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One Year of Unchained!
Today, October 6th, is our first birthday!
A year ago today, I posted the signature tune of this platform, Johnny Cash singing Jude Johnstone’s amazing song, Unchained, which I somehow felt summoned up all the moods and feelings and attitudes I wanted to convey here.
It’s up to others to decide how well we’ve succeeded, but over the past year we’ve published well over 100 original articles, together with video interviews and articles and posts by others that seemed vital to informing the public about the most urgent aspects of our situation in a context of rolling media corruption and mendacity. My entire archive of Substack articles is available to view here.
I am overwhelmed by the loyalty shown to me over the past year by the constantly growing number of subscribers, including the many who have been supporting my work here. I am eternally grateful to all of you for your interest in and enthusiasm for my work. For any of you who are not aware, the vast majority of work here is available free of charge; however, I do have a paid subscription option for those who can and wish to take it up, which, for €10 a month, or €95 for a full year, will give you access to my weekly diary where I discuss things of interest to me or things that happened to or around me during the week. You will also become part of a community of people in the comment section — a tribe, you might say — who share our outlooks and interests, something increasingly difficult to find these days.
Your support, regardless of its form, enables and encourages me to continue, and those who have been able to support my work in the monetary sense should know that the articles I have published here with their help may yet go to form some kind of a book about the frozen moment we have found ourselves in for 18 months. For a long time, our situation has defied attempts to put it even into words, but the fog is lifting a little now and the kernell of such a book has fleetingly revealed itself to me in recent times. I hope to close in on it in the coming months, with God’s help and yours.
Half a dozen years ago, when I found myself in effect ‘cancelled’ from my life as a writer for mainstream newspapers, I did not believe that, in this context at least, there was life after death. But my unbelief in this regard has been comprehensively debunked, and today I find myself, for what it is worth (and it is worth a great deal to me), more satisfied with my working life and work as a writer than at any time during the nearly four decades I spent working for mainstream publications and appearing all but daily on the national airwaves. Not only am I greatly relieved not to wake up every morning still embroiled in that crucible of lies, but, I believe, I have finally found my vocation as a writer, and each day feel myself engaged in the kind of struggle with words that, in seeking to have them describe what is happening to us, seems to have enabled me also to stumble upon the whole point of writing: To give people the words and sentences to — as a reader wrote to me the other day — ‘explain the things I half-felt or quarter-thought.’
I do not know what this platform would look or feel like if we were not in the shocking situation in which we now find ourselves. But as Robert De Niro’s character, Michael, in The Deer Hunter observed, ‘This is this. This ain't something else.’
Let us, above all, not worry about what we might discuss if we had to deal with an absence of tyranny! We go on as reality tells us we must. We adapt to the changing circumstances. We hope and pray. But ultimately we seek to inspire one another to endure whatever comes, so that, when the day of victory arrives, we shall not find that it has dawned the day after we surrendered.