‘The Metablog’

‘Ramblinactivist’ Paul Mobbs’ work-related occasional blog – which examines the troublesome and often difficult meanings behind today’s news and events rather than simply repeating the ‘conventional wisdom’ of the mass/social media

Ramblinactivist’s YouTube Channel hosts the videos produced by Paul Mobbs. These cover a wide range of subjects, from the obtusely technical study of environmental politics to the purely ambient enjoyment of the outdoors.

Note that because of the large amount of additional data downloaded, and the requirement to use JavaScript, this site does not embed videos within pages. Click the links below to take you to the related video hosted on the YouTube site.

The video posts are listed below in reverse chronological order (most recent first).

Jump to:   2021   2020   2019   2018   2017

2021 videos:

Title frame from ‘Enjoy it whilst it lasts’ video. Ramblinactivist’s video, 7th October 2021:

2021/22: ‘Enjoy it whilst it lasts’

Walking the ancient Roman Salt Road east from Banbury – a diminutive relic of its status to the west of the town – I consider how property rights and land access continue to define our relationship to “the land”, and hence “this Land”.

Click here to go direct to the YouTube video

An MP3 version of the my music for the video is available on the web page.

blogimg Ramblinactivist's videos 2021/2, Sunday 17th January 2021:

Ramblinactivist 2021/2: ‘The President’s Parting Shot’: A Reflection on Threats and Resilience

Exactly sixty years ago, President Eisenhower give his ‘farewell address’ to the American nation; known today for popularising the term “military-industrial complex” . Today though this has arguably morphed into the “military-industrial-entertainment complex”, so intermeshed have those arms of modern society become.

Click here to go direct to the YouTube video.

blogimg Ramblinactivist's videos 2021/1, Sunday 17th January 2021:

Ramblinactivist 2021/1: ‘A review of the last 30 years, and a look ahead’

In 1991 I quit my join in engineering and become a full-time eco-freak. I thought I’d last six months; a year tops till the money ran out. Well, the money’s been running out for thirty years this year, and I’m still (barely!) keepin’ on keepin’ on.

In this short review I look at some of what has been. More importantly I drop a few ideas about where I’ll be going next. Most of all, I just want to share with you the fact that we’re still here (barely!) and we have all to play for – if you’re willing to raise the lifestyle stakes *low* enough!

2020 videos:

blogimg Ramblinactivist's videos 2020/2, Saturday 3rd October 2020:

“Rules Britannia, Britannia Breaks the Rules”

Recently the media have been complaining that the British Government intends to “break international law” as part of Brexit. In practise these complaints highlight the media’s historic silence when the British Government has routinely broken international law before; in particular, our involvement in foreign conflicts involving the USA and ‘Western’ interests.

Click here to go direct to the YouTube video.

blogimg Ramblinactivist's videos 2020/1, Sunday 1st March 2020:

Out here on the perimeter…
A March St. David’s Day wander in the dusk

‘Getting there’. Not much more to say about recent events really. Wandering off around the edge of Banbury to see the sunset and pass through the infinitely graduated shades of the dusk, I muse upon the words of Jim Morrison on being “out here in the perimeter”; this is where the most exciting changes happen.

Click here to go direct to the YouTube video.

2019 videos:

blogimg Ramblinactivist's videos 2019/03, Wednesday 9th October 2019:

To London… From midday to sunset, on the streets around Parliament and Whitehall with Extinction Rebellion

‘The Authorities’ really don’t know how to handle this; everyone dancing to the same tempo, in character or in their own right, facing down a concerted policing effort to keep them from the streets – official disruption of the organised programme can’t over-ride the unity of purpose.

Click here to go direct to the YouTube video.

blogimg Ramblinactivist's videos 2019/02, Sunday 1st September 2019:

Blackberrying by the first Autumnal new crescent moon

A busy day, with so many twists and turns, my much-desired walk takes place in the gloom of dusk. I’d been given some wind-fall pears; it seemed an obvious plan to try one of the blackberry-picking sites I’d scouted on recent walks to stew them with in a pie. More importantly though, with the first new moon of the Autumn, I wanted to cook-up something I hadn’t tried in a long time: a video.

Click here to go direct ot the YouTube video.

blogimg Ramblinactivist's videos 2019/01, Monday 1st July 2019:

‘What is USAF Croughton?’

A few years ago I made a short video about USAF Croughton, and its role in the conflict in Yemen. I’ve just got it out and polished it a little, and reissued as a publicity video for the ‘Keep Space for Peace’ March and Rally at Croughton on 5th October 2019.

For more information about the event I made this for, click here.

2018 videos:

blogimg Ramblinactivist's videos 2018/01, Monday 7st May 2018:

‘An Otter in the River Leam’

On a walk from Leamington Spa, photographing two key sites for my collection of HS2 corridor photos, I have lunch at an historic hamlet. I planned to finish the afternoon with a long walk down an ancient trackway. Could a day out be any better than that?…

2017 videos:

blogimg Ramblinactivist's videos 2017/10, Sunday 23rd December 2017:

‘'Keep Space for Peace', part 2 – USAF Croughton’

This video investigates not just USAF Croughton ('RAF' assumes a level of control that does not, in reality, exist), but also the evolution of the idea of "network-centric warfare" as it has developed at this site. The video concludes with a brief snippet from the 'Keep Space for Peace' week demonstration and rally at Croughton in October 2017.

blogimg Ramblinactivist's videos 2017/09, Thursday 6th December 2017:

‘'Keep Space for Peace', part 1 – NSA Menwith Hill’

A trip to NSA Menwith Hill, for the 'Keep Space for Peace' week gathering. It's possible to say many things about this site, and give a technical analysis of its capabilities, but what concerns me is something relatively simple. Who is accountable for the acts carried out within the perimeter fence?

blogimg Ramblinactivist's videos 2017/08, Friday 10th November 2017:

‘Transgression and Change’

Change requires transgressing existing norms and practices. Far from being a crime, if you take the time to understand how the system works you can find ways where the law can enable you to make change through making the system fight itself – creating new opportunities for action through the nature of those contradictions. For me, the way into learning these techniques was walking and accessing the countryside – or rather, try to do so.

<blogimg Ramblinactivist's videos 2017/07, Wednesday 27th September 2017:

‘Autumn Blackberry & Apple Pie – Welcoming the Autumn with a forage’

The sudden arrival of a lot of fruit requires some action to deal with it. I decide to go and forage for blackberries on the edge of town to provide a little extra 'wild' nutrition. In this short video I outline the law on foraging, and how to pick blackberries, and then take you through the process of cooking a very simple apple & blackberry turnover – which in this case I'll store in the freezer ready to cook in order to make the fruit last into the Winter months.

blogimg Ramblinactivist's videos 2017/06, Friday 14th July 2017:

‘The Free Range Weekend Firepit’

At the end of a Free Range Network Gathering in West Wales we relax around the fire. The just waning full moon goes hazy as the cloud closes in, and as the temperature falls the mists rise. Then Tim blows dige as we meditate on the flames, the flickering lighting up the mist around the leafy hollow we're enclosed within.

blogimg Ramblinactivist's videos 2017/05, Wednesday 5th July 2017:

‘Summer Solstice, with Subtitles’

Come with me on an early morning, Solstice walk… Sometimes it's necessary just to shut up and listen – hence the subtitles. To simple be, rather than ‘being’. That's the essence of marking certain days by reconnecting with nature. It's not for experience of some other, perceived ‘natural’ time; it's for the change in perspective it brings amidst our distracted lives.

blogimg Ramblinactivist's videos 2017/04, Saturday 17th June 2017:

‘The Free Range 'Feral' Stick-Fire Cooking Grate’

Cooking outdoors is a fun skill to learn to expand your ecological awareness and personal resilience. Cook well outdoors from fresh or foraged food, and you can cook well anywhere. Problem is, where do you find the 'ecologically sound'/fossil-fuel free kit? The Free Range Stick-Fire Cooking Grate is a small, light-weight, trestle-style cooking grate designed to burn small sticks which, with a few tools and components, you can easily build yourself.

Click here for the website with plans and information about building the stick fire grate.

blogimg Ramblinactivist's videos 2017/03, Saturday 18th May 2017:

‘Hummus and mindfulness’

We all have to consume; it's a necessary reality of existence. However, in the 'Consumer Society' the most radical thing you can do is not to consume 'as directed' – by finding alternative options that meets your needs while enacting a set of principles in opposition to that overbearing and exploitative economic paradigm. This principle was self-evident during one of Britain's darkest consumer crises of late... 'the hummus shortage'.

blogimg Ramblinactivist's videos 2017/02, Saturday 9th March 2017:

‘The Ignored Pollutant – Noise, Health and Ecopsychology’

Going out into the dark of a Spring morning, to hear the dawn chorus, I find myself pondering another, intrusive phenomena; noise. Noise is the signature pollutant of our modern era. While we may have concerns about air pollution or climate change, the creation of both these effects is in most cases accompanied by noise. In the urban fringe, and deeper into rural areas, the levels of noise pollution are now growing.

blogimg Ramblinactivist's videos 2017/01, Thursday 16th February 2017:

‘‘Domestic Extremism’ – A Great English Tradition!’

On a busy day in London, walking and riding the tube between meetings, I take you on a tour of England's historic tradition of 'domestic extremism'; its importance in shaping our country as it is today, and why it has always been vehemently opposed by the English state. Labels like 'domestic' or 'non-violent' extremism are a means by which the state tries to avoid having a discussion on certain pressing issues – precisely because they threaten the competency of the state and/or the manner in which it rules.