...along with industrialised sport and industrialised war (and also education, industrialised or not) and commercialised broadcasting and newspapers...
As I write this list of dreadful aspects of our culture I wonder if there is anything good to set beside them?
The air is cooling fast under an almost clear sky. In a few minutes I will walk through the funfair, fortunately silent (there are two or three days before it opens). It will be interesting to see what impression I get of the thing itself - as opposed to these remembered impressions.
'Revisiting the world, number 1'. (I've been thinking of writing my impressions of the whole culture and, as I walked through the grasses, I decided that this little encounter could be the start of it).
'The Phantom Chase'
These names reminded me of the innocuous fairgrounds of my youth - which I enjoyed - I remember particularly the 'Wall of Death' in which motorcyclists drove round the inside wall of a large cylinder - and sometimes there was a motorcycle with side-car in which was a tamed (and perhaps frightened?) lion - but I never actually saw it from the audience seats at the top of the cylinder - perhaps my parents thought it was too dangerous, or too expensive, or perhaps too disgusting? - I guess that today it would be banned!
A life size airbrush painting of two young women, in bikinis, embracing each other while turning to look directly at the spectator - they accompanied a ride which was called 'Shock to the System' - how odd to see such a phrase, a technical term from medicine perhaps, used here just for its 'shock value', along with a commercialised picture of lesbianism!
As I walked between the closed and silent rides and sideshows I felt that nothing was ghastly, nor indicative of dreadful culture - I felt that all these things were quite modest and tame and even sad or pathetic... the 'Chiller Thriller' (a still folded-up sideshow) - and then the signs advertising 'Hot Roast Pork' and 'Candy Floss' - 'just people struggling to make a living', I thought... and then I noticed a silver 4-wheel drive... and then several new-looking cars... and then one of the many diesel electric generators that are the power sources that make it all work, noisy and smokey and absolutely essential - and then I saw that even such old-fashioned things as 'Toffee Apples' and also 'Popcorn' are still a feature fairgrounds today...
'This isn't BAD!', I thought to myself - it's no worse than the trip to the moon - in their form some of the gadgets resemble the moon-lander (except for their colours and crude decorations) - and the moon trip was perhaps no more scientific than are these machines that exist only to generate 'thrills'.
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