Gentrification: The Horror Movie

Doesn’t this look like some Ballardian dystopian horror fiction? Something out of American Psycho? So much so, someone has recut it with that footage:

The real horror is the vapid emptiness of the vision, and the pure naked greed, like the reviled yuppies in the 80’s, but that was a local phenomenon. And the fact these gated estates in the sky do nothing for the local community apart from possibly employ the odd doorman or cleaner (doubtful, more likely imported like the owners from the Far East or Eastern Europe). That’s if they even live there – most of these places still have the proverbial shrink-wrap plastic on because they are empty, they are junk bond investments from abroad, oilygarchs and Far Eastern investors wanting a bolt hole when things go wrong in their own country, usually.

But the soul is slowly being sucked from London by developments like these – ‘a new addition to London’s world-famous skyline’ indeed. Like we need more? And like CentrePoint, when the markets or fashions change, these will be completely empty towers in the sky. Not before they have consumed the local nightlife due to spiralling rents, though, and lack of customers. I wandered past the Covent Garden Apple store recently, massive and more like an art gallery, and suddenly realised I’d been to the Gardening Club that used to be under it…full of hooray henrys, was there for someone’s birthday and it was deeply odd – but strange that even such a posh club gets the heave-ho. That’s not recent (looks like it went 4 years ago) but kind of endemic of the sort of social shift J.G. Ballard was talking about – glossy shops, expensive gated communities, Patrick Bateman land. (videos via The Guardian/Ian Fondue)

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