Thursday, 5 February 2009

London, baby!

All right, so we are not the capital of cool (New York) nor are we coveted with stunning natural surroundings (Hong Kong). We don't have beauty (Paris) or functionality (Singapore). We do not have that rawness to ourselves (Sydney) and nor do we have a sense of civilisation to build upon (Mexico City/Cairo). A continent does no look to us to lead them (Lagos) we are not even the biggest city on the planet (Tokyo).

But what the hell, after this weeks hilarious snowfall, I have a new sense of love for this city. It may not be the world's greatest place, and the people that run this city are so incompetent that they would screw up a cup of tea, but sod it, it's home. And not a bad home too. Although I am the first to slag it off, my response is if you don't like it and are not paying taxes, then sod off. Only hard pressed tax payers have the roght to grumble. For the rest of you, go sun yourself in a city that is predictably boring.

For London is a city that is unpredictable. I know its quirks, its little bits of personality that pop up in the distance. What makes London different from the other cities, its collection of humanity. That market by the airport, the location (and the story) I will film at, the fish from Brixton, the river in Kingston, that Nightbus to Morden, those babes in the early morning, the sights, sounds, tastes and textures that you will not find in any other city.

London will never claim the 'greatest' tag, simply as this is one confused and heterogenous city. It really does suck in the saps of humanity, and unlike other urban centres, does not sing and shout from the roof-tops about it. But unlike many other places, there really is a human touch to the city.

We got a tough few years coming to us. This city is really going to struggle to come out of the mess that it got itself into. And it will not be easy, as our entire economy is being turned inside out. What will happen in the next few years will be interesting, and quite possibly could be disastrous for many people. But my belief is that this is a golden opportunity for those that want to grab it. It is going to change the status quo more than any other even since the Big Bang. But unlike that revolution, this is going to crush down a lot of institutions. What rises up in its place, I cannot predict. But if Monday's great skive is anything to go by, then it is going to be a mixture of fun and frolics for those that want to do it...

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