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Friday, November 17, 2006

Editorial 6 Issue 1298

Hello everyone. The editorial this week was really rubbish and quite frankly, bore relevance to almost nothing. But that is what comes of having several essays coming out of your ears and grappling with Hegel (the man thought far too much). Holed up in the room for the weekend trying to answer the question, why does Hegel argue that the state is the actualisation of concrete freedom? Interesting yet barely intelligble. Anyway, here you go...

I was going to write this editorial about the "poppy fascism" debate, but then after having read a couple of articles on Jon Snow's "outrageous" and "controversial" viewpoint, I decided enough copy had been devoted to the usage of a small piece of red paper in one's lapel. I did think sewing them into the shirts of footballers on Saturday might have been a step too far, but calling it "poppy fascism" seems a tad ironic given the servicepeople (I suppose that's what we're supposed to call them nowadays) who died were kind of trying to stop the whole fascism thing from coming to Britain. Loved the journo in-fighting between him and the Humph though, who claimed Mr Snow should feel "vaguely ashamed of himself" and that he had completely "missed the point".

After the poppy debate, the thing that's been occupying my mind has been the obstacle course that is my road at the moment (it's pretty much next to the loss of life in World War I in terms of importance). The road-works people – yes, that's their official job description – have been gradually travelling through Selly Oak, and right now they're shacking up on Harrow, home of yours truly (and no, I'm not Jewish). The road is now reminiscent of the kind of challenge that confronted contenders in Gladiators, as yellow barrier things, road signs and huge holes in the ground are now keeping the sprawling rubbish bags and baton carrots (why?) company. Every weekend drunken Harrowers distribute the yellow barriers all over the road for oncoming traffic to narrowly avoid, and every Monday the workmen move them back. It's also pretty good fun watching them scowl at the people who drive up there despite the massive red sign declaring "ROAD CLOSED". Although, it's not that fun seeing lumps of earth come out of your tap instead of water.

I finally visited Cadbury World this weekend. (There was a massive plastic poppy glued onto one of its walls, by the way. Not so tasteful for a food company.) I didn't expect much, mainly because when people say, "You haven't been to Cadbury World? You have to go!" and you say, "Oh, is it really good then?" They always reply, "Yeah, it's alright." I have to say that 'alright' is not an understatement of its charms. It's probably more fun if you're from Wales, between the ages of 0 and 6 or have ADHD, given they indulge in more than a little false advertising. The best example of this is probably the new 'Essence' feature. This apparently allows to you "make your own chocolate creation!" Before you all start running down the road to Bournville, let me enlighten you as to what the process of 'creating your own chocolate' involves. You are ushered into a brightly-lit room after watching a presentation which tries to convince you that Cadbury was the first person to put milk into chocolate, a myth that is later dispelled by Cadbury's own large, animated talking head. Along the wall is a row of plastic containers holding ingredients such as rice krispies, marshmallows and mint. You are given a plastic cup and asked to choose one ingredient with which to "make your chocolate". They then put a handful of this substance in the cup, squirt some melted chocolate over the top, and hand it to you with a plastic spoon (and what's more, one of those ones that you can't lick properly because it's too deep so you have to stick your tongue right into it to get all the chocolate out). To me, this bears about as much resemblance to "making your own chocolate" as Vanessa Feltz does to Twiggy. Still, seeing one of the (immensely hyper-active) Cadbury employees tell a fat kid that he "looked like he didn't need any more chocolate" was well worth the £9.95 it costs to wander round a factory.

Anyway, enough ranting about my personal life – I'm sure I'll be back on form next week with some awfully insightful political comment that will annoy or please four of you and go unnoticed by the other (alleged) 19,996. On a final note, I must (reluctantly) agree with Mr Galloway in congratulating the American people for their achievement last week. I doubt Britain will see a similar outcome in the next election; one could almost say the Union Jack is spattered with the blood of democracy. But that's a whole different editorial…



  • I thought the most interesting thing about Cadbury world was the museum you had to go outside and round the back to find at the end of the tour. All sorts of stuff about how Cadbury's Christianity had such a big effect on how he ran his company. Worth knowing about when you find yourself working for a company that exists for the sole purpose of its shareholders.

    That and the Aztec spicy chocolate drink, which should be made commercially available.

    By Blogger Paul (probably - maybe Liz), at 10:38 pm  

  • Didn't even know about the museum! Gutted. Although I think we finished the tour too late to go to it anyway. Did you actually get to drink the drink? After watching Chocolat, I tried putting chilli powder in chocolate brownies. It makes them taste amazing, although don't go overboard (I did once).

    By Blogger Bec, at 1:39 pm  

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