A case of Russell Logic and not Pretzel Logic? A reminder to be aware of the insidious creep of pseudo-public space in our cities

I had to nip into town for a few moments this afternoon (it's never a pleasant experience) and on the way I saw the scene shown by the colour and b&w pictures here. In the centre background (behind the hot-food stall) you can see the stall-owner having an argy-bargy with Grand Arcade security staff who wanted him to move. It's a reminder—in case you didn't already know—of the huge swathes of our city centres that are becoming privately owned pseudo-public spaces. If you are interested in learning something about this hidden (neoliberal) scandal threatening all kinds of freedoms (not just to sell hot food but also our rights of assembly and protest) then you might want to start by reading the following article on the phenomenon as it appears in London.


Being a Steely Dan fan as I took the photos (one colour and one b&w) I was already singing songs from their wonderful 1974 LP "Pretzel Logic". Given that I took this in Cambridge this is, perhaps a case of Russell Logic and not Pretzel Logic? Anyway, cheap quip aside, the opening lines of "Barrytown" seemed appropriate (just replace 'Barrytown' with 'Cambridge' and you'll see what I mean):

I'm not one to look behind I know that times must change
But over there in Barrytown they do things very strange
And though you're not my enemy
I like things like they used to be


I, too, know that times must change but, with regard to public spaces, I like things like they used to be . . .


The cover of Pretzel Logic by Steely Dan

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