Let’s Change the Way We Shop

Immersed. Immersed in projects about radical histories, radical walks, radical talks. The term Radical has an interesting history, a keyword in the Raymond Williams sense. The projects all link together with the State of the World and How that Might be Changed.

But I need a break, an interruption, an interregnum. Something connected but not connected. Some of the same world but a different element of that world. Something that appears in a different place in the general periodic table of time. I went to St Pancras station on a suggestion. I must admit it’s not something that I wanted to do. But having sought advice it felt only right to follow the suggestion.

Movement, motion, suggestion, possibilities, emptiness. A vast city a throng of people so close but no conversation a crowd but no voice, electricity and social power. Dissipated, incoherent, unorganised, social power in the city, economic power, political power, class power. Those that rule are there for why exactly?

No plan, no direction, no thoughts, so absorbed that when it was all finished I wasn’t sure that I had actually been anywhere at all; like waking up from a trip, that sort of thing, and the latent question of, ‘did that really happen?’ But I had been somewhere; there are photographs.

There was no plan. It was more about streets I wanted to be in; this street here, that one there. I wanted to be outside it all, not in the pubs with their sparkly glasses and warm tones of conversation, not even a casual observer at a table in the corner; no, it wasn’t the sense of shared space. It was deliberate to be alone, to be on the streets alone, to be part of those streets.

Someone looking in would not have seen me, I became invisible, so part of the atmosphere that the casual observer would have more chance to see the particles of light. So close to people passing by, just inches away, but great walls between everyone, great separations, no space for casual conversations, no conversation at all. But that is something that only a vast commercial capitalist city can produce. And does it not seduce us all sometime, to be immersed in the saturation of alienation, of the very shape of the creation of capital, of capital city, of capital accumulation.

There on the ground, stones, concrete, asphalt, there on the ground, a diamond sparkles, but it’s no such thing, just broken glass, something that will be swept away, like the city, like the people in the city, like the atmosphere of the city in this time, of 2021.

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