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Blog n: a web site that contains an online personal journal with reflections, comments, and brief philosophical musings about social issues that generally represent the personality of the author. Blogs are defined by their format: a series of entries posted in reverse-chronological order.
So there. Now feed the starving little fighting fish above by clicking in his space...


Saturday, 14 August 2010

Breaking up with Capitalism

At twenty-two, sophomoric, and frightened by the bog of mediocrity I leapt like a frog out of boiling water and nose-dived straight into Ayn Rand's horribly written but persuasive novel, Atlas Shrugged. After a 1300 page slog of brain-washing repetitions of far right-wing ideology I resolved to handbag the world like Margaret Thatcher did in 1979 and privatize everything;  the police force, the fire department, coast guard, and whatever else got in the way of this great machine.  I'd fallen in love with capitalism.  That was ten years ago.  But get this...

I live in Bournemouth on the south coast of England.  I call it the Florida of Britain because similar to the sunny state, it has a temperate climate, a great beach, and lots of old people.  I live in the neighbouring village of Westbourne which is bound together by Victorian shops and two story flats built in the late 1800's by Henry Joy's and I happen to live in the heart of it.  There's a butcher, a baker, a bookstore, a shoe maker, and a place to buy a candlestick. Makers of fine clothiers, hat-makers, and jewelers are drawn into the  fabric of Westbourne making it the most fashionable pocket in Dorset.

The small community is also nourished with four good pubs, three Indian restaurants, a first rate Greek eatery, a French patisserie, and a Bang and Olufsen shop to boot.  My bank is a stone's throw away and the tellers know my name and never ask for i.d.  Even the local street sleeper Ralph, who used to sleep in the bushes died tragically a year ago is still missed and remembered by everyone.  So how can a trendy district such as this, with bad parking and expensive clothes care so much for a roughian?

But the busiest business is a convenience shop run by a South African couple.  It operates like clockwork opening at 5am till ten at night. Patriotic flags hang outside and with hanging baskets of flowers.  Directly above, the flats have been drastically improved with new windows and a repaired roof, sandwiched between lazy landlords who I imagine must wince by comparison.  This couple have carved out a living for themselves and probably risked a lot in doing so.  So capitalism -Yes!

A Mega-Mart lies up the street, a short 15 minute walk away, with it's 24 hour shopping, ample parking, and petrol. But this hog has decided to moor a piggy ship in the middle of Westbourne.  It's prices compete by tens of pennies and will cost the community it's personality and intimacy which drove people here in the first place.  Now is that a fair trade?

Capitalism I think needs revising.

6 comments:

Starbuck said...

I am happy to hear of your recent insight into reality. I only wish that it would progress towards other areas of your existence. As nice as it is to hear of your latest change of heart I cannot help but think that it might be a bit more useful for you to quit trying to argue on issues of such a macro size when you clearly cannot even function proper on the most micro hiccups.

Anonymous said...

R you talking about Asda or Tesco? ether way I like cheap milk, Spar is expensive. Good post though.

Anonymous said...

I hate maggie thathcer, she put my dad out of work. She's not a woman anyway. Just a pig nosed bitch

Anonymous said...

Great post. Love Victorian architecture:)

Anonymous said...

I love your country. I'm from Texas and took my mother to London before she passed away. The buildings are wonderful. Never got to the beach though. Great blog. Where are your fish?

Anonymous said...

When will The Empire be back?

mr. kkbb