Two Postmen on Bikes
by Some Love Team·
Winding down comfortably to a nice little book with a nice little glass of wine is one of those activities that just makes me feel really warm and bubbly inside. Getting into that space between the pages and the letters, a nosedive plunge into fantastical literary landscapes; you can almost feel it literally, viscerally. You catch a whiff of something floral, perhaps it’s the wine but you can’t really discern as the lines between here and wherever the pages take you are being washed away by waves of sips and sighs. It’s nice isn’t it? You’re in your quaint little corner all wrapped up in a soft blanket, perhaps there’s a slight drizzle going on outside your window, but inside everything is perfectly calm and relaxing.
Let’s shake it up a bit.
You pick up this small book to go with Domaine du Facteur’s Le Facteur Su’l’ Velo, just a little over a hundred pages with its dimensions as big as your outstretched hand. It's easy handling implores you to keep the other hand free and steady for a glass you can’t quite put down except to turn the pages. The book, a recent posthumous publication and translation to English from a French cartoonist and anarchist Gébé (short for George Blondeaux, a French pronunciation of his initials) titled Letter to Survivors can be read in one sitting, but likely its contents will linger like a long finish on the palette.
First impressions of the cover won’t reveal much but a scratchy monoline illustration of errant terrain of rubble and dusty debris and a lone rider on a bike in a hazmat suit… not very bon vivant. By now you may be hesitant to get into a world in which outcomes look bleak but there’s respite in knowing that our reality is the total opposite. Hah, you’d have to be avoidant to feel that way.
Regardless, no spoilers will be spilt. Save that for the wine to cushion your shattered ideals as you begin to see a little clearer while your head sloshes and swirls with notes of pears, lemon and toasty brioche on the nose.
The striking parallelism of the book and of our times are alarmingly prescient. Amidst the modern babble of social media, misinformation and groupthink, the questions of topical issues of this political and environmental backdrop is starting to feel like a not-so-far-off prequel leading to the events drawn on these very pages. Blackhearted but funny in a deadpan way, the insouciant protagonist portends something we all have probably thought about in our current militant times. Wind down to our little postmen on bikes and imagine yourself on one too and let me ask you this: What does your landscape look like?
One must also recognize that in more ways than one, natural/lo-fi/organic/biodynamic wines are weapons of anarchy as well. Like Gébé, these winemakers organize themselves in the face of authority, knowing they themselves are pivotal instruments in their small way to creating a kind of world where voluntary cooperation without the aid of hierarchical institutions might just be what we all need for ourselves and each other.
Now as the French saying goes, remettre le facteur sur le velo (it’s time to get our little postmen back on their bikes).