Friday, 31 July 2009

August Communique: A summer of rage, rain and concrete alchemy

Dear friends and fellow loiterers

I trust this finds you in fine fettle. Thank you to everyone who took the time to get in touch after last months communiqué to say how much they supported the idea of unity amongst those who love the city and the need to redefine risk.

I also appreciate those who criticised me for idealism; yes The LRM does have unrealistic aims but at the risk of sounding like a bumper sticker (ah recuperation! If only the bards of Paris 68 copyrighted their work) “Be realistic, demand the impossible….I take my desires for reality because I believe in the reality of my desires” but we are not a band of naïve hippies: far from it.

A basic tenet of The LRM manifesto is of course that webelieve there is magick in the (increasingly apocalyptic) Mancunian rain but also that advertising, blandness, commercialisation and gentrifiication make us sad. And frankly, recently I have been crying many tears of rage for what is happening. To quote a friend ‘sometimes this city needs a slap, not a hug’. Truly I believe direct action gets results and we ignore the dark side of the force at our peril.

For all its regenerated glories Manchester has many areas full of social deprivation and retains a woeful record on public health. I’ll get round to putting some statistics up on the website soon: suffice to say the post bomb nirvana never materialised for most residents but I guess you know that already. If you can’t wait for the synopsis email me and I’ll send you links for some jolly reading.

On a personal level this has also been a time of pestilence and heartbreak for many loiterers myself included. I have been reminded once again that there is strength in comraderie and just, well, doing stuff. I truly believe most things are better after a cup of tea and a wander across town. With the modern plagues of home entertainment and cars and headphones we increase alienation and become weaker and ever more isolated. One of the things I love most about First Sunday is the way it brings together so many disparate people, all inspiring in different ways and creating new connections, new ways of travelling which subtly changes the synapses of the city.

August will see a different kind of derive: one based not just on creation but also on destruction, on the metaphorical level at least. Often one requires the other and we should not be scared to acknowledge hurt, anger, sadness and fear: this is the first step to transformation and joy. Politics is in the streets and change is in our footsteps.

Please join me on a cathartic stomp this Sunday, August 2nd. We shall go abanishing and vanishing and conquering – afterwards when we have our traditional post walk pint we can discuss what we can do to improve things. Self pity and whining is NOT the loiterers way: anger is an energy and we will harness it somehow….

We’ll be meeting at 1pm in The Britons Protection, Great Bridgewater Street (its child friendly) probably in the back room or beer garden if it’s sunny. A fortifying drink is recommended as we may well enter alien territory for The LRM: 3 years of exploration and we have never once ventured into the dreaded Arndale Centre.

If you’re new just look for the short lass with pink hair. We’ll be off about 1.30; the route will be devised using arcane methods: please get in touch or arrive promptly if there is a site you especially want to visit or rant about and we’ll try and include it. I would love to know what (and where) you hate in and about Manchester, although of course no-one is obliged to share,

Please note I am not advocating any form violence, damage, disrespect or criminal activity: The LRM has always been and remains a law abiding and peaceful group. Everyone is welcome as long as they respect this and the rights of other loiterers. Remember also you are responsible for your own safety; please look out for everyone else too. This shouldn’t need saying: there have never been any problems with any loiterers but of course I am aware this email gets forwarded far and wide and I want to make this absolutely clear.

I hope you can join us, it would be splendid to see you. If you can’t make it on Sunday some kindreds also have some interesting events coming up this month. There are more Street Training sessions at Cube – see their website for booking details - and the wonderfully titled walk The Mancunian Way: The Alchemy of Concrete takes place on 27th August.

This walking tour offers an unconventional perspective on the geographical and cultural impact of the Mancunian Way on the city and its people. It starts with a short introductory presentation at Manchester Metropolitan University at 3pm, followed by the tour itself which lasts approximately 2 1/2 hours. At 6pm, as part of the URBIS Urban Research Forum, there will a public debate about the Mancunian Way and the impact of postwar Modernist planning and architecture in Manchester.

Email Steve Millington ( for further details. The event is designed to coincide with the annual Royal Geographical Society Conference which is taking place in the last week of August; there is some other great stuff happening around then too so do keep a look out.

I am starting to think about dropping the psycho – its meaningless – because geography is quite sexy and sensational enough. Oh yes.

With glittery love and creative rage

Morag x


Tim Simmonds said...

fascinating stuff. Could you email me the stats and info that you mentioned in your post?


CMS said...

Nowt wrong with idealism!! Keep it up!