Home > Film, TV & Radio, Personal, Strange, Things I Like... > Is this all there is? Strange feelings on my daily commute…

Is this all there is? Strange feelings on my daily commute…

February 28, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

I don’t mind commuting. I’ve lived in London all my working life and a journey on the tube is just another part of my day.

This morning though, I had a very strange moment. I got off at a different station to my usual one and I as queued for the lift to get to the surface, an image from Fritz Lang’s masterful film Metropolis from 1927 came rushing unbidden into my conscience…


There must have been twenty or thirty of us all waiting for the lift. One of the two lifts was broken and the wait seemed to take ages. We all had dark coats and clothes on, most had hats and headphones and some if not all, were looking down either at phones, books or newspapers.

Apart from the clanking of the lift cables and the echo of trains along the dirty, tiled corridors, there was silence. No one talks in this situation… And when the lift finally arrived, we all silently shuffled along into the space vacated by those leaving via the other doors…

I suddenly had these overpowering feelings of futility and helplessness, that we’re moving inexorably towards the end, all in grey, all the same, relentless and unchanging, with little or no say in what drives us on…

It quite took me by surprise. I really am not given to existential worries like this. I love life and genuinely try to make the most of every day. I don’t believe in fate, our futures are not laid out before us in some predetermined plan and we can make of it what we want…

Deep, dark thoughts for a Thursday morning. Hopefully after a good night out with my little A and our friends tonight, I’ll be back to normal tomorrow.

Tell you what though, I don’t think I’ll be getting off at the Elephant & Castle again. Far too intense a start to the day for my liking…

  1. February 28, 2013 at 13:33

    Hi joe how are you? Enjoying your blog keepit coming !

    Did itellyou i was playing floriditas next wednesday 6thof march

    We can get friends in for a fiver

    Best wishes Emrys The Soul immigrants. http://www.thesoulimmigrants.com

    Sent from my iPad

    • February 28, 2013 at 15:13

      Hi Emrys
      Firsty apologies for not responding sooner. I am sad to say that it’s unlikley I’ll be able to make Wednesday 6th. I have an evening meeting that I know will be difficult to get out of. Please keep sending me invites through, I would love to see the band one day.
      Thanks for following and taking the time comment, much appreciated

  2. February 28, 2013 at 14:05

    I wouldn’t normally link to something I wrote – but here is something that may appeal:

    It will all end and it will be better…

    • February 28, 2013 at 15:21

      Hi David
      Nice words indeed, simple and effective. I like the way that they are not specific, yet still conjur up strong ideas and images..
      Thanks (again) for taking the time to comment.

  3. Mark
    March 1, 2013 at 13:04

    I think you may be spending a little too much time with me buddy!

    • March 2, 2013 at 10:35

      I don’t mind your dark thoughts every now and again Mark.
      Light and shade mate, light and shade…

  4. Tim
    March 1, 2013 at 18:20

    The thing to bear in mind is the whole thing operates on a knife edge, years ago on the Central line in rush hour if a train stopped due to an incident, the tail back travelled back at about 40mph, the line capacity is higher now, so blocking back probably travels faster now.
    The main problem is that London is expanding faster than the tube etc can be upgraded or extended, so when CrossRail is finished it’ll probably fill up almost immediately as people get used to using it.
    There is a great danger of a perfect storm occurring as a number of small incidents escalate into a bigger one.
    It’s like companies who rely on a computer system, once it fails they’re screwed.
    If the tube etc goes down, London doesn’t have much of a fall back plan.

  5. Tim
    March 1, 2013 at 18:22

    The thing about E&C is that they were to build the cross river tram from there to the north but I haven’t heard much about it recently.

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