Friday, August 11, 2017

Barnet Turns Into Betaville

Oh dear. After a pleasant chat with Ben Wilson the chewing gum painter, who was brandishing a tube of filler, I wandered round to the Antiques Emporium. All shut up, all voided. To be made into flats, no doubt.
The car park has been tarmac'd to destroy the market (three stalls left, most of the time) so we can only shop in the supermarket, and a humungous H&M is doubling the height of the shopping centre, itself a mutated church (replace spirituality with capitalism, etc.etc.).
In the square in the centre (all mature trees uprooted and thrown away to make more retail space), customers sit and drink coffee with piped music in the background: Rhodes piano, major sevenths and syrupy male vocals stroking their ears.
What did it remind me of?
Why the Sims, of course!
The Offsprogs used to have the game. Simulated computer people with stereotyped personality traits occupied themselves with service jobs that were just the right shape for them, all to the tune of muzak; their language, Simlish, took all the rough edges even off anger, because there were no words and hence no poetry.
Barnet is turning into Betaville, very rapidly.

1 comment:

Wilky of St Albans said...

More local history - until it was knocked down in the early 80s, the Salisbury Public House was a magnificent large establishment on Barnet High Street, standing where Iceland now is. Like many old pubs it had a large upstairs function room (remember the Clarendon at Hammersmith anyone?). Anyhow, during the summer of '76 many a joyful wednesday evening was spent at the Jazz Club that they hosted. Happy days.

(anyone remember the Duke of Lancaster in east Barnet? The Bazoomie Brothers? Thought not)