Gridlock…. More matters archaeological……

by Bernie Bell - 07:50 on 05 August 2022


Considering the strangle-hold that the oil companies have on the world today and how that has produced a situation in which domestic energy prices are going sky-high while the companies and their shareholders make massive profits,  I was reminded of Ben Elton’s 1991 novel ‘Gridlock’  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gridlock_(novel) 

Oil – we know that the excessive use of and reliance on oil is damaging the planet and its people either through emissions, or plastic pollution. It looks like it’s now going to damage people through they’re not being able to afford to heat their homes and cook their food.

I would ask why are the bills going up so much, so suddenly, when there is enough energy, as there is enough food, but I have a good idea why - basic human needs are now too much in the control of the heartless big companies whose only interest is in profit. The bills are going up because of greed – simple as that.

When Covid first hit and Lockdown happened across the globe people weren’t driving as much and ‘planes weren’t flying anything like as much. Not only did areas of the world benefit from a more peaceful existence than they’d had for years, but also emissions went to a low not experienced for decades. There was much talk of the benefits of this difference in the world around us and of trying to continue to limit, for example air traffic, even after the Pandemic had eased.

The Pandemic hasn’t eased, though governments encourage people to think that it has.  Restrictions were lifted and the ‘planes took off again, just as though nothing  had happened.  And why?  Because there is too much big business money tied up in air traffic for any real curb to be placed on flights, regardless of their effect on air quality, sound pollution and climate change.

And now I come back to Ben Elton’s ‘Gridlock’, where petrol and cars are the culprits.  Same story as with air traffic.  Too many cars, having  a devastating effect on world health in so many ways.  Yet – very little really being done about it – no curbs on manufacture and a very slow move to less emissions and electric cars. By the time more of us can afford electric cars and the old polluting cars have finally all worn out, will the situation have moved to a point of no return?

Ben Elton published ‘Gridlock’ in 1991 and things have changed since then, partly for the better, but the message of that book is still the same – what happens when a Gridlock is reached between the big business money-men, and what is actually best for people and the planet? 

It’s probably how it’s always been in human society, but there are more of us now – using more – demanding more – damaging more.

Where do we go from here?  How do we break the Gridlock?  Nationalization?  That was tried, but was broken by greed. The Creed of Greed has a grip on the world today. Either that grip needs to be broken or the world could be broken – possibly irreparably.


To quote Jane Austen...'Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery'....here's some archaeology......

When I read that the dig at The Cairns, South Ronaldsay was cancelled for this year I was sorry to hear the news, and wrote this at the time……….


Whilst the main season had to be cancelled, the UHI field schools nevertheless took place and productive work was done on the site.  Martin Carruthers – site Director – has posted some updates on the Orkney Archaeology Society Facebook page, so if you were wondering what they got up to at The Cairns this dig season, take a look…… https://en-gb.facebook.com/OrkneyArchaeologySociety/

They’ve found another glass bead!  I likes beads….  https://theorkneynews.scot/2019/10/22/calling-all-brochaholics/....here’s hoping for next year!


I can recommend Antonia‘s book, which presents the information in a way which is accessible to the non-academic, while being factual enough for the deep-down archaeologist - and she’s been good enough to make it down-loadable for FREE!!!!

The diggers at the Ness have found another incised stone, in Structure eight…. https://www.nessofbrodgar.co.uk/dig-diary-incised-stone-post-holes-pottery-and-bones/

Which reminds me of some of the carvings in Four Knocks Cairn in the Bru Na Boinne, Republic of Ireland…..

Aaaaanddd… Swandro on the BBC! ….. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-scotland-62408106

Can you spot Star-the-Dog?

Reading this…. https://heraklionmuseum.gr/language/en/abfutura-contemporary-art-exhibition-by-celine-murphy/  reminded me of Swandro…… Abfutura  - ‘What is about to disappear’…..  and the importance of ‘catching’ its presence.

Please…donate to the dig….they’re doing what they can to record and conserve what they can before the site succumbs to being abfutura.

PS.....They've found a toggle bead.....at Swandro..... 



Here’s one I made earlier…… https://theorkneynews.scot/2018/01/30/wave-form-impressions/



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