The boys who would be men

I’m going to get really annoyed if this ends in Armageddon

Men can be dicks can’t they.

Over the past few weeks my over-abundant faith in our fellow (hu)man has been sorely tested by the rhetoric bouncing between two grown men who should bloody-well know better!

I tell you this, if they escalate things to the point of nuclear Armageddon I’m going to be really annoyed (really annoyed).

Well, I’m not going to sink to their level, instead I’d like to share some stuff that happened earlier this week that was fab…it put a smile on my face and let a tiny chink of light into an otherwise overcast sky.

Creative writing to the rescue

I’m about to start hosting a radio show (have a drift around this website if you’re interested in contributing, you’ll find details on the page ‘get your material on air’). I’m really looking forward to the project as I’ll be co-hosting with the ever-so-excellent Krystina Kellingley;

This is a new venture for me and I’m proper-excited (as we say around here), and I’d like to share two excellent things that happened this week. One was that I was approached by the super-fabulous folks at 121 words.

These guys have a thing about flash fiction and do a great (and important) job in encouraging writers and writing. Go see them and get involved if it looks like your cup of tea. We’re currently looking at a way of getting some of the material they feature onto the show.  I’m soooooo excited…..

What’s great for me is the feeling I get when I connect with people like these folks. It reminds me (and I needed it this week) that there’s maybe some hope for our species after all. So long as there are people with the enthusiasm and energy to bring positive ‘stuff’ into the world, the lights will remain ‘on’.

The other thing that gave me a lift was that we managed to trap no less than 6 creative writers in the back room of a house and get them to record some of their material for the show. Here are a couple ‘in action’… the born story-teller Sandra Robinson and the amazing talent that is Christian Mercer.

It was great to hear their words in their own voices, and I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to putting each show together (a different writer will be featured each week).

I really like writers. Maybe I’ve just been lucky in the ones I’ve met, but I’ve never come across cynics or complaining alcoholics (although gin did appear at one point during the afternoon – but in a happy way). The bunch we recorded were terrific and (in my experience) typical of the breed; they had fascinating stories to tell and were keen to hear and discuss each other’s material.

This is not the first time that I’ve watched a group of writers interact and been struck that these creatures are not solitary loners who walk in the moonlit footprints of their muse. These are balanaced and emotionally intelligent human beings, rounded and thoughtful, who understand what it is to be a human, how it can be tough, and above all, how we are part of one another’s stories.

Humans are deeply flawed (though I do on the whole love them to bits), but we struggle with our inherent desire for tribalism.

Politicians know and exploit this of course. They use rhetoric to drive wedges between us and hoodwink us into thinking there is an ‘us’ and a ‘them’ and that something should be done about the ‘them’. They did it to us over Brexit (I’m proud to be a ‘remainer’), and ‘the boys who would be men’ are doing it now over the pacific.

Powerful insecure dysfunctional humans deploy rhetoric and we fall into line; it’s easier to see the world in their self-serving polarised way I guess.

Writers know better.

Writers know that there is no ‘us’ and ‘them’, writers know that these distinctions are invented by the person with the pen. And here’s the thing…we are all writers.

Story telling is an inherent part of being human….we all know better than the boys who would be men. We all know there’s good and bad in us all and it has nothing to do with ‘us’ and ‘them’.

Looking at the people gathered around the mic the other day, and reading the flash-fiction on the 121 website, I couldn’t help thinking that if we all took the opportunity to unleash the writer within, if we all took the perceived risk of sharing our stories with one another, we might all feel a little closer to our sisters and brothers and there would be no room for politicians (or religious fanatics) to drive a wedge between any of us.

…but then again, maybe some men (and women) will always just be dicks…

Until next time, all good things to you.


Thanks for reading and remember….you have the right to write.


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