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Three short conversations in London

Went down to Cricklewood High Street this morning to do my laundry, threw it in, and then went to Costa Coffee, where I saw, or thought I saw, Ken Livingstone a couple of weeks ago, to wait for it to finish and there he was sitting beside me and talking to me about the pollution on Crickewood High Street and me telling, or trying to tell, him about the pollution in China.

There was a sort of lexical chain there, but not enough to establish any real coherent and cohesive conversation. Still, the conversation got a little bit interesting when Ken expressed his opinion that politicians are not brave enough to implement real change,even if that only had me talking about how, one way or another, change will be forced upon everyone as the capitalist growth model is doomed to blow up in all our faces.

By that time, of course, either a lack of interest in what I had to say, or a lack of ability to comprehend what I was talking about had the once Mayor of London drifting back to his copy of the Guardian.

Still, it was that bit about politicians lacking courage that had our references on this small planet touching and if implementing real change means that George Osborne doesn’t get to shoot off a machine gun on holiday in Vietnam and the kleptocracy in the People’s Republic of Amnesia doesn’t get to shop in Harrods and buy property here there and everywhere, then the thought would have to be that it would be difficult for them to see it in their interests to do so, even if it should be crystal clear to all and sundry that the shit is just about to hit the frying pan.

Anyway, back to the laundry and the Iraqi guy, who works there, was watching a shia cleric on television. On my mentioning that it was a shia cleric who was spouting out the hamdullahs, the Iraqi expressed some surprise at my exopheric reference which then soon led to us getting into a conversation about this, that, and the next thing and which went all the way back to the battle of Kerbala. A conversation that sort of petered out just after the Iraqi emphasised that it is not the ordinary people who are the problem, but rather it is the politicians. Yes,  Ken, even when the shit is hitting the frying pan, it is quite difficult to see politicians implementing any solutions when the evidence would appear to suggest that they are part of the problem.

Back home and, with the laundry put neatly away, it was time to make my way to Foyles where I am writing up this post. Still, there was time for another little event before getting on the number 16 bus and, on my way to the bus stop, I started talking to a colleague. A greek lady with native speaker level English who asked me where I was going and when I said, “Foyles”, she just didn’t know where, or what “Foyles” is, and when I started talking about my conversation with Ken Livingstone her response was to ask who Ken Livingstone was, or is.

Yes, it really is all about the reference and when I wonder why so few people read my blog, I really should be coming to the conclusion that very few people understand it and it might just be that we should talk to people in a language that is intelligible and by that I don’t just mean using words in a structured and conventional way, but rather using words and terms that person you are talking to can actually access. Now, where is that book by Slavoj Žižek I was looking for?

 

 

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There are a lot of poor bastards out there being used and abused; it is just not cricket "old bean". Something tells me that ignorance is not bliss, but is, in fact, simply ignorance and in the global village we cannot look the other way.

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