Monthly archive for December 2008

Disappointments 2 – The Future (store)

And no, this isn’t a generic rant about the current dearth of rocket cars and murderous sexbots.

Sure I’m as dissapointed as anyone about the lack of these things, but there are plenty of other lonely nerds on the internet and in print who have expounded at great length on these topics.

No, my disappointment today is focussed on one particular chain of stores here in Bahrain, and the alarming vision of ‘the future’ they represent.

The store in question is of Chinese origin, and is named, beguilingly, ‘The Future Store’.

“And what does this store of the Future sell?” you ask in barely contained suspense?


Obscenely large televisions?

Hi-tech toasters?

A camera that poops?

No.

While all of these things would be fairly dissapointing embodiments of the future in their own right (pooping camera aside), this store eschews them all in favour of a variety of crappy lamps.

One more time: Lamps.

Now by my reckoning the electric incandescent lightbulb was invented somewhere in the order of 200 years ago (a little later if the Edison people have got to you already) and the concept of ‘lamp’ a few millenia before that.

To my mind this store not only completely fails to deliver on its promise of the future; it represents a failure of imagination of staggering proportions and possibly the bleakest evaluation of the very idea of the future and human progress that I have ever seen embodied in retail form.

If it weren’t for my discovery in writing this post that wifi is making hippies ill, I’d be very depressed indeed.

More things I didn’t know were a thing

Desert mists.

Misty Morning Manama

Quite pretty. Click to embiggen.

Disappointment

Or is it dissapointment? (I teach English for a living by the way). Anyway, episode 1 of a probably increasing depressing series:

I’m trying to get on this ‘write more even if its crap because that’s how you get better you idiot and otherwise there’s no point in having a blog’ so this week’s theme is disappointment, (something readers will get a great big dose of if they’ve bothered to stick around) which is fitting given its the holiday season an’ all.

Let down number 1:London Bridge.

I guess  it fell down. Fell down. Fell down. My Fair lady.

I was in London recently (More on that later perhaps. In Haiku form?) and was quite looking forward to checking out all the historicityness (English teacher remember) of the place. The many bridges over the Thames included. The newer ‘millenial’¬† ones were predicatably drab and ‘modern’, tower bridge was mostly swathed in scaffolding and tarpaulins, but what I was really looking forward to was ye olde London Bridge, that magnificent span of song and rhyme and the only way across the Thames from the time of the Romans until the 17th century. Once a bustling thoroughfare, packed to the brim with shops and carts; screaming fishwives; strolling gentry; and various mudlarks, footpads, pinchpurses, knaves, scoundrels, cads, bounders et al, this sounded like something to see.

Unfortunately I was about 178 years to late to see it. They built a new one in 1831 but I was too late for that even, as in 1968 it was sold to a guy in Arizona. Really.

The new bridge looks like this:

This is where a picture of London Bridge would go had I taken one. It turns out the present strip of grey concrete is too dull to even excite the light sensitive elements of film or digital camera sensor, even google images produces only the more picteresque Tower Bridge.

Happy festive season

A time of year when everyone gets together with family to share good company, good cheer, and maybe burn a few things.

(to be fair, the first one was an entirely accidental electrical fire)

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