Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Sandwich special ops


The biggest village in England bore witness to an unusual new phenomenon that signifies a significant landmark in the history of the cultural integration of and ideological submission to American fast food culture in England. On a rainy afternoon in Cranleigh, Sussex on the last day of April 2008 a SUBWAY sandwich shop was opened
I had nothing to do that day, and like most people in the world, am drawn to the promise of a free meal like a vulture to a carcass. It was in the manner of a vulture that I casually circled the newly built Subway in Cranleigh, waiting for its first opening when for one hour all customers would receive a free 6 inch sub and drink. My strolling past became less casual when I realised how many people were congregating outside the establishment, and suddenly my desire not to seem like a cheapskate, unemployed jackal hunting for scraps was replaced by a primitive instinct to get to the carcass before the other scavengers.
An old man was already arguing with 6 college kids in front of him, attempting to appeal to their sympathies, saying he was busy and needed to get the food quickly. He soon abandoned this angle and pulled rank with his age, furiously scathing the youths for their lack of respect,“a man of my age shouldn’t have to stand in the rain like this. It’s criminal!” The old lion, would have to wait his turn to feed. Younger and stronger rivals had beat him to the kill. The rain fell heavily but the crowd grew, undeterred by the weather, pushing and jostling to get closer. All worried that these other unworthy punters would get the free food that was rightfully and deservedly theirs!
I started to feel more and more ashamed. What was I doing standing shoulder to shoulder with these crazed villagers? it was like a queue for aid distribution in an impoverished third world nation. Suddenly this sleepy old fashioned English village had thrown rural manners and respect for personal space to the curb and was stamping on its face for a poor quality sandwich that would most likely give them the runs. A journalist from the local paper had come to document the spectacle. As he raised a camera to photograph the squealing swine crawling over one another, I covered my face in shame. Finally the doors were open and a mad rush of villagers of all ages, predominantly students from the nearby private school, all rushed forward salivating, their eyes rolling like those of cattle being forced into an abattoir. Finally I had my meatball sub, and like an ape with stolen fruit in hand I battled against the stampede to eat in the safety of my car, where none of the lunatics could get my food! As I left the building I saw a squad car pulling up to control the ever increasing crowd. I have never seen a gathering of any kind in a British village that was not communal in nature, but here the opening of a single fast food restaurant, with the promise of free food to the inhabitants of a relatively wealthy village reduced men to beasts in seconds.
Free giveaways and bargains have a tendency to bring out the beast in the British public, but this event indicated something slightly different. What occurs frequently in the culture of urban environments, occurred in a rural context immediately when an urban establishment was opened in the country. Had the local deli offered free sandwiches I doubt the police would have been called to control the crowds, perhaps the recognized brand name of subway was identified by the villagers in a different way, an impersonal way, in which the manners and customs they would normally uphold in the process of acquiring lunch were immediately discarded?

Mannequin chainsaw massacre


David Firth is the twisted mind behind internet comic phenomena such as the peculiar 'salad fingers' animations and the amusing comedy adventures of young juvenile delinquent 'Devo' the chav. Firth created this artistic stop frame animation yesterday which indicates he may be taking his work in a more artistic direction. He maintains the dark and disorientating atmosphere of his previous videos, as well as the imagery of sex, mutilation and death with an underlying hint of childish humour. (watch in high quality)