Parallel lines…

In Uncategorized on September 25, 2011 at 15:56

Not a massive fan of Blondie (unlike Hitler who had a pet dog called by the same name) however I recognise we all live in a parallel universe which is often not divided by much more than a few miles, a few months, a few weeks, a year or two or even just a few feet (or is that meters now were metric?). I sit here with the mother of all hangovers following a trip `down town` a la Petula Clarke, wondering what on earth has happened to some of the pubs & clubs in my home town.

I have enjoyed many a night down in the town centre on a Saturday evening, however last night I seem to remember spending most of the night mourning the loss of the good old British pub and reflecting upon the erosion of any `value added` in the new breed of establishments springing up where once there stood a fire station, a church, a swimming pool or a cloths shop. Old age and the (perceived?) wisdom which comes with same can be a cruel and unforgiving enemy I think. Alternatively it give`s one a wider perspective and context when looking at how things have evolved – or indeed eroded.

I am sure that when I was a bit younger I got my leg lifted by the private and corporate owners of our towns pubs & clubs, however that was in a time where we`d just moved away from the days of the Likely lads and the Sweeney where a right boozy night out consisted of drinking such things as Double Diamond, Watneys red barrel, Skol, Campari, Pony or Harp lager whilst smoking twenty Number 6 or un-tipped Park Drive. This was the norm. Ah, those smoke filled arenas of blokeness were the best we could hope for, but they did sell draft beer, even if they did shut mid day and close at 10.30hrs on a Sunday (or nor even open in some parts of Wales).

I don`t want to go back there but I`d like to think that it had a more communal air about it than is now present in too many venues. Too many bars are too rammed, too expensive and too up their own arse for Glabalagogogo`s liking. Yes, I am the personification of the grumpy old man this morning. Clearly your friend and narrator went in the wrong pubs last night and I have got the face on with them. I was sick of getting stuck behind people ordering cocktails. Cocktails, for Christ sake?! It`s not South Fork its South Yorkshire love! Ordering sex on the beach or some such does not make one refined or cultured it make you look a turd when you`re in some of the shit holes I was in. And I base that on the state of the venue, the state of the toilets, the surly nature of the staff and the miss-spelt Indian ink tattoos on some of the women!

Anyway, what I`m getting at is that I seem to have been living in a parallel universe or in my own bubble for the last few years and missed the growth in rip off pub chains and privately owned bars. I stumbled across a plethora of eye opening establishments where people gladly queued and paid for the privilege of being mugged. The power of marketing, advertising and the perception of cheap drinks is like siren song to the clambering masses of shit faced individuals. I spoke to one of the door staff (who we`ll call Jeremy to protect his identity!) who told me he had no idea what the business plan for the bar was, however it seemed to him to be based on ”get as many sad bastards as you can rammed into the bar and take as much money as you can from them as quick as you can before they realise you`ve scammed them”! Fantastic!!

I am not sure if it is all driven by the will of the people or the will of the marketing strategists who take a great European paradigm, ship it over to Blighty and make a right mess of it in the process. Thinking they can drop a bit of European refinement into the hart of an old industrial city in the UK is a grand idea in principle, however the reality in some areas is somewhat distorted and falls well short of expectation. I don`t think that some of the people in some of the towns have quite evolved yet and they are not ready for it, and therefore don`t quite know how to handle it. Slinging shots down your neck seems to be the most likely way to get yourself lined up until you don`t know your arse from your elbow, and then you`re up for a right old corporate milking – like little lambs!

Greed is good? Not when you`re stuck behind it waiting for a pint it`s not!

Obviously I am struggling today and should stay at home on the sofa drinking my wine & soda like the saddo I undoubtedly am, and leave it to others to make up their own minds. I shall move on and wallow in my own universe, in a reflective pose and think about a golden ere which probably never actually existed anywhere other than in my own mind!!

If that`s progress you can stick it. I will wait and catch the next bus if you don`t mind.

(Quick nod to the staff at Medecins San Frontieres who do a cracking job in some desperate places like Somalia, Mogadishu and Kenya where they strive to help people who have been badly let down by their lords & masters. Very limited access to hospitals or medicines over there, unlike us in the west who have plenty of choice. Now there`s something that needs a real parallel drawing).

Also, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and European Banking Authority (EBA) deserve a mention as they don`t seem to be running in parallel and poor old Christine Lagarde is trying to get some agreement on recaptitalisation of Europe’s $200bn black hole which Greece seems to be falling ever deeper into, and certainly Germany won`t be able to save them. Poor dear was slagged of at the recent G7 summit but now seems to be getting back in the driving seat. And of the 90 Euro banks reviewed around 16 of them are in shtumn. Is recapitalisation a bit like cheating and not fixing the problem at source? Maybe it is, however I think time is against us. And like all good comedies, it`s all about…….timing!

Yes. I think I`ll call it a day, if I go on any longer I will hang myself – god I`m a miserable today! No more lager and nights out on the tiles for me for a while, I think. Now, wheres my pipe & slippers… 

TTFN Globalagogogo


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