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You pay for the folly of the dead
Born into a pit of old snakes
Writhing and reaching on and on
Tangled, twisting to a choke-hold
Around everything you hope for

What the big men say goes
And the big men say the wrong things
Often, and do worse
While the little women suffer, silent
Unseen as the world watches
With its hands-tied, mouth flapping wildly
With the same righteousness
That fed your future to the wolves

They have their brash opinions
And you have your bleak truth;
A prize-grabber claw
Hovering above your home
Primed to pluck your limbs out
Or steal your mother from her bed
(But the mechanical mouth
Is always hungriest for children)

The political pragmatism
Of elite alliances
Of old boys' clubs
With eyes blinded
By pockets lined
With dollars and pounds
Operate on a plane higher
Than you, little girl
You can't pay for the politican's whores
Or the upkeep of his
summer home in Kensington

Your life is worth less
Than nothing
Your death is an inconvenience


Writing a letter to a friend? That's old school!
Using a fountain pen? That's old school!
Calling someone from a phone box? That's old school!
On the beach collecting rocks? That's old school!
Rewinding a cassette with a pen? That's old school!
No girls allowed in the den? That's old school!
A VHS cleaning tape? That's old school!
Making things out of crepe? That's old school!
Reading a paper book? That's old school!
Dad doesn't know how to cook? That's old school!
Slowly loading dial-up porn? That's old school!
Putting your shoes on with a horn? That's old school!
Knowing how to tie all kinds of knots? That's old school!
Collecting fifties-style robots? That's old school!
Cutting up your brand new jeans? That's old school!
Dressing like a young James Dean? That's old school!
Throw a slinky down the stairs? That's old school!
Using the word 'forswear'? That's old school!
Calling someone at their house? That's old school!
Spend your weekends learning to joust? That's old school!
Fluorescent tie-dye cycle shorts? That's old school!
Into ancient Gladiatorial sports? That's old school!
Jumping on your pogo stick? That's old school!
Your phone looks like a brick? That's old school!
Smoking tobacco in a pipe? That's old school!
Going to the butchers for tripe? That's old school!
Fixing it instead of buying new? That's old school!
Skippy the Kangaroo? That's old school!
Watching the test card for hours? That's old school!
Having baths instead of showers? That's old school!
Pencil rubbings in the park? That's old school!
Lots of crappy pictures of bark? That's old school!
Someone peeing in the pool? That's old school!
Still think sexist jokes are cool? That's old school!
Ironing a crease in your pants? That's old school!
You know how to morris dance? That's old school!
Using punctuation in a text? That's old school!
Calling your pet dog Rex? That's old school!
Don't have a Facebook page? That's old school!
The Paleolithic age? That's old school!
That's old school! That's old school!

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Just had an idea for a short segment Re: School.

Each one would be about something that's old school (obviously) and end with the refrain 'That's Old School'!

I'd imagine them being reeeally short and could either be interspersed through the show or shown altogether in one continuous burst.

They could possibly get more old school as they go on, starting with someone using a clunky mobile phone, say, and ending with the Big Bang :) 

Examples of Old School things we could show someone doing:

- writing/posting a letter

- rewinding a cassette tape

- playing with marbles/a slinky/pogs

- calling a friend on a landline/housephone

- repairing something instead of buying a new one

- deploying a carrier pigeon

- Tie-dying a t-shirt

- Using a phone box

- Waiting for a picture to load on dial-up

- playing with lego/s (the kind that doesn't only let you make one specific branded thing)

- Or, to take it way back, starting a fire with flint. :)

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‘There are two types of people in this world,’ she said, and then she said nothing for a very long time. She had an annoying habit of doing that. Having no fear of silence, she reveled in the awkward tension of a suspended sentence. After an unusually long pause, she turned to me, her profundity primed for release. ‘People like you,’ she said, looking at me with something between fondness and pity, ‘And people like me.’

She often made grand statements like this – not quite sure what she meant but liking the sound of the words and hoping to get a juicy argument out of it. I didn’t take the bait. Wasn’t in the mood for it.

‘Oh’ I said. ‘Well that simplifies things, I suppose.’

Undeterred, she pushed further, not yet sulking but working up to it.

‘You don’t want to know what I mean?’ she pouted

‘I don’t think you know what you mean.’ I lay back down on the soft grass, dismissive.

‘You never take me seriously,’ she huffed, hugging her knees to her body in a signature strop.

She was half right. For the first glorious months of our relationship, I hung on her every word. I lived on the poetry of her, on the heady depths of her. She was exotic, an intellectual, a true thinker. Or so I thought, until I realized that it was all an act pulled out of the ether. She was as deep as her next whim.

She spoke mostly for the sake of talking. She spoke to be admired, to confuse, to belittle, to ensnare. For two miserable years, I played along, an unwitting pawn, but now I knew her tricks as well as I knew my own. Before she even uttered a word, I knew what kind of conversation to expect by her many mannerisms, secret signs that only I could understand.

She was not a bad person. Of course, no one is entirely. But it had become apparent that our individual agendas no longer overlapped. She didn’t notice the shift, just as she never noticed anything that I said or did or felt, unless it fueled her fancies. Nonetheless, I pulled away from her. Every ounce of me objected to the break-up but my gut knew it was inevitable. My gut knew from the start, in fact, but I had mistaken uncertainty for butterflies.

A sudden pang of guilt moved me to action. I’d indulge her, for old time’s sake

‘Go on, then. Tell me what you mean.’

She dropped the offended act at the merest invitation.

“You see, there are people who make the rules of the game. And then there are people who follow those rules”.

I smiled. We both knew which part I played in this particular scenario. It was just like her to be so matter-of-fact about it. My starry-eyed subservience had long been her running joke.

She was right, though.

But, at least I get to choose whose game I play, I thought happily to myself. There was a time when I would have said it out loud, asserted myself, as if my flimsy and infrequent rebellions were enough to keep the game fair. But, I was glad to find that that time had passed. Instead, I simply took her hand, kissed it and said softly, ‘You’re right – you’re always right’. And then I got up and walked away from her and never looked back.

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Stock footage of various primates in their natural habitat of County Cork, Ireland ;) (Some of it is a little too zoomy but hopefully still useful maybe sorta).

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Hoorah, hoorah.

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We think we're independent, and growing more so... But cut our precious power for just one night and we realise that we can't even make a cup of tea without the help of nameless thousands.

We'd call round to a neighbours' but we've never met them. All our 'close' friends live a thousand miles away at least. Just distant avatars. Can't borrow a candle or a box of matches from a fairweather Facebook friend.

Your food spoils, and you'd have no means to cook it it even if it hadn't. You're freezing cold or boiling hot depending on the season. You update all the usual social media outlets with your pressing power-less trifles. Your mood is bouyed by 'likes' and sympathetic messages. Hashtag 'blametheblackout' is soon trending. All a bit of a lark, a little adventure in a risk-cleansed world of convenience.

Then, all goes quiet.

We're civilised for as long as the batteries last on our mobile devices. After that, anarchy reigns. For all our modern airs and graces, we're right back at square one. Except that who now knows how to fend for herself? To light a fire, pick the berries that don't kill you, grow a crop of vegetables or skin a rabbit?

So accustomed to the gently rocking cradle of alternating current, we've forgotten about the dark.

But the dark hasn't forgotten about us.

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WRITERS: Contribute Stories, Personal Experiences, or Historical Facts about Blackouts.



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I think you're keeping secrets from me
I think you're lying through your teeth
And I couldn't know where you go when you go
But I hope that someday you will see
How evident
All your little secrets are to me

I think you're making it up as you go
You think you're subtle but
Your colours show
And I can't explain why I stay when I stay
But I hope that someday you will know
How it feels
To let all your little secrets go

E B7 A E B7
A Am E A B7 E

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Life is a lot like the sea;

Sometimes, it is calm,

and sometimes it is stormy,

But it is always teeming with immeasurable quantities of faecal matter.

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There's nothing like lounging on the veranda, daiquiri in hand, soaking up the midday sun

and fantasising about the day when it will, inevitably, explode,

annihilating every last living thing in the galaxy.

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