Category Archives: Resistenze

Abbiamo un precedente

Billy Cottrell is a former Ph.D. candidate at the California Institute of Technology who was convicted in April 2005 of conspiracy and arson, associated with the destruction of 8 sport utility vehicles and a Hummer dealership in the name of the Earth Liberation Front (ELF).  He was sentenced to eight years in federal prison on arson charges and ordered to pay $3.5 million in restitution. He was released August 16, 2011.

[..] The Los Angeles Times received an e-mail from a Caltech computer. The mystery e-mailer claimed responsibility for the arsons, mocked the FBI, and mentioned the previously undisclosed detail that Euler’s Identity had been spray-painted on several vehicles.

cicloliberazione

oggi ho comprato una bicicletta,
l’ho riportata a casa in autobus (cosa curiosa, gli autobus di Los Angeles permettono di portare le bici in questo modo)
l’ho pulita dalla polvere e dallo sporco,
ho cambiato il nastro del manubrio (quello precedente era spugnoso e si sbriciolava),
ho ingrassato la catena con lo spray che ho trovato in casa, probabilmente risalente agli anni ’80 (la bici non va amata, va lubrificata),
ho gonfiato le ruote (un po’ meno di quanto si dovrebbe, perché copertoni e camere d’aria sono d’annata e avevo paura non reggessero i 100psi),

e come per magia le distanze che posso percorrere senza dover chiedere un passaggio in auto, o districarmi nell’impossibile trasporto pubblico di Los Angeles, si sono moltiplicate per 20. Cose che prima erano a “una bella passeggiata” di distanza sono dietro l’angolo, cose che non pensavo di poter raggiungere da solo ora sono solo in fondo a quel viale.

non so descrivervi quanto mi sento diverso rispetto a 12 ore fa. queste strade hanno smesso di farmi paura, questa città sta perdendo la sua aurea opprimente. sono libero!

California bike license

rail & society

If we lose the railways we shall not just have lost a valuable practical asset whose replacement or recovery would be intolerably expensive. We shall have acknowledged that we have forgotten how to live collectively. If we throw away the railway stations and the lines leading to them —as we began to do in the 1950s and 1960s— we shall be throwing away our memory of how to live the confident civic life.

It is not by chance that Margaret Thatcher —who famously declared that “there is no such thing as Society. There are individual men and women, and there are families”— made a point of never traveling by train. If we cannot spend our collective resources on trains and travel contentedly in them it is not because we have joined gated communities and need nothing but private cars to move between them. It will be because we have become gated individuals who don’t know how to share public space to common advantage.

The implications of such a loss would far transcend the demise of one system of transport among others. It would mean we had done with modern life.

Tony Judt, 2011

(from Bring Back the Rails! published January 2011 in the NY Review of Books, and cited here.