➹ [Read] ➵ Messengers By Julian Sayarer ➼ – Motyourdrive.co.uk

Messengers summary Messengers , series Messengers , book Messengers , pdf Messengers , Messengers c73d4c087e Messengers Sees Julian Sayarer Return To Work As A London Bicycle Courier, After Six Months Cycling Around The World From Saddle And Kerbside, His Stories Of Delivering Flowers To Politicians, And Administration Notices To Banks Toppled By The Financial Crisis, Make For A Social History Of A Less Seen City, Written From The Perspective Of Someone Stuck In One Of London S Most Insecure And Poorly Paid Jobs Underneath The Deliveries, We Meet London S Bicycle Messengers, A Family Drawn From Jaded Graduates, Jailbirds And Recovering Drug Addicts The Riders All Share Their Brushes With The Law, Struggles On The Breadline And Compete Together In Alleycat Races, Forming An Unlikely But Tender Community Upon The Streets With A Bicycle The One Constant That Seems To Make Sense Of Everything Else, Messengers Is A Two Wheeled Portrait Of Everyday Life In A Modern City At The Start Of The Twenty First Century


10 thoughts on “Messengers

  1. says:

    When I was a teenager in the late eighties, the London cycle courier became a glamorous urban hero of sorts Cycling tops and shorts were fashionable cycling rarely hasn t been actually, from Kraftwerk to David Byrne I remember my brother having a copy of The Face or Arena with a feature on couriers, titled The Lycra Lads Not at the time getting the journo s pun on Likely Lads and not reading it correctly either, I later wrote Lycera sic Lad on one of my school folders, in tribute I thought Lycera meant something Greek for speed, or wheels I still remember when cycle couriers were much visible in London, and have often wondered where they went and who was still using them Julian Sayarer s Messengers provides some very angry and very one dimensional answers I had a feeling those left today were the last standing warriors He certainly sounds like they re on some sort of Masada I really didn t enjoy this book It made me angry I read it over a weekend in Devon and by the end of it, my friend was as impressively annoyed by it by proxy as I was He sounds like he s done a politics degree at SOAS and You are The Man He really does My friend went to SOAS To begin with, it felt terribly old fashioned and blunt and its politics are borderline adolescent Sayarer is a kind of Dave Spart Private Eye s stock shouting 1970s Trotskyist on two wheels The London he describes is a hateful, venal city populated mostly by bankers and the super rich It s a London that feels peculiarly eighties too He even mentions TDK and Sanyo advertising at Piccadilly Circus I m pretty sure cassette manufacturers pulled their logos from there twenty years ago He talks emblematically about prostitutes calling cards in phone boxes the pre internet punter s choice and even manages some quaint horror at the idea of transexual prostitution If you had told me that this book was first published in 1986 and my copy was the 2016 reprint, I would not have questioned it What exhausted and aggravated most was its relentless, grinding misanthropy It s hard not to guffaw at the end of the book when Sayarer signs off with the let s be friends defence that I ve so much love for us humans, blemishes and all One day we ll build something new and something better Oh, man He doesn t love humans at all He hates 99% of them He s like an Alan Partridge That line of Alan s People I just hate people I lost count of examples of his misanthropy One of the lowest points was a conversation he has with a South African security guard Fascinatingly, from an editor s point of view too , this man s speech is crudely transcribed into a semblance of a South African accent things like Yoo cennot poot eet there If that isn t contemptuous and dehumanising enough already, Sayarer then refers to the man as a Boer a loaded, frankly derogatory label akin to calling a Northern Irish Catholic a Taig or a German a Kraut He d made up his mind about him you see I d love to see him dare transcribing how a strongly accented Bangladeshi in Tower Hamlets talks He wouldn t dream of it, of course Throughout, there s a persistent unwillingness to see the person or the nuance A Police Community Support Officer is just some officious lackey all Martin Amis inflected mouth fumbles and stutters Receptionists are nasty The many thousands of people working in the banking sector are no different to Lehman Brothers directors or Libor manipulators A person reading the Economist or the Spectator has bought their opinions I m told, having bought Julian s opinions Tonally, Sayarer s take on the people he sees feels like an inversion of the reductive Crap Towns phenomenon from a decade ago none of the subjects have agency all are contemptible drones Look at them in their branded sportswear and their supermarkets Just look at them The book s politics are also crass and binary to be fair, I ve learned to expect this from writers who use the term bankster and a neologism bankscraper Sayarer makes giant play in his long exchange with the Police Community Support Officer of the cruel contrast between the fact that he was fined for biking on the pavement while the adjacent bank wasn t fined billions for its 2008 abuses etc To which anyone s mum would reply Two wrongs don t a right, son or I said don t cycle on the pavement In this binary world of cause and effect, cyclists who stop at red traffic lights do so because they re making an exception for the little rules, having got away with breaking the Big Rules in the system not because they think, like me, that it gives drivers less of an excuse Likewise, when Hackney Council clears the brambles on the marshes, it s because they want us to buy our blackberries flown in on airliners from Oregon I love the idea of Hackney Labour councillors being secret stooges for Wholefoods that s a new one It s all so exhaustingly reductive, it feels like listening to an angry seventies teenager arguing with the squares The most egregious example of binary politics, however, is his apologetics for an episode of good old domestic terrorism Sayarer glibly describes the stabbing of Stephen Timms MP by an Al Qaeda supporter she got 15 years as a startling direct act of democracy Timms had, Sayarer explains echoing the arguments of a clerical fascist death cult always fell into line with the government the only pre condition that it should demonstrate a disregard for human rights, and the wellbeing of Muslims in particular It seems Timms had it coming really and, we re to believe, went into politics to oppress Muslims simplistic much This is the sort of toxic parroting of terrorists own manifestos that s heard on the Far Left when French cartoonists get murdered or fusiliers get slaughtered in Woolwich It s Fresher s Week at SOAS, par excellence The book s claims to speak about poverty also often struck me as disingenuous There were moments where I felt look mate, you have chosen to do this rather old fashioned, poorly paid job You have told us already that you dislike people who apply themselves that anecdote you shared from that dinner party You can t have it both ways, can you Hence, the section where the writer talks about the smell of poverty infecting his job applications feels contrived It s certainly true that anxiety about rent, bills and debt corrode self confidence I remember writing covering letters and dejectedly posting them off in the pre email nineties, knowing I wouldn t hear anything But to call this the smell of poverty feels like posturing Many thousands of recent graduates work those same minimum wage jobs I don t think employers were put off recruiting Sayarer because of a smell of poverty I think it was because first graduate jobs are heavily applied for Perhaps he hadn t found the right sector yet or needed to perhaps dare I say it apply himself It takes time He had a degree and could obviously write.And while we re talking about job choices oh, if you do hate bankers and lawyers, perhaps you need to look for a job that means spending less time delivering things to their doors I was very much reminded of the Monty Python sketch I can t find it on youtube of the barber who hates cutting hair and pretends to cut hair while his customer sits in a chair reading the paper I hate cutting hair I thought becoming a barber would help me get over it, but I still hate it Neither is the book especially sage on London To be told that London space is now commercialised and choked with Hidden Persuaders marketing messages totally misses the history of London pick up any late 19th century photograph and you ll see facades luridly plastered with commercial messages it was even worse then The remnants of those adverts are still visible if you bloody look I also found it funny to be told that accounts of London tend to be written by the comfortably off tell that to every bedsit or boarding house bound novelist of the 20th century For me, the best writing has always come from bedsits and hovels Come to think of it, the most pompous, self satisfied London writing currently comes from a millionaire s row in De Beauvoir Town he s always wittering about the marshes too On to the final point that troubled me with the book that late onset depression The Depression Towards the very end of the book 99% on a neo liberal non tax paying corporation Kindle , we re told about depression and, it s suggested, how this may have been a factor in the account Now, clinical depression takes many forms and perhaps one can be clinically depressed and still able to perform a very physically gruelling job, day in day out like cycling dozens of miles a day across London I wouldn t really want to dispute anyone s depression, but my understanding is that with clinical depression, making a cup of tea and doing the laundry often count as significant achievements I felt the depression in the book was so underexplained and casually inserted that it felt like a shoehorned in apology or caveat forgive me for being so one track and misanthropic I was depressed I got nicer I see depression as a subject that needs handling with care so when a searing confessional piece of writing throws in the D word, I think we re owed discussion Look, there are redeeming moments in the book There s an exhilaration and pace about the bike race There s absolute insight in the idea of the bike as a liberating and autonomous choice you got there on your own steam There s also great truth in the idea that the city is designed for everyone but the cyclist Contrast it though with Ben Judah s recently published book on London migrants which, crucially, listens and observes Judah talks about feeling crap and tired from the early mornings and a few stints in crappy accommodation, but he doesn t claim to be damned to it Orwell Orwell reported from the grubby underneath and observed Julian Sayarer doesn t he barely speaks to or listens to anyone I could admire it for its force and its youthful anger and I d be much forgiving if I had been told that this was an explicitly raw, Millennial voice But really, to be a thoughtful and nuanced observer of London and Londoners, one needs to get off that bike, talk to and listen to a few people every now and then When you re traveling at speed, everyone and everything just looks like a hazard or a crude outline.


  2. says:

    From the saddle of a track bike, Julian opines with an eloquence I could never quite muster about aspects of life in London I could never quite articulate An unrestrained, perceptive, often outrageous and occasionally motivating critique of the status quo, one which says what countless must no doubt be thinking I loved it.


  3. says:

    Julian Sayarer, Emre, is an angry young man, with a rant at the Establishment of truly Floydian proportions And he writes it beautifully, with some of the most evocative prose I have ever read It made me want to go and sit in central London and just watch.Writing from the soul, he spills out tales of life amongst the diesel fumes, a life so cold at times he sought out the exhaust of a RouteMaster just to keep warm He shows us a London most never see, the world of the alley cat cycle couriers who dice with death for 2.50 a go and he shares his anger as he goes anger at rich people, taxi drivers, policemen, bankers, security guards and everyone else who puts him in danger, piles on the injustice, or otherwise keeps him poor He also shares the struggles of his fellow couriers, and their varied attempts to scrabble a way out of the pit, away from a life where jumping the red lights is one of the few ways to kick over the traces.Even if you don t agree with Sayarer s politics, this book is beautifully written I recommend it for anyone who rides a bike particularly if like me you once considered working as a courier , anyone who knows central London, and anyone who appreciates passionate prose at its best Messengers has gone straight onto my list of top ten favourite books.


  4. says:

    Thoroughly enjoyable read, in fact so good that I contacted the author to tell him so He is an excellent author, knows how to turn a word Has a left wing view of life, so cares about the plight of others and not just himself This comes through in this book over and over.Disabuse yourself of the notion of the heroic lifestyle of a cycle courier It s hard, dangerous and a very visible sign of the gig economy taking advantage of people in the name of profits for the few.I went on to read his cycle ride around the world, which is excellent too, but this was one of the best books I have read in a long time.He has another hook out, Interstate, about a hitch hike across the auS, which I am waiting to arrive.


  5. says:

    I really enjoyed this book It is a worthy sequel to his book, Life Cycles in which Sayarer documents his adventures cycling around the world, in which we meet many global citizens In Messengers we get up close with the real London Sayarer is back working as a cycle courier, shockingly low paid and very hard work by the sounds of the distance they cover and how they risk their skins in the London traffic, the couriers view of London, it s homeless, it s yuppies, is unique Entertainingly written, a fasinating and relaxing read.


  6. says:

    Brilliant account from a London courier who looks deeper than the traffic, the smog and the cold faces Julian Sayarer s second book proved equally addictive as Life Cycles, as he takes us through the realities of a courier s rather difficult existence and lets us look at the city through his eyes.


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