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Made in Shoreditch

I also contribute a weekly column to Made in Shoreditch magazine called 'Old East End/New East End', where I look at the relationship between the East End of old and new, looking at the changes and the stalwarts in landscape, residents and culture, focussing on one street or district each week. You can find it here.

Channel 4

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Over here in Britain we have a bit of a thing going on. Since, roughly, the early noughties, people have been aspiring to be something. They all want to be foodies... or, oddly, property developers. There is a reason for this.

The Iron Lady

Since the 1980s and the reign of Maggie Thatcher as our PM, the country has never quite got rid of the idea of the 'yuppy' from it's psyche. The idea of owning your own home, drinking in wine bars and eating in swish restaurants is still ingrained in a huge number of the population. The problem is, many of these people are devoid of any real 'cultural capital'. If they could spout off at will about their favourite Dostoyevsky work or tell you the political implications of Orwell's Animal Farm, then there aspirations towards middle class sensibilities would hold a bit of weight. Many of them, however, and I realise I am generalising here, can only spout off about how asparagus and butternut squash work in a white wine risotto, or the potential of a three bed semi in Reading or somewhere equally boring.

This is where our TV station Channel 4 comes in. It's pretty much there fault. They commission such shows at Gordon Ramsay's F Word and Location, Location, Location. What these shows do is give people who work in 'sales' or 'estate agency' ('real estate' in the US) or in the catering industry the idea that they are 'professionals'. They see Kirsty and Phil from the aforementioned Location... and Sarah Beeny from these property developer shows and instantly feel a rapport.

Why? Well, as I've said, since Thatcher people here are obsessed with pretentiousness. Channel 4 gives them this pretentious programming (love a bit of alliteration) and these morons watch it and lap it up.

Funny Estate Agent Video

There really is no future whilst England's dreaming. Cheers Rotten, you were right.