For some unknown reason I spent a lot of today thinking about ‘the things I don’t do anymore’. Things that don’t seem as important as they undoubtedly and traditionally,were. And it wasn’t as though those things became boring or tedious that caused me to drop them, it was me…I just…stopped.
For instance, the pub.
I was never a great drinker although in my heyday 6/7 pints was considered ‘normal’. But I was young and stupid then and after rugby it was what you did. No, I’m thinking later in life, when I grew up a bit. The pub was traditionally a great place to socialise. It was a place to talk politics, music, sex etc. I enjoyed nothing more than Friday nights, expelling hot air, talking, it has to be said, probable nonsense. But looking back, it was so fulfilling. It was a place where long-term friendships were forged, ideas exchanged and battles fought. It was where we found our feet. Where we learnt what side we were on.
But it doesn’t happen any more…at least not in my life. It has gone.
Then there was ‘the pictures’, the movies, the flicks.
I was one of those who in the old days of ‘revolving film’ (when a film would play all day on repeat), would arrive half way through then whisper to my partner an hour or two later, ‘This is where we came in – let’s go’. (Or not. You could watch it again if you wanted to…and again). I loved the experience.
I used to be very vocal in proclaiming the best form of entertainment was watching a great story on a big screen in a large darkened room with a group of strangers. Nothing quite like it. It’s gone.
Now, for me it’s all small screen. Netflix, Now TV & Amazon which, let’s face it is not half the experience even if you have got surround sound.
So, what happened?
OK, like most old farts I suppose in the case of Cinema, you might expect me to put it down to quality or rather the lack of. But that would be a lie. Cinema has gone forward in leaps and bounds. Technically speaking, sound and picture have grown beyond our wildest dreams. I think on a personal level, maybe the art of story-telling has diminished slightly but fads, fashion etc goes around and around. Nowadays people appear to want more bangs (literally) for their bucks but, the western is making a comeback and everybody likes a good old spy story…
And as for the pub…there’s a huge amount of choice these days. The warm pint is a thing of the past and let’s face it the hours are much more suitable for long liquid chats…
So, I’ll ask again…what has happened…?
I think it’s simple. Two things…
One: I admit it’s something to do with me becoming a Curmudgeon in my old age and the cold, hard, fact that I really, really, REALLY resent paying nearly £4+ a pint and treble that for a seat and a bag of popcorn in a cinema.
TWO. The fact is, the simple, traditional pleasures of life in my UK have been taking out of the reach of the working/non-working classes by the greedy conglomerates and the like of the Bransons, Ashleys, Dysons et al (most of whom don’t even live here anymore). Men, modern day pirates who have ransacked their own countries for the sake of profit. In my view buying and being allowed by various governments (with fingers in the pie) to sell and profit from the ‘family silver’, without our permission.
They’ve pushed up prices and then fucked off, leaving us to eat cake and watch their TV stuffed and immobile on our settees.
And the terrible thing is, they haven’t finished yet.
Branson has his claws in my NHS and Dyson has taken jobs out of the country whilst somehow giving the impression that he runs a ‘British’ firm. They wave the false flag of patriotism about willy-nilly and will not be satisfied until they have it all.
Who says there are no such things as Vampires?
[This has been one of my occasional rambling posts where nothing makes a lot of sense and logic left of its own accord some time ago. For that I apologise. If you got this far. I commend you].