15 Feb 2014

Another day in Paradise?


Nothing spectacular in that photo at left (double clicking may bring up a larger view).

And that’s just my point – it’s an average day in Birmingham. It’s the Bull Ring indoor market (or part of it). It’s what’s happening day in, day out. “What?!!!” – you scream in your head.

        • People
        • People driven by drives and motives.
        • Some in search of food.
        • Others in search of personal advantage.
        • All eventually securing there food. Hey – everybody has to eat – except corpses of course – but they’re not ‘everybody’ – though they may be a body.
        • The haves and the have-nots doing their exchanges.
        • Some making a living others doing the living.
  • One on the side of the street scraping a living.

I saw many people in their stalls selling stuff, being very vigilant for customers. If ever I came close to a counter, it was noticeable how a ‘body’ moved closer in my direction and said some thing like “Can I help?”. It made me think? “Are they really concerned about helping me?.. Why would they want to help me?” Well, it’s not really about helping me. I mean helping me is a means to helping themselves - earn a living!! They not genuinely interested in me – let’s be real about this.

And what about their products? What about ‘profit’? What is profit? What drives the making of profit? Ultimately it’s partly driven by greed? Greed – yes greed. You know that thing that makes you want more for yourself by taking from others who don’t know how much you’ve profited. But hey.. if they’re willing to pay and play.. who’s to complain? ‘Such is life’ you may have thought.

As I stood in a corner of this market taking these photos covertly – so as not to cause a panic – I must have appeared odd. After all – I was just an observer, whilst the rest were ‘in it’ – on the stage.. part of the play.. just doing what they had been scripted to do. [Panic? Oh yes – in England cameras or the sight of anyone – who is not obviously of Chinese or Japanese extraction - taking photographs with a device that is not an SLR, is likely to cause marked degrees of anxiety. About what? Jeez.. terrorist attack – obviously.]

Do what? Scripted to do what? Jeez – I have to spell everything out – and when I do somebody will ask a dumbass question like “Is anything wrong with that?

  1. Grow up
  2. Get educated
  3. Procreate or not – bring up some off-spring (or not).
  4. Get a job (or not)
  5. Earn a living – by whatever means lawful or not.
  6. Make some impact on the rest of the world (or not).
  7. Repeat above (or not)
  8. Grow older - then.. die!

So the boringness of this ‘scene’ has hit me? Why? I left thinking, “What’s it all about?” Is this what Gord, or our Blind Watchmaker wanted for us – after 5 billion-plus years of ‘evolution’? I mean are we confined to being slaves to our evolutionary inheritance.. to consume food, seek it, excrete used products and head back to bed to restore ourselves for yet another day of the same (basic) activities?

Well – ultimately somebody out there must be wondering why I’m writing this. You can be assured it is not for ‘you’. I write for me – because I’ve learned that I’m unlikely to please most people with my ideas and way of delivery. I write it for me, because it’s like part of my diary. When something strikes you – as the scene above did me – you can’t let it go. It’s of course difficult to convey all emotions that such an awakening has.

Ultimately my awakening was about the degree to which our lives are scripted by biological and macroeconomic forces.