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Turning off the internet.
Good morning, pirates.
And welcome to the third KW-38 newsletter. The third autumn equinox. The very first barracks substack epistle, of the 20th September 2021 was received by 10 eager subscribers, two of whom were me and most of the others are still reading! Since then, we’ve grown to over 600, of which 36, or 6%, are on the paid subscription. Thank you every one of you.
The barracks and the world have seen a lot change since then. Here, I have increased the vegetable gardens by 50% to a nice round 726m² or thereabouts, the orchard grows every year, there are 10 functioning bedrooms, running water and flushing toilets, and we ran the first Collapse Laboratory and the first live event.
In the greater world, this week we broke 1.5, Bangladesh is fucked, millions are going to die of heat death, and in Europe, society is going to break down either next year or, at the very latest, the year after that and we will, indeed, be fighting each other in the streets for rat meat.
There is a sonorous euphonium-backed meme anthology of disasters “flooding this week” doing the rounds on social media. I don’t think the floods were actually all this week, (Hong Kong, Greece, Spain, India, Brazil, Bulgaria, Turkey, Oman, Guatemala, Mexico) but they were all this year and if you can look at the pictures and not even slightly worry that your home is going to be washed away, you are clearly living on the top of a very big hill.
All this in the same week that Chris Packham hosted a programme on Channel 4 Is it time to Break the Law. If you’re not British, you might not know who he is, but if you are, and you’re anywhere within 20 years either way of my age, you know him as the slightly lispy, totally adorable presenter of friendly animal-related programmed for kids on the tellybox. He’s been getting progressively more cross with the state of the world in the last decade or so and now he’s full on Angry Doomer, sailing as close as he can in public to advocating for blowing up oil refineries.
And if nicest man in the world (aspie, vegan, of course) is quietly thinking aloud about the moral implications of a modern Trident Ploughshares-alike campaign of real direct action, then no doubt you can have some sort of idea about the moral questions that I have recently been asking myself.
I think the most sensible, and definitely the most illegal, should be kept to myself (but if you’ve had a one-on-one with me in the last couple of months, you know what I am thinking), but it is time for me to strongly reconsider the purpose of the barracks.
Ultimately, it is to Be Useful, but quite what form that takes in the future needs to be decided.
I think the most important thing for me for the immediate future is to retreat into manual labour.
So the barracks is going offline. Posting pictures of happy cabbages on Instagram, trying to develop a YouTube channel, retweeting scientific papers on Twitter / X, I don’t think any of these are important at the minute.
I will keep up this newsletter. The connection does me good and, embarrassingly, I need the money. The barracks will return in 2024 for a new Collapse Laboratory, and for the occasional dramatic work of performance. And, if you are anywhere near, you can come next weekend, Saturday 23rd, for a big ass Equinox fire, but other than that, see you on the other side of winter.
Your, and with great love to all,