Ya know, the only problem with ‘NaganTouring in a 48 Pontiac Woodie (apart from occasionally having to deal with the irate/disconsolate ‘Darlings’ one neglected to invite) is that they’re Darn!ThirstyBeasts. Which means, sooner or later (usually, sooner) it’s FillErUP!Time… (as opposed to MillersTime – which one ought never to do when in charge of mechanical contrivances in motion; which, come to think it, as ‘catch-all phrases’ go – could include some rather unusual appliances; but I digress [just this once. -ed.]).
Accordingly, following a recent sojourn exploring the ‘delights’ of Highway97’s assorted RoadSideAttractions/Signage. Imagine, just imagine ‘TheHorror!’ upon discovering that your BigBlockV8 is now reciprocating on mere vapour – and you’re about to experience the GloomyMisfortune of gliding into…
As in No SingingTexacoGuyz. No Pumps & Definitely NoGas.
Now, as it happens, there is a good reason why the current PesosPerLitre signage has been ‘blacked out’ at this PitStop…
And it just might have something to do… with whatever it is that’s on the other side of that hoarding. Let’s have a look, shall we?
OhGoodie! RSVP! Have we just been invited to Partay!… @UrbanLiving?
But, “Hey! Just a minute now – this is WestBank. So where the Heck’s The’Urban’?”
Leaving that issue aside, for the moment, upon closer inspection (the kind that reveals the spreading cracks in this faded DevelopersDreamSignage) we discover that this is, regrettably, yet another incitement to ClimbAboard the PreSalesCondoTrain.
Albeit… in this particular instance, a superfluous/obsolete ‘invitation’. For, not surprisingly given the region, the CondoDreams of UrbanLiving’s Montréal QC Developer DevMcGill®, are… Defunct.
Of course, as with all such disappointments… There are consequences.
For example, there are a lot more WestBankers hand-washing their cars themselves these days…
And, more’s the pity, no chance to reprise BackToTheFuture’s superlative retro ‘50’s ‘FullService’ sequence either.
So. What’s an aspiring WestBank, BreakingBad, ‘WalterWhite’ type – looking for a cash business to masquerade his horticultural earnings – to do? Especially, when you allow that the only ‘vacant’ CarWash/GasStation in town is frozen in legal limbo.
‘Better Call Sol’, I guess. Unless…
Yeah! There is a restaurant. Heck, there’s a WholeDarnedStripMall!
Loads ‘a possibilities here! Could work.
Hmmm. Better check out those interiors, though – cause ya never know, do ya. Caveat emptor, and all that stuff.
Ah. Just as well we decided to Peek‘nPoke… Judging by the abandoned air mattress, broken glass and somewhat haphazard arrangement of dusty colonial furnishings – what was once a popular restaurant has been reduced to a temporary refuge for the circumspect (but, presumably, handy with tools) homeless.
Just look at all those stacked/discarded menus. One can almost see them now… The Wives n’ Daughters of The’Nagan. Those effusively fulsome and ebulliently perky purveyors of GrilledSurf&Turf! Rushing to and fro, juggling enormous platters and steaming stainless pot’s ‘o java. Each and every gal lovingly adorned in a fetching, freshly scrubbed ‘PeachQueen@TheProm’ themed ‘CattleCountry’ uniform.
Well, it’s a nostalgic thought, ain’t it?
Yep, “CattleCountry” it once was… but, sadly, there ain’t no RibEyes, Tbones or Lobster a sizzlin’ here. Anymore.
Still – it does afford us a splendid excuse/opportunity to explore the broader implications…
‘Cause, “CattleCountry”, as any aspiring actor could tell ya, or for that matter, anyone who’s ever experimented with OnLineDating in the ‘hinterlands’… is, subliminally at least, an apt moniker for a ‘Nagan eatery.
Even an abandoned one.
And here’s why – because it is also suggestive of that apt turn of phrase from ‘TheShowBiz’, “The Cattle Call”.
So, getting right down to the NittyGritty – it doesn’t take an enormous leap of imagination to equate a Developers’ clarion invitation to StrokeTheSteel & GraspTheGranite to a casting director’s MassAudition (usually to find the perfect DancingTomato, for ‘scale’). Or, for that matter, to the OnLine Catalogues ‘o The Forlorn maintained by the FieldsMedal winning entrepreneurs of SocialMedia. [we're still with ya, but only just. - ed.]
Regardless, it all amounts to pretty much the same thing… The aggregated exploitation of the ‘vulnerable’ and/or blissfully ignorant.
And, more specifically, the relentless commoditization of people and their dreams.
Well, at the risk of driving a “Steak” through the Heart ‘o those dreams… (or barricading them with welded steel security grilles)… The ‘answer’ just might be…
That some things are best left ‘unsold’. Not hyped. Not marketized. Not ‘traded’.
..& lest we collectively succumb to the temptation of ‘BlameCasting’, however… how about a little reflexive introspection first?
In the LookingGlass. All of us.
For, to quote the MostEstimable Chinese President Hu JinTao’s enthusiastic address to an impressive assembly of the PartyFaithful earlier this year:
“We must go deep down. We must immerse ourselves in the reality!”
“Good night, and good luck” [google that, All – you’ll like it.]
Photos and commentary for the ‘BlastRadius’ series by ‘Nemesis’.
[Images Ⓒ2011 ‘Nemesis’ – All Rights Reserved]
[Once in a while, it's good to give your brain a workout. Keeps you 'agile'. -ed.]