Sunday, March 07, 2010

scarifying day

I got up this morning having decided to go to Ayr to take some photographs by the seaside. I got to the station and asked for a ticket to Ayr...

"It'll take you two hours to get to Ayr" (the exact words of the ticket-office attendant)
"Oh. Why two hours?"

Well, it got the information across, even if it did lack in the customer service niceties. So I went for a walk around glasgow instead, deciding to go over to the south side as I've not been there for ages.

My photography was interrupted four times. I was once told to "Fuck off, away from ma hoose" when photographing a fence; that I "Canny take photos here" when standing on a public pavement and photographing inside a warehouse - the idiot in the jacket printed with the word "security" (to make him feel better about being a menial drone with no self-respect and an IQ of about 74) then proceeded to attempt to prevent me from taking the photograph by moving menacingly towards me on the public pavement; two neds in a souped-up car threatened me with violence and threatened to steal my camera for photographing a statue in an industrial estate - they only left when I took out my mobile and told them that I was calling the police. The final act of this four-act tradgedy actually involves the police. I took a photograph of a building site. The next thing I knew, a police van swerved up to the kerb next to me, lights flashing, asking to know what I was doing. I told them that I was taking photographs. "What of" the officer asked. Now, I know that I don't actually have to answer that question, but I am not an idiot, so I told him, "Some rusty grilles on the other side of that wall". It seems that another security moron had telephoned them and told them that I had been trespassing. You might have thought that these security drones might at least have some training in the basics of the law: it is NOT trespassing to stand on a public road and look over a wall and take a photograph.

After all that, I needed a coffee and went into the glasshouse cafe in Queens Park. This is a great place. Well, it used to be a great place. This experience was actually WAY more scarifying than the incidents described above...


The place was absolutely full of young parents and children. Every last one of them white, well-dressed, middle-class and every last one of them dressing their children to look exactly like themselves. Tiny rugby shirts. Miniature Laura Ashley dresses. Children - their names all ending in "-ie" (Robbie, Christie, Martie, Carrie...) - being forced into the failure-shaped hole of their parents' desires. "Yummy mummy" and her equal-ops partner allowing their offspring to develop in the most liberal of ways so long as those are the right liberal ways. Breeding children to have the life that they wish that they could have had themselves, aspirational offspring.

Actual snippets of conversation overheard: "She's letting me away for a night in London, I can't wait really..."; "I didn't want to have a caesarian section but the head had..."; "We're only giving her white meat once a week, the rest of the time she's vegetarian..."; "It's that art-school thing. You kind of lose it..."; "Robbie can get through some of the grade one exercises..." (Robbie was about 2 years old and, don't misunderstand, if Robbie got through those because he wanted to get through them you won't hear a word of complaint from me, but if he was forced to get through them, that is a different story. Quite another issue is that of the bragging of the parents.)

I'm going to stop now as there are flecks of spit forming at the corner of my mouth!