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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.152.62.175
Posted on Tuesday, July 10, 2012 - 11:52 am:   

Sports Direct is closing in our local town, one of the biggest shops in the area. There are five 'bargain' shops and four charity shops and it's only a small town.
A lot of places have closed down or are having big sales. I can only think it's the net causing it. Also, with the councils not cutting the lawns as much it's looking a bit 'I am Legend'. Is this the end, or is it just what depression looks like?
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Hubert (Hubert)
Username: Hubert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 178.116.61.103
Posted on Tuesday, July 10, 2012 - 12:32 pm:   

Fifteen or twenty years ago people would have been shocked to see street dwellers in Flanders/Belgium, but nowadays they're everywhere. Lots of stuff, but no-one is buying. Lots of empty shops. Lots of unfriendly people who are on edge all the time.

The Antichrist is coming!
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.152.62.175
Posted on Tuesday, July 10, 2012 - 12:54 pm:   

It's why the zombie films are so prevalent. They reflect this same dread of things falling apart. We are trying to acclimatize via a genre trope.

We need to act the way the people in these films should; we need to cut our lawns, do something else with the shops, keep going like nothing is happening, then it won't. We must control the panic we are feeling.
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Joel (Joel)
Username: Joel

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.37.199.45
Posted on Tuesday, July 10, 2012 - 01:38 pm:   

It's the end of free-market capitalism: a corrupt and discredited economic theory that has plunged the world into its worst depression since the 1930s. As a computer might say, this system has corrupted, install a new one. All over Europe, people are fighting to resist austerity measures imposed to increase the wealth of those who have most and to reduce the power of those who have least. It's not time to panic, it's time to fight. Don't expect things to return to normal, that isn't going to happen. Either the rich get what they want or the people get what they need.
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Protodroid (Protodroid)
Username: Protodroid

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 109.79.9.68
Posted on Tuesday, July 10, 2012 - 02:51 pm:   

(No need to read this, just linking for the picture.) I pass this wasteland on the train every day. There are about 300,000 empty or incomplete houses in Ireland now (with a population of just 4 million people)

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/mar/30/allied-irish-bank-property-toxic- debt-ireland-banks

The wrack that the tide of greed has left behind is highlighted by a story this year. A 2-year-old boy on a ghost housing estate wandered after his dog and drowned in a pool of water. There was nobody around to see him.
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Protodroid (Protodroid)
Username: Protodroid

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 109.79.9.68
Posted on Tuesday, July 10, 2012 - 02:59 pm:   

I think that depression always looks like this, but what highlights it is that we've been insulated from nature and reality, from muck and decay. The oily image machine has programmed us to think in smooth, comforting images. And when things fall apart, when things are not an advert, when people have bald spots and saggy faces and nature claims back buildings, the lies we've been believing become so much more stark. But the good news is, this is waking us up from the matrix! We're alive. Bald spots and saggy bellies, but also a genuine smile.
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Seanmcd (Seanmcd)
Username: Seanmcd

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 193.113.57.161
Posted on Tuesday, July 10, 2012 - 02:59 pm:   

It's a system based on the insane notion that the personal greed of the few will ultimately work for the benefit of all. This has been proven incorrect in spectacular fashion. These few are now playing their last card. Fear. Fear of chaos induced by the collapse of the global banking network which is built on sand. Just look at the headlines recently. Europe on the brink. Last chance for the Euro. Is there hope for Greece?. 'If you don't accept these new austerity measures the world as you know it will end' they say. Bring it on I say. We all know whose lifestyles and 'bonuses' will be hit hardest. The worst thing we can do is keep going like nothing is happening. It's what these few depend on.
We are not even halfway through this depression yet. Many more institutions will go under. More European countries will require bailouts. The Euro will fail. Public demonstrations will increase and harsher govt responses will follow. Not to mention the other upheavals taking place across the globe. The status quo is NOT an option. A time of great social change is indeed upon us.
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.152.62.175
Posted on Tuesday, July 10, 2012 - 03:11 pm:   

Sean - you're right. I think what I was trying to say was not to let it get us down, freeze us, but to keep moving - I just should have added 'Keep fighting'.
Proto; that image of the little boy drowning feels like the last image of the end of the world.
This feels like a financial Chernobyl.

What can we do? Immolate ourselves on the steps of banks?
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Seanmcd (Seanmcd)
Username: Seanmcd

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 193.113.57.161
Posted on Tuesday, July 10, 2012 - 03:40 pm:   

Imagine if we all stopped paying our Mortgages...
Who's first ?
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.152.62.175
Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 - 10:16 am:   

I'm still thinking about the little boy in the pool. :-(
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Protodroid (Protodroid)
Username: Protodroid

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 109.79.125.226
Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 - 04:30 pm:   

Me too.
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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 99.126.164.88
Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 - 04:40 pm:   

Weirdly coincidental, I just saw The Woman in Black last night, which of course pivots around a little boy who's died in a pool.... And speaking of slow-moving films (the other thread), I found this one pretty slow, and insignificant. The The Thing remake, frankly, was more entertaining.

And further, speaking of weirdly coincidental things in general, and boys in pools of water... has anyone heard from Stevie?... is he okay?...
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Protodroid (Protodroid)
Username: Protodroid

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 109.79.19.63
Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 - 04:43 pm:   

I would have liked if you hadn't used that as a wry segue, Craig. Give some things a bit of respectful space, eh?
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.152.62.175
Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 - 05:11 pm:   

I think he must be higher up on the steps of happiness, Proto. :-)
You can be, you know - up and down those steps the troubles are still there but eclipsed or slightly shrunken by other elements and problems. I think me and you have current reasons to feel glum about pools and death and Craig is feeling so perky his judgement slipped. But yes, these various states bumping into one another can be jarring.

Stevie is OK - his house has been flooded and he's lost some books, and is playing with kittens again. He just can't make it to the net.

I not long ago found out that this board has an image to the outside world of being a bit whingey and angsty. Are we bothered?
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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 99.126.164.88
Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 - 09:07 pm:   

I actually completely didn't realize I was being inappropriate. I'm sorry if I offended anyone.

I guess with me, the news is so chock-full every day of sad and terrible tragedies, that I can't even remember what it's like to linger over individual ones anymore!
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Protodroid (Protodroid)
Username: Protodroid

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 109.79.43.121
Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 - 11:44 pm:   

I think proximity has an effect too. FOr Craig, it's something that happened on another continent. Even for Tony, it's in another country. For me, it happened less than an hour's drive away. It is real.

I only express discomfort when there's hope the other person is just temporarily numb and my acting as a mirror will wake them. I've said things before I didn't really mean in the name of cleverness and been shamed when its reflected back at me, but glad of the awakening, the essential nerve of empathy brought to life again.
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.152.62.175
Posted on Thursday, July 12, 2012 - 02:20 pm:   

Oh, it felt real to me Proto. Some deaths really register more than others. I can't get it out of my head.

Proto - smiley's reflect tone of voice, I think. I used to balk at them but find them quite necessary for me, who misinterprets things often and gets into shitloads of trouble as a result. View them the way you would wheelchairs maybe. :-)
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Protodroid (Protodroid)
Username: Protodroid

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 147.252.230.148
Posted on Thursday, July 12, 2012 - 02:46 pm:   

I'm only going to get into a wheelchair when I have to! Unless I'm being insensitive to people (let me know!) I'll try to do without them.
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.152.62.175
Posted on Thursday, July 12, 2012 - 02:55 pm:   

Proto; I keep thinking everyone might be like me, a bit knee-jerk, a bit 'reptile brain'. I've tried to curtail it.
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Protodroid (Protodroid)
Username: Protodroid

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 147.252.230.148
Posted on Thursday, July 12, 2012 - 03:03 pm:   

I can sometimes not recognise that my feelings are colouring my perceptions of the world and others, but I think I'm getting better at avoiding that you bastard.
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Protodroid (Protodroid)
Username: Protodroid

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 147.252.230.148
Posted on Thursday, July 12, 2012 - 03:03 pm:   

Oops.
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.152.62.175
Posted on Thursday, July 12, 2012 - 03:11 pm:   

Proto - do you use Facebook? That's a weird place. So much disappointment and sense of rejection. It feels like trying to chat with the occupants of a passing bus. And 'liking' things - it banishes the need to speak, but heightens the longing to be spoken to. In many ways it's fun but in many others it's dreadful, just dreadful. And it is certainly no place for the needy (i.e. me.)
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Protodroid (Protodroid)
Username: Protodroid

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 147.252.230.148
Posted on Thursday, July 12, 2012 - 03:13 pm:   

No, I can't figure it out. It doesn't make any sense to me and I don't know enough people that I'd want to stay in touch with that way. Reducing our opiions to LIKE is scary.

"Double-plus good, this photo of me in a nightclub."
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.152.62.175
Posted on Thursday, July 12, 2012 - 03:17 pm:   

I use like, but hate it too. When you say something you feel is profound and it just gets 'liked' there's a sense of being ignored like no other. It's like being SUPER ignored.
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.152.62.175
Posted on Thursday, July 12, 2012 - 03:18 pm:   

It's good to be able to kick it's ass here. You'd get criticised doing it there.
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.152.62.175
Posted on Thursday, July 12, 2012 - 03:19 pm:   

I think I've just commandeered the RCMB. :-(...
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.42.49.91
Posted on Thursday, January 17, 2013 - 12:45 pm:   

'The Portuguese have a word, saudade, for a sort of yearning for something not only gone, never to return, but which might quite possibly never have existed in the first place';

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/as-jessops-closes-we-continue-to-mou rn-the-dying-high-street-butits-we-who-are-killing-it-8448600.html
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.42.49.91
Posted on Thursday, January 17, 2013 - 12:47 pm:   

What a sad thread this is.
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Weber (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 80.239.242.153
Posted on Thursday, January 17, 2013 - 05:17 pm:   

Goodbye Jessops, HMV and Blockbusters. All in one week. And remembering that hmv own waterstone... The future ain't bright.
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David_lees (David_lees)
Username: David_lees

Registered: 12-2011
Posted From: 92.16.240.222
Posted on Thursday, January 17, 2013 - 09:13 pm:   

Who knows, this might lead to a resurgence of small independent shops? Certainly one of the contributing factors to the death of Jessops was that they bought up scores of other camera retailers then closed them down to wipe out the competition, often ending up with three or four Jessops shops within walking distance of each other in a single city centre. Their collapse had been on the cards since before the recession.

HMV gouged us with their prices for years and refused to adapt when digital downloads came along, so I'm not too sorry to see the back of them (though if Fopp go under too that would be a shame). Apparently small music stores and vinyl shops are doing fairly healthily right now, all things considered.
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Mick Curtis (Mick)
Username: Mick

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.184.138.239
Posted on Thursday, January 17, 2013 - 10:37 pm:   

It would be a great shame if Fopp went; I always visit the London shop when I'm in town.
Another shop I can't see lasting is Debenhams. We have a branch locally and it's usually pretty empty whenever we go in. I don't know how well their online sales are going but I'll bet they're not as successful as John Lewis (my favourite department store!).
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Protodroid (Protodroid)
Username: Protodroid

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 109.79.172.191
Posted on Friday, January 18, 2013 - 12:29 pm:   

Maybe it'll be like Chernobyl, around which nature is flourishing, if in slightly altered. A government cabinet minister over here got on his soapbox about HMV not honouring gift vouchers. Nice to see them taking a stand on the biggest example of debt injustice in our times.
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Carolinec (Carolinec)
Username: Carolinec

Registered: 06-2009
Posted From: 92.232.244.38
Posted on Friday, January 18, 2013 - 02:35 pm:   

"Who knows, this might lead to a resurgence of small independent shops?"

That would be wonderful if it happens. I don't think the economic conditions are right though. Who would set up a small business like that - with all the overheads and no guarantee of customers - in these uncertain times?

I always think there's good mileage in the idea of "shop sharing" - where two (or more) businesses set up in the same shop. It can work if the businesses aren't in competition but complement each other in some way - perhaps sharing customers. We had an example near us (sadly, closed down as both were very old-fashioned businesses). There was a snooker/billards accessories shop which shared space with a gents' barbers. Men would go in for their snooker chalk and have their hair cut while they were there! Worked well for many years. A more modern sharing of premises like that would be good - shared overheads, etc. I'd love to see something like that happening on the high street.
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David_lees (David_lees)
Username: David_lees

Registered: 12-2011
Posted From: 92.16.240.222
Posted on Saturday, January 19, 2013 - 12:09 am:   

No idea if this is true or not, but it seemed like it might be (sort of) relevant:

>> Thicker than Waterstone's <<
The high street's last stand

Last October, HMV overhauled their
staff policy. Afraid it was their
workers' body art and sandals that
were driving customers away, bosses
demanded that all extreme tattoos,
piercings and toes be covered up.

What good did ragging on the staff
do them? None.

So Waterstone's, take heed. Tales
reach us of the training session
you held in which employees were
chastised and berated for three
hours. In between admonishments
they were given such pearls of
customer service wisdom as "If
you see someone browsing the
sport section, shout over 'What's
the score?'" and suggesting that
they deliver soup to the homes
of any regulars who fall ill.

When one employee mentioned he'd
have to make an hour and a half
round trip to deliver soup to any
sick regulars in London, the woman
leading the session pointed to a
picture of a sad face she had drawn
and said "This is what the last
person who challenged me
looked like."

From popbitch.com.
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Joel (Joel)
Username: Joel

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 2.30.205.158
Posted on Saturday, January 19, 2013 - 12:43 pm:   

I thought Fopp had already gone: they closed down the Birmingham and Leamington branches years ago.

When HMV shuts down it will no longer be possible to buy records or films (apart from the 'top 10') in shops. And when Waterstone's follows, as night follows day, the same will be true of books.

But who cares, eh? The moron who owns Smashwords is blogging about how 'the self-publishing model' has replaced traditional publishing. Because that weary fragment of the world called 'offline' no longer merits the least attention.

Fuck the lot of them. Fuck the internet. Fuck it all. Ten years ago we had a literary culture that made being a writer and a reader meaningful. Now that's all been destroyed, torn up, pissed on and scattered to the four winds.
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Hubert (Hubert)
Username: Hubert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 178.116.60.39
Posted on Saturday, January 19, 2013 - 01:08 pm:   

Who knows, this might lead to a resurgence of small independent shops?

There are a few of those surviving over here, e.g. Corman for French-language books. Other than that it's up to FNAC, the biggest multi-chain in the country and maybe even abroad in some places. They carry a good selection of Dutch, French, English and German lit'ry stuff at that and have impressive showrooms with the latest Nintendo - er, I mean Apple, Samsung, Acer and other expensive playthings. I always go there to keep up with the latest gadgetry - even if I cannot afford any of it.
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Weber (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 31.54.11.58
Posted on Saturday, January 19, 2013 - 01:58 pm:   

We have a Fopp in Manchester still, but it appears to be owned by HMV... so that's not going to be around much longer either.

This means Amazon will clean up even more than it already does - and that's not good for the UK economy as we know Amazon pay no tax in this country. Every penny spent on amazon just vanishes. At least HMV kept british people employed in the 10s of thousands and paid (some) tax on its profits.
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Mick Curtis (Mick)
Username: Mick

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.184.138.239
Posted on Saturday, January 19, 2013 - 02:08 pm:   

I thought Fopp had already gone: they closed down the Birmingham and Leamington branches years ago.

Joel - they did indeed go under, but were rescued in 2009 (I think) by HMV. They currently have eight shops about the UK:-

http://www.foppreturns.com/
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David_lees (David_lees)
Username: David_lees

Registered: 12-2011
Posted From: 92.16.240.222
Posted on Saturday, January 19, 2013 - 06:43 pm:   

From what I've been reading Game are already looking to buy up about 45 HMV stores. There's also rumours of a possible bail out by the music industry who really don't want to lose out on having a major high street presence and who really don't want to become even more reliant on Amazon.
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Mick Curtis (Mick)
Username: Mick

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.184.138.239
Posted on Saturday, January 19, 2013 - 07:09 pm:   

I read there are 50 individuals and organisations showing an interest in some or all of the shops...
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Huw (Huw)
Username: Huw

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 1.169.148.210
Posted on Sunday, January 20, 2013 - 03:39 am:   

It's sad to hear that so many bookshops have closed in the UK. Where I live, the number of bookshops has actually increased. Two big new ones opened last year, and a friend took me to a secondhand bookshop which doubles as a coffee shop, as well as a home for cats, judging by the number of feline inhabitants I found there.

There are at least a dozen bookshops within a couple of miles from my home. There aren't as many CD shops as there used to be, although vinyl seems to be quite trendy here at the moment.
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David_lees (David_lees)
Username: David_lees

Registered: 12-2011
Posted From: 92.16.240.222
Posted on Sunday, January 20, 2013 - 05:17 pm:   

http://www.nme.com/news/hmv/68267

"According to The Sunday Times, Universal Music, Warner Music and Sony are set to cut the price of CDs and DVDs, and give the failing retailer generous credit terms, to help it get back on its feet after falling into administration.

Universal Studios and Warner Studios are also reported to be behind the deal to prevent the company from going under. Industry sources claim the industry goliaths are desperate to keep a specialist high street outlet, such as HMV, to prevent cut-throat pricing from supermarkets and online stores.

A source told the newspaper: They donít want their only choice to be Tesco or Amazon"
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.42.49.91
Posted on Monday, January 21, 2013 - 11:08 am:   

That's great news. As an aside, I've found a lot of places closing due to landlords putting the rents up. Surely it would benefit them to make allowances? Can't they agree to take profit shares? That woman who kept her Woolworths branch (albeit with a different name) had to close when they put her rents up.
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Protodroid (Protodroid)
Username: Protodroid

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 213.233.140.92
Posted on Monday, January 21, 2013 - 01:54 pm:   

Let's remember that the music industry doesn't care about our choice and with every technological innovation they did everything they could to keep prices as artificially high as possible. For them, HMV serves as an advertisement for music itself. Each shop we pass is a reminder to buy things, an advertisement.

I think we need to evolve. Let the chains fall and landlords will be forced to lower their rents. I like (nice) shops. Let's evolve our idea of what we want out of them and what they can be. And let independent shops rise to cater for those evolved ideas.

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