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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Saturday, October 11, 2008
    Or just being pretentious about it
    Being interviewed in the current Big Issue in the North, psychogeographer Will Self takes kindly to Jamie Kenny's suggestion that his approach to walking 'is [close] to the original ramblers, to the men and women who stormed Kinderscout in the 1930’s.'
    “I think that is apposite. It is important to walk: otherwise you’re just beamed up at your starting point and beamed down at your destination. Conventional travel is a means of removing people from their environment, and I think that the human environment should be reclaimed.

    "But I don’t go to look at beauty spots. They’re just visual bonbons: walking in that sense is just consumerism for pedestrians. If I was walking into Manchester I’d take the train to Runcorn and walk into the city along the ship canal. These sorts of places are human creations and have been let slip into neglect for no other reason than that they are on the way to somewhere. Remember the feminists marching to reclaim the night in the seventies? It’s the same thing.”

    This sounds like a manifesto. But what would actually improve if everyone were to reclaim the airport slip road and the turnoff to the business park?

    A deep breath: “Localism, in a word. More conversations between strangers. Less aggression. More knowledge of who your neighbours are. The development of genuine communities…of course, my wife says I just want to go out for a walk and I’m being pretentious about it.”
    I like that. If I were married I'm sure I'd get that too.