July 05, 2009

Endangered Species

In the Milano this morning a studious old guy in a tidy denim jacket and half-moon glasses, surrounded by overflowing shopping bags of belongings on the floor around him, makes laborious notes while reading a hardback King James bible, a paperback copy of Gramsci's Prison Notebooks on the table next to the bible.

It's such a blast from the past, it stops me dead: twenty years ago you saw sights like this all the time in Berkeley coffee shops (except it was more commonly an old hippy ostentatiously reading Marcuse while bending the ear of anyone unlucky enough to sit within a metre or two of him), but nowadays it's like the reappearance of the Spotted Owl or Bald Eagle. Not sure what to make of this isolated sighting amongst the clacking laptops and the wordless mumbling homeless slumped over the benches…

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