London Calling ? Tell it I’m busy.

As Obnoxio The Clown rather neatly summarised :

If a man is tired of London, he must be tired of life, some Londonophile once wittered. He was definitely talking out of his fucking arsehole.

And slightly less than a week later, that was still true.

Even Charlie Brooker, whom I hold in some regard despite his being a Guardian columnist, pours scorn upon it this week :

London which, from my current perspective, consists almost entirely of looming grey building-shaped objects constructed from bin lids and misery.

So, London sucks. But how does London suck ? Let me enumerate the ways :


To start with London almost always smells of piss. Partly because there usually isn’t enough wind to blow away the ammonia fumes from all those late night impromptu lamp post wettings. If you live in London, you almost certainly don’t realise this, because your nasal receptors will be saturated with strangers’ urine, and even if they weren’t, you wouldn’t be able to smell anything anyway because after only three or four hours in our nation’s supposedly great capital you’ll be sneezing black shit out of your sinuses for days. The air quality is quite simply that bad.


London’s public transport and comms infrastructure is frankly antediluvian. There’s no cell reception even in the stations, haven’t you Neanderthals down there heard of pico cells ? Even the Geordies have them. Once you’re above ground call quality is the worst for any urban area I’ve ever been in, and I notice these things. It’s all hiss crackle and chop, an artefact of Time Division Multiplexing being stretched to capacity. For instance, if you pause while you’re talking, the cell will sense the silence and give your time slots to someone else, causing your conversation to drop out, which may explain some of the ways that London’s denizens behave while on the telephone.

Tube, Train and Bus Station wise, with a few exceptions, everything else is falling to bits, or being knocked down and replaced with branches of M&S which gives much the same impression. Don’t try to go to the toilet at Kings Cross. It will cost 30p. You’d think that with all the traffic through Kings Cross all those 30ps would add up to a tidy sum that would be enough to keep the toilets clean, and you might be right, but instead TFL use all the 30ps to buy extra piss smell and pipe it in through the air conditioning.

Things To Do
None. Seriously. If you’ve been a couple of times and done the tedious tourist stomp around the museums you won’t find anything you can’t do at home, only it will be much more expensive for reasons you won’t find anybody able to explain.

Someone at the back is shouting about art’n’culture. Rubbish. Especially in art terms London is way behind the curve. Anything that gets shown in London has almost certainly been touring first to build up a rep. If you want bleeding edge contemporary work, London is the wrong place to look. Ditto theatre. Exceptions are made, obviously, for the crapulous likes of Emin and Hurst, but who wants to see their hideous shit anyway ?

The London eye is nice to look at, but is it really worth 11 quid to spend half hour finding out just how grim London looks if you can see nearly all of it of once ? Or to find out just how long is to long to be locked in a tiny glass bubble with a screaming child ?

London is entirely populated by stroppy wankers. This may seem contentious and rude at first, but it is basically impossible to be in London for more than a few minutes and not become a stroppy wanker. Especially if you use the tube. Your first time on the Tube, when you get on, you think “My god, this terrible, all these people are so rude!” by the time you get off, you’ll be ready to kick an old lady in the face if she delays you getting to the platform for more than two seconds.

In summary then …

London is overcrowded, over priced, over hyped, full of stroppy wankers and it smells of wee.

Look London, your population density is just to high for your physical and tech infrastructure, some of you are going to have to move.

Which brings me to the genuinely contentious subject of optimum population metrics, which caused a bit if a stir when it was discussed over at Landed Underclass’ place, and which I will be rehashing here at some point, safe in the knowledge that no is reading it. The controversy, dear reader and seeker after wholesale play slime, is that some folk think that even trying to suggest that finite resource base can only sustain a maximum number of people, and that there is some optimum number for a given resource base is tantamount to opening death camps and shoving in gypsies and chavs. As I said at the time, this shows rather a lack of imagination on their part.

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