Lucky

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The airstrike rattled the city, everything shook. Dust rattled down from the rafters and somewhere in the basement below an infant cried. Mo sat as still as he could amidst the crush of strangers and tried to focus on breathing. The air was thin, too many lungs sucking oxygen and not enough ventilation. The earth shook again beneath the roar of planes overhead, and the thunder of bombs; aggravating the ringing in his ears.

He had ended up here by sheer good luck, if you could call it that. The university had closed months ago because of the protests and never re-opened. When the military had opened fire on protests in the capital the shock waves went right across the country. Many of the students had joined militias, others fled. Mo headed for the border, he couldn’t muster enough faith to believe in a revolution and the fundamentalists were even worse than the soldiers. On foot it was a long journey and the war overtook him. Continue reading

What moves #YesScotland? Voices from the #indyref

Posted in News and Politics | Tagged , ,

If one was to take most mainstream UK media at face value one would be forced to conclude that the people behind the #YesScotland campaign are some sort of impossible combination of right-wing reactionary anti-English racist xenophobes and starry-eyed unrealistic dreamers who expect Scotland to turn into a magical socialist utopia on Sept. 19 and will rip up and throw away a great nation (the uk) in pursuit of that impossible dream.  By contrast, the Better Together campaign is presented as a mainstream common sense coalition on an issue so obvious that even old enemies like Labour and the Tories can unite to oppose it.

The facts on the ground do not support these characterizations. Continue reading

Updates!

Posted in Life | Tagged ,

Howdy folks,

A few random news points and general updates.

The first thing is I want to shout out my new article that went live this week on Revzilla – it’s the first of a 4-part series I wrote on the State of the Electric Motorcycle that includes interviews with Zero Motorcycles, Mission Motorcycles, and Harley Davidson.  It was a tremendously fun piece to write and I hope you-all enjoy it.  Electric bikes are interesting both from a Electric Vehicle perspective and from a Mobile perspective and the bikes from Zero and Mission in particular blur that line between vehicle and data platform.

Secondly, I’m going to be pausing my short stories.  I’ve been posting them every friday for almost 3 months now and – despite positive feedback from friends and family – have not seen any of them go above 10 shares or tweets.  Nobody sharing the stories means nobody outside my immediate circle will ever see them.  While it has been a fun exercise as a writer, it’s hard to justify continuing to invest the time when I have so many other projects going.

Back on a positive note – I’ll be in Scotland for the next two weeks interviewing people and observing the last week of the campaign for Scottish independence before the referendum on the 18th, as well as the immediate aftermath of what I fervently hope will be a resounding victory for “Yes.”  This is hugely exciting for me because it’s my first real vacation in over 3 years, because I’ve always been proud of my Scottish heritage and feel a deep connection to the place and the people, and because I did my Bachelors degree in Political Science and International relations with a focus on secessionist movements  among stateless nations in Europe.  So this trip is exciting both personally and as a political scientist.

I’ll post my first article Saturday and hope to post something every day for the next two weeks.

As always, thanks for reading.

Jed

An Open Road

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I’ve always found the freedom of the open road to be both terrifying and liberating.

It was the first thing he’d said in hours and it startled her out of her own thoughts.

They had been driving for 2 days straight now and barely spoken a word, each of them intent on leaving their old lives behind and increasingly uncomfortable with the partner whose presence reminded them of it.

“Why’s that?” was the best response she could muster, not really interested but asking mostly for the sake of politeness.

Well it’s like Tolkein said isn’t it? The road goes ever onward and they’re all ultimately connected, really there is only one road with an almost infinate number of beginnings and ends but all of them tied together. And as soon as you step out onto it you’ve gained some degree of freedom and lost some degree of safety because really there’s nothing stopping you from taking off down any of them! If we wanted to we could keep right on driving intil we end up in Peru or Vancouver or just about anywhere else.

“Well, nothing stopping us but our empty gas tank” she replied.with a quiet laugh.

“Point!” was his reply. And as they coasted down the offramp and into the gas station to refuel he relaxed a little. Blue sky, open road, pretty girl, and just enough cash left to get them to the next town.