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post 17 on Friday 30th March 2007 at 12:00

Run, Itís The Pigs

RobocopWhat is it with Oak Street? Why is it full of lecherous criminal scum? As I type, the Police are hammering down the door of number eleven. Last year my house was stormed by a SWAT team, some on horseback, six on foot (four of which feet made light work of trampling my Convolvulus to oblivion), allowing them to gain access to a house up the road via my back yard. Am I the only person stupid enough to allow such intrusion? Is it the law to let four brick-shit-house Police men storm my palace? As it happened, I was doing something illegal myself at the time, and was highly paranoid. But they didnít get me. Thinking back on it, I neednít have worried. Smoking grass to them is like a walk in the (druggie filled) park compared with the shit they put up with in Middlesbrough.

There are nine houses on this street. Of those houses there are only two that use their yard for anything other than a refuse dumping ground. It annoys me that my local friendly Police service think itís OK to treat us all like dogs. I blame Ray Mallon and his Robocop tactics. What can you do? Smile, say "yes officer" and keep smoking your drugs to block it all out?

I think a society makes itself, say what? Knock it all down. Great stuff.

tags: [ 13 oak street ] [ boro ] [ crime ] [ domestics ] [ ray mallon ] [ south bank ]
post 35 on Friday 8th June 2007 at 11:31

How The Boro Got Its Mayor

How the Boro got its MayorFurther to a perhaps obsessive interest in Ray Mallon, Mayor of Middlesbrough; and partly triggered by a speech I received from Ray in my first year at Uni, I have created this short animation, which offers an alternative scenario to Middlesbroughís first manís arrival in this world. I was given a very loose brief for a 30 second web-based animation from my lecturer. Perhaps dangerously loose.

May I also take this opportunity to thank my kind boys who supplied support, voices, tea and audio editing - cheers sweeties! You are AMAZING!

tags: [ animation ] [ boro ] [ culture ] [ jokes ] [ online ] [ ray mallon ] [ university of teesside ]
post 41 on Saturday 4th August 2007 at 02:27

Crimes Against Normality

A youthOK so you've probably heard by now some of the sagas connected to the criminal damage that's been too regular a feature in my life over the last 9 months.

When I first moved to South Bank, I couldn't quite understand what the fuss was about. Criminal damage? Surely if you had an alarm on the house, an adequate insurance package, and the right attitude towards keeping the locals happy, everything would be OK?

I clearly just didn't get it.

These aren't hardened criminals looking for heists on Grannies Wedgwood figurines, nor are they in any way associated with some romanticised idea of bygone robberies Ė bags of swag and harmless goons and all that.

No, these are obnoxious and wicked kids; a group of young lads no older than 18, who maraud the streets of South Bank in the small hours with a mťlange of weaponry including knives, chains, and bricks.

It started off with the breaking of the rear passenger window of my trusty Ford Mondy. I came down one morning to find it had been smashed through, yet amazingly, not a thing had been taken from the inside (which incidentally contained the CD player which I'd forgotten to unhide from the glove box, and a good fifty CDs). Although a relatively harmless incident, I think this first time perhaps felt the worst for me, as I gained the realisation that I was no longer living within a crime-free bubble. It hit me quite hard, but I tried to make sense of it by stashing it away in my brain under "one-off incidents".

To err on the side of caution, I was now sure to lock the car away every evening. But even locking it in the alley every night wasn't enough to protect it from my local friendly hooligans: no Ė they somehow managed to manoeuvre their red house bricks over the 8ft alley gate to land beautifully and gracefully upon my rear windscreen, rendering it down to the shards and cubes that would later become wedged in my backside.

On a third occasion, my front windscreen was broken too.

Then the abuse on the house started, and I waved goodbye to any sense of security, whilst desperately trying to figure out how I could raise the £200+ needed to repair the window. Luckily, a friend of 13 Oak was able to help, and the whole debacle cost just pounds to straighten out.

But now, as I sit here protecting what is left of my belongings; with two broken bay windows and three slashed tyres, I start to see the severity of the situation. Not only do I lose a days pay, hours of sleep, and quality time with my fella; I also have lost my peace of mind. Because I canít explain why four or five youths would target my house, break the windows, and slash my car tyres at 1.30am, and be seen on the horizon; brandishing a blow torch in my general direction. What makes me stand out amongst my neighbours?

I certainly have things they donít have: I have a car, I have a job: two very normal things, in a normal society. I have a way out of here. They are stuck here indefinitely.

And so I sit here at 2.00am, sipping coffee to keep myself awake, jumping at every noise, and unable to get into my own bed to sleep for fear of being attacked. I can't use my car. I canít get to my job. And what have they gained? Do they feel happier for stripping me of my ability to keep moving forward? I doubt it.

But maybe this is the push I need, to help me move forward, to make me see I am different and that it's better that way. I don't belong here, sad to say. It's not a crime to be normal.

So Monday I pay a visit to the Citizen's Advice Bureaux. I find out how I can get out of here, and I go. So you see, young thugs, you're actually doing me a favour. Bet even your own Mums' didnít think you would be so helpful. Cheers lads.

tags: [ 13 oak street ] [ boro ] [ class divide ] [ crime ] [ rants ] [ south bank ]
post 53 on Thursday 7th February 2008 at 22:05

Fire the Graphic Designer!

Stupid, just stupidI pity the company that hired this piss poor signage creator. Does the pitiful excuse for a logo in the circled bit look at all familiar? It may well do - because it's the default logo that Microsoft Office used to provide in their standard templates within Word, Publisher, etc.

Not only does this attempt at a logo feature the formless pyramid graphic, it also still has the default word "Organisation" written beneath. Worse, they changed the font as if to make a further mockery of uniqueness.

Poor old Prodrive. As you can see, their main logo is a bit Publisher as well. They really should reconsider their choice of graphic designer. I'm really embarrassed for Prodrive. Their graphic designer is either a total newb or clearly saw them coming. With a logo that shit, happenchance they'll be the only people who'll see them coming.

tags: [ advertising ] [ boro ]