“There is a voice inside of you
That whispers all day long,
‘I feel this is right for me,
I know that this is wrong.’
No teacher, preacher, parent, friend
Or wise man can decide
What’s right for you–just listen to
The voice that speaks inside.”
I am here today because I believe the Breakthrough Initiatives are critically important. To understand the universe you must know about atoms. About the forces that bind them, the contours of space and time. The birth and death of stars, the dance of galaxies, the secrets of black holes. But that is not enough. These ideas cannot explain everything. They can explain the light of stars, but not the lights that shine from Planet Earth. To understand these lights you must know about life, about minds. We believe that life arose spontaneously on Earth so in an infinite universe there must be other occurrences of life. Somewhere in the cosmos, perhaps, intelligent life may be watching these lights of ours aware of what they mean. Or do our lights wander a lifeless cosmos, unseen beacons announcing that here on our rock, the universe discovered its existence? Either way, there is no bigger question. It is time to commit to finding the answer to search for life beyond Earth. The Breakthrough Initiatives are making that commitment. We are life, we are intelligent, we must know.
How can you not have an ax emoji?! Or a tidal wave of blood? It’s criminal.
Earlier this year you made a print bearing the slogan “Stop! Mumford And Sons”. What’s your opinion of the band?
They are shit. They represent everything that is wrong with this country today. They are a bunch of public schoolboys pretending to be hillbillies aren’t they? I think that’s quite funny, Etonians taking on bluegrass or Woody Guthrie or whatever they imagine they are doing – the sons of investment bankers taking a genre that was explicitly about poverty and making it into a multi-million pound phenomena. This whole country is slowly being Mumfordised. Even places like Margate now have a Mumford Quarter that sells lattes, vintage posters and rustic lunches. Everything presented as ‘real’ and ‘authentic’- real ale, hand cut chips – gastro pubs stuffed with broken furniture on stripped wooden floors – everything ‘hand reared’ and localised – you can no longer buy mussels, cod, pork or crab in these pubs – only Shetland Isle Mussels, Peterhead Cod, Suffolk Pork and Dorset Crab. There is an overwhelming folksy, middle class, twee faux-local attitude that means many urban areas are rebranding themselves as ‘villages’: people in cities lusting after allotments, going to farmer’s markets in their wellies – the Mumfords are the house band for this desire to create the rural idyll in cities. Bring back The Wurzels, I say. The Wurzels were much better than Mumford & Sons.
The nastiest, funkiest playlist yet…
- Funkadelic – “Can You Get To That”
- Parliament – “(You’re a Fish And I’m A) Water Sign”
- Sly & The Family Stone – “Underdog”
- Rick James – “Mary Jane”
- Bootsy Collins – “Bootzilla”
- Funkadelic – “I’ll Stay”
- Betty Davis – “They Say I’m Different”
- The Bar-Kays – “Son Of Shaft”
- The Dramatics – “Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get”
- Lyn Collins – “Think (About It)”
- Parliament – “Chocolate City”
- Mandrill – “Mandrill”
music to get your shit together by