Brightness

^ click

I thought about it at Tiananmen, watching the zou zi screens, thin little digital displays that are everywhere here, enough pixels to represent characters with only slightly jagged edges, ‘walking’ past in bright yellow on the typical black background. They are everywhere, public transport, sites of tourism or civil society (obviously it’s difficult to tell the difference sometimes), at the bottom of notice boards in banks scrolling along with stocks prices and exchange rates. Always yellow. If a country can be said to have a chosen method of display, then this would be a contender. I stood in the middle of the seventeen hectares of sightseers and remembered how I used to obsess over those boards, when I travelled, when I came to these sorts of places, making sure I knew all the characters and scribbling down any that maybe I didn’t (that maybe is enough, it obviously needed work). And now, after the passing of all these years, I get them, I read them as financial data or train schedules or the security announcements in the square: be vigilant, co-operate with the police, thank you. That fall-back into the real world is – clearly – depressing.

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