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Re: Woolworths closing down sale: bakers arms

From:     Vestan Pance
Category: Art
Date:     12 December 2008
Time:     03:14 PM


Is there any other public event that satisfies the British more than a public hanging? Though
frequently found flaggelating, we refuse to be criticised by the "others","the incomers","the
outsiders", "the grotowskian clowns" ,we adore criticising ourselves including those who try to slip
from the constraints of class or belief, just as Stephen Morrissey's friends hating his fame,
waiting to trip him up when he falls would concede. Was Woolworths really an essential part of our
consciousness ? The Co-op with its dividend stamps took a similar route to Woolworths but unlike
Woolies most recent mission to obliterate the free dentistry of the unemployed, the Co-OP targets
the no alcohol zone dwelling "urchins of all ages", with the side effect of sustaining community
policing procedures towards an escalation in useful government statistics.
Both 'institutions', Woolworths and the Co-op have morphed into hardened retailers whilst retaining
a vestige of recognition, their names perhaps or a certain level of pathetically ineffectual
service. The idea that society must always change in order to remain relevant, is a viable proposal
until you consider the effects of time. Prince Charles Windsor may baulk at Richard Rogers' new
telescopic aerodrome and apologists will add that "in Bath they were worried when the Georgians
started putting up their elegantly proportioned houses, but look at the city now"........(including
Batheaston?) But how long. or how many times can you change society before you call it something
else? Is society still society as it was when Woolworths was invented? Politics have tried in vain
to turn back the clock, imposing recedevist doctrines to please the media-morality, yet as a child
on holiday, you were happy to be amused by yourself with a stick in the sand now you want a Wii and
there are no public lavatories anymore.

Society is still a definate entity as it has been since we just relied on sticks for amusement but
its incredibly difficult to know if the truly sarcastic bits should be challenged or ignored. Even
when we factor in the once hidden comforts of our parental protection,and the bliss of ignorance.  
 Dismissing nostalgia avoids the continuing power of consciousness of landscape, the idea that
Woolies is a shared notion of nostalgia is defused by the sorrounding shlock of our everyday lives,
make-over programmes and "reality programmes" conspire with contemporary academia which is actively
managed to re evaluate everything regardless of its nominal value, Woolworths can be clinically
deconstructed and labelled so that it becomes "pricelessly iconic", just as the citizens of these
utopian ideals are dispossessed, once they have been turned away from the familiarity of their
landscape can become symptons of bipolar depression, or some other type of condition. It does'nt
give them their land back, it just prescribes them with a painkiller for which they will have to
pay, and to pay they will have to become professionals or migrant workers - anyway, they must work
or sign on but they can never, never go home again.
One has to ask oneself, what would woolies have been like if it had been bought out by Iceland
Does'nt bare thinking about, but once the trains belonged to you and me........

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