Thursday, 7 October 2010

Evening Standard takes us for a Boris Bike ride

Now I know the Evening Standard is mildly obsessed with the "Boris Bikes" even managing to tie them into house prices going up:

But recently it's just got ridiculous.

After a series of stories about the bikes "beating the tube strike," raising money for charity, and saving the universe, a new columnist is given space for eight incomprehensible paragraphs comparing the Velib and "Boris Bike" baskets:

"You are walking through the stalls of the Place du Marché Saint Honoré in the premier arondissement in Paris. Four hundred grams of aged comté cheese. Six daffodils. Two daurades royales that you are going to bake in sea salt from somewhere like the Camargue. A pistachio macaroon. What is the essence of this experience? It is choice. It is freedom. It is participating in the most inefficient purchasing process known to man — shopping with French artisanal producers. And the thing that gives you this glorious freedom, that allows you to roam at length? It is the basket. Wads of cash, yes, but you need the basket.

Does this experience have any deeper political impact? For Guy Debord, intellectual leader of the Situationist movement that overtook France in May 1968 (and would have succeeded in revolutionising the Republic had the students not discovered that it was August and therefore time to go on a three-month holiday), there was only one way to escape the stratified, commoditised and alienating experience that he termed “the society of the spectacle”. He called it “la dérive”, the wander."

Eh? Is anybody able to translate that? Who wrote this drivel?

Leo Johnson is co-founder of sustainable finance and a partner at PWC.

...oh and Boris Johnson's brother. Funny how the Standard forgot to mention that.


Brockley Nick said...

Hilarious! I read that today and did find it a very curious article.

AdamB said...

It's not his first Boris-related journalism gig:

"At one point during Boris's editorship of the Spec, the Johnson surname appeared so often (his predecessor, Frank Johnson - no relation - was a regular columnist as well) that no one noticed when the diarist one week was a Leo Johnson. Surely, readers thought, it can't be another member of the family. But close inspection of the article, an account of Leo's bizarre pitch to a movie mogul, revealed a certain similarity of style:

"It is the mainstream, genre movie of Stanko the Bulgarian pastry chef who casts off the shackles of liberty, deflating the soufflé of capital and licking clean the spatula of injustice," said Leo to the mogul. Goldwyn spoke. "Let me tell you something. I have been in this business a long time. This is the worst story I have ever heard." It is believed to be Leo's sole foray into journalism."

But hopefully it will be his last.

angelneptunestar said...

Oh God! The wheels come off....

Anonymous said...

Sadly the media seem reluctant to point out some other details about the history of the bike hire scheme:

Appealing of Ealing said...

Compared to the partisan drivel of London's left-wing blogosphere, Leo Johnson's drivel is perfectly inoffensive.

Appealing of Ealing said...

Anonymous said...
"Sadly the media seem relucta..."

Ok, challenge: let see if I can write her name without falling asleep.

Caroline Pidgzzzzzzzzz

Anonymous said...

To resond to Appealling of Ealing.....if i must.

Personal abuse, instead of acdtually addressing the actual issues.

Says everything. Why not just try to respond to some of the points in her Liberal Democrat Voice article?