Saturday, August 28, 2004

TiL Carnival Special: Dealing With Wankers.

[Part of a series of posts marking the 40th anniversary of the Notting Hill Carnival.]

"Yah, I've been going carnival since 1982, and it was much better back then, more genuine, more real, not this corporate bollocks." It goes without saying that those found uttering these words are wankers - the vile expression "going carnival" gives that much away - but are they telling the truth?

Since last year's carnival, when TiL's creator was interrupted in his studies of how samba dancing resembled Iceni war-swaying by a web designer from Hoxton uttering something very similar, a vast study has been undertaken with the aid of local residents, carnival organisers, police and community leaders. 11,000 people were interviewed and more than 8000 separate statements were taken, and more than 2500 contemporary documents were studied. the following facts were ascertained:

1. These people are all lying. The only upper-middle class white young creative professional who went to the carnival in the early 1980s was Toby Randle, at the time a graphic designer for an advertising company in Chelsea. He had one and a half cans of Red Stripe, pretended to like Reggae, and then went home after feeling a bit uneasy.

2. The idea that the carnival is now more "corporate" than it used to be ignores the fact that from 1981 until 1986 it was owned and operated by the US telecoms corporation AT&T. It was principally used for the presentation of the annual report, teambuilding and staff training purposes.

3. A spot check on the family records of those making this claim fame that the vast majority of them were seven at the time, and spending their summer with their families in Buckinghamshire. Two of them were on holiday in Cornwall building sandcastles and throwing tantrums over candyfloss like the spoiled, selfish, deluded children they remain.

So that's that little trouble sorted out.


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