Simulacrum

Here sitting in a dark grey café, where coffee tastes sour and expensive. The feeling that London is a simulacrum of a simulacrum — a city that lives not even off its mythical image but off the image of an image: this is how a city should be, for this is how the moneyed imagine it, this is what they want (I can only imagine they do — several levels of fantasy).

Anthropologically empty place, this café — no weight, no identity, no history, no future. Sooner or later it will be replaced by a bicycle shop or turned into luxury flats. There are already several punters dressed in cycling gear here (Lycra failing to conceal bulge), their overpriced bikes leaning against the front window — omens. You can tell a lot about a city by its social spaces. You can tell a lot about contemporary London by these new places of congregation — dark grey churches that sprout from out of nowhere; non-places more suitable for the heaping up of wealth — via MacBook — than conversation. More suitable for doing the invoices than the writing for which the invoices are done. More suitable for admin than life.

The pecuniary ugliness of London grabs me by the balls sometimes. Reminds me that for all the fantasy we are somewhere else: we exist on an island in flight from pleasure. I guess that here in this caff they have tried and failed to regain that pleasure lost. But they’ve only managed to make it more expensive. More sour. And more grey.

Fermando Sdrigotti

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