The Great Humbling S3E2: ‘Move your ass!’

Let’s get ready to humble! This episode’s instruction is ‘Move Your Ass!’ and Dougald finds himself saying words that have literally never come out of his mouth

Dougald talks about finding a place to call HOME.

Ed talks about moving to a three hundred year old wooden Norfolk water Mill and horse skull floors.

As always we explore the etymology: ‘Move’ from Latin ‘movere’ (move, change, exchange, go in/out, quit) via the old French ‘moveir’….

Change of house or business
Go in a specified manner, change position
Make progress, develop in a particular way, maneouvre or plan
Influence or prompt to do something
Propose for discussion/resolution at a meeting
Empty your bowels (!)

Dougald discusses Felix Marquardt, The New Nomads: How the Migration Revolution is Making the World a Better Place and how we need something like an Alcoholics Anonymous for a whole culture, an admission of the depth of the mess we’re in, a surrender of our fantasy of control. And how elite responses are like having a fire brigade staffed by pyromaniacs!

Dougald quotes Martin Shaw: “Whatever myth has to articulate right now must include migration, peregrination and elucidation. There’s many cultures on the move; some elegantly, some not so much. Now I’ve written before about digging into a place, and I stand by it, but I’m not naive enough to presume we all have that luxury.”

Ed talks about Ai Wei Wei’s film ‘Human Flow’ (
And how the average time spent in a refugee camp is over a decade:

Dougald talks about spending a night in a beer hall in Tallinn with Kilian Kleinschmidt, who became somewhat famous for his role in running the Zaatari Camp in Jordan, one of the largest refugee camps for people escaping the war in Syria.

And Tobias Hubinette, a Swedish researcher on Sweden’s ‘anti-racist’ self-image and a text called ‘Swedish whiteness and Swedish racism’

“The melancholic crisis of Swedish whiteness… there is no way out from it other than some kind of a breakdown, which in practice means a psychic annihilation” 

Ed connects this to narrative, and the control of narrative. It’s been suggested that Boris Johnson had decreed that the story of racism in the UK be changed, and the Commission was essentially briefed to produce that outcome.

Dougald brings in Daniel Pinchbeck, psychedelic author, and a piece on Substack called ‘Life and Death in Tulum’

Ed quotes Somali poet Warsan Shire’s ‘Home’:

no one leaves home unless
home is the mouth of a shark
you only run for the border
when you see the whole city running as well…

…no one leaves home until home is a sweaty voice in your ear
run away from me now
i dont know what i’ve become
but i know that anywhere
is safer than here

So to ‘Move your ass!’ can be about survival. It can be about relocation. It can be about a shift in perspective, perception or position. It can be about metaphorically proposing a motion, or literally having one.

And perhaps ultimately it’s as much about moving your heart, as your ass?