Londres is grey and overcast today, but underground many things happen. Last night I found myself with Dr Guerrilla in a basement in a strangely central location. Most of the audience to an entertaining gig were harmonica players at a summer harmonica school. Later they all played themselves, one harmonica after another.
As I cycled away down one of the most famous streets in Londres I was hit by a smell of food, and woodsmoke, strangely out of place. It carried me off to another land, another world almost, far from here. I tried to look around me as though I were arriving here for the first time, but instead I seemed to see that other land overlaid on everything, as I sometimes see the future overlaid on the present.
What would a world where we felt in control look like? Wouldn’t the very streets and buildings look different? Wouldn’t cities be made in as-yet-unknown ways? But it is very hard to break from the present. I went to the launch party of a community group the other night, and was unsurprised, not to say a little depressed, that it was led by attractive, well-spoken, probably privately educated people. They are good people, I’m sure, and they raised money – for money attracts money, and they are doing a good thing. Yet it feels to me as though we will be stuck in the present for as long as this continues.
It is true that a dog pisses in any streetscape, but there’s no need to seek perfection, only something better.