, a fisherman from Leigh-on-Sea, decided to launch a boarding raid on Geldof’s boat using his rusty trawler Wayward Lad… ‘We threatened to ram them first and then they let us on,’ he said afterwards. ‘They shit themselves. I was angry.’”

The Vice magazine article on this is a work of genius, and includes reports of “a spy boat, a secret In boat in with the Out flotilla, which will do a heel-turn somewhere around the Thames Barrier and unfurl “In” banners in amongst the Out fisherman

The engagement is most remarkable for how shambolic it was. The sight of two rival groups shouting at one another, while not really engaging was representative of the whole Brexit campaign. Arron Bank was on the Edwardian and described the event as “Traflagar meets wacky races”. According to his book, Bad Boys of Brexit, he bankrolled the Leave Fleet to the cost of 10,000 a boat, or 250,000 for a fleet of 70.

A map even appeared on social media, showing the battle:

According to Maria Pretzler, the image was based on a diagram of the Battle of Lowestoft.

One of the jokes abut the post-referendum period is that a lot of people have suddenly become experts on customs unions. These were barely discussed in the run up to the referendum. No, we had more important things to be talking about.

Who needs fake news when the real news is so poor?

Does Operation Mindfuck need Operation Mindfix?

I wrote a little yesterday about Operation Mindfuck, a Discordian disinformation campaign with good intentions. As John Higgs described it, “The aim of Operation Mindfuck was to lead people into such a heightened sense of bewilderment and confusion that their rigid beliefs would shatter and be replaced by some form of enlightenment.” The main technique used for this was contradictory stories being placed in the media.

Nowadays, we live in a media environment filled with contradictory stories. The same event can be spun in different ways according to the views of each side. The response of many people to this is to retreat further back into their own prejudices. Psychological experiments have shown that even retractions of lies do not help:

Colleen Seifert, a psychologist at the University of Michigan, found that even retracted information—that we acknowledge has been retracted—can continue to influence our judgments and decisions… This means that when the New York Times, or any other publication, runs a headline like “Trump Claims, With No Evidence, That ‘Millions of People Voted Illegally,’” it perversely reinforces the very claim it means to debunk.

(It’s interesting that certain groups are pre-disposed to reject disinformation. One of the teens in Veles, who ran fake news sites for the 2016 US election, didn’t bother making stories for Sanders supporters: “They don’t believe anything. The post must have proof for them to believe it.”)

Operation Mindfuck appears to have run aground. This playful strategy for making the world a better place seems to have no place in a world where disinformation is common.

(It’s worth saying that Operation Mindfuck is very different to propaganda. Most political lies are made with the aim of furthering a particular goal, rather than undermining belief. However, as discussed yesterday, there are politicians using nihilistic strategies very similar to this).

In January 2017, John Higgs wrote a blog post entitled For Robert Anton Wilson’s Birthday – some words on Operation Mindfix . This discussed the idea that “if  you take the long term, pragmatic view, it could be that the use of Operation Mindfuck techniques in this way are, essentially, a trap.

Higgs compared the state of modern politics to Robert Anton Wilson’s concept of Chapel Perilous, but saw some optimistic developments coming. The designer Amoeba (who worked on the graphics for Cosmic Trigger) had used the hashtag #operationmindfix while suggesting people take more care about what they post. Higgs wrote that “Operation Mindfuck is over for Discordians because it is unnecessary in the post-2016 world. From now on, the ongoing work can be considered part of Operation Mindfix

Daisy Campbell spoke about Operation Mindfix in the Mysterium book, released in October 2017: “Operation Mindfuck failed. Perhaps it’s time to implement operation Mindfix and bring a little objectivity back.

Another response to Project Mindfix came from Dolly Turing. They questioned the idea of fixing minds, and said that to equate fake news and operation mindfuck “completely seems to miss so many layers of possibility, imagination and dimensionality. The most expansive and terrifying and exciting parts of these things… and the silliest and most fun ones.

The question is, if Operation Mindfuck is insufficient in the current climate, what does come next? As Cat Vincent tweeted way back in October 2016, “The Right basically stole Operation Mindfuck from us, weaponised postmodernism. The Discordian response is evolving…

The John Higgs post has some other suggestions beyond Operation Mindfix.

It needs the coming together of people in the real world, because empathy is rarely found online… It understands that social media can be used for finding those who chime with us but that there is no point in using it to shout at the different… It involves the virtuous circle of people being inspired by people being inspired. It centres of [sic] the understanding that meaning exists, but it needs to be self-generated.

In the year-and-a-half since that post was written, the response seems to have evolved beyond Operation Mindfix to something new. And events such as this weekend’s Catch 23 are a part of that, a chance for people to come together in the real world.

More on Discordianism

I’ve been writing a series of posts about discordianism which will be the background to the this pamphlet on Brexit and hiking. The first part, Thatcher in the Rye, is available online.