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On People Watching

Linkai Jiang
On people watching:

I had the distinct pleasure of watching people being people. This endeavor is extremely labor intensive and should not be attempted without ample time and a nearly empty mind. Find yourself a seat, a corner, a counter, a cubicle, an elevated floor, or any physical space that would support your external appearance of calmness as you experience the inner nympholepsy of curiosity at work. Having something to nibble on would help you camouflage into the environment. You’ll fit in perfectly with the lunch crowd. Little do they know that you’re on a mission.

Let me emphasize: to get the maximum result please make sure that your mind is as near empty as possible. Remember when you were just born? Ok, you probably don’t remember it--and that is exactly how you want to be at the incipient moment of people watching. If it helps you, imagine a big white canvass, which keeps stretching to the edgiest edge of your mental horizon. Now you ask, “what am I supposed to do?” Well, keep stretching that canvass and see if something lands on it: an inkling, a movement, a touch, a color, a feeling, a texture, a shape, or a taste. See how cyan, magenta, and yellow flow in and out of each other. Feel how the strangest familiar objects glue themselves to the canvass and the puckish thoughts make various dents. Brace yourself, once all the right elements land on the canvass, a world effloresces.          

You think that was intense? I was just describing two seconds of the back of someone’s head. Imagine what would happen if he turns around.         
Breaking Project Author/Creator: 
Linkai Jiang


Serendip Visitor's picture

In terms of breaking, the

In terms of breaking, the idea of people watching raises the question of the relationship between actor and observer. Are we breaking the common trust of others by watching them without their knowledge, or just innocently partaking in the lives around us? The act of "fitting in" to remain unnoticed, is it necessary? Are not the people you're watching watching others, even you? Cerebral emptiness breaks from the idea of attentiveness, which one needs for watching, in hopes of working toward a more pure form of observation.