February 6, 2010

UnPlaned getting off the ground

When I struggled into consciousness this morning, the sky was alive with aeroplanes, lawnmowers ploughing the clouds. With so many people taking flights – the thought itched me – are we pissing in the breeze with this UnPlaned mission? I mean, I mean, the planes are taking off anyway, what’s a pair of little men like us going to affect?

Well, I think the answer is this: the words and choices of every single person on the planet have an effect on other people, however small. People make paradigms. The current paradigm of unchecked growth (and under-taxed aviation) is what has created the climate problems that are threatening our existence on Planet Earth. As a performer, my words and choices are amplified beyond the volume of most people’s: I’m on stage several times a week, with a lot of ears listening to what I have to say. This gives me a degree of paradigm-making power that carries responsibility, I think. I hope that what I do with UnPlaned will help other people make similar choices, and go some way towards making a better paradigm. Anyway, I’d rather give my money-vote to train and bus companies than airlines, if supply really does respond to demand.

So, out of bed, and on with the mission.

These are exciting times for the brand new baby that is UnPlaned. While Billy works hard on the trailer for the film, I’ve been conjuring the UnPlaned FundRaiser, and pulling together the ScrabbleBag – the exclusive Dizraeli mini-album that is up for download (right now!) – to scrape some coin for the project. I’m excited about both things- having Bellatrix and the Boxettes perform at our event is a huge honour, and I’m very glad they’re supporting our cause. It’s also good to get this Bag of new and old songs out into the World. Some of them have been sitting in my drawers for a long time, and some of them have just emerged, but all of them are pieces I’m proud of, and I’m glad they can help UnPlaned take place.

The journey itself is taking shape lovely, too- I’ve just confirmed a gig in Brno, in Czech, and I’m chatting to a geezer who runs a jazz bar in Damascus, as well as the hiphop people in Israel/Palestine who will be lining us up a show there. What opportunities the overground method presents us with! Challenges, too: one question that has been raised is, “does performing in Israel imply support for the oppression of the Palestinian people?”. I personally see a lot wrong with how the state of Israel has behaved in relation to Palestine. I also see the complexity of the situation – there have been atrocities on both sides – and I’d prefer to take part in the discussion than to stand back altogether. What do you think? I’d be interested to hear opinions in any direction.

Of course, that applies to the whole UnPlaned idea, too. Are we wasting our effort with this issue? Should we all be flying as much as we can until the prices rise (for oil or tax reasons) so high that we can’t? Let’s get a discussion going. There’s a comment form coming soon, in the meantime email us with any thoughts.

In the meantime though, if you do support what we’re doing, do please donate something to the project, however small. You’ll spend a little bit of extra time in Heaven if you do.

Less than five weeks ’til we go!



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