Thursday, August 30, 2007

Parisian Preservation of Urban Creativity

"All the cities all over in Europe are starting to look the same. London, Berlin they're going to have the same streets with the same shops.

"Culture is a very important thing to create integration, to create a higher quality of life."

Over the next three years, any commercial building that comes up for sale in this area will only be offered up to those who want to start things like bookshops or arty cinemas. Big businesses, even those offering to pay high rents, will not be allowed to infiltrate.
-- Paris rallies against consumerism

"Infiltration" is a great way of putting it, even if it's hard to hide a 3-storey Starbucks. Familiar logos spring up in shop windows over weekends, weaving their way into your monoculture view of the world so fast that you can't even remember what was there 48 hours ago. London Road has its own Costa now. Travelodges for the caffeine-weary. Pattern-matching morphine for those needing respite after their fill of the new and different. Independence is now a tourist attraction, a mine of creation to be caged and commoditised.

Paris perhaps gets the link between happiness and creativity. For some reason, the UK links happiness to consumption. The New England Quarter claims 20,000 square feet of "small business" space, but 25,000 for Sainsbury's (not including car park space?). And guess which one's open.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Misleading Headlines, #245,258b

"Jet Li attacks China film censors"

Cue scenes of Jet breaking into movie HQ and kickchopping the head of media content through a 100th-storey window. But no. Jet has put away his sword, and instead "voices frustration". On his blog.

Here's what we're gonna do: Martial arts films can replace their fight scenes with flamewars and on-line blogrolls, so long as the House of Commons gets some wires installed and has to-the-death wuxia combat to determine policy.

Then, just maybe, the world will start to make sense.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Wishing on a star

Missed the Perseid meteor shower last night, but luckily Chicken Yoghurt has a most amusing write-up.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

What do you think makes up British Values?

Over at the Machine, I'm asking "what are the values that we share in Britain?", and am intrigued to hear any thoughts on the matter as I'm quite confused as to it all.