Monday, July 19, 2010

You've never seen anything like it


On the listing of Central Milton Keynes in the Guardian (scroll down - and I should point out 'concrete monstrosities' was originally in scare-quotes). Via another forum, Robin Carmody put the whole thing in pithier and more historical terms, and I quote:

MK came to be perceived as a quintessential Thatcherite town, it was as if you had to hate it if you hated Thatcherism and vice versa (vide Style Council "mine is the semi with the Union Jack on" &c) which was a real travesty of the town's original ideas. No other settlement in the history of the UK, probably, has become so identified with a set of values wholly antithetical to those on which it was founded, right down to the way it ended up symbolising the Americanisation/franchising of English football. And that, no doubt, is the reason why the people who run the place don't want to admit that this stuff is of value: they've built their reputation post-82 as a neoliberal epicentre of short-term, franchised capitalism with a garnish of fake heritage kitsch, and they can't stand being reminded that the town was ever supposed to be anything else.

12 Comments:

OpenID yorksranter said...

Good piece. I note that the Grauniad not only managed to refer to "rain-stained concrete hulks" in a piece about a glass curtain-walled light steel frame building, but also promised "bewildered locals" in the lead without quoting any or indeed giving any evidence of such bewilderment. Ahhh, journalism.

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Anonymous kosmograd said...

"wouldn't it be nice, if all cities were like Milton Keynes" is still the best advert ever made.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XfSoZ6_x7kk

6:10 pm  
Blogger Jonathan Clarke said...

Whenever I think of Milton Keynes (and the shopping centre in particular), I'm always reminded of Cliff Richard's video for 'Wired for Sound':

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sn9mLnKmPco

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"One can only hope that Elephant and Castle shopping centre – another key regeneration zone – isn't next on the list."

One can only hope.

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