Assorted whinging that doesn’t really fit anywhere else
– Flossy – One of the assortment of stray cats who turn up in our garden has passed away. Flossy was lovely and loveable, if thick. Bless ‘er. She had an amazing capacity for learned behaviour (flopping around on her back to try to look cute after seeing Kitten do it, holding her paw up as though it was hurt after seeing Garfield do it), which I suppose is one (fairly bizarre, really) metric of cleverness for a household animal, but she really was endearingly dopey. She tended not to notice when (say) she had large lumps of the chicken we’d been feeding her stuck to her tail, and every now and then she used to make a mad frantic dash through the kitchen while seeming to think we wouldn’t catch up with her. She was loveable (even angry angry Garfield put up with her presence, and she doesn’t get on with any of the other cats. Or anything else, really) and I miss her. Bye bye, sillycat.
– The Big Debate – Presumably they didn’t want it to be all that big, or they wouldn’t have had it midday when most people are at work. Perhaps, since it was a debate about the effects that social media can and will have, it was only meant for people who already make their living out of that sort of thing (less “mass debate” and more… well, yes). Judging by the liveblog it turned out to be a whole lot of stating the obvious anyway (1. So, like, blogs aren’t bad because although there are lots of bad blogs there are bad newspapers too and anyway you can, like, ignore the bad ones, and anyway people do their own things now so if they don’t, like, like something else they make their own. 2. Now that you’ve got oodles of ways to get info, Teh Newz Providorz need to be, y’know, good and suit the people they’re providing for, na’mean?) so we probably didn’t miss a lot, but I do like Doug Williams’ idea that at the moment t’internet is primarily just distributing old media ONLY FASTAH and that it’ll eventually evolve it’s own form of storytelling. That’s a hoopy piece of thinking. Also the ancillary comment by Andy Mabbett about the death of traditional clubs/societies seems like a shame.
– Venues – Well, The Jug Of Ale and The Market Tavern have gone, and another blow is struck against small DIY gigs for any bands other than Oasis-o-likes. I wish I’d gone to the The Market Tavern a few more times, but I don’t think it would have made a lot of difference in the long run (or any run, really). There’ll always be memories, of course – great sets from Bela Emerson / Grandscope / Ramesses / Copter / That Forking Tank / The Courtesy Group / Mistress and squillions more at the former, and Assert and The Klopeks at the latter. Sigh. The Academy, meanwhile, is moving to the what used to be The Dome. Wahey! I wonder if they’ll let me help them demolish the current edifice (now, where can I lay my hands on a flamethrower…)? I’ve never been to The Dome, but I can’t pretend that I’m filled with confidence – obviously some of The Aca’s huge number of problems will be solved if the new place turns out to be a better building (I’ve heard differing things about whether it is or not), but not really the main ones (staffing, prices, miasmic clouds of joylessness given physical form etc). Boo sucks. In spite of what some may suspect, I would actually like to see the new version of the place be some sort of heaven on earth (no, I really would. I’m perfectly well capable of spiting my face without cutting off my nose, thankyouverymuch), but it’s hard to be too optimistic in the face of experience. I do think that the safe money would be on my “There’s not a single gig that I wouldn’t rather see in the similarly sized Wolverhampton Civic Hall” adage holding true.* What of The Bar Academy/Academy 2 bits, meanwhile? Does The Dome have appropriate annexes/outhouses/sheds for those?
Not that I go to anywhere near as many gigs as I used to any more.
* I acknowledge that The Civic can be a pain for some people in transport terms, especially if they live at the further ends of Brum. I’m a-thinking that the best state of affairs in an ideal world would be no Aca and an enforced early curfew for gigs at The Civic, so everyone can get their bus/train and such. This tends to brush up against some elements of civic (pun not in the least bit intended) pride spikiness, though.