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Fall Out

Roumeli Greece:2013 How ironic that Nick Clegg decided to come out in favour of Nuclear Power (with a slightly muted side order on how much he loves fracking), the same weekend as we learned that Cumbria is again to be considered as the site for a massive nuclear waste store. How can this be, when the proposal was dismissed, on geological and a slew of other grounds, just eight months ago? Simples! Our government (cf horizontal drilling) is going to change the rules. And go on changing the rules, for as long as it takes, I presume. If you're interested, there's a comprehensive round-up of why the proposal keeps getting thrown out here:

But it's a tough situation. Last winter, when I went looking, I swiftly discovered that the chief "unbiased blogger" supporting the Wasdale scheme was Sellafield's press officer in a different hat. Shock, horror? Not really, not even blameworthy, really. What's an industry to do? The waste is there, it has to go somewhere. It's not going to go away. Okay, so bury it under Sellafield, right there on the rather unattractive seaside! It looks like the elegant solution. But perhaps not, considering what's happening at the seaside at Fukushima right now... I'm not fanatically opposed to nuclear power. Really, I'm not. I'd be cautiously receptive to the idea of thorium reactors: except I'm not in favour of massive investment in a new, doom-laden fossil fuel start-up, instead of investing in the future. It's just that the industry's difficulties seem so hopelessly recalcitrant, after sixty years of trying. Can't even get rid of the government subsidies: can't even begin to stand on its own feet... Ask yourself, why is the political "Western World" so slap bang convinced that Iran is on the road to building nuclear weapons? Because the leaders of the "Western World" know fine well that as long as you have two sticks to rub together in the way of other energy sources, nuclear stinks. It's only good for one thing: Weapons Of Mass Destruction.

& I think Nick Clegg knows that as well as I do.

Gabriel was down at the weekend. Ginger and I spent some of Sunday watching him play Fall Out "America's First Choice In Post-Nuclear Simulation". Just like old times, when it used to be Counterstrike. We hunted Deathclaws at Quarry Junction, we helped a couple of young lovers to hook up, we dealt with some giant ants and turned the solar power generators back on at I forget where. It was good fun: a Final Fantasy type RPG at heart, but I think I'll stick with Zelda. Under the surfaces, nothing much has changed. I watched the background, this parched, cruelly impoverished environment that the kids take for granted. There's a strong founding father element in game creation, chunks of code that turn up over and over, appearing on your screen as wooden crates, railway sidings, rusted metal sheds; vaguely identifiable South West Seaboard US cityscapes: but that doesn't completely explain it. Why are the games so sure?, I wondered, somewhat spooked. The Apocalypse mooted in Fall Out isn't seriously "Nuclear". It could just as well have been Zombie Plague that did the damage. "Nuclear" is a convention, a shorthand. It covers a lot of things, the intractable truth about how we got where we are now. What we see ahead, and how poor in solutions we find ourselves.

Binging on Breaking Bad

I'm starting to feel as if I'm in an eating competition. Thank God these people show no sign of getting LOST, but they're spreading what they have fairly thin. Why does the product have to be so staggeringly pure, btw? I mean, right down on the street like it is? I didn't think the drug industry worked like that. I know what she's going to do with some of it, saw it coming a mile off, but why doesn't Skyler (stupid name) just burn a stack of the dirty money? Nah, don't tell me. I'm ticking off my guesses, right and wrong, as we move into the home stretch: it's something to do.

Good News

On the High Court's decision about West Sussex CC's attempt to evict the Balcombe protestors, who will now be able to maintain their presence until the current planning permission runs out on the 28th September. And vindication for the anti-fracking movement, in reports of catastrophic damage to farming, esp livestock farming, in the USA; that are now reaching UK farmers. Our water, and now our food production. Leave aside all the rest. Will this be enough? The end of the threat? I very strongly doubt it. Fernhurst, Kidford and Wisborough are up next.

Revisiting Bold As Love

Eating out last night at the Eastern Eye for Maude's birthday, conversation with the young people gave me an update on the cold equations of being in a hot, cool, but unsigned rock band. I've promised to send Charlotte and Lizze, best friends of my friend's daughter, copies of the Ax, Sage and Fiorinda portraits. Oh no, my digital copies have become corrupt. I'll have to scan from the originals again, or get it done properly for me... Hoping they might be online somewhere (nope), I turned up this gem from 2011. Nothing to do with me, I swear.

little darling, it's been a long cold lonely winter...

Sadly, the graphic novel version of Bold As Love advertised by The Guardian in support of my review of Samantha Shannon's The Bone Season does not exist. What they have is just the US hardcover, with the Union Jack cover design (augh!), being sold by whoever bought the stock from the deceased Night Shade books. That's nothing to do with me, either.

I wonder how the fanbase (in so far as there is one) will take to Aoxomoxoa at forty five. If I ever publish, that is.

Coda To The Roumeli Tour: Historical Crimes

But what was it like in modern Greece, 2013, you'll be asking. Surely that's the real story. Protests? People coping with the Economic Crisis? Nazi gangs? Were you affected? Yes and no. We heard some sad stories. Trouble brushed by us, probably more often than we knew. & we were in a strictly cash economy all right. Nobody wanted to see a credit card. But having credit line problems is one thing: grinding poverty is another and often invisible, same as in the UK. The rich were carrying on regardless, far as we could tell.

As tourists with a hired car we were removed from the harsh underbelly of the recovery. The tourist towns were struggling, no doubt about it. The tour-buses still rolled into Delfi, but nobody in town was getting much of a taste & it was like that everywhere. As for Golden Dawn, we were keeping well away from Athens and that, I admit, was part of the plan. We, personally never had any trouble. But now, the news this week from Athens, just when I was thinking of how to frame this necessary coda: the murder of Pavlos Fissas, brave man, that's such bad news. The scenes of Far-Right vs Communist street-fighting. So eerily familiar, is this the nineteen thirties?: so close to my own fiction: such a chilling re-enactment game being played out in the real world. Can't think what more to say.


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