I am fascinated by reading the reports on FISM in Blackpool, thank you so much. There is one small niggle, however, over aspects of the coverage, that is Blackpool itself.
C'mon. Most contributors here know about Blackpool from experience. Hawking their wares annually or biannually, the flea-pits, the wind blown beach, the terrible weather, the sheer cheese of the place must be familiar. Which makes it such an unpopular choice for any sort of international convention, I daresay.
All my family are Lancastrians, (for those that are presently in Blackpool, they should understand what that means, or take their heads out of their bottoms.) Blackpool was already starting to suffer, commercially, from the 60's onwards. It began with the advent of affordable (nasty) holidays to the Costa del Sol. Fewer and fewer went to resorts like Blackpool, and these old fashioned, uncomfortable towns lost their domestic advantages in the holiday market.
Blackpool, like Brighton in the south of England, was never the most genteel of destinations in Britain. It was, and remains, somewhere for young people to go and shag. And a cheap holiday for those whose shagging has produced children, and possibly want to do more shagging whilst their children are occupied elsewhere.
You may recognise that scenario, as do I. And as I do, you might feel that there are better, pleasanter venues for said shagging/childcare combinations than Blackpool. The same, I imagine, goes for FISM. I'd prefer to go to Birmingham.
That's saying summat.
To give an angled perspective on the HORROR of Blackpool: I went on a trip with my brother, (I assume my parents wanted two weeks of shagging?) to the US. We were kids, staying in a nice bit of Maryland with some family friends, who took us for a trip to Ocean City.
Well, the weather was more reliable in August. Other than that? The same asinine atmosphere, the same over priced crap, but exotic to little English boys. And a lot of fun. If FISM were held there? No. As a kid, it was brilliant.
This stuff about Derek Beaver, or whoever, seems disgusting and above all else, petty. I'm glad I have nothing whatsoever to do with that person.
The idea of even spending three hours in the car to drive to Blackpool, a short hop, for FISM is unthinkable to one who knows its lumpy beds and hilariously cheesy ambience. But for a quick shag and a laugh? Absolutely.
The decline, in terms of entertainment, of what made Blackpool 'great', is personified by the character of Archie Rice (The Entertainer; Laurence Olivier; 1960).
Music Hall. Music Hall. Music Hall. And shagging. And drinking.
Music Hall was rather a lucrative circuit for many talents who now struggle to find work, be it in music, dance, magic or animal impressions. For FISM to be held in Blackpool brings to mind that song sung by Archie RIce:
"Why should I care,
Why should I let it touch me?
Why shouldn't I,
And let it all pass over me?"
A bit like that dirt behind the door in the HIlton. If it actually came as a surprise, you would have actually complained, Richard. It's all a game, and a fun one at that.
Incidentally, the best "Downfall" magic related parody concerns a joint project by Magic Makers and Wesley James. If I were he, or Derek Beaver, I'd be upset. However much deserved it was, it would still hurt.
(Paid for by the Blackpool Municipal Apologists Society)