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Paddy O'Temkin
May 31, 2013 6:21 AM   Subscribe

Northern Ireland Town Fakes Prosperity for G8 Summit.
posted by ennui.bz (50 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite

 
Wow, just directly spitting in the faces of the locals.

Thread title is amazing, btw.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:26 AM on May 31, 2013 [17 favorites]


At the last company I worked at most of the bathrooms were literal shitholes. They smelled like catboxes and often the privacy divisions were flaking from urine corrosion.

Our CEO was visiting, so they remodeled the one bathroom he'd possibly use and the one bathroom the female executives might possibly use. I was always somewhat grateful for his visit because it meant I didn't have to take a dump in squalor anymore. I still resent that's what it took to get it done and I resented the fact that we spent tons of cash on two bathrooms, at a time when we were laying off people, just so we could make it look like the proles had a pretty place to defecate.

I do not miss that guy.
posted by cjorgensen at 6:26 AM on May 31, 2013 [6 favorites]


.
posted by mazola at 6:27 AM on May 31, 2013


Maybe they should really add some local charm -- put a leprechaun or two in them.
posted by tyllwin at 6:32 AM on May 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


Brilliant title.

A pox upon David Cameron.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 6:32 AM on May 31, 2013 [2 favorites]


This is one big initiative really stemming from the Foreign Office in London. This is David Cameron’s gig. It’s his invitation, it’s his decision to host the G8 in County Fermanagh, which is, don’t forget, part of the United Kingdom. It’s also on the island of Ireland, it’s in Northern Ireland, but he will be the hosting head of government and it’s his say so. Much of the money that has been spent in and around the host town of Enniskillen, about more than £300,000 worth, that’s getting on from half a million dollars, the bulk of the cash and certainly the driving force behind the plans to tidy up the place, that’s all coming from London.
I wonder what wealth the locales could have created if they had some of that London money. Instead they get dress-up for adults.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 6:33 AM on May 31, 2013 [4 favorites]


What a very, very strange and misguided idea. How could anyone possibly think this would end well?
posted by kcds at 6:35 AM on May 31, 2013


Ask the Tories who voted Cameron in, kcds. :\
posted by IAmBroom at 6:36 AM on May 31, 2013 [2 favorites]


Coming this fall, starring Stephen Fry as the mayor and Alan Davies as the lovable but bumbling town drunk drafted to play the butcher
posted by Mooseli at 6:37 AM on May 31, 2013 [10 favorites]


I wonder what wealth the locales could have created if they had some of that London money. Instead they get dress-up for adults.

In fairness, the problems with NI have not traditionally resulted from a lack of expenditure from London.
posted by jaduncan at 6:43 AM on May 31, 2013


£300,000? Lightweights. When Canada last hosted the G8, we wasted more than a hundred times that.
posted by Sys Rq at 6:44 AM on May 31, 2013 [12 favorites]


I thought being nearly abandoned was what made a place a viable G8 host these days.
posted by dry white toast at 6:44 AM on May 31, 2013 [7 favorites]


Sure, but did they create a lake?
posted by jacquilynne at 6:45 AM on May 31, 2013 [7 favorites]


It’s an attempt really by the local authority to make the place look as positive as possible for the visiting G8 leaders and their entourages, and it’s really tried to put a mask on a recession that has really hit this part of Ireland really very badly indeed.

Why would the people of Northern Ireland do that when what they should be doing is pleading poverty and holding out their tin cup for the G8? Perhaps it's a pun of some sorts.
posted by three blind mice at 6:47 AM on May 31, 2013


On the plus side, at least they won't have to paint the leaves green.
posted by the painkiller at 6:49 AM on May 31, 2013


I want to see a fumbling world leader get a craving for ham and walk face plant into a glass door. Yum...ham...SMACK!
My money would be on Shinzo Abe...although Germans dig ham.
posted by QueerAngel28 at 6:52 AM on May 31, 2013 [6 favorites]


*prints window-size photo of backyard with mowed lawn*
posted by brain_drain at 6:54 AM on May 31, 2013 [10 favorites]


Taken out of context, this photo could be shown at an art gallery.

Bizarre behaviour.
posted by KokuRyu at 6:55 AM on May 31, 2013 [3 favorites]


I had for a moment hoped that this was a brilliant bit of satire on the town's part. Alas.
posted by lydhre at 6:59 AM on May 31, 2013 [4 favorites]


So they going to bus in actors to act happy and put the smackdown on protestors?

I guess if shops get burned they were useless props to start with. Riots for cardboard bread and food color dyed wine!
posted by cjorgensen at 7:00 AM on May 31, 2013


Well, the Guillotines have to be hidden behind something, right? Otherwise they'll know it's a trap.
posted by sexyrobot at 7:01 AM on May 31, 2013 [9 favorites]


although Germans dig ham

No German worth his or her cured pork is going to be enticed by the stuff being called "ham" in a British butcher shop.
posted by Slothrup at 7:10 AM on May 31, 2013 [2 favorites]


Enniscoddin.
posted by distorte at 7:11 AM on May 31, 2013


They would rather that it was an honest attempt to promote Fermanagh in its most positive light and really they would prefer if these problems were not masked in the way that they are.
This quote made me feel sad.

I had for a moment hoped that this was a brilliant bit of satire on the town's part. Alas.
posted by lydhre


Yeah me too. If it were not London's idea and the images were done a little bit differently it could have been an excellent dry humor/satire performance art.

However the fact that it's now publicisized and everyone will know brings it back around into satire even if uninentional.

Satire is a genre of literature, and sometimes graphic and performing arts, in which vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, and society itself, into improvement.[1] Although satire is usually meant to be funny, its greater purpose is often constructive social criticism, using wit as a weapon.
posted by bleep at 7:14 AM on May 31, 2013


If we peel back enough layers we'll find that Gob is behind this, right?
posted by The Whelk at 7:23 AM on May 31, 2013 [2 favorites]


> However, locals say the makeover only serves to hide a deeper malaise which US president Barack Obama, German chancellor Angela Merkel, French president François Hollande and others will not get to see.

I doubt any of them were gonna go for a walk on their break and maybe grab a packet of crisps or something.
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:25 AM on May 31, 2013


I had for a moment hoped that this was a brilliant bit of satire on the town's part. Alas.

Someone should rent a closed shop and create a "Modest Proposal" butcher shop to compete with fake one. I think the former Dean of St. Patrick's would approve. Maybe a proposal should be made that "Irish Long Pig" be a protected trademark like "Champagne" or "Parmesan".
posted by 445supermag at 7:29 AM on May 31, 2013 [2 favorites]


How innovative! What an efficient use of scarce state resources!

This concept could be expanded to other irritating problems:

- Homeless people could sleep under tarps painted to look like houses.
- Thermometers could be relabeled to deal with climate change.
- Monetary denominations could be redone to make everyone richer.
- Antidepressants could be added to public water supplies to improve general welfare.
- Election results could be adjusted so that most people don't even need to vote, and to make elected officials more popular.
- Ungood words could be deleted from dictionaries and replaced with good words.

I'm picturing the future now!
posted by General Tonic at 7:32 AM on May 31, 2013 [5 favorites]


Submitted without comment.
posted by gjc at 7:33 AM on May 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


This morning on NPR a segment of morning edition was sponsored by "Northern Ireland: Hosts of the Upcoming G8 Summit".

This is an honest question: given the NPR demographic, do you think they were actually advertising to attract protest tourism?
posted by mcstayinskool at 7:40 AM on May 31, 2013 [2 favorites]


Well if they had just left the shops shut and abandoned no one would be talking about it. So in a weird way it is actually effective at brining attention to the issue.
posted by humanfont at 7:44 AM on May 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


I remember how we in the UK laughed at Mexico's preparations for the 1986 World Cup. Welcome to 21st Century UK.
posted by marienbad at 7:45 AM on May 31, 2013 [3 favorites]


*0.1%er, pomander in hand, casts a brief glance through the window of a luxury hotel disguised as a government vehicle as it speeds through Enniskillen *

"Hmm, I don't know what the oiks are fussing about, the regions are really flourishing under our austerity policies. Let's double down. Tally-Ho, chaps!"
posted by Jakey at 7:48 AM on May 31, 2013


When North Korea does this kind of shit, people laugh at the oligarchic ideologues who try clumsily to conceal the practical consequences of their failed policies from the eyes of the outside world.

How is this any different?
posted by R. Schlock at 7:48 AM on May 31, 2013 [38 favorites]


So they're building a fake Rock Ridge and the American sheriff is *BONG* near.

While all life imitates art eventually, this wasn't one for which I was prepared.
posted by delfin at 7:49 AM on May 31, 2013 [3 favorites]


I wonder what wealth the locales could have created if they had some of that London money. Instead they get dress-up for adults.

Except this is worse: they haven't hired people to stand around in spruced up buildings, pretending to do business. That would be dress-up for adults, with people pretending to be employed and pretending to be local consumers. From the article:
What they’ve done is they have filled the shop front window with a picture of what was the business before it went bankrupt or closed. In other words, grocery shops, butcher shops, pharmacies, you name it, they have placed large photographs in the windows that if you were driving past and glanced out the window, it would look as if this was a thriving business.
Emphasis mine.

This is some Wiley Coyote level shit. It's close to cjorgensen' one clean bathroom, except someone could have saved the effort of scrubbing the place and just put a pretty picture behind the door. No lingering looks, please, or you'll realize perspective doesn't shift as you move past.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:35 AM on May 31, 2013 [3 favorites]


I was just (well 10 months ago) in Enniskillen meeting some of the Missus' extended family. I didn't really notice many boarded up shops and the town was actually very nice and thriving. We took a trek around the lake to Beleek and again it was a nice quaint village with a lot of local shops. I thought the reason that they had scheduled the meeting in Enniskillen is because the golf course where the meeting will be happening is rather far removed from the road on its own peninsula so you could easily control who had access. If you wanted to see a more run down area you had to head over the border into Ireland to Blacklion and some of the small towns around there were not as thriving and had many more boarded up shops.
posted by koolkat at 8:36 AM on May 31, 2013


cjorgensen: "I guess if shops get burned they were useless props to start with. Riots for cardboard bread and food color dyed wine!
"

Now I'm imagining people looting those fake cardboard TVs they use in furniture stores. Between this and the AMAZING title, I'm glad I can smile a little because if otherwise, I would torn between sadness and rage.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:40 AM on May 31, 2013


I saw this once in a mall in Orlando. It was really sad up close. I'm not surprised that it's being done by a government.
posted by tulip-socks at 8:41 AM on May 31, 2013


When North Korea does this kind of shit, people laugh at the oligarchic ideologues who try clumsily to conceal the practical consequences of their failed policies from the eyes of the outside world.

How is this any different?


North Korea has improved it's propaganda photography: Back in 2010, Kim Jong-il visited a library, where they seem to be lacking keyboards, and the filing cabinet is possibly a cardboard box with drawers drawn on (previously). By 2011, photos of people using the library included keyboards and images on their screens (previously).

Still, both North Korean examples use live people in their staged presentations. This features photos of what the store could have once looked like.

I'd love to see some photos taken from less-strategic locations, displaying distorted images of what's really there (see the 2nd to last photo of chalk art).
posted by filthy light thief at 8:47 AM on May 31, 2013


Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain....
posted by brand-gnu at 8:50 AM on May 31, 2013


omg...they should totally hold fake protests in front of these fake stores...
outside the "butcher shop":
'Fake meat is fake murder!'
*hurls cardboard brick at picture of window*
posted by sexyrobot at 9:07 AM on May 31, 2013 [11 favorites]


I think there's a distinct difference between making a fake village and trying to hide the blight.
By the late 1970s, 300,000 people had fled the borough; 40 percent of its housing was destroyed or condemned. In 1976 there were 33,465 fires in the Bronx; 1982 saw the city install decals of plants and venetian blinds in the windows of abandoned buildings in order to hide the blight.
In reading about Potemkin villages, I learned that Americans were the first to try and mask urban blight.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:54 AM on May 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's like that scene out of Brazil, where the hero and love interest drive down a highway lined with walls painted with clouds, behind which lies an industrial wasteland.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:32 AM on May 31, 2013


Just passing through to nth on the nice title. Nice title!
posted by drowsy at 11:05 AM on May 31, 2013


surreal
posted by eustatic at 3:46 PM on May 31, 2013


Having read this, I understand why they built the fake lake for Canada's G8: it was just a trial run for future conferences, so they'll know how to set one up when all the real ones look like tailing pools.
posted by metaman livingblog at 5:41 PM on May 31, 2013


Meanwhile, the Russian mob has stolen some $30 billion from the Olympics.

We a ruled by the crooked.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:34 PM on May 31, 2013


Coming this fall, starring Stephen Fry as the mayor and Alan Davies as the lovable but bumbling town drunk drafted to play the butcher

This really demands to be turned into a film.
posted by homunculus at 8:29 PM on June 1, 2013


World Leaders Take Most Menacing G8 Group Photo Ever

Also, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed that GCHQ engaged in extensive surveillance of delegates to the 2009 G20 meeting in London.
posted by jeffburdges at 5:13 PM on June 18, 2013


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