There’s strength in etc.
We’re already meddling at an Olympic level and Butterflying anything that comes our way, giving the world what for with our plucky attitudes and Individual-Actions-Add-Up excessively-hyphened mottos. But we can meddle on an ever grander scale by joining something, levelling up from individual action to collective action.
If you’re a friend of the earth you could join Greenpeace, helping fund their campaigns, signing and sharing their petitions, and getting stuck in with one of their local groups. If you’re veggie you could join the Vegetarian Society or Vegan Society or even – no sniggering, please – the Pescetarian Society, and find out a bunch of useful stuff for yourself and for converting others to your extreme lifestyle choice. If you like paint-flinging and gender-imbalanced partial nudity to raise awareness of and completely distract from animal welfare issues you could join PETA. If you like human rights as much as you dislike abuses of human rights you could join Amnesty International. You could join Black Lives Matter efforts in your area on account of how black lives matter. You could join a union.
You can join things locally. You could join a local litter picking group to help clean the spots people have covered in crisp packets, or a local guerrilla gardening group to pretty up and de-carbonise your neighbourhood. You could join a mutual aid group like in that pandemic we had, or join Next Door to share gripes with neighbouring busybodies.
You can join things online, posting on forums for whichever issue gets your goat, grinds your gears or pisses you off, and call others to action. You can network for the forces of good and join groups on social networking sites to show your friends, former friends and people you barely remember what meddling you’re up to. If it works for white supremacists, Nazis and Russian trollbots it can work for us.
Of course we have to be sure we’re joining the right thing; things that make a difference to the world. Joining the Burt Ward fan club will get you friends and respect in the community but will it help change the world? It will, yes. Bad example. But we have to remember joining a group is like signing a petition: It could be just the appearance of doing good rather than something actually happening. We have to make sure our groups are productive, useful and accountable and not just talking cheaply. They have to say the right things to the right people and bring results.
As individuals acting together we can effect bigger change. If nothing else we’ll help support the struggling bumper sticker industry which has made heavy losses this year against the global upswing in actual humour. Go join something!
Multiply your power
Change the Goddamn world!
Photo credit: The Zero
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Like most of you, when I first saw WALL-E I assumed it was a documentary and was relieved to find we had at last discovered a solution to the madness of short-term landfillery. However, on attempting to contact and marry EVA, Pixar security guards informed me not just that I would be charged with breach of the peace but also that the film was a work of speculative fiction.
Devoted as you are to yer man The Zero, and as closely as you monitor my good works, you’ll be aware I do the odd bit of fundraising in spite of hating it almost completely. The past few years I’ve been meddling with Yaknak Projects, a small charity set up by a few friends to run two children’s home in Nepal. They need £16,000 a year to keep the homes running, a delightful spot of constant pressure that cheers them greatly.
As you’d expect from a man in my position, I have literally thousands of children. The groupies that gather at the foot of Zero Towers are as fertile as they are up for it, and the rise of my master race is progressing nicely. Sadly, due to the sheer size of my collective progeny, all of whom are disabled rad-fems, I am unable to support any of them financially or emotionally, thus creating twice as many social problems as I was hoping to solve.
So there I was a few weekends back, minding me own business, spending a reasonably pleasant day in the company of friends, or at least people paid to be friendly towards me on account of how my fame prevents anyone getting too close, when I witnessed what can only be described as a road traffic accident, being as how it was an accident involving traffic that took place on a road. I won’t lie to you: it was full on proper scary.
With the Olympics all done with and the Paralympics prepping itself for interest considerably less feigned than usual, it’s time to reflect on the heroes at whom we marvel, the champions who capture our hearts, the icons who inspire a generation. Jessica Ennis. Usain Bolt. Me.
That whooshing sound round the back of your head was February going past us and past me and past this blog in particular. Being as how I’m spending my days chained to the desk writing essays and my nights chained to the desk drooling on them, the old do-gooding has taken a back seat of late. Unless you count the social work. Which no one does. Tell people you want to be a social worker, they make like you’ve offered them a glass of cancer flavoured piss.
The problem with this social work lark is although I’m getting stuck in to solid gold do-gooding on a daily basis, the confidential nature of it all means it ain’t worth shit for blogging. I go out, I do good, I come home, I write essays, I use every drop of energy and I’ve got on non-blogging activities and meanwhile this place gets neglected and cobwebbed and dusty and forgotten, going all potty and Miss Havisham and playing bridge with Buster Keaton.
You’ll recall how last year I finally worked up enough balls to give up a safe job in the middle of recession and go back to uni. And how I’m now training as a social worker, taking my meddler status from amateur to professional. You’ll recall all of this because you are, in the act of reading this blog, engaging in the last legal form of stalking. You’re watching me from afar, waiting for the right moment to ask for an autograph, tell me you’re my biggest fan, or take me to your underground den of torture and have me as your bride.
They say the word ‘hero’ is overused these days, applied to anyone who kicks a ball into a net or resists the metric system or rescues orphans from a burning paedophile ring. But I’d argue in some cases the word ‘hero’ is not used enough. I’m thinking particularly here in the case of me.