Pyramidal piles of envelopes on the office floor hold the clue to Craig’s absence from Day 2 and much of Day 3 on Dance Steps. There’s another City Adventure in the offing. It’s possibly two years since the last Birmingham version and in the interim yet more of our favourite landmarks have been demolished, forcing Craig to be inventive with the tasks.
The City Adventures are informally known as Risk Days. One of the calculations we are forced to make is how ‘Risky’ to make them. A favourite task is the Origami Challenge, we normally locate this in a secluded corner of a library. The quandary, as with many tasks, is whether to ask the ‘host’ venue for their permission. On this occasion, following an incident when a host of participants asked a librarian for directions to the event rather than just following their instructions, Craig thought it best to gain permission. Of course asking permission to do something introduces the possibility of permission to be declined, which it was.
A new venue has been found but this exasperating caution on the part of individuals within institutions is stifling and put me in mind of an incident I recently observed in Birmingham’s indoor markets where a security guard was walking round all the stalls taking down the posters advertising shows and gigs at local theatres and concert venues. When challenged by a stall holder he explained “you’re not allowed to advertise”.
Too often we hear that “Political Correctness” has gone mad, but mostly it seems to me it is “The Market” that has gone mad. Litigators hound us to use them to sue the library if someone gets a paper cut folding origami in any activity even vaguely sanctioned by them. Anything in our eye-line or ear-shot can be bought to try and sell us things, but only if it is bought.
My antidote to all this that would send me mad is standing outdoors, under a clear sky, ‘Being In The World’.