Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Newcastle. So good they named it once.

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There are few greater pleasures in life that do not involve the exchange of bodily fluids, the introduction of some of Columbia’s finest to your nasal passages or Newcastle picking up 3 points from the Mackems than slipping into a greasy spoon for a nice brew, a read of the sports pages of a decent paper and of course a full English breakfast. It might just be me but I prefer this as a solitary activity, sliding anonymously into a corner to watch the world go by. Peacefully. Unfortunately, these types of establishments are on the retreat in the city of Newcastle as the march of multiculturalism carries all before it in the Toon, much to the delight of the lower-middle classes whose values appear to be shaping the social and physical make up of what was and still in its soul remains, a socialists city. Someone somewhere has decided that they want to have a café culture. They have been on a cheap flight to somewhere hot and they are blinded by the image of some tasty, sultry bird reading Vanity Fair and sipping on a cappuccino and now they want us to like that too. And the Noberatti in Newcastle seem to have fallen for it, hook line and sinker man. In their heads they have just walked onto the set of a Ryan Gosling film and are gagging for frothy whimsy and artisan bread from the beautiful people. Instead they get an unhappy, over-weight, middle-aged shopper with her put upon husband who always seems to need more space and is either too hot or too cold, forever cast on the eternal horns of the take your coat off, leave it on dilemma. Naturally there will be queues in which good old Anglo-Saxon bad humored impatience is never far away from the surface – they've waited more than 2 seconds to be served their phony, grossly over-priced muck-a-chocco-chino by a disinterested minimum wage slave who is as much interested in your ‘coffee leisure experience' as you are in David Beckham’s HELLO life. These are no urban retreats. There is no quiet bolt-hole for you to take a bit of refuge from the general shittiness of life. You are on show and the message is clear – once you have swilled that tepid milky shite down your neck, get the fuck out and we’ll get the next lot of lifestyle dupes in. At its best, sitting in one of these places is like being in a post office queue, at its worst it’s like being at a Mumford & Sons gig. Naturally, some soppy social worker type who imagines she’s at the head of the zeitgeist will be continually checking her brat, Tarquin or Jocaster to stop fucking around, whilst you will be cursing your life.
This is the modern world?
Just say No!

Till next time.
Big love. Mark. X

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