So, today started well – a trip to Guildford, to the ACM to give a masterclass to their degree students on self promotion and marketing. Much of it was about readjusting their expectations regarding what is likely to be an income stream and what isn’t, and where to put your energies in terms of your attempts at promotion – ie. musical contacts and gigs = good, myspace friends lists with a million bands on that don’t even know who you are = bad. Lots of talk about where we discover new music, where we find things, and what we feel inspired to buy and to go and see live. A successful morning.
Home for a few hours, then out to teach. New student in east london, good lesson, but the place where he’d said I was fine to park wasn’t… AND I GOT CLAMPED!!! And not by the local council, not for blocking a drive or taking up a much needed space. No, by some venal scumbag private clamping firm, who charged a £100 release fee. It felt like my car had be broken into – there were no visitors parking spaces that I could see (and clearly even the non-car owning residents hadn’t read the signs about the parking, that’s how well displayed they were) but there were also hardly any cars belonging to residents.
If I get a normal parking ticket for running over, or chancing it somewhere, fair enough – that’s £30, you pay it, it’s a shame, but whatever. Not on private estates in Tower Hamlets. Oh no, there trainee nazis dole out clamps… Has there ever been a more self-defeating device than the wheel clamp. You not supposed to park here, so we’ll IMMOBILISE YOUR CAR – huh??? you’ll keep me stuck in the place I’m not supposed to be. Surely if I’m not supposed to be there, there’s a reason why I shouldn’t be, like it’s blocking something, or I’m taking someone’s much needed space. No, that’s all bollocks, it’s just a bunch of bastards who clamp for fun. Like wasps who according to legend sting just for fun (how on earth do you measure the fun quota of anything in a wasp? or for that matter, a clamper…)
To be fair, the kids who came to unclamp it were obviously in their first job, just trying to get on, clearly embarrassed and uncomfortable at what their role was, and the one kid did try his absolute best to get the stickers of the windscreen without leaving any residue behind. Do the firm give them any solvent to remove the sticky stuff? do they fuck.
I wonder what the legality is of carrying around bolt-cutters and removing it yourself? I’m pretty certain that their jurisdiction can’t extend beyond the private property they operate on. The stickers all say ‘it is an offense to try and remove the clamp’ – but lots of things are an offense. Celine Dion is an offense, Kevin Costner films are an offense. Neither sadly are in any way officially criminal acts.
I ought to just put a big notice on my car saying ‘it is an offense to clamp this car’ – I’m fucking offended by it! filthy scum. Why on earth is it legal? It’s a disaster waiting to happen – you need the car to take someone to hospital, to escape a mugger, to do all kinds of things, and some tosser has come round and chained a bloody great metal triangle to your wheels… grrrrrrr, it makes me so annoyed! (can you tell) – and it’s not as if I’ve got a spare £100 to just throw away on such trivial bollocks.
Anyway, the evening ended on a much brighter note (well, not that much brighter, seeing as I’d forgotten my ordinary glasses when I left home so was wandering around Brick Lane at 11 o’clock wearing sunglasses – who’s the twat trying to look like Bono? That’ll be me then…) – it ended with the lovely Showbiz (or whatever the name is that I’ve given her this week), and Chambers, then back to casa showbiz for mac-geekness and ladies’ tea.