the machines know…

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oyster card readerI went via Wandsworth Town tonight, where the Oyster card readers sit at the side, asking the nice people of London to touch in and touch out.

I, being unconformist for no real reason, did not touch in. Or in fact touch out. Turns out my reason for being in Wandsworth Town was pretty inconsequential anyway and so it did not seem so bad as I made my way back to Clapham Junction… except that somehow the machine knew!

At this point I could get irate about the feat of the machines. Nasty, horrible things that will one day take over the security codes and destroy life as we know it. Or I could recognise that I was being a bit of a social pariah (aka cock) in not making my contribution to the urban transport system. Expensive as it is.

The problem is that when people like me (aka like to think they’re not cocks) decide not to make their contribution to the urban transport system, we find ourselves in a quandary. ‘Me’ eventually becoming the norm and ‘we’ the sad sucks that pay the bill.

I need to apologise. And it turns out I kind of don’t need to, since somehow the machines knew I’d passed through. But the fact I tried not to pay my way is inexcusable, no matter my excuse.

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We’re all waiting for something

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I realise it’s a little late to be talking about the Rapture. Or rather the lack of rapture. But the beauty of the whole experience is it seems we still have all the time in the world to discuss it. At least until the next prophecy…

Personally I don’t give credence to the interpretation of 1 Thessalonians 4:17, from whence this rapture stuff has arisen. In particular I don’t much like the idea that ‘We’ will be caught up, leaving our sad and broken unbelievers to lament God’s passing and look after our pets in perpetuity. It’s typical of the prosperity gospel, them/us rhetoric that makes Christianity occasionally so loathsome.

However the idea that any group of people are awaiting for something in the belief that it *will* come is pretty natural. Sure, the rapture has a religious glow about it, but in many ways how different is it from the shared belief among the crowd of people standing on platform 10 that the 8.37 to Waterloo will, eventually, arrive? And more importantly, whisk them off to the place they want nay need, to be? And how foolish must we look when it doesn’t arrive when expected and our supposedly secular hopes are briefly dashed?