Saturday, 31 January 2009

Automatic people

9pm yesterday i was walking along the supermarket checkouts and i felt a bit strange, then i realised why. I settled for the end closest the exit, where one employee was surveying 4 machines. then i went through the automated, automatic process, a touch screen monitor and a computer telling me what to do. I remember feeling degraded and humiliated. After i'd finished with the whole thing, which seemed to take along time, i turned around to the employee and said:
"i don't like this. it's spooky"
"You'll get used to it"
"I don't want to. I really don't want to"
In China the bigger the company the more people they have to employ by law. Hence sometimes there seems to be people doing jobs that seem to be doing very little, like 4 people stacking the same Wal-Mart shelf, or people waving in buses with little flags at the bus stop. Yeah, on the surface it seems a little bit silly, but, in reality, there is nothing silly about more people having a job, and if a bigger company need employ more people, it enforces a better equilibrium. This big supermarket i walked around had replaced maybe 50 peoples jobs with automatic machines, and as i was told, i should get used to it. i hope i never get used to a machine telling me what to do, the day that happens is the day i stop being a human being. Now, i have worked on a supermarket checkout, i will say it's not the most enthrawling job in the world, but, 'the sweet isn't as sweet without the sour' and it got me interacting with people and it put some money in my pocket. Sometimes technology isn't progress, 'The Machine Stops' by E.M. Forster springs to mind, click for the link to the story published exactly 100 years ago where nobody leaves their rooms because machines do everything for them.

Thursday, 29 January 2009

Fresh food

Fresh fruit, herbs and vegetables from the local market, fresh haddock straight from the local Yorkshire dock. twice the quality than at the supermarket and less than half the price. great taste, no preservatives. the supermarkets have taken the opportunity to sell higher priced, lower quality food. believe we must pay more because of weak Sterling, strong Euro, inflation, recession, believe and it comes true. prices have not risen on my local market, unlike in every 'super'market. we as consumers have the power, we, with every penny we spend not only influence, but control the order of our world. if we choose to buy locally, choose to buy from local markets then they get stronger. it is frustrating to hear complaint from people who resign. people resign to something off in the future, that future becomes present only because people think they have no choice. it's a pre facto rationalisation. you cannot change the future because it doesn't and will never exist. what we do now is everything, it is the only thing that alters the world we live in. our food supply is a most important thing. we are in charge. believe it. i believe in this country, i believe in my people. day in, day out i see mundane actions performed with effortless skill, i see people with immesurable power, kindness and humility. simultaneously i feel the sadness that has taken us. the sadness blinds us from what is truly important in life, replacing it with 'things'. These 'things' we must get more of, have more of, all in vain. In vain because human spirit cannot be substituted, we need each other, not each others 'things'. lets work smarter, not harder, lets be good to each other instead of the corporations.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009


Just to clarify, nobody, ever 'does nothing', there is never 'nothing going on' something always happens, somebody always does something, or they're dead, being dead is also something, but is 'doing nothing' in a truer sense. 'doing nothing' is not the same as not moving, still waters run deep. perhaps when asked the question "what have you been up to?"
you would better reply "nothing different" perhaps replying this way often might help you realise you should, or are always 'doing something'

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Facebook Photobanks

Tezla Facebook photobanks click for links to separate albums:
Tezla is Born

May days
Zai Jian

Friday, 23 January 2009


it seems pertinent 4142km to Manchester, 6.06 miles high, with an outside temperature of -54˚c to resolve the past 3 months in the way i've become accustomed. Except, now it seems more apt to describe things that have happened in anecdotal form, rather than describe personal perceptions about entire countries and my summary of their 'collective behaviour'. In 11 weeks in China i recall:
using the green line to Lougang Road subway station then transferring to the Maglev station en route for the airport. The world's first operational Magnetic levitation train growled and rumbled effortlessly into the station, the way only giant machines do. 8 minutes later, travelling 300kph we arrived. of course this would have been most impressive except starting the journey it took two minutes for the doors to open, then a further 6 minutes by a deserted platform for the doors to close. the train travelled 130kph slower than top speed as it does every morning and evening "for safety reasons"
the whole experience reminded me of being in the big cat room at the Beijing zoo.
speaking from outside of England: in england there is greener grass. the regular in flight meal leaving England was terrible, on the return the same meal was excellent.
jumped off the plane onto to the train, "hello ladies is this your first time in Manchester? It is, ah you're both French. Oh me i've been in China 3 months, doin a bit a this bitta that. How about you two, you've come from Switzerland and you're both nurses, oh right... here's my blog address and compass so you wont get lost. welcome to england, welcome indeed.

Friday, 16 January 2009


wall ride to fakie photo by Sato Kosuke

Thursday, 15 January 2009


Lionel Vincent shook hands with Nelson Mandela, personally requested to play music for him to be the first music he heard after being released from his 27 year incarceration. he tells me:
"wisdom, the ability to apply knowledge accurately, your first thought is the best thought, hate no-one, don't listen to those trying to drag you down, listen to the good voice within, for you are a great person, i know this. For a person like you the woman of your dreams will walk right into your life"
he then lends me a book "the wisdom of insecurities" after we have a long morning in a bar till dawn playing pool surrounded by cheap young hookers, drinking expensive cheap rum and listening to i5 quarter rumble from the house speakers.

Sunday, 11 January 2009


To be reaffirmed is important, true affirmation relies on sincerity and premeditation. That is to say if you feel comforted or someone shares your opinion it's important that you care and important that you are thinking in a balanced way. Having just finished a late conversation (4.53am) i feel reaffirmed. I spoke with several swedish people about things we consider important. We also spoke about China, politics, food and philosophy among other things.

I do not know what good would come of me explaining our opinions to others, for we are here and have qualified our thoughts and feelings, and our experience is just that. But i do write to render my reaffirmation of respect for Scandanavia and affirmation that there are 'no roads to nowhere'. Good and bad are dualistic matters of morality; to venture into the world and do something new is a brave thing. Peace is strength and violence is for the weak. cest la vie mes amis

Thursday, 8 January 2009


"One might compare the art of photography to the act of pointing. It must be true that some of us point to more interesting facts, events, circumstances, and configurations than others." (John Szarkowski)

1. The Road Not Taken

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth; 5

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same, 10

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back. 15

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

(Robert Frost (1874–1963). Mountain Interval. 1920.)

Monday, 5 January 2009

Rainy Day

back in the rain after 2 months without it.

Thursday, 1 January 2009


i started the new year in a Shanghai bomb shelter listening to a Finnish DJ rock the place. I re-introduce the compound verb: to 'forrest gump' eg "i forrest gumped a free taxi to the largest skate ramps in the world, didn't break both legs, then, feeling like i'd fallen down the stairs crawled out the door and fell into a vodka martini with a mancurian beatsmith." Far east, first of the first 2009. peac+