Up The Smoke again last week. Incessant tannoy announcement on the trains and in the stations stopping the population reading or even thinking for themselves. Even the soviets didn’t think to just shout instructions at people all day.
Passed through St. Pancras Station. I say station but this fantastic old building has been converted into a shopping mall for tourists. If you hunt around a bit you can still find the trains. If you try really hard and walk for miles, right at the back where nobody goes, you can find the public toilets and if you walk down a dark corridor next to the toilets you can find…guess what? The Station Reception. Really! The wankers who designed St. Pancras Station put the reception, underground at the back behind the toilets! Don’t accuse me of cynicism! Could the designers have been more cynical? According to Wikipedia the “fit-out works” were designed by Chapman Taylor. And, again according to Wikipedia, Chapman Taylor are a practice of global architects and “masterplanners”. Yes, it actually says that: Masterplanners! Their master plan was obviously to stop any of the thousands of people who use the station from finding the fucking reception!
But the spirit of the age is optimism. People say to me: “its all good” and I bite my tongue but think: “No it bloody isn’t”. As I weaved my way between thousands of tourists looking for the entrance to the underground I overheard an American say “Hey, I LIKE this!” Well, why would she not like it? Hundreds of shops selling the same stuff available everywhere that she had been programmed to crave by the endless onslaught of the global marketing machine. Just don’t let her find reception and get her out of the building before she needs the “rest room”.
On arriving back at Brighton, I caught the number 6 bus which stopped at the lights on the corner of Queens Road and North Road. There before me was a gigantic TV screen pinned to the wall of the Credit Union building. We waited a few minutes while me and my fellow passengers were reprogrammed and the bus moved off. I wonder if the lights are synchronized with the TV screen? If they’re not then there’s an innovation waiting to happen.
I am reminded of an episode of the fantastic old Thunderbirds TV program entitled “Path of Destruction”. In this episode, a gigantic machine named The Crablogger went on a murderous rampage destroying everything in its path. The Crablogger was a gigantic nuclear powered, wood processing plant with two huge claws at the front which ripped up trees and pushed them into its gaping maw. Inside, the wood was reduced to wood pulp for collection by automated trucks.
In many ways London has been turned into a mutant version of the Crablogger. On first glance it has no giant claws, but they exist nonetheless. The claws are operated remotely through a series of contracts and business relationships. As Sue Perkins found out on Saturday night’s episode of Mekong River. The claws are chain saws and one of the places they operate is the Mekong Delta.
England has been infected by the American dream. We live in a land of feverish delusion. The corporations dangle the latest iPhone in front of us and we run like rats in a wheel never stopping to join the dots. We don’t associate the purchase of yet another mundane, but gorgeously presented, product at St. Pancras Station with ecological destruction. We watch Sue Perkins and we cry shame for the poor villagers of the Mekong Delta. It’s a form of racism. A Vietnamese villager is a sad and powerless victim but a pasty faced Englishman protesting yet more building in England is a NIMBY. “London needs another airport” we are programmed to think because by the year 2020 there will be more people flying than the airport can cope with. What bollocks! If the airport can’t cope then they wont bloody well fly….but people want to fly everyone whines. Yes, they do. And they also want a sustainable and pleasant environment but there’s no profit in that.
The corporations want us to do nothing but produce and consume and the Left don’t care as long as it doesn’t cause offense. So we now work, shop and trip over each other trying to “call out” offense before someone points the finger at us. Some twat on the radio today said that, while he wasn’t religious, he thought that this year’s advent calendar featuring a sausage roll from Greggs bakery might cause offense! Jesus! You couldn’t make it up!
On my bus ride home I noticed that this year’s Christmas decorations have been appropriately sanitized by the local thought police. As a non-religious person I can confirm that barely a trace of Christianity can be discerned in the illuminated messages along Western Road.
On University Challenge old Horse Face featured a question about a quote from a gentleman named A. J. P. Taylor: “Until August 1914 a sensible, law-abiding Englishman could pass through life and hardly notice the existence of the state, beyond the post office and the policeman…”
In the 21st Century, the traditional English virtue of irreverence is misrepresented as hate by humorless bigots oblivious of just how tiresome is their own intolerance. We now settle for paltry “choice” masquerading as liberty.
And now I have morphed into the curmudgeonly grandfather in the film Hope And Glory. Detesting the modernisation of the 1940s he glowered at an electrical pylon and declared “curse you, volt, watt and amp” – A rational response to an irrational period of history.