The Loneliest Jukebox

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Saturday, October 24, 2009

No omlettes for you

Almost one year ago, I reported on the local authority's kill-joy approach to halloween. Yesterday it became clear that the policy was being extended to a ban - spearheaded by the authorities 'encouraging' shops to comply - on selling eggs and flour. 'Older teenagers' can also forget about wearing masks too.*

In just-about-connected news, the 22 October Evening Standard editorial has this to say:
The Dome's triumph
"Those who jeered at the Millennium Dome as a white elephant with no real function must now eat their words.
The O2 arena is now the most popular venue in the world. It's a lesson to cynics and naysayers everywhere."

Two points: the renaming and the repurposing are part of its present popularity (along with the closing of the other large Docklands venue which seemed to stage nothing but Disney on Ice shows). In contrast, part of the Dome's initial failure was down to its almost uniformly poor content, its war with the motor car, its excessive and highly publicised attendance targets, and the government's 1990s-style bid to unite the nation without resorting to war or a dead princess.

It's much easier to stick up for it now than confront the naysayers in 1999. The Evening Standard's defence of the Dome comes a decade too late.

*They'll just have to go to the local cinema instead. Or the dog track. Or Charlie Chan's nightclub. What's that you say? All closed? Then they will just have to wait for the 2012 'Olympic bounce' effect to get them decent facilities in the borough.

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Friday, October 02, 2009

Pro-am gulf

Over in the first issue of Proof, I have a short essay telling everyone to 'calm down, calm down' in the heated debate over objectivity and user-generated content. (Must the subconscious influence of my upcoming trip to Liverpool to celebrate someone's birthday.)

Reference: Graham Barnfield, 'Born Yesterday: By treating amateur journalism as a threat, the UGC controversy ignores history', Proof: Reading Journalism and Society, Volume 1 2010.

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