Down a dark alley…

The idea of dark, dank and lonely city life has been explored through a multitude of books and films. One of the more well known films of this sub-genre is Martin Scorese’s “Taxi Driver” where the story follows Travis Bickle, the protagonist, a mentally disturbed Vietnam veteran. Through the eyes of Travis we see the taxi shifts and day-to-day life in city and it exposes several examples of the dark irony of city life. Some critics believe that the ‘Taxi Driver’ was an unrealistic film, but this is missing the point that it is from Travis’ perspective which becomes more and more affected by his environment.


An ironic notion of city life, is that with such a huge collection and diversity of people, the city can take on an overwhelming bland face. In a metropolitan area, the mundane is normal and almost everything is mass produced. This feeling has been captured by several impressionist artists throughout the 20th century. The most famous could perhaps be the “Golconda” by Rene Magritte which was in turn inspired by the poem “The Man in the Bowler Hat” by A.S.J. Tessimond who also sought to capture this anonymity. This conformityis forced onto city inhabitants and those who don’t comply are cast aside.

Golconda – Rene Magritte

Despite being a huge centre of money for a nation there is the ironic fact there alongside this huge money flow is the greatest level of poor and homeless individuals with cities. The reason behind this is because of the straight standard that cities reward and the diversity which it destroys. The promise of riches and fame that await you with a city is a complete fabrication, further more it will suck anyone dry who believes this “Dream of success in the city” even in the slightest. The result of this is a cut-throat mentality where on the devious or the wicked survive and crime is rampart.

The success bringing attitude of “just looking out for No.1” which the city life rewards creates perhaps the greatest ironic notion so far. Despite being a centre of huge population and immensely crowded cities are the loneliest places on Earth.  

Surrounded by people but not being able to open up and interact with anyone because of an idiotic dog-eat-dog mentality is what eventually causes Travis Bickle from ‘Taxi Driver’ to go on a murderous rampage in which he sees himself as cleaning the dark, dank and lonely streets of New York City. It through the actions of Tavis that we can see the soulless  crowded and overwhelming true nature, representing the lowest point of human development.

” Loneliness has followed me my whole life. Everywhere. In bars, in cars, sidewalks, stores, everywhere. There’s no escape. I’m God’s lonely man… June 8th. My life has taken another turn again. The days can go on with regularity over and over, one day indistinguishable from the next.
A long continuous chain. “

[I was tasked to create a persuasive piece that argued against city life, using the prompt, “Cities represent the lowest point of human development.” So obvious not all these opinion are mine but I did think I made some good points.]


If you want to make any arguments against these statements go ahead in the comments, they would be very welcome!

A quick game of golf



{This is a complete work of fiction and none of the events listed happened from 6:00 till 1:00 on the 22 of March 2012, thank you}

Preparations for a good ol’night of narcotic misuse are a peculiar affair,  2 hours before the rendezvous we had been meticulously counting the illegal beer and spirits we were going to need. Arguments about cash are common place at this stage with a lot of them igniting about whose money belonged to who (even though it really all belonged to our parents) . The funny thing was that this paranoid care and attention to detail with the alcohol was completely forgotten once it was in our gullets. Two of our group’s more experienced substance abusers and myself went ahead of the pack in order to ‘spiritually awaken’ ourselves before the main party arrived. During this time, in the forest on the outskirts of the golf course it was quite peaceful… as peaceful as these sort of outings get. Looking back at the hour or two before the alcohol arrived it was definitely the calm before the storm. Unfortunately due to the impatience of some people almost half the drinks had been consumed on the way to the rendezvous and several were already stumbling around the bushland we were hidden in. However with everyone accounted for the party rocketed off with no time for introspection or contemplation of what was the come. Drinks were guzzled and toasts were given to the most trivial events. Soon the light was weaning and shadows were leaning, as well as swaying from side to side from the growing wind.


The night began as any other would; with the setting of the sun and as it went down so did our self-respect and dignity. As the semi-retired middle aged golfers and their rich beautiful children retired back to their elegant houses, the things that go bump in the night; the delinquents and fiends leaked into the golf course, literally coming out of the woodwork. The party had now moved onto the golf course after a few cliffs were fallen down with only a few bruised or grazed arses but no drinks were lost in the great fall of 2013 so everything was still dandy. The problems only started becoming more apparent once we were down on the golf course. For starters, at one point my clothes had been removed by myself or someone else the consequences were not obvious at the time as the vodka keep me feeling invincible  another problems was the an individual of our fellowship had decided that he  has a horse because of the dual wielding of the coronas he held had turned into hooves. Although this sounds pretty funny, a few minutes after his epiphany he galloped off shouting that he was a ‘was free horse and not a beast of burden’ and wasn’t seen for the rest of the night. None of this stood in the way of our rowdiness as we continued our crusade through the carefully catered grassland. Bottles and cans were tossed at the green with no care for the par on the particular courses par. For an unnamed reason the group had stopped exploring and we were now set up behind a large hill which was thankful blocking the cold autumn wind that the vodka now had a diminished affect on. Begging for pieces of clothing had on resulted in a beanie being given to me which was not as practical as it sounds because it was soaked in Jim Bean. It soon became apparent that we weren’t alone in the park as drunken shouts echoed back and for across the green like wolves howling to each other.


A ritual dance had been initiated and we screamed and shouted while jumping in a circle shoving pushing each other not all the group could handle it as some emptied their stomach from an overdoses of vertical motion soon after joining in. This was the violent savage scene that a group of seven 20-somethings walked on to. Like the Pilgrim’s coming across the Native Indians for the first time on the natural plains of old America, they walked towards us surprised and cautious but curious. Hands were shaken and introductions given which lead to us discovering . Names were not memorable enough at that stage of the night so two word descriptions were given like the red indian names “Clever Wolf”, “Big Bear’ or “Swift Eagle”. I was appropriately named “Naked Guy”, the guy with the Jim Bean soaked beanie was “The Beanie Kid” and so on. “Ear Gauges Dude” was the instigator of the trade which started with one begged for rolled cigarette that was given to the Beanie Kid. Soon after I traded a corona for three cigs which started off the trade of copious amounts of drugs and alcohol. Like in the days of old colonialism the savages were confused and complexed by the gifts given by their more evolved cousins, none of our clan knew what to do with mushrooms or the acid given but we were soon instructed on what to do. In we gave our more simplistic goods of the remaining beer and vodka. The theme of the night then took a turn with more energetic members of our fraternizer wandering off leaving the calmer ones behind in the grip of civilised man who subdued us with weed and tobacco. The group that wandered off were later involved in a robbery of a 7-11 but that story is not mine to tell. By this time I had found my clothes which were being worn by a friend who immediately complained that it was bloody freezing when I took off his second layer. The night went on with stories and tales being shared by the two interlocked cultures, more spliff was shared round. Mutual friends were discussed between us as well as the older group acting as teachers on the topic of substance abuse passing on a multitude of tips and tricks as well as a few urban myths to go with them. It was a strange relationship, we both felt slightly superior to each other, with our group feeling like we still had a future being still in school while they felt like they were more experience in the field of delinquency, despite this our groups we melded perfectly with the help of the narcotics. We left just before 1am and I couldn’t help feeling that we had all just met ourselves 5 years in the future. Perhaps they were a sign or cautionary tale, either way both of our gangs were liked-minded on that night at least.

The morning after…


Living in History


It was insane. Every piece of information you could imagine was only seconds away. Almost anything could be plucked from the void and almost everything was. Internet piracy has started a new renaissance, which only now is fully being realised. The surface has only been scratched of the multitude possibilities that the internet brings. More now than ever has information been more rampart and free flowing. Not even the greatest authorities on the Earth can stop this flood of sheer freedom. This freedom has mostly been used for pornography, movies, video games and any sort of visual entertainment. Under the façade of these copyright violating examples there is the seed of intellectualism in the form of e-literature, art and ideas that are finally coming to bloom. Novelists such as Cory Doctorow has made full use of these developments self-publishing his books online as well as capitalizing on the creative commons licence which allowed readers to circulate and share his stories as long as they didn’t make a financial gain from it. This may seem like a bad business choice for a budding writer but in fact it was exactly what made him stand out and succeed in literary circles. With that choice in particular it seems like Cory was ahead of the pack with the decision of self-publishing for writers becoming more and more of a viable option.



Cory Doctorow is the perfect example of the new breed of intellectual that was mentioned previously. I would say that he recognises this as become the figure head of many liberalisation copyright movements over the years which support the same freedom of information that lead him to the life he now leads. These changes in copyright and in the way we treat information are exciting and I am looking forward to see how it ends up. The outcome regarding piracy, privacy and copyright laws on the internet will also be a sign of things to come for the future of our world and the way we see it, we are truly living in history.

“Back before the internet we had a name for people who bought a single copy of our books and lent them to all their friends without charging: we called them “librarians”.”
       ― Charles Stross


Feedback is appreciated