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Friday
Jun222012

welcome to the temporary autonomous zone

Whacko philosopher Hakim Bey (whose stuff I love by the way) coined the very useful idea of the TAZ- temporary autonomous zone. The idea is that freedom only really exists in things on the move or sited someplace temporarily. You can see the gist: we've gone from cultures with plenty of common land to places where every inch is owned and policed, kind of; much of it with scary but often ineffective CCTV cameras. Ah, I can feel my PQ (paranoia quotient) rising! There's the clue: a lot of this stuff is all in the mind. I keep having to recall the 'licence fallacy'- broadly speaking people who make their own cars find the easiest part getting them licenced for the road (because inspectors sympathise and are interested in their projects) yet the uninformed always assume 'the red tape' is the hardest part of the project- the deal killer- when it isn't. I have to remind myself that but I too set up a business in Egypt when I would have been scared to in the UK because of my imagined ideas about red tape. Of course ballsy real businessmen just plough on regardless, and, compared to Europe I understand few places are as easy to start businesses as the UK. But those implanted ideas are strong. A friend who settled in Australia recently told me 'The UK just doesn't have an entrepeneurial feel'. Hmm- more negativity we just don't need. But the grain of truth refuses to be silenced, and, it turns up in the idea of the TAZ and walking.

A long distance walk is a perfect temporary autonomous zone. You stop when and where you like. No one has tabs on you. You can convene meetings around the campfire. Your spirits rise. Long distance walking festivals could be the next big thing now that festivals are becoming a little too pricey, a little too corralled.

When I lived in Tokyo in the 1990s every year on halloween night, a train on the yamanote circle line would be commandeered for a moving party. Maybe there could be a Pennine Way festival, or better, a Southern Upland Way festival. The idea being that it keeps on moving- even if you join it half way along you have to walk to keep up with the party.

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