Sunday, 29 January 2012

How things have changed

You have probably seen this but what the hell...too many mind-numbing wheel reinventing meetings and late nights to write anything new insightful or rude...and it made me smile.

HIGH SCHOOL -- 1957 vs. 2012

Scenario 1:

Jack goes quail hunting before school and then pulls into the school parking lot with his shotgun in his truck's gun rack.

1957 -
Vice Principal comes over, looks at Jack's shotgun, goes to his car and gets his shotgun to show Jack.
2011 - School goes into lockdown, FBI called, Jack hauled off to jail and never sees his truck or gun again. Counselors called in for traumatized students and teachers.

Scenario 2:

Johnny and Mark get into a fist fight after school.

1957 -
Crowd gathers. Mark wins.. Johnny and Mark shake hands and end up buddies.

2012 -
Police called and SWAT team arrives -- they arrest both Johnny and Mark. They are both charged with assault and both expelled even though Johnny started it.

Scenario 3:

Jeffrey will not sit still in class, he disrupts other students.

1957 -
Jeffrey sent to the Principal's office and given a good paddling by the Principal. He then returns to class, sits still and does not disrupt class again.

2012 -
Jeffrey is given huge doses of Ritalin. He becomes a zombie. He is then tested for ADD. The school gets extra money from the state because Jeffrey has a disability.

Scenario 4:

Billy breaks a window in his neighbor's car and his Dad gives him a whipping with his belt..

1957 -
Billy is more careful next time, grows up normal, goes to college and becomes a successful businessman.

2012 -
Billy's dad is arrested for child abuse. Billy is removed to foster care and joins a gang. The state psychologist is told by Billy's sister that she remembers being abused herself and their dad goes to prison. Billy's mom has an affair with the psychologist.

Scenario 5:

Mark gets a headache and takes some aspirin to school.

- Mark shares his aspirin with the Principal out on the smoking dock.

 - The police are called and Mark is expelled from school for drug violations. His car is then searched for drugs and weapons.

Scenario 6:

Pedro fails high school English.

- Pedro goes to summer school, passes English and goes to college.

 - Pedro's cause is taken up by state. Newspaper articles appear nationally explaining that teaching English as a requirement for graduation is racist. ACLU files class action lawsuit against the state school system and Pedro's English teacher.. English is then banned from core curriculum. Pedro is given his diploma anyway but ends up mowing lawns for a living because he cannot speak English.

Scenario 7:

Johnny takes apart leftover firecrackers from the Fourth of July, puts them in a model airplane paint bottle and blows up a red ant bed.

1957 -
Ants die.

 - ATF, Homeland Security and the FBI are all called. Johnny is charged with domestic terrorism. The FBI investigates his parents -- and all siblings are removed from their home and all computers are confiscated.
Johnny's dad is placed on a terror watch list and is never allowed to fly again.

Scenario 8:

Wally falls while running during recess and scrapes his knee. He is found crying by his teacher, Nancy. Nancy hugs him to comfort him.

1957 -
In a short time, Wally feels better and goes on playing.

2012 -
Nancy is accused of being a sexual predator and loses her job. She faces 3 years in State Prison... Wally undergoes 5 years of therapy.


Monday, 2 January 2012


Well, that was fun...the glassy corpse of Xmas taken and deposited at the local recycling centre. The festive time was indeed festive there were many highlights aside from catching up with the old friends, and excessive consumption which I have long stopped feeling slightly guilty at, and the 'bad' behaviour of adults which got pursed lipped censoriousness from sanctimonious bloody children.

However, the surprising highlight was a long day out, ironic of course, to Margate for some fresh sea air at this foul and rotten cadaver of a place. Like  so much seaside squalor it needs a bit of a clean up, makeover, rebranding or whatever kind of bollocky marketing terminology is used to hide the fact that it a turd in need of sharp polishing. Queenie was hired for the day before xmas for some fawning, creeping by the end of empire local dignitaries and glad handing of the flag waving plebs which probably set off the Duke's ticker.

Ever at the cutting edge of 1980s  transport technology we meandered down on the High Speed train which of course is not high speed until you get back to Ashford and beyond towards civilization.

Despite attempts to make try to redesign it as a kind of New Brighton it still richly deserves its high rankings of the Crap Towns book / website, and mostly very well-deserved too. Yet signs of life do  appear with the white and shiny new Turner Centre currently hosting Rodin's The Kiss sculpture and a great exhibition on Youth with lots of references to my own not so wasted youth in the 80s...Class War and The Smiths anyone?

It also has a great cafe and is  not far from a nice little pub in the Old Town called The Life Boat, it is cosy,  dark, wooden, sawdust on the floor a top selection of alchobooze, no children (always a bonus) or TVs and  only lacking a haze of smoke which I guess I will always associate with a proper pub. There is also an odd little 'gallery' with a dozen or so vintage pinball machines including one allegedly played by Roger Daltry in Tommy. 

That said wondering around it is still a depressed slum of a place, left to fester by a useless and apparently corrupt council,  frequent  suspicious fires at the once famous Dreamland amusement park and the appalling social dumping and fellow travelling problems associated with down at heel seaside towns which will undoubtedly get worse as the consequences of the housing benefit cap and bedroom tax kick in.   A slow high speed link, shiny new (free) gallery, a couple of decent pubs, and a visit from an ageing celebrity monarch won't bring back the good old days or give it the kind of kudos that Brighton to start somewhere though.

Fun times over and back to the winter drudge, the season of observations, mostly pointless meetings, reports and generally mellow fruitlessness, looms a few hours away. Ho hum and so on...

Have an amusing and interesting 2012.