rebness: (Mercedes Laberinto)

I’ve been enthralled with zombies of late. It started off with Charlie Brooker’s Dead Set, a five-part programme shown in the run-up to Hallowe’en, wherein zombies invade Britain, unbeknown to the contestants in the Big Brother house. Guys, watch it if you can. It’s awesome.


Brooker is one of my favourite writers. I enjoy his misanthropic colums in The Guardian and read an article he wrote about the genesis of Dead Set and why he is fascinated with zombies: ‘
Zombies are the misanthrope's monster of choice. They represent fear and disgust of our fellow man. The anonymous animal masses. The dumb, shuffling crowd.’

 

That’s exactly it. What’s more terrifying than the crush of humanity? The crush of humanity with a taste for brains! I hate crowds and will do anything possible to avoid one. I will work late so that I miss the rush-hour traffic; the crush and press of single-minded bodies packing onto a train and trampling whatever is in their path. I am traumatised whenever I find myself in a surprise!crowd. I go into a concert knowing I’m going to be surrounded by zombies other people and that I’m going to get crushed; if I end up in the middle of an impromptu crowd, I have to get outoutoutomg. Please God, spare me the flashmob.

 

I think that’s why I’ve always appreciated Romanticism – the firm belief in I, the individual. Not for me the row upon row of boots waiting at stations described in TS Eliot’s poetry, or *shudder* a nightclub like Cream where you have to push your way around. I believe in the individual, above all. I distrust the braying, sheep-like crowd.

 

Which is a bit of a shame, being English and all. Because, UK? What is wrong with you? If it wasn’t bad enough that we disgusted the world by attempting to lynch the Bulger murderers or that we marched on London with bouquets and endless tears (BLOOD ON UR HANDS!11) for Diana, we’ve had a month of absolute, embarrassing hysteria.

 

There was the Russell Brand affair, where we wanted Brand beheaded or something for pranking Andrew Sachs on television. Then there was some person booted off X Factor who was a martyr and finally, the depressing, squalid death of Baby P. The press howled for heads to roll. Facebook groups call for a return to capital punishment. People gleefully share the names and addresses of those involved – just wait until we get our hands on them. People leave bouquets and weep and wail for the child. We should all be ashamed, they say, wringing their hands.

 

Decorum: alien concept.

 

There was a story I read some years back that reduced me to tears (lol, irony) and which has always stayed with me. An old man, Alfred Wilkins, had been accused of paedophilia. He was subsequently cleared of the charges, but whether he was guilty or not is irrelevant. The people in his area turned on him. They put bricks through his window, stole his belongings, beat and harassed him in the street and reduced him to living in the kitchen of his home as he was too afraid to even enter the front rooms due to constant violence. The community around him did not step in to help. Here was a person outside the law, tainted by suspicion and too afraid to seek help from either quarter. He was guilty! He was a paedophile and We Hate Paedos. Eventually, he and his dog were suffocated to death in a deliberate arson attack. It’s okay; vigilante justice prevailed. We Brits really like to see justice served.

 

Almost as much as we enjoy the media circus each time a new cause is brought to our attention.

 

When toddler Jamie Bulger was murdered, the British tabloids listed in endless detail the torture he endured in pornographic detail bolded and in CAPS and, just in case you wanted snappy facts to throw out at your eager audience, handy bullet-point summaries of each disgrace inflicted upon him. Baby P suffers a lonely, torturous existence for seventeen months, succumbing to death after a final, brutal blow. (This blow, of course, described in detail in the press.) And there we have it: sad and terrible death reduced to titillation. Last week, we protested at Baby P’s death. This week, John Sergeant has been ousted from Strictly Come Dancing and at the time of writing, more than 2,000 people have called the BBC to complain that they had wasted their time and money calling in to support him. Um.


rebness: (Heimat)

I’ve just watched a huge Aida cruise liner leave port from the observation deck of Barcelona’s World Trade Centre. I love how people wave to us from the ships, but the best thing ever was that the ship started blasting out Enya’s Sail Away as it, er, sailed away.

 

So kitsch. So awesome. I must bring my camera in next week! :D 

rebness: (Klinom Krasnim)
I'm rather annoyed because I forgot to bring my SD camera card home and so it's going to be an even longer wait before I can upload my awesome Bosnia photos.

But let me show you something else instead. Right in the city centre in Liverpool, there is a decrepit churc called St. Luke's, a dubious landmark better known to Liverpudlians as 'The Bombed-Out Church'. It is reasonably old, with work begun in 1811. It has been closed off to the public since 5th of May, 1941, when an incendiary bomb was dropped by the Germans, destroying the interior of the church with fire.

For years, Chris and I have ached to go and see the inside of the church. I even took to begging a film crew that were using the grounds for a television drama a few years back, to no avail. So when we saw that the church has been opened as part of an art installation, with admission a princely £1, we leapt at the chance. Thankfully, Chris had his camera with him that day...



The silent and foreboding facade. Pictures from the interior under the
cut... )

I'm thrilled that we finally managed to see that church. It's a piece of history that is now being actively preserved because it's such a huge part of local culture - the war, the Irish famine and how it changed Liverpool forever. It's a much-loved landmark and, ironically, its decay has saved it. Whereas the beautiful old Polish church was turned into the Alma de Cuba bar, this church shall now be preserved. For once, the city council's policy of neglect has worked to Liverpool's advantage.

And so...

May. 8th, 2008 02:17 pm
rebness: (Really sad like)

...to England.

Huh.

Well, Croatia was rad, but I have decided that Bosnia was the raddest place I have been in a while. Now I'm in England and horribly bored. I get this vague, anxious feeling when I'm not working (even when I'm legitimately on holiday) so it's a bit shite.

Thankfully, the weather is gorgeous and has been reminding me why I truly believe England is the most beautiful country in May. The apple blossoms are out on our trees, the dogs sit for long hours in the sun; I love the birdsong as well, apart from at 4am. >:

It's still horribly boring, though. I don't have internets at my family home, which is a bit sad seeing as they are already driving me up the wall in that ineffable familial way. 

I'm at Huyton library now, stealing me some internet time under my brother's name before perusing the history section before I head into Liverpool to meet up with

[profile] patchworkgirl_ , who is incidentally now an enemy considering she forgot to tape Peep Show for me.

I'll also treat myself to a chippy tea tonight seeing as how vegetables appear to have shot up to a ridiculously high price here and then pine away until I can see that dirty minx [personal profile] saffronlie for birthday cocktails. And ratatouille, thereby fixing my vegetable conundrum.

 

rebness: (Casablanca: Renault for Prez)
You know, as if it wasn't enough that Liverpool City Council plastered over Chavasse park (one of the few remaining green spaces in the city proper) to build yet another friggin' shopping centre, now I hear that they have forced Henry Bohn books to close.

This store was, hands down, the most awesome store in Liverpool. It was conveniently located right next to Lime Street, so that when waiting for a train you could always pop in and peruse the books. It was a secondhand bookstore that both helped me get rid of some dire university texts and also introduced me to crazy, crazy out-of-print stuff. I have 19th century copies of Hamlet and the sonnets from there. I bought Manon Lescaut for £2 from there, old French and German texts for my brother and myself and endless literature on the Spanish Civil War that you just can't find in clean-cut Waterstones. It provided [profile] jaffacakequeen  with a hardback copy of Tale of the Body Thief and [profile] patchworkgirl_  with several demented Hollywood biographies.

There was always classical music playing in there and you could always listen to the owner and his friends debating the political issue of the day. It was small and understated, a place where you could find all kinds of literate Scousers from all walks of life. Every time you bought a book, no matter how obscure, the owner had an opinion on the topic. He would always round down the prices of your purchases. It was the perfect place and I always looked forward to stocking up on obscure titles when in Liverpool.

BUT NO MORE. The city council (the most wasteful in terms of resources, according to the Government) has decided that, like Chavasse park, it needs to go for modernisation. And once again, they have it completely backwards. It is things like Henry Bohn books that make Liverpool what it is; an eccentric old city where you can find Socialists and academics in the oddest of places. It drives me up the wall; just when you begin to appreciate a place, they take away yet another of its awesome features. Places have to change, I know; just why Liverpool always gets it so wrong is beyond me.

Last time I was there, they were talking of protesting against it. Now it's shut, but Kel reports that the protest continues. I wish it would help. Hopefully, this store will open up somewhere else in the city, because I'll be damned if WHSmith get a penny out of me.
rebness: (BB: Shite)
I HATE FLYING. 

I HATE HATE HATE HAAAAAAAAAAAATE IT. 

I also hate rain, taxes and EastEnders. 

(Or, I went to England for a few days and that's it! I am done with it until April 2008.) >:O

(Though I have new love for Liverpool - the city, that is.) 

(And Harry Potter, oh yes.)

More, later. For now I have screaming Airport!Babies to contend with. I know I owe lots of you e-mails and some of you had no idea where I was, but that's a whole other rant...

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