Sorry about the extended absence. You can consider it a sabbatical, as I’ve been absorbed in my new work. A column for Eye on Kings Heath. Understandably as readers of Eye On Moseley, you will more than likely never have heard of Eye On Kings Heath. Those of you who have never heard of Eye on Kings Heath will be unlikely to rush off and read our dubious rival publication, at least if you’ve been reading Eye On Moseley properly anyway. It is exactly what you’d expect from that dark valley of hovels to our south. Clumsy, lacking content. Childish. So why then am I writing a column for them? Ill explain.
Eye On Moseley began so many years ago with only the purest of intentions. A non-profit organisation founded to breed mutual respect amongst the residents of Moseley. A co-operative, non-hierarchical, socialist orientated, internet based community newspaper, dedicated to ridding Moseley of the evils of the likes found in the Chantry Road Mafia and Sandford Road Massive. To exposing the evil of robot Nimas, potholes and slipper wearing cats. But that was then…. This is now.
Shortly after the fabled first birthday party, a secret meeting of the Eye On Moseley bigwigs was held. I was astonished to turn up to this meeting and see seated chummily with my esteemed colleagues the likes of Richard Branson, representatives of the West Midlands Police, World Bank officials, Pottery and Pieces head honcho, Bill Gates and others. All in all there were 15 or so of the most evil people in the world. Even Martin Mulanney was there. And sat amongst them were my colleagues like evil eggs under a big, traitorous multi-headed bastard of a pigeon.
They explained to me, between chewing great mouthfuls of smoke from their expensive Cuban cigars, that Eye On Moseley had been made an offer it could not refuse. They explained to me that there was “no point trying to buck the system, because outside the system there is none to hear you”. “Surely” I stammered “..surely one person reached, one person kept on the straight and narrow is reason for us to go on?”. They looked to each other and then looked to me and smiled. “Simon” they purred soothingly “There’s just no market for this sort of do gooding rubbish anymore. We can write and write for the rest of our lives, wasting our sage words, day after day, year after year, and see nothing for it or…” The sentence trailed to an end, its sentiments unrevealed but still perfectly clear.
“We have always looked on Moseley as the epitome of All things good and Kings heath as the embodiment of all things evil. You yourself have always championed this viewpoint. But if you also see that Moseley is rich and Kings Heath is poor, which there is no denying, then you must see that money is good and poor is evil. We cannot keep wasting ourselves on this … charity. We are here to force you to choose. Choose whether you will spend your most creative years fighting against a tide of filthy ignorance or whether you will accept what you know to be the truth and join us in our new world. A world of inclusion. A world of tennis clubs, delicatessens and hand made woollen jumpers.”
“Let go of the bitterness and the anger. We can keep the fame and the women.” He indicated the monsters around him with a sweep of his arm.” Our backers here are willing to pay us just for our name. They will install a creative team of writers who will do our work for us while we are free to do the things that we have always wanted to do.” He dropped a fat, green olive into his mouth and burst it between his teeth, allowing a trickle of oil to run down the corner of his mouth .”
I sat in my chair mouth open and mind aghast. My friends, my well-intentioned friends of the purest intentions had sold out. They’d sold out and there was no changing their minds. I stumbled away knocking my chair to the floor, sickness pushing up through my oesophagus.
Since that day a year ago I have not written a word for Eye On Moseley. None of you will have noticed the difference between me and my unwelcome ghost writer. But neither will have you noticed the subtle introduction of product placement into the Eye. The subject matter has been slowly downgraded from cutting expose to frivolous nonsense, but over a period of time and cleverly, oh so cleverly.
In Japan the new “establishment friendly” Eye On Moseley has become so popular that they have made cartoon characters from the creators. They have also released a series of corporate business strategy videos and manuals. They have been done in a suitably “underground” style so as not to alienate the original target audience, but they are nonetheless corporate business strategy materials. And that’s how it is here too. You think you’re reading about life straight from Moseley’s underbelly? You’re not. You’re licking the words directly from the forked tongues of those you hate by reading Eye On Moseley. You just don’t know it.
That’s why it’s been so long . A complicated legal battle has been fought over the ownership of Simon’s name and likeness. All “Simon Says” since February of 2001 have been impounded as a breach of my intellectual property rights. They have won the rights to the ownership of the rest of the site, but I am allowed to continue to write as myself. So as well as working against them from within, I am going to expand my work to Eye On Kings Heath, where I will work side by side with my less fortunate brothers. They may be dull – witted but they’re honest. They may be inbred but at least they’re their own people not corporate lap dogs. And I’m looking forward to the day when Eye On Kings Heath is approached for sponsorship, because I know that the people who have worked so hard to establish this website for the working person will say “no” with one voice. Mainly because they don’t really understand the premise of sponsorship. Or corporations . Or much spoken English.