Does God Hate Nature?

Certainly, this would have been your reaction had you passed the butchered little garden in front of the Gospel Chapel in Cessnock the other day, that God hates Nature. But God doesn't hate Nature. Some might even say that Nature is God, or that Nature is the art of God, but whatever the case Nature is God's creation and as such it is true and good and beautiful. So, what on earth is happening here, when trees are butchered and plants bludgeoned? It certainly isn't happening in the name of God. Which is why I wrote a little letter to these butchers giving them a piece of my mind. And I know these plants weren't diseased in case that's their reply. How do I know that? Because just the previous week, call it a coincidence, I wrote a piece on my hood entitled Ecology of a Neighbourhood and had a good look at said plants and tree which may have been a tad overgrown but nothing that would justify such heavy-handedness. God had a gentle touch last time I looked. It is the devil who bludgeons and butchers and destroys.


BEFORE













AFTER














LETTER LEFT IN LETTERBOX AND ANOTHER NAILED TO THE DOOR



What you did to those  plants and tree in your chapel grounds (and in your care) amounts to nothing short of butchery. It saddens me to see such heavy-handed ignorance especially coming from those who profess faith in the Almighty. Nature is God's creation. It is an absolute disgrace that you should call yourselves believers when you behave like this. 


May God forgive you.


People Make Glasgow

I've always wondered at the anthropocentred nature of such a statement... when there are clearly a lot of things that make Glasgow not least the hills that actually created the glas chu (the grey green hollow) in the first place. So, Nature made Glasgow, the glaciers made Glasgow, the rivers and streams made Glasgow... people, well, people don't make anything except noise...




Ecology of a Neighbourhood

Neighbourhoods can be fascinating places for that particular brand of life that is not your own demented and deformed kind. Take my own humble neighbourhood for example which looks quite ordinary on the surface, streets full of cars, and rows of sandstone tenements. But between the cars (or gas chambers if you prefer which quite frankly do nothing for neighbourhoods except menace and pollute them) there are little front gardens a few metres wide, walkabout crows, pigeons and gulls, who forage on foot, insects galore feeding from wild garden flowers, and kerbside weeds (which sadly the council and car drivers like to spray with their chemicals). All this ecology stops the neighbourhood from becoming a car park (for many residents now that's all a neighbourhood is: a place to sleep (recover from work) and park your car. A neighbourhood, sadly, is no longer a place to live. In the past poverty stopped people from having cars. Now, even the poor have cars because of dodgy loan and hire purchase schemes and used car salesmen. And so the wildlife becomes even more important, because there's nothing worse than a neighbourhood which has excellent access to public transport (tube, bus, train links are all  within a five/ten minute walk from my door) drowning in gas chambers and toxic boxes that we like to call 'cars'. Car drivers have even taken to parking on the pavements not because there are no spaces on the road but because they think it's cool (to block disabled access and irritate the blind and the hard of seeing). The point of this piece is, in the words of Vincent Derthier whose Ecology of a Summer House I came across many moons ago in the eastern province of Saudi Arabia (!), 'to stimulate readers to an awareness and appreciation of the many and complex manifestations of life in this world and of our participation in that biological wonder'. It is an effort to allow people to see beyond the car park the small minded have made of our neighbourhoods, and to see that fruition and not pollution is the order of the Earth. It is also an effort to stop and pause and consider your neighbourhood as a place for Life and peace and living, and not for death and disease and recovery.












Viper's Bugloss

I first uncovered Viper's bugloss (Echium vulgare) a few years back (sad isn't it?) by accident when I saw this marvellous blue thing on the grass verge beside the cycle path I was plying. I stopped and got down on my knees for a closer look (a behaviour encouraged by my botanist friend not by my school teachers or parents). I was amazed at how vibrant it was (and hairy) and how the insects loved it. Everytime I passed this little guy (all on his own in spite of being an 'invasive weed') I would stop and 'converse' in silence for a few minutes while I ate my blueberries and drank some water. And I soon formed a map of the strath that was informed by flowers and flowing. You had Viper's bugloss over here, Hellborine orchids over there, wild cornflowers in there. I realised as a cyclist and walker and someone who now eschews transport and the act of being carried (as if I were dead) that I too was one of them: a flower who flows according to the dictates not of man and his filthy earth-destroying machines but of the uni-verse and of the 'one who pours'. People have just forgotten how to be flowers having been waylaid by the machine, its toxins, and the brain-damage that comes with it. So, by all mean, get back on your own two feet (and into your own two hemispheres), and become the flower, Viper's bugloss or other.




The Seagull Mafia

Seagulls are terrific! They have a terrifying capacity to them that we know all too well when they're hungry or when their new borns are hungry. I have had a couple of seagulls nesting on the rooftop opposite my desk for almost a decade now so I am familiar with their behaviour. At any rate, seagulls are quite territorial and like to return to the same nesting site year in year out. Which brings me to my point. Yesterday, at Old Kilpatrick a seagull could be seen nesting on the chimney top of the old station house. So what, you ask. Well, this particularly chimney top is home to a family of kafkas (jackdaws to you and me) who have been living there for a long time. This morning the kafkas (seven of them) were foraging as usual around and about their home but they did seem a little put off. And I started wondering if the gulls had muscled the kafkas out of their home forcibly. It's difficult to say, but I would be surprised if the jackdaws had given up their home to these seagulls voluntarily. I will pop back later in the week to see if the gulls are still there. But I'm guessing they won't be, that a barney will have broken out between the jackdaws and the gulls, and that will be that. Seven against two (no matter how big you are) is always a question of arithmetic. Watch this space!





The Tantrum Thrower

Alas! Some people are just a menace to street artists. Like a demented canine they cannot let it go. They've taken my art too personally and forgotten that it's art. Like this twat who accosted me as I started painting today, threatening me with the police and then asking me what I am protesting about. It was this latter point that irked me. I asked him if he was blind and/or illiterate, or if he was perhaps retarded. He didn't take it well. I told him to stay back because twice he dismounted from his bicycle as if he wanted to physically attack me and/or perform a citizen's arrest. I told him that if he approached within a metre of my body I would defend myself, which, I added, would invariably mean hurting him and/or dowsing him with shock red spray paint. He got back on his bike and waddled off. I could see him at the other end of the bridge trying to convince the security guards of the Hydro precinct (where Cop 26 will be held) to stop me. Meanwhile, a family of three of their bicycles on their way to Pollok Park stopped to commend me on my work. In fact, in the time the trantrum thrower took to get his mummy and daddy to tell me off half a dozen or so people had stopped to offer their thanks for the 'education and entertainment'. This I told to the two police women (girls really) who arrived at the behest of the tantrum thrower who had evidently phoned them as he had promised. I had a very pleasant conversation with the police officers who seemed to enjoy the art I had just put up. They reminded me that it was public property and that it was illegal to deface it, but they did this in such a diplomatic and sensitive way that it never even seemed like a reprimand. Indeed, they seemed more interested in the tantrum thrower who was still throwing tantrums as I cycled off into the sunset thanking the police officers for their 'undertstanding' and promising (ahem) not to do it again... Alas! Some people are just a menace to street artists.










Cattle-ism



 


The word 'Cattle' in fact derives from the Latin capita where we get 'capitalism'. Here, cattle refers to 'heads'. But then, so does capitalism, does it not?

Do not be cattle. Refuse. Re-fuse. You are not a machine to be used and exploited and fattened up for the kill. Under capitalism you are simply a statistic that fuels your runaway economy. Under Nature, under God, you are Nature, you are God.

Do not be cattle.