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financial districts and everyday life: a fragment

with 3 comments

Had to look up a place on Google Maps a few days ago, and came across this “user review”:

Went weeks before to sample canapes, some served on the night were not the std. we tried – Arancini tasted like absolutely nothing. Specified music we’d like the DJ to play weeks before as well; on the night he played few songs people wanted, when we went up to ask for 80s he said he wasn’t allowed to play it (although we said we’d like some when we first met Laura, the manager/operator)!? After repeated attempts to get the music changed he just said that what we were asking wasn’t really his speciality! It was agreed security would tick people off the list and hand out the drink tokens on arrival but on the night the security guy refused to do both so we had to have someone handing out the tokens while he found names (and he still took an age). One bartender had some serious attitude – asked if my drink was a double, to which he replied, “who’s the bartender, me or you?”(!!!). At the end of the night there were two security staff (or one and his mate), at the front door but weren’t opening it to let people out as they left, just talking to eachother and texting. Venue itself is funky, however wouldn’t book it for a work do again, maybe just go there for an afterwork drink?

Not sure why, but I find it hilarious and fascinating. When we were in grad school, the fad for cultural studies cum textual materialism was starting, and we spent lots of time looking at printed near-detritus from the 18th Century. By trade, I’m a canonical modernist – one who works on the big obvious novels – but there is a part of me tempted to start forging some sort of real-time Arcades Project out of fragments like the above. Feels like the electronic version of something scrawled on the outer wall of a taberna in Pompeii…

Written by adswithoutproducts

February 22, 2011 at 6:14 pm

3 Responses

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  1. […] Here is a blog post in which the author compares reviews on sites like Google Maps (or, of course, horrible places like Citysearch and Yelp) to the fragments that Benjain collected for his Arcades Project. Now the author seems (from his post’s title, at least) to be amused primarily by the insight the “review” grants into the psyches of the dramatically overentitled, but I think it’s also intriguing inasmuch as our banker-hero decides that a place is cool, and then the obvious next step is to mold the place to her/his tastes. Everything homogenizes so much that you might as well remake all of it after your own tastes. Horrible, really. […]

  2. Sorry – there was a weird misdirected comment on here yesterday. Hit the wrong box at the wrong time.


    February 25, 2011 at 4:05 pm

  3. cf Robert Fitterman’s SPRAWL (MakeNow Press) for a model of what you’re imagining—-appropriated chatroom reviews, structured in the form of the modern mall….


    February 28, 2011 at 9:36 am

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