I was grooving to the Verve remixed series on the way in today. Damn good bunch of records those. And it struck me somewhere near allied carpets, that's in essence what I do; take a product, add / move / remove the original to come up with a new product, based around the original. There are limits to the analogy, but go with me.
Everybody Loves the Sunshine. Roy Ayres. Remixed into rolling critical motion by 9th Wonder. What I love most about this track is the digital click left in at the point at which the music is cut to be looped. Exposing the craft is traditionally seen as bad craft. Make it as smooth as possible, that's what you're taught - if the audience doesn't notice what you've done, you've succeeded. So we go and put in the dusty crackle of a stylus to make a track sound like it's taken from vinyl, or add a film grain to hide the clean lines of digital video.
Well next time, I'm going to leave in the idiosyncracies of our digital world (or at lease use it as a conceit) - the clicks, the drop out. Who knows, maybe we'll come to love them as much as we do the peculiarities of the analog world. We can already pretend we've scribbled something out made a mistake.
I hate squirrels. Rather, I hate grey squirrels. They trick the world with their scampering and nibbling. People think they're cute. Well let me tell you, they alone are responsible for the decimation of their more polite British cousins. And there isn't a vegetable alive that sleeps soundly near the habitat of a nefarious grey squirrel.
So I was pretty upset to hear her majesty's police force flexing their muscles about the disposal of squirrels. You see, they're vermin, and as such, if you catch one, it's illegal to then release them. Good stuff. Only it turns out , you can't drown them. I have an allotment holder friend - I'll call him Paul (that's his name) - who's been sending them into a peaceful aquatic slumber for years. Now it seems, he's nothing more than a common criminal. I'd be lying if I said I didn't have my suspicions.
Luckily, there is help at hand. A great piece in the Observer this week shone a light on the work of the Red Squirrel Protection Partnership. A toll of twenty odd thousand so far, and the filling of fancy London eateries with squirrel meat is the most effective form of direct action I've come across in years. More effective than a million strong march anyway.
It seems, after all, guns can be the answer. Imagine.
Batten down the hatches, grow your own vegetables and buy some tinned tuna. The world's in a spectacularly boring economic freefall, and we're all in trouble. And if you're feeling smug because you didn't give your money to the outcast vikings, don't, because your house is next.
The housing market has crashed a MASSIVE 13.5% in the last year. BOOM! there goes your left leg. BANG! that's most of the North East. RATATAT! BAE just made a killing.
Except, the housing market hasn't crashed. If you bought your home less than five years ago, chances are, it's still worth more than what you paid for it. Here's a sentence taken from the Guardian in August 2006:
Last year growth in house prices slowed sharply after years of double-digit increases.
Let's just read that again
...years of double-digit increases.
Why is nobody in the mainstream media talking about a correction? The housing market was out of control; any article from any paper in the summer of 2006 will tell you that. Indeed, it represents everthing that got us into the mess that's lining Robert Peston's pockets now.
Here's the same paper bewailing the current financial woes this month:
House prices fell at a record rate during the year to the end of September, losing 13.3% of their value, Halifax said today.
Figures from the UK's largest mortgage lender show the average price of a home has fallen further in the past 12 months than it did in the property crash of the early 1990s.
Between May 1989 and August 1995, the Halifax index shows the average price dropped by 13.2% from £70,247 to £60,965.
Now the bubble has burst, we're back to the bad old days. Soon we'll be eating coal. Or we would be if they hadn't shut down the mines.
I know that there are people who have had their hands burned by buy-to-let investment, but some of us, who weren't given a ridiculous loan by the banks, and who entertain the novel notion of living in their home, still have a few walls and a roof worth more than a twix and a curly-wurly. And even if your house does fall in value, you're still locked into a system. A system that deals in percentages. If you want to buy a bigger house, you're in luck, because a bigger house with a bigger pricetag will fall more than a smaller house, thus making it more affordable for you.
Not only that; now the Brown ranger has ridden into town on his fancy eyebrowed steed. The banks are lending again (or re-acquainting us with our money). With any luck, the first time buyers with a decent deposit will soon borrow the money they need, and house prices will fall to something approaching reasonable levels. But if you listen to Peston (who until now hasn't had much work since the Day Today ended), we're still 'not out of the woods', there's possibly 'worse to come' and things may still 'disappear down the toilet'.