Signs Of The Times – Portrait Of A British High Street, 2007

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More inconsequential nonsense, no ranting or babies today. Just stood on a spot in posh & leafy Chiswick and pretended I was a CCTV camera. Kind of like the way that Coppola used the camera in my favourite movie, The Conversation. But with a phone.

It’s interesting what you notice, if you stop in one place and zoom in and out with your camera or your brain. My phone is helping me to see things in the world around me that I’ve taken for granted and blanked out.

Today has been a day for noticing how much things have changed since I’ve been alive. Not just non-smoking pubs, coffee bars and CCTV – I was flicking through Microserfs and thinking about how futuristic the email and geek lifestyle seemed in 1995, and how real it is now. And then I came downstairs and found this post from Gogen, about his memories of the 1980s. I said everything else I’ve got to say about that in my comment there.

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7 thoughts on “Signs Of The Times – Portrait Of A British High Street, 2007

  1. Interesting how a single video can produce different reactions in people, depending where they live (among other things, of course). I hope you are aware of that, Rupert, since everything here is, of course, available worldwide.
    For me, the sign about “thieves operating in this area” makes me happy for not living in a huge city any more, but rather in a small one of only 32K ppl. It’s almost impossible anyone will take your phone even if you leave it behind you in a bar over here (probably will run after you and give it back), we haven’t had a car theft for…huh… can’t remember anyone has ever stolen one since I live here in past 7 years, and those few lame burglaries are very quickly solved.
    On the other hand, you have the opportunity to see and record things I so far only wish to visit and see one day (London is my #1 travel priority), as well as many other people, I guess.

    So, it’s a longer one, but this time I wanted to share with you my perspective as well instead of just putting “Woooow, how nice!” Though it is nice, of course 🙂

  2. @Gogen, I think we should do a house swap.

    @Trine, now you’ve got me singing Watching the Detectives, which is an impossible tune to get out of my head.

    @phil I know – and the curious thing is, all this surveillance doesn’t generate a feeling of comfort and safety. i doubt anybody feels any safer at all. Which is maybe part of the point of it.

    @Davidhowell that reminds me of a Gospel song Kate heard a while ago, which had a lyric that went something like “He’s in the SKY! He’s in the FOOOREST! He’s in the CITY! He’s in your HOUSE!”. She really liked it, but it took her a really long time to realize what they were singing about. She’d thought they were singing about some weird guy who kept turning up all over the place. It just didn’t occur to her that it was about God. We live in a Godless country. But that’s OK – we have somebody else watching over us and everything we do.

  3. aah the tranquil sub-suburban english street, a WHSmiths, The Crown & Anchor pub, the….STARBUCKS!!!! THE SIREN WARNS OF GLOBAL CORPORATE TAKEOVER!!!! Oh how things have changed in fair London Towne…reminds me of when I used to work in Hampton

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