Ben Peek (benpeek) wrote,
Ben Peek
benpeek

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it's late, and raining.

everything looks different in the rain: buildings, cars, people. you can tell a lot about a person the way he or she navigates the rain.

i was reading james donald's Imagining the Modern City tonight. it has a fantastic cover: looking over a man as he walks: you can see nothing of his face, just the circular brim of his hat, the thin laces of his shoes, the cotton of his jacket and pants, and the stones in the ground. his tie is shadowed slightly, poking out from beneath the hat. it's a very apt cover for the book, as it doesn't show anything of the man, anything that might be thought of as natural, which, half way through, seems to be one of donald's theories. cities aren't natural, but rather are a place where 'being a citizen, being a man about town, being a person--these are not identities, they are performances.'

as i said, interesting book. don't think i agree with that bit, but i ought to wait and see where he goes with it before passing judgment.

however, there is a section in the book where, casually, donald drops that he expects to be carrying and ID card any time soon. which i think has got to be one of the most disgusting ideas in all of time. ID cards. wonderful. why don't we just have all our crimes, incomes, sexual preferences and pets put up for the world to see?

the thing about society, is that you don't have to be known. you don't have to prove who you are to anyone. it doesn't matter that upon yourself you carry enough ID to make an ID card completely redundant, what matters is that you could spend your time having to present said object to any suspicious minded individual. (i resist the urge to say blue uniformed, because who really knows how long that would last? you might need an ID card just to buy bread.)

it is important to every society to be able to lie. a free society means a society of liars, cheats, and magicians. a free society means that you can't trust your neighbour.
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