June 06, 2007

British spatial incapacity I've now been at Cardiff for a week. The weather has been lovely (I don't know why people say it always rains here; in fact, nearly always when I'm in the UK it is clear and sunny). My hosts are smart, kind, and engaging. One's wife, an artist, Ute, generously spent her Saturday showing me around the coast, some lovely hiking trails, quite remarkable large hills scattered with sheep, as well her art and the school where she teaches (founded, or taken from the monks by, Henry VII; I was impressed). Nonetheless, I am starting to get cranky. I am particularly cranky, actually, irrationally incensed, by the total and complete inability of the British to navigate social space. When I complained to a political theorist about it last night (one who is from Sussex but lived the last 18 odd years in LA), she said, something to the effect of 'quite right; the British think an intersection is something to stand in the middle of.' More specifically, there is a marvelous trail (actually walkway) alongside a river that goes through Cardiff. It starts in Bute Park, near Cardiff Castle. Yesterday, walkers, runners, and cyclists were enjoying the sunny day. The walkers and cyclists were often comprised of families with small children. The walk/trail is rather narrow. So, having all three groups successfully share the space is rather challenging under the best of circumstances. Yet, the British make it infinitely more difficult by refusing to adopt even the most sensible of...

Jodi Dean

Jodi Dean is a political theorist.

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