How To Like Everything: A Utopia

How To Like Everything: A Utopia

Paul Shepheard

Language: English

Pages: 146

ISBN: 1780998201

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


How To Like Everything is a utopia. 'Utopia' is a word invented five hundred years ago at the start of the modern age as a description of the ideal society. It's composed of Latin parts that taken together mean 'no place' or 'nowhere'. We now use the word utopia to mean an impossible dream of perfection. How To Like Everything recasts the actual world, the forever-changing world we live in, as utopia: to make the impossible possible. This is not a dry academic debate. Paul Shepheard takes on his subject by threading questions, evidence and logic through hilarious, moving and thought-provoking stories. The action is set in the complicated city of Amsterdam, where he gets stuck in the briars of love affairs, existential decisions and conflicts with complete strangers. And the philosophy? He is a materialist. His utopia hinges on the question of whether there can be anything other than the present moment.

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had a pair of skin tight pinstripes flared to twenty inches at the boot, I had the boots, I had a short grey Donegal-tweed jacket with three inch vents custom made by John Stephen on the north side of Carnaby Street where you had the fittings in the shop window before an audience of keen dressers out on the street who gave thumbs up and thumbs down, and I had a pin collared oxford cloth white shirt with a thin black leather tie. And of course I had hair. And it was in this outfit that I stood on

to snap the view of the ancient warehouses up the old canal with the spire of the catholic church sticking up behind them. Hundreds of people snap this self same view everyday; and so the public space of Oudekerksplein is promulgated widely. How would you frame that picture taking – is it public art? Is it some sort of parallel to the public debates we have about our city spaces and what to do with them? So that instead of statues commemorating great men, we have a million images commemorating

thing and that is all – where all means everything – does have clarity on its side. But that’s what’s dangerous here. And today’s all and everything for Fronk is Katrina. SO FAR in searching for how to like everything I’ve heard the claims of the evangelists, and the claims of the doctors, I’ve listened to the pimp’s eye view, I’ve bumped across public space. I’ve recalled the discrimination and the clarities of youth – and now I understand that how to like everything is not a critical project.

guy’s kind of cute, don’t you think?” she says, and gives Bob a kiss. And as I’m trying to frame an answer to this impossible question along comes little Jacob. Way past his bedtime, pushing through the throng of adults like a guppy on the seabed, eating an ice cream cone. He is taking little bites of it and spitting them on the floor. Which is a completely original way to eat an ice cream cone, and an artwork of the present moment if ever I saw one. And sticking out of his pocket is another: a

wait.” She says to him. Fronk leaves the room and we can hear him stamping up the stairs. Then stamping down again. He beckons at me from the door “They’ve been here all day!” he hisses. “It’s driving Jacob mad. Did you see the way she was touching him?” She was giving him a hug!” I say. There is a twitch of the puritan about Fronk. I can imagine him in a previous life pointing out witches to the authorities. “Who are they?” “Two of Bamba’s donkeys,” he says. “They’ve been here all day. It’s

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