Compare and contrast:
A: “Crap! Robin Hood airport is closed. You’ve got a week and a bit to get your shit together, otherwise I’m blowing the airport sky high!!”
(tweet sent by a 27 year old in frustration at the airport’s closure during the period of poor weather 2010.)
B: “Come friendly bombs, fall on Slough! It isn’t fit for humans now,
There isn’t grass to graze a cow. Swarm over, Death!”
(John Betjeman’s poem ‘Slough’, often been cited as an example of his preservationalist attitude to the England landscape in the face of suburbanisation).
The two been likened to one another although there are significant dissimilarities. The second helped its author become a national treasure. The first resulted in a court judgement which many have seen as a national embarassment: first the anti-terror police called in and then a conviction for being menacing. Seems rather disproportionate for a heat of the moment outburst but serves as a cautionary tale to be careful what you tweet in a period of heightened paranoia. Furthermore Robin Hood could not call it all off, unlike Yasmin Alibhai Brown.
Betjeman incidentally also sounds like Paul Weller to me at times (or should that be the other way round?)
A “Bricks and mortar, reflecting social change,
Cracks in the pavement, reveal cravings for success
Why do we try to hide our past/ By pulling down houses and building car parks?”
(Bricks and Mortar, the Jam, 1977)
B “The sisters Progress and Destruction dwell
Where rural Middlesex once cast her spell”
(John Betjeman, 1967)
All background research for new book on suburbia (being finished as we speak)