Beyond the Wings, June 2022

This month, at age 38, with business having been on a low ebb since the Four Peaks Challenge, I visited a careers adviser. Not much has come from that particular consultation, but I have launched a Facebook marketing campaign, which has meant days have been busier than ever with work and passion projects.

Output

Many months after it was scheduled, my first article has appeared in Litro Magazine. It is a review of the novel ‘Solo Dance’ by Li Kotomi, which was translated from Japanese. It begins:

Civil rights campaigns are a long process. There was over a century between The Emancipation Proclamation, which ended slavery in the United States, and the Civil Rights Act, which ended segregation. In the United Kingdom, there was over half a century between women getting the vote and the Equal Pay Act, and it is widely agreed that feminism is still very much needed.

For all its size and diversity, Asia lags far behind the Anglophone world in the rights of same sex couples to marry.

This month’s miscellaneous cover was ‘No Surface, All Feeling’ by The Manic Street Preachers:

I am also still giving free online Mandarin lessons to build awareness.

Activities

The next The Kev album is coming along. I have already been in the recording studio to lay down some rhythm guitar and have been putting together between-song skits to liven things up.

One of the skits is probably the most controversial thing I’ve ever written. Which is damn-well saying something. It may be self-destructive to publish this under my own name, considering how prospective employers like to Google people. But I am not a fan of online anonymity, unless it’s for corporate whistle-blowers or political dissidents, and in most jobs, competence is much more important than respectability. Speaking of prospective employers, check out the Facebook page of my new business.

August 20th at Academy 3, which will be the biggest night of my creative life so far, is shaping up to be a good one. Tickets are available here.

Wider World

In 2020, due to the decidedly ineffectual behaviour of the Labour Party, some people joked that footballer Marcus Rashford was the de facto opposition leader. With rail strikes happening this month, the current darling of the left is trade unionist Mick Lynch.

Political commentator Andrew Marr described Lynch as a silver-tongued champion of the working-class. When asked who his political hero was, Lynch named the Irish socialist James Connolly.

This has got me thinking about the notion of having heroes, and celebrity culture. In one interview, Lynch acknowledged his own status as a mere flavour of the month, pointing out the fact that tabloid journalists were going through his bins looking for things with which to smear him.

Like everyone else who has ever lived, Connolly was deeply flawed. The Irish Independent pointed out that he was a warmonger who preached confrontation. It added: “A champion of the miller, the docker and the assembly-line drone, Connolly went out of his way to dehumanise the soldier and the policeman, as if they were not wage slaves themselves.”

I have decided to set up a Substack in which I discuss these types of issues further. The first piece will be on this subject.

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