Talking walking

August 11, 2009

Excuse the alliteration. Again, I anticipated that this might happen: that I’d start writing and then allow the thing to stagnate before inevitably leaving the whole thing like some silent electronic sepulchre for future cyber-archaeologists to uncover.

Here’s to perpetual reproduction.

Back to the point. I’ve been trying to formulate some kind of piece for a friend’s magazine on walking the urban environment and this expression as a political act. It’s not for a zine in the DIY sense – there’s no Riot Grrrl to it – so I’m finding the tone difficult to judge, wavering as it is, between serious and flippant  wittering situated within the wider context of its prospective entry into a magazine that isn’t about very much, but does serve as a neat list of recommendations for things to do in London.

I wanted to make some mention of the monthly Critical Mass meetings in the piece, as they provide a concrete example of material political action; the riders set out to reclaim the streets. Which particular streets are of no consequence. The importance of the event, which, for all its protestations towards non-protest, is that it serves as a useful reminder of direct action. In the city, there seems to be a huge preoccupation with getting places. Of course, this is entirely understandable, but allows power to gestate in those who can prevent transit. One only has to look at the effectiveness of the Tube worker’s union in bringing the city to a relative standstill.

Anyway, as it happens I scribed most of my initial thoughts in a notebook. False starts that vary from invocations of theory to a rather long, meandering retelling of a walk home from work. I shall type them up soon.


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