Tag Archives: bluetones

Down the Pan

20111002 Toilet roll dispenser meh face 150x150 Down the Pan

Sam sent in this picture of a toilet roll dispenser taken at an unknown location.  It is a must-have lavatory accessory.  I recently spotted one just like this myself whilst visiting one of my completed buildings in Bideford.

It was a 380 mile round trip to look at a car park in Cornwall that prompted me to take a detour via Devon on the way back.  Today we seem to work longer hours than ever before.  Being out of the office is good fun though – once you’ve managed found the arsedity to drag yourself out of bed at silly o’clock, that is.  The day tends to be long, but it’s fairly relaxing in that you spend most of it behind the wheel, listening to the eclectic mix of music on Radio 2.  The only problem with long drives is PDATS (Phantom Driving Arse Tingles Syndrome), where you continue to experience phantom driving vibrations for hours after your journey has ended.

They don’t make music like they used to

Speaking of music, last week we bade farewell to The Bluetones, who were  one of my favourite bands from my teenage years.  I went to see them at the O2 Academy in Bristol on their farewell tour and they were truly amazing, playing to the crowd and singing all of their biggest hits and more, unlike Van Morrison whom I went to see the next day.  He truly sucked bags, didn’t speak to the audience and then just disappeared off stage at the end with no encore.  I wouldn’t waste your money going to see this arrogant twat perform songs that are mediocre at best.  Thankfully our tickets were free.

The 90s seem to be the last era that spawned bands that could actually sing.  We’ve all heard it said (or indeed uttered it ourselves) that they don’t make “x” like they used to.  Perhaps it is a sign of getting older, harking back to the days when things were supposedly better.  I don’t want to sound like a apologist, but in many ways they simply were.  Whilst I can appreciate some of today’s music, for the greater part it is too loud and lacks imagination.  The charts (which I haven’t followed for over a decade) seem to be full of pop that sounds like the musical equivalent of waterboarding JP Morgan board members and beating those fraudsters with a pickaxe handle.  Actually, I’d pay to listen to that; I’d watch it too!

An indictment

Initially this sounds like an indictment of my own generation: surely we are the ones creating music for the teenagers of today and we are the ones that are supposed to be building up our society and inspiring the next generation?  But on analysis it seems it is actually the younger pop artists in their early 20s (and sometimes younger) who, in my opinion, produce the worst music: Lady Gaga, Jessie J, Rihanna, Adele and Cher Lloyd to name but a few.  But it’s all too easy to point the finger at one group of people – we are all culpable in that we allow such dross to enter the market.  And then buy it too.

As a society we are collectively failing dismally on a number of levels – not just in music.  Our society is plagued by social and economic problems and I’m not just talking about the recent looting.  But the truth is, bankers are guilty of looting money from the ordinary hard working people.

A broken society

People seem to be too focused on themselves and lack responsibility and accountability these days.  Nothing new, perhaps, but the rise of reality TV in the last decade has seen more and more programmes designed to encourage selfishness and confrontation.  Think Weakest Link, Big Brother, I’m a Celebrity… and other such ghastly programmes – a far cry from quality programmes of yesteryear, such as Tomorrow’s World.

Today people stay single for longer, apparently living self-serving lifestyles and abandoning real community for online equivalents, such as Twitter and Facebook.  My parents’ generation would have been married, bought a house and had kids by the time they were my age.  Who can still afford to buy a house in this day and age?  Even more reason to want co-habit and settle down you would think.

I watched a video series recently, where a guy explained the monetary situation the bankers have created for themselves.  The way the banking system is set up, he says, actually means that we ordinary people have no real assets.  The assets we think we have are actually liabilities thrust upon us by banks, which by virtue of the creation of money have power over ordinary people.  I suppose as a simple example, governments borrow money from the banks, which they use to pay corporations for infrastructure, services and so on, which is where you and I get our salaries from.  You may build up your localised stash of wealth but collectively all we have is debt and ever decreasing power compared to the banks.  In some ways it is similar to the second law of thermodynamics, which dictates that entropy, or chaos, must increase.  You can build a garden wall and create the illusion of order, but this is only localised and in the process you are expending energy and dumping more heat into the universe, generating a net increase in chaos.

Answers on a postcard

Every generation has its own problems and it the world will never be perfect, but I get a sense that our society is becoming increasingly detached from our evolutionary roots.  The difficult question is, where will it all end and what can we do about it?  Is social really going down the pan?  Send in your answers on a piece of bog roll.

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20101031 Thekla Numerous Faces 300x225 TheklaEver been to the Thekla in Bristol? Have you ever noticed the faces with their mouths open on the top deck? The Thekla is an interesting concept and it’s a very popular venue. I have been in there a few times and it has always been absolutely rammed. The club nights are not really my scene but it’s worth going for the experience. Funnily enough, I never knew they did gigs in there until recently, when I saw The Bluetones were playing there. Sadly I had missed it by several months. I used to love The Bluetones – and still do. In fact, I love the whole era of Britpop. Ahhh… nostalgia.

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