John Walker's Electronic House

by on Jun.12, 2005, under The Rest

Walcot Nation Day.

First, let me explain Walcot Street. It is one of the parts of Bath that makes me love it so – it’s the place where the knitted toilet was found, along with favourite coffee shop, Doolallys. It’s also one of the places I can really dislike, especially the lame-ass top end with its “ooh, look at us – we sell thing with marijuana leaves on them, and mushrooms, and we’re so terribly cutting edge and naughty.” No you’re not – you’re a pathetic Glastonbury stand writ Bathstone, and the only people you impress are those as embarrassingly naive as you.

Walcot Nation Day is: The Day Those People Take Over.

It’s the close of the Bath Fringe Festival. The festival is a great thing, lots of interesting events and smaller bands playing even smaller venues, but it reaches its self-celebrating climax by closing Walcot Street to cars, and offering people the chance to spend the day feeling oh-so terribly maverick in the way they really just don’t care about the rules! Man! And if only this were irony. On the small stage near the bottom, a sad, charasma-free man stood shouting into a microphone, encouraging the dwindling crowds to shout “WALCOT WAIVES THE RULES!” Do you see what he did there? This is made only more sad by the whimpering dishcloth of a t-shirt he’s stretching over a body that years ago might have fit within, bearing the very same child’s-play on words, scrawled at a jaunty angle across a red brick wall. They’re just WACKY!

If you’ve ever hurried through the Greenpeace fields at Glastonbury, you’ll know exactly what you managed to avoid. Middle class, middle aged couples, breaking out the tie-dye a whole fortnight early this year, the nasty little ratty ponytail pulled outside of his collar this afternoon, both in the sandals they think demonstrate their wild abandon. Everyone’s looking so very pleased with themselves, and you know why? Because they’re smoking a joint, AND THEY DON’T CARE WHO KNOWS! Except, of course, they care very much who knows, frantically looking around to make sure everyone’s noticing their brave flaunting of the law.

I wanted to walk around handing out bras. For goodness sakes, stop it. You could hurt someone, or more likely yourself. It’s not a symbol of your freedom – it’s the reason you have sore knees.

So many people there look as though they might be really attractive, were it not for the fact that they’re clearly five recyclable cartons short of a low-wheat, alcohol-free six pack. That look of desperation to be a maverick, to cling on to some concept of the hippy they once saw on a documentary about Woodstock, and wished they could be like as soon as they could take a week off from the office.

Which is to say nothing of the belly dancers.

I have an instinctive loathing of so-called fashionable, zeitgeist weekday evening activities, that occupy those denied of imagination. While belly dancing manages to stop short of the pure, undiluted evil that is, bah, line dancing (It’s how Hitler would organise a dance. “YOU VILL STAND IN ZE STRAIGHT LINEZ AND DANCE ZE EXACT ZAME VAY”), it’s possibly far more ill-advised for the sagging parade who attend. Wherever music was played, the screeching gaggle of cellulite and sequins shuffled its way to the front, and began their foul writhing soup of jangles and squishing noises.

Wretched. I want to stress, as I feel my opinions could be misconstrued from the above: I think people should be allowed to wear whatsoever they wish, wherever they desire. My issue is with people who wear exactly what they so misguidedly think makes them interesting, as soon as they see something so exotic as a falafel stall. Go home. Get dressed.

10 Comments for this entry

  • Jonh

    Bloody hell John. So much hate. Chill out.

  • John

    It’s ok Jon. President Bush and Tony BLIARs were there too, and they said that war was “ace”.

  • Bobsy

    I think Hitler could be a great coreographer. You just didn’t give him a chance.

  • Grill

    Being alternative can only go so far, is that right? And people aren’t allowed to express complexity in their conception and portrayal of themselves. Think of the way we unfairly stereotyped you before we knew you properly as “Christian John”, and think about how you’ve just written about people who were just enjoying themselves.

    And you hate the Welsh. Tch.

  • Chiarina, tree-hugging hippie if ever there was one

    I wish you could have seen the belly dancer I saw at the Cowley road carnival on Saturday, I bet we could have checked whether the ground was level by seeing if dribble was coming out of both sides of your mouth at once. How can you stand in judgement upon people who most certainly could not give a toss about whether you thought they were interesting or were trying to hard to be interesting, and rather were just being themselves and being happy. I say if you had been happy you wouldn’t even have noticed. Get out more. Have fun. And wear a ridiculous hat and try being nasty to other people…it’s impossible! If only someone had given Hitler a huge funky-foam top hat covered in flowers, world history would have been very different.

  • John

    Thank goodness you said “Get out more”, or I might have bothered to think about what you said.

  • Rev. S Campbell

    “Chiarina”? That’s a bit of a stupid name, isn’t it?

  • Grill

    (Flamewar!) Don’t worry John, I don’t think anyone ever thought for a moment that you might take anything anyone else said seriously. ;) Are you wearing a ridiculous hat at the moment?

    And you *still* hate the welsh. All posts invalid!

  • Kieron Gillen

    After checking out her site, Chiarina is a lot hotter than John, so she wins.

    Sexual objectification if the only way to end an argument conclusively.