In response to Rog Mitchell on 24th October 2010

You know when you read something or hear something and it just sound right. In fact in sounds so right in your gut that it’s hard to comprehend that there is anyone anywhere who doesn’t think that way, or at least wouldn’t think that way if they heard it like when you listen to THIS by Ken Robinson for example. Well this morning I read a new blog entry by Rog Haydon Mitchell.  This is really worth a read.  I think this concept of the ‘exception’ is really helpful.  For me, it helps make sense of where the power centre really lies.  I spend a lot of time wondering why things are hard to change – things that have institutional context like mainstream factory education or the commodification of culture or the medical model of health care.  Whenever someone directly addresses issues of injustice or disempowerment in such contexts, their contribution is invariably one of those contributions I have referred to in the opening of this post; one of those moments when you know you’ve heard something right and ‘true’.  You feel empowered at having heard it and hurriedly tell your friends.  You post links to the video / podcast, you tweet extracts from the essay, etc.  Everyone who hears it concurs that this is great and ‘spot on’ yet even with all this agreement, we see the same bull shit sustain itself and win our consent!  How?  Well, I’m still working on it but it has something to do with the ‘man behind things’, the ‘self devourer’ (read Rog’s blog). Money and power eating up learning, culture and health.

When I was a child (must have been around 10 years old  because I was in my cabin bed) I also had my worst nightmare to date. I say worst because like the nightmare Rog described, it lived in my head as an authentic fear for many weeks and although I have had more disturbing dreams (like loved ones dying) I have always woken happy in the knowledge that I have escaped the dream.  This nightmare when I was around 10 is still a vivid image in my mind today, much as described in Rog’s blog.  In the dream, I had a fleshy cork in my forearm which popped out and stuff and fluids poured out – I could not get the cork back in.  I’m struck by similarities in these dreams – the visceral imagery, the right forearm and the detached or out of control nature of the dream’s subject.  It also occurs to me that my generation is the offspring of yours – that modernity self devoured and post modernity bleeds and leaks all over the floor. The product of the self devouring is a boy with his substance and contents leaking away. Obviously this is all dream speak and metaphors – I don’t mean to personalise the people involved or set up a modernity Vs post modernity competition, just interpreting aloud.

So, how to stay hopeful in the face of such a ravenous self devouring man?  Well. I thought I’d leave it with another link to another one of those contributions that just sound right in the gut.  Tony Benn is also considering the ‘devouring man’ that is money and power who he suggests may literally devour himself in biological and nuclear devastation if left unchecked and he leaves us with hope as his possible way forwards…


About William Stopha

I am a performance poet and media artist who goes by the name of William Stopha. Also know as Chris by some. You can read, hear and watch my material at or You can also follow my shorter bullet thoughts at My artwork and research explore grass roots creativity, collaboration, the communication of alternative ideology and the politics of performance.
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