5/23/2007

I Rant Because I Care: On Walking.

We didn't set out to have a blog where all we did was rant. I'd like to think that MD and I are astute, witty, charming individuals who observe life's absurdities, and who have a thing or two to say about them. Sometimes such observations will come out in fairly dulcet tones. I think it's entirely possible to be a profound, lyrical critic of everyday life. I try, as much as HT-ly possible, to not veer toward the indignant. It's just not very ladylike. That said, why the fuck are people walking around the city like idiots? Don't get me wrong. I love a good stroll as much as the next person. I also love to window-shop, and to stare up at buildings as I'm walking, and to just, you know, amble. The theorist in me (she has a cute name, but you don't get to know it) would point out how I am, theory-speaking, always-already a proponent of the life of the flaneur -- you know, the Baudelaire- and Benjamin-related fella (or lady!) who walks around and observes and in thinking/watching, is slightly removed from the world around him but in walking is nonetheless right in the thick of it. Yeah, I'm all about flaneurie. Let's all lace up our chucks (or espadrilles, for the fashion-forward) and perambulate. But if you're gonna be a walker, have some common sense. And also: I'm all for you looking at things, but really, there is nothing in that copy shop that needs to grab your attention, such that you, the guy walking in front of me, need to slow down to a crawl. You might get away with it if you're a tourist. Oh look! A copy shop that isn't kinkos! Isn't that precious?! But c'mon. I know when you're a local. And if you're a local, you need to walk a little faster. Stop veering aimlessly and irrationally towards the store and then suddenly away from it. Don't stop suddenly and turn around and walk right at me. In fact, don't just ... stop. Right there. And not realize that you're going to cause a five-pedestrian pile up. Everyone makes such a big deal about personal space -- you're getting too close, do you not see the invisible forcefield around me, etc. That's all fine and good. But nobody seems to remember that there's also such a thing as collective space. And the sidewalk definitely constitutes collective space. You do not own the sidewalk, my friend. I'll be aware of your personal space as long as you remember that the minute you step on that sidewalk you are a part of a collective. A collective has rules. I suggest you take a minute to learn them (please step off the sidewalk as you do this). Otherwise the collective will run you over. And don't get me started on how poorly you cross the street.

1 comment:

Carson said...

You MAY have veered towards indignant. But that's why we read this.

Love, Carson