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I found an article this afternoon on BBC news' website that made me wonder if the 'silly season' hasn't come early this year. The suburbs are becoming ever more popular, it declares. Out of town shopping centres are considered suburban because they offer the “city without the scary bits . . . no Big Issue sellers and no graffiti” (Tom Geoghegan, Suburbia Fights Back) http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/4483097.stm

So, it's okay to go to shopping centres (malls) and not have to face 'Big Issue' sellers or look at graffiti. The main thrust of the article seems to be that it's now becoming cool to live in the suburbs where ethnic minorities, artists and gay writers (all three groups have recently moved there - hmmmm?) offer cultural diversity and vibrancy.


Graffiti is a fact of life, so are homeless people, moving to the suburbs and shopping out of town won't make them go away. I know what you may be thinking at this point. To shamelessly steal and paraphrase a John Cleese line "Ogg, specialised subject - the bleeding obvious."

I suppose my point has to be, why is it necessary for somebody to be homeless at all? Why do our politicians (local and national) walk around with blank expressions declaring how wonderful things are going to be? These wonderful things never seems to transpire, or at most, lip service is paid to 'urban regeneration' (translation: bollocks). So, while we regenerate urban areas, everyone who can afford to, buggers off to the 'burbs.

The main thrust of the aricle seems to be that it's now becoming cool to live in the suburbs where ethnic minorities, artists and gay/lesbian writers (all three groups have recently moved there - hmmmm?) offer cultural diversity and vibrancy, now that the suburbs are "no longer the domain of the white heterosexual" (Tom Geoghegan, Suburbia Fights Back)- erm, I don't get that point. The suburbs began to be ridiculed by comedy writers during the seventies, but were being established during the thirties and forties.

Practicing homosexuals could still be imprisoned as late as 1966 in Britain - a law I've always thought of as bizarre. (I’ve always been amused by the term ‘practicing’ – I had to be a practicing heterosexual at the start, because I was lousy at it, now I’d describe myself as ‘not too bad at it’ heterosexual)

Anyway, back to the point, (need a trail of breadcrumbs - the way I keep wandering about) if it was still illegal in the late sixties - surely it was still viewed sideways in the seventies and eighties (or do prejudices disappear overnight in the 'burbs?) Then a person living in the 'burbs who was gay wouldn't be about to commit employment suicide by 'coming out' at the earliest opportunity? So how do we know it was the 'domain of the white heterosexual'? - could it be (shock!! horror!!) that we simply don't know?

Anyhow, why bother? It doesn't matter where you live or what you do, it's about who you are. Embrace your differences - I certainly do and I don't care who knows it!! Grrrrr!

Take care
Paul the Ogg



------
In five hundred years time, most of us will be forgotten dust. But Hitler will still be remembered, God loves irony.


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