Tuesday, November 22, 2011

To: The Occupy Movement -- The 99% Own The Means of Consumption

Marx thought that Production was the answer: That wresting the means of production from the capitalist class and passing it to the worker would end the exploitation of the 99% But that was never going to happen, even with revolution and bloodshed.

Owning the means of Production: The factories producing, cars, TVs, furniture, and all the trappings of consumerism would set workers free. But it didn't happen.

But, I realized in 2003, we, the 99% own something far more powerful, and far more frightening to the 1% -

We Own the Means of Consumption.

We, the 99%, are the factory of debt. We, the 99%, control the very process of capital creation. We choose to create debt. We can choose not to repay debt. We choose when to purchase products. We can choose not to buy products.

Where we judge the behaviour of a corporate citizen to be antisocial, we can choose not to buy their products or refuse to repay debt.

The 99% Owns The Means Of Consumption. 
Even more powerful than withholding labour power, we have the power to control private capital by choosing not to purchase products or debt.

We Own The Means of Consumption.
What will we do with it?

Sunday, June 07, 2009

The Marionette Unit

One of the reasons I have not been blogging frequently since arriving in Vancouver has been my involvement in a writing project called The Marionette Unit, which I co-wrote with director and good friend, Azhur Saleem and is produced by another good friend James Boyle.

I really enjoy co-writing, so long as the parties involved are on the "same page" creatively. Happily, that is the case with me and Azhur. We both have a passion for telling stories that are entertaining but have depth and something to say. As a writer, I tend to "see" the things I write before or as I write them. Even though I express my ideas in words, those words are painting a scene and the characters within it.

As a director, Azhur is also vert visual and brings so much to the story-telling process. Working with him is creatively very rewarding as we take the seed of an idea and bounce it back and forth. Like a snowball rolling downhill, it gathers shape and form in this process and we produce something that is greater than the sum of our individual efforts.

I have tried collaborations before, but egos have tended to destroy the ideas before they get a chance to take on their own creative lives.

With Azhur, we respect each others creativity and skill sets and we're not afraid to disagree, because the critique is for one purpose: to make the piece as good as it can get.

The Marionette Unit has just receive €10,000 of funding from the 5th Vevey European First Films Award and further funding is sure to be forthcoming. It will be my first screenplay to go into production and it will be an interesting experience. There will be something surreal watching an actor on the silver screen speak words I have conjured from the ether and written on the page. It will also be very humbling.

As I move forward with my other writing projects, some of them in collaboration with Azhur and James, I will remember this project with great affection, and know that along with creativity, tenacity and self-belief, a writer as needs the helping hand of serendipity.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Change of place

I have left the UK and for the time being I am residing in Taos, New Mexico. This is a temporary state, but all states are.

The altitude is about 7000 feet and the humidity is low. I've spent the first 2 days acclimatising to the thin air and the drying effects of the desert: my lips are drying and cracking.

Taos had a lot of snow on Sunday and the street on which I'm staying is still covered with compacted snow. I walk slowly and deliberately. But the air is clear and clean and the light at this elevation is spectacular. The sunset leaves vivid colours on the mountains and it reminds me of the skies in Australia.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

"Fast Change"

Although I reconcile myself to change in all its forms, when change happens in a geometric progression, an acceleration, it does leave me breathless. Today I leave my job at Apple Regent Street after a year and prepare for the changes ahead. I leave behind new friends, experiences and a rancid commute.

I keep coming back to the scene in "Lost in Translation" when Bill Murray's character is in the hotel bar and says to Scarlet Johansen: "I've got this idea: first we've got to get out of this bar, then this hotel, then the city and then the country. Are you in?"

It's going to be strange to leave the comfort of routine behind, but the uncertainty brings with it creativity and I feel ideas starting to stir.

I am eager to see what this new future holds.