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> > Richard Downes

I once wrote for life now I write in life. I'm looking forward to developing a blog presence with personality for DAO whilst delivering comment, reviews, photos and views on disability and how it's represented.

Long Die The Tragedy Model

5 May 2012

Blog

manipulated photo of Ed Milliband

Good Grief! How did we miss this classic? Was it through our own grief at the passing of Jack Ashley? Anyway, how this came about. I was playing around with the Gustave Flaubert image that appears in my blog below. I had the idea to change the background to red on one occassion, blue on another, orange on another and blue and orange to signify the coalition. I was wondering who I might represent the 'You What' instead of Gustave. I immediately thought of Jack Ashley. David Blunkett ran through...

Comments: 1

What Is Writing Really?

5 May 2012

Blog

Questions WIth Gustave Flaubert

The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe. Gustave Flaubert

I'm not sure if I believe that Gustave.

Lately it feels that the art of writing is the art of exploring what i don't know. Richard Downes

What do you think?

 

 

Comments: 6

Sad Americana

3 May 2012

Blog

A couple of years ago just around christmas time I lost in quick succession and no longer in any order Vic Chesnutt, Mark Linkous and Jack Rose - 3 musicians that constantly delighted me.   Vic and Mark went through suicide. Jack a heart attack.   I was reminded of this listening to Lambchop's Mr M, their latest album, dedicated to the memory of Vic. Some at DAO will remember Vic has a wheelchair user. I remember, reading an unsympathetic review of one of his albums in DAIL...

Comments: 0

Introducing Jamie Green

23 April 2012

Blog

video still from Jamie Green's live show

Did you see my review of Laurence Clark's gig at  the Dugdale Centre, Enfield. I left a lot of stuff out. Something i've really liked about working with disabled comedians of late is that its easy to access them back stage and chat. In Enfield, I was listening in to Laurence talking with Jamie Green who revealed himself to be a stand up with a few youtube clips to his bow. I watched these out of interest. I'm not sure if I liked what I saw. Jamie certainly was getting the...

Comments: 5

Struggling to Record the Action of the Hardest Hit

20 April 2012

Blog

I have a photo journal on flickr which i would like to contribute to DAO for safe keeping, debate and discussion. If anyone can advise me how to do this it would be much appreciated. I have tried Slideshare but my Power Point is too big. I've tried attaching it and mailing it to the Editor. Again its too big. The Power Point is an editted down version of the flickr set. Its about 3,100kb. Particpation in the first hardest hit march was a fun day out for us as participants. Much more fun...

Comments: 0

Rock N Rollers don’t wash their hair.

29 March 2012

Blog

This is a fundamental tenet of my beliefs. And I’ve had it dashed. Repeat exposure to old copies of Top Of The Pops, ancient photos revealed in the holy book of Mojo show the fathers of rock n roll, the progenitors of pop flouncing around with clean locks. I feel sick to my stomach. I keep on telling myself I will never believe again. But where did I create this mantra. It was forever in Chuck’s ducktail, Little Richard’s pompadour, Elvis’s Quiff. And blow me down; even...

Comments: 1

Another Playground Label Ahoy

26 March 2012

Blog

Travelling to the Shape Offices for the last day of the New Voices course I found myself shocked and alarmed by a poster on the tube. It wasn't the picture. It was the title. I suddenly realised that as a disabled person I was now at risk of acquiring another label. I was suddenly beiing asked to consider myself as one of The Undateables. Any search for love would be futile. Love for me had to be blind, disfigured and autistic. I could hear the word echoing around the playground, in the pubs...

Comments: 8

Keys To The Karamel’s Sweet Konnektions

1 March 2012

Blog

Up early, yesterday, sitting at the PC, marvelling at an early youtube clip sent by Chris Sheehan of Robert Plant getting up to sing a rollicking rock blues with Charlie Wood .. Late last night going home having seen Chris compere for Charlie’s chilled out jazz grooves at the Karamel Music Club, Wood Green, London, I thought I need to tell my readers about this place. This story reflects on Keys to the Karamel Club’s Sweet Konnektions. Chris Sheehan, Creative Director of Karamel...

Comments: 1

Chatting to A Chugger 3 - An Occasional Series

21 February 2012

Blog

photo of a man with a charity collecting bucket dressed in clown or harlequin outfit

For me the biggest word that comes out of the social model is responsibility. We all need to be responsible for change. In what ways can we be responsible? This is for you to answer for yourself but one way I do it is to chat with chuggers. A chugger is someone who collects for charity out on the street. The word is a composite of charity and mugger. I think it works well. The more time you spend talking to them the less they collect. The less they collect the less they work, the less they work...

Comments: 7

About Our Special Powers

10 February 2012

Blog

 Richard Downes has a grouse at Tempo House and wonders what your powers are. "Winston Churchill had a speech imp-p-p-pediment And look what he did He razed half of London" Currently my favourite lyric. I've caught it every time its come round on the The Fall's 'Perverted By Language' LP. I've actually got it on CD, but if i say LP you'll get more of an understanding about how ancient i remain. The small i too - that's a dead give away. Let us talk more of the small i one day....

Comments: 6

A Cracking Carol

1 February 2012

Blog

photo of a man standing behind a big book

Richard Downes takes a family day out to share a favourite club with others and to make lasting relationships in the arts Scene 1: The Past. A room in Tottenham. Summer. A long, long time ago. Franz Shealey, then a lip reader is watching Phil Sherman speak. He asks; "What is your favourite story?" Fran replies' "A Christmas Carol". "Wow!!!! That's mine too", reposts Phil. Immediately, Fran and Phil; the clown and mime artist respectively behind children's theatre...

Comments: 1

Write A Poem for Me

31 January 2012

Blog

Richard Downes gives you the opportunity to represent yourselves at a festival, talk about yourself, talk about our people, make a poem by simply adding lines. Are you up for it? Can you do it? Will you do it? According to Jim Morrison, with an echo and a roar, 'Out here in the perimeter we are stoned immaculate'. I am curating a festival starting 1st September and I want to be as inclusive as i can be. So i want you all to put a line down to show what we are, who we are, why we are, whatever...

Comments: 11

The Queen Is Dead The Song Lives On

24 January 2012

Blog

The last great Blues Shouter from that holy relic, Chess Records, has up and died. She could rock, she could roll she knew the meaning of soul. Ladies and gentlemen welcome to the page, The Queen of Soul, the divine Miss Etta James. We first dallied together in a loveless town in the east of england in the radio home of brit doyen of the blues, Alexis Korner, one of the big men behind the white blues boom. His sunday night show was one of the few that I'd religiously wait in for. He taught me...

Comments: 1

Shaping Up Another Entry

23 January 2012

Blog

Colour photograph of a stray glove placed on a steel traffic bollard in a car park in Lacock.

About an enjoyable day, the thoughts it caused, about past, current and future work that may or may not happen. A tale about a work completed with this blog entry - which may go further. Synchronicity. Does it work? It's Saturday. I'm reading the Guardian magazine. I like the Your Photos page. Always look at it but have never entered a photo. The next theme for entry is 'missing'. I remember a photo I took in Lacock. What is missing? A second glove? A person? This glove? A person's hand? I did...

Comments: 0

A Day For The Lords

17 January 2012

Blog

black and white photo from the action of a protestor behind a placard which reads 'Stop Welfare Reform Bill. Zacchaeus 2000 single mothers self defence'

I'm unqualified to talk Welfare Reform. I know the government takes steps to hurt us because we are in this crying game together. I'm unqualified to comment on the Lords. I believe they place safeguards on bad legislation, taking action to stop the government hurting the people it serves. So, i find myself on the streets, aiming my gaze at the Lords, psyching them into supporting us. I'm concerned about the turn out. What activism is this? Why do so few people in our movement turn up to help...

Comments: 12

Comments

Rich Downes

/
26 January 2012

Kev self organising, self advocating, putting ourselves forward to be counted should always be important whether we are within or without a movement. your point certainly picks up on Deborah's point that to be heard we need to speak and be received appropriately.

Imelda i love your QUIM and will remember it. Its very funny. I only asked one question whilst outside the Lords but carried it and the criticism that was made with me all day. The reply led to the other questions. I did resolve for 2012 to return to questions. I gave them up as irrelevant in 1983 but recognise that if i am to understand i have to ask.

Thanks for the support Bib.

John i didn't see the Francesca Martin interview but others have commented on it and claim to be alarmed and concerned because of how she was treated (is it on you tube?. Was this just another part of what i call the current media conspiracy to attack disabled people. Can we prove there is one?

I like Bob's idea of an organic movement. It chimes with what Kev was saying. I also like common aims, shared agendas, different styles of getting a message over, and think that's why we achieved what we did over 20 years.

I'd like to say Mighty Villa has a point but i'm with Bob as a Baggie but, unlike Bob i'm real black country so who care what the higher strata says.

So..... YES.... continue with our model, build on it, positively promote rights and opposition. Hang the thought that we can't say what is ours and continue asking questions

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