Sunday, May 27, 2007

Solidarity with Sibonetic.

As I have previously noted, fellow Doctor Who fan, Plumstead resident, and prolific online journal keeper Simon and I seem to have concurring views on a number of subjects. One thing that has been getting us both rather hot under the collar over the last week or so is the subject of Chelsea Tractors - specifically the Porsche Cayenne. I love off road vehicles such as anything made by Land Rover, Jeep or Tatra. Stuff that loves to get covered in mud, ford rivers and climb impossibly steep slopes. You can tell a genuine working off roader quite easily; even if it has been washed and cleaned you will still find tell tale signs, like moss growing in the window runners (a dead give away, especially in old Landies). So where is this all going, you may wonder? Well, parts of South East London seem to have been blighted over the last couple of years by what the motoring press sometimes refer to as "soft roaders". Big chunky, upright cars that look like they were built by Tonka for small children to play with. The trouble is, they are rubbish off road, and because of their upright stance, pretty poor on road too. I am most definitely not going to get into "Middle Class bashing" as I don't regard soft roaders as a middle class thing - it is more to do with affluence.

Nowadays I don't think money and class share the link they used to. I would consider myself scraping somewhere into the bottom end of middle class, but I have hardly got a penny to spare, yet someone like that spud faced, gurning chimp Wayne Rooney is rich beyond the dreams of avarice, yet firmly rooted in the gutter. You can take the scum out of the slum, but not vice versa. I think class is nowadays far more linked to tastes and aspirations. Affluent Chavs like Rooney and his football - ist chums have the money, but lack taste, discretion or subtlety.

Walking along Plumstead Road, from Plumstead Station, past the long row of run down shops and heading towards Pettman Crescent as I do each afternoon, I recently saw two Porsche Cayennes and a brand new Honda CR-V soft roader, all within no more than ninety seconds. When you consider what a run down and deprived area it is, it makes one wonder where the money to buy such vehicles comes from. A Cayenne retails at between £45 and £82 grand, depending upon model and specification. A lot of money to make a questionable fashion statement. I get the feeling that affinity for the dubious charms of the Cayenne comes from Gangsta Rap videos and the associated "Bling" - (please excuse my language, I cannot abide that term and will not use it again). Quite by coincidence, there is a review of the Cayenne in Today's Sunday Telegraph - you can read the review here. Anyway, please feel free to post comments using the link below this missive, and don't forget to read Simon's Sibonetic Blog as well.

Not long now until the lighting of the ceremonial pipe that signifies the beginning of the annual Chap Olympics in London's Bedford Square. I hope to attend along with a few like minded compatriots. Certainly a change to see some smartly dressed people who understand the power of Tweed.

Ian's other band Oxide are headlining next weekends' annual Farnfest (warning - loud music on this site) in Farnborough, Kent. I will be going along for moral support and liquid sustenance, as it would be churlish not to since the festival's biggest sponsor is Shepherd Neame.

This week also marks the thirtieth anniversary of the release of Star Wars. Goodness that makes me feel old! I remember going to the Woolwich Odeon to see it when it first came out. As anyone who knows me will know, I came out of the cinema a changed little boy. Below is the original cinema trailer, released by a scared movie studio who thought they were releasing a turkey onto the world. From the evidence of this trailer, they had good cause - it absolutely stinks! It is painfully obvious the excerpt was cobbled together from unfinished shots; the sound, special effects, and the iconic music are all missing to one degree or another. To be honest it is a mess, but an instructive one. If you were to release a trailer like this nowadays, it would kill the film. See what you think and comment accordingly.


  1. Hugh,
    thanks again for the kind words about, and links to the blog. Totally agree about the 4x4 comments, ooo's years ago when in the Venture Scouts, the group leader had a long wheelbase Land Rover (now called a defender) which was used to great effect to get us to various obscure locations, and I well remember the moss in the window runners, it didn't go too fast, but it was never stopped by anything.
    See what you mean about the Star Wars trailer, could almost be called trailer trash, only that has a completely different connotation.

    Have to say I was always more of a trekkie that a star wars boy, however in terms of films, the first Star Trek picture, which was probably only made possible by the success of Star Wars 2 years previously, has to be one of the most boring films of all time.
    Hope your bank holiday is more fun than mine,

  2. No one's commented on how bloody UGLY they are most of the time!
    Am I the only one who thinks that it's abit of an oxymoron Porsche doing 4x4’s?? I wouldn’t want or expect Land/Range Rover to make a sports car (mind you the Land Rover Sport is the mutts-nuts! It’s replaced the Vogue as the Gangsters vehicle of choice). Mate of mine used to have a Ford Discovery. It was a US import, V12 MONSTER and very impressive but being in it was so sneckin’ BOOORING. It was like being in a Doctor’s waiting room. Don’t forget Mummy’s need a big 4x4 in Urban London to save little Johnny from all the Paedophiles that roam the streets in packs…

    The Chap Olympics should be a blast Old Chap! I say we combine it with the Dartford Beer Festival on the same day.
    To paraphrase a line from Top Gun “I feel the need, the need for TWEED!”

    Thanks for pointing out Shepard Neame are sponsoring the FarnFest, I’m playing there and I didn’t know! No wonder you were so eager to go!

    Can’t see the trailer at the moment as at work.

  3. Oi, achei teu blog pelo google tá bem interessante gostei desse post. Quando der dá uma passada pelo meu blog, é sobre camisetas personalizadas, mostra passo a passo como criar uma camiseta personalizada bem maneira. Até mais.

  4. Hugh
    Do a lot of native Spanish speakers needing t-shirts read your blog then?

  5. Thanks Simon - I wondered what it said. I have made the deliberate choice not to enable comment moderation, but if I get many unwarranted Spams I will do so.

  6. Did you know you can get 9 small children behind a 4x4 before the driver notices!

    There might be a business opportunity here:

  7. The average 4x4 driver can probably run over 9 small children before the notice anything!

  8. Can't rememeber the film its from but a great line thats always stuck with me was;

    "Do you realise how much damage you'd cause to my vehicle if I ran you down?"

    "No, I have no idea"

    "Absolutly none.."

    AH! i rememeber now its Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galexy, when Arthur Dent lays in front of the bulldozer!

    Oh just saw the Star Wars trailer. Creaky is the best way to discribe it!