Mark Swivel is the host of the Byron Shire’s Unfuck the World event.
He spoke with The Echo about the whole fucking thing.
1. Is the World Actually FUCKED? I mean, was there a time when it wasn’t FUCKED?
The process continues; to quote Keating, the world is being done slowly. It’s not very erotic. Not my kinda thing at all. Seriously? We’re a violent, brutal, greedy species. If history – or breakfast television – is any guide. But it’s pretty intense right now. Consumer capitalism gives us great toys but we’re at odds with the planet and each other. Aren’t we? Something’s gotta give.
2. Who FUCKED it?
The details have been redacted by Peter Dutton, Henry Kissinger and the step-granddaughter of Pol Pot. So I’m not sure, and if I’ve learnt anything from five years in the northern rivers, it’s so terribly important not to be judgmental.
Alternatively, I would consider blaming the people who brought us Wall Street militarism, profit-maximising capitalism, the security state, climate-change denial, border control and a generalised contempt for learning, thinking, love, art and life in nearly all its forms.
3. Can the world be UNFUCKED, or are we doomed to dwindle to our deaths in a dystopian future?
If alliteration doesn’t kill us first, there is hope. Nothing is inevitable, beyond the sun exploding one day and malfunctioning parking meters when you’re late for a meeting (in a part of the world where no-one is on time). Honestly, the shift to the right, to the market (not the farmers market), to bigotry, to the politics of screaming at each other is a ‘choice’. As a society we jumped the wrong way. It might be painful but we can jump again – and jump better. In my opinion, better jumping is key to unfucking.
4. How would you UNFUCK the world?
I’m flattered by this question but it’s so not about me. I struggle to get my messages across at the family dinner table.
But since you asked: We need to restore faith in government itself (driven by public service and fair taxation); invest again in community enterprise (banking, energy, telco, transport, the arts); change our basic ideas about work, property and value… and I would start with the beautifully tiny projects featured at our upcoming event.
5. What is the whole global UNFUCK The World thing anyway?
So glad you asked. Positive local action. It’s about turning talk about solutions into action, creating viable projects and enterprises in the local community. The event will be a bit like the Shark Tank but not as greedy or cheesy. For more, see http://unfucktheworld.net/about/the-movement/. It’s happening all over Europe, North and South America, even Joburg!
6. Will any actual UNFUCKING be taking place? How do organisations benefit?
There will be controlled unfucking on the day, overseen by CSIRO and Sex Party experts in special glasses.
The ‘contestants’ – or Unfuckers as I call them – benefit from getting community exposure, input into their ideas from an expert panel, and prizes. Three Unfuckers pitch their killer ideas to an expert panel featuring people such as Simon Richardson, Alison Crook and Aiden Ricketts. The audience votes. And the winner takes the money raised on the day. A pot of gold, to be sure! Projects in the final eight include schemes to tackle homelessness, protect water quality and detox from neoliberalism! You can vote for your favourite projects here to help them make the final Unfucking 3: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/DSZ6S8W.
The unfucking starts at the Mullum Civic Hall on June 10 from noon until 5pm.