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We’re All Semi Detached.

August 10, 2011

Last week’s blog was about those around us in the theatre. How their behaviour can affect how much we enjoy the show, and how important it is to do everything possible to leave nobody out when an audience is formed.

Events in Tottenham and elsewhere only serve to underline how, though we are all close together, we can be so far apart.

It’s pretty easy to understand how grief can make a family choose to make a public protest. It’s also pretty easy to understand how rumours begin and lead to such an escalation of events.

What isn’t so easy to figure out is just when we ended up with so many small groups who don’t seem to communicate very easily.

The internet brings people together – I chat to hundreds of people around the world that I never would have known any other way – but it also fosters the kind of problems seen those few days ago. Without such instantaneous communication, I do wonder if fewer people would have become involved in the subtle art of televisual liberation from closed shops.

On the other hand, it was heartening how communities came together in the following days to clean up and defend themselves. It shows, I guess, the opposite is also true – as indeed it is with audiences – that a few can bind many together.

For what it’s worth, I’d honestly say a lot of what the TV media has been showing is, as usual, what’s ‘photogenic’ rather than reality. Hoards of police standing about isn’t as good as a shop ablaze, is it, when viewing figures are at stake?

There’s also the ridiculous nature of rumour. According to one I heard yesterday, somebody’s friend (who lives near it) reported my local library was burning… I took a walk that way last night… guess what… aside from somebody in the next road having a garden bonfire, my suburb remained as usual. A suburb.

Perhaps time we brought back the old “Careless Talk Costs Lives” and prosecuted morons for spreading this stuff, I’d say.

Anyway, for those reading this and thinking of staying out of London, my advice is “Don’t Worry.” Trouble is confined to the sort of places you wouldn’t want to go or need to be in, and control is now firm – with any miscreants being dealt with quickly and effectively. It’s still summer, there’s still plenty of great shows on and some good hotel deals. Treat yourselves.

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