what is culture’s job?

I had the below proposition sent to me. I then went on Twitter to ask whether that statement is actually correct. The responses were puzzling, expected and surprising at the same time.

So I put it out to you then – what *is* culture’s job?

And – if it is *not* to find what unites us – why do we keep referencing it all the time?

You tell me…

be kind, and brave

This week my old boss left the organisation.

When asked what his advice would be to young starters who just joined the org, his answer was:

“Be nice to people, and walk towards the gunfire.”

I am still thinking about this. Not because I am not nice to people, on the contrary, but because I know I am consciously staying away from where the rub is, hiding behind my work, my job, my duties.

Being an “environmentalist”* in Australia makes you fair game in the eyes of many. When I came out here twenty years ago, I soon spiralled into depression and withdrawal because I could no longer speak my mind, as I would get shouted down. (*and the feeling of being a guest on this country kept me from fighting back.)

But now, two decades on, it is probably time to crawl out of that hole and find the smoke stack I need to chain myself on to…

I’ll come back to this one…

(*I should probs add here that back then I did not even know I am one… talking about nature, recycling or saving water was just a normal thing where I came from… but here it was met with deep suspicion and quite advanced closed-mindedness, was told that I am ‘one of them‘, that I want to take away people’s lives or standards and that I’m woke and not realistic and other bullshit…)

ecology > grief

Recently I got caught up in a commentary to a tweet of mine where I expressed concerns over people leaving stuff behind in National Parks, like the locks people put on railings. The argument put forward was that people do that because they grieve, and then they can’t think of someone else’s concerns, and also if something is man-made anyone can attach something to it.

I disagreed, saying by that definition anyone can put anything anywhere at any time. The discussion stopped, days later I found myself blocked by that account.

While it is unpleasant to be excluded by someone at random, I still stand by my conviction that if we don’t take the care for our surroundings more serious at all times, none of the protection that we’re hoping to give to our natural world will work.

So does grief out-rule ecology? No, it does not.

Instead it could be used for its safeguard, not against it. One way to connect loss to a memorable element in nature is to plant a tree, or donate towards upgrading the National Park that was visited. There are plenty of ways to create a memory that is in sync with the aim of protecting our natural environment.


be a lady they said