Live music

I've always been a big fan of free live music and walking around the underground system in London lately I've seen Carling are sponsoring buskers at some stations, providing them with their own little patch complete with stick-on "stage" on the floor.

On the one hand I think this is a bloody marvelous idea, selecting great buskers and giving them much needed exposure, although I do fear that corporate sponsorship of such grassroots culture inevitably leads to insidious cultural gentrification and dilution of the original ideal.

Take for example Covent Garden. Covent Gardens once had hip street entertainment, populated by loads of grubby buskers scratching a living from an acoustic six string but these have been slowly replaced by cloned paid-by-the-hour electric geetar types who plug their amps into council-funded generators to play identikit Coldplay and Pink Floyd covers for tourists before selling copies of CDs of covers.

This new generation of "respectable" buskers are now fully approved of by the authorities and are no longer moved on but actually allowed a patch of ground on which to practice their art.

By paying street performers, they can actually afford to have a bath and hence the grub factor goes and soon the watered down performer is born, the bstard child of music and corporate sponsorship.

This little compromise allows the authorities to keep the streets clear of ny undesirables while still retaining something of the "character" and "diversity" that buskers bring.

Real buskers who busk from the heart, singing rebel songs of passion and preaching about subversion then have to compete for the publics attention with a army of easy listening cover bands and soon the whole busking scene is reduced to another bland sea of grey, unthreatening to the casual observer, pleasing to the sponsors and frustratingly unexciting to the dedicated listener.

Using this logic I worked out the solution to Londons increasing homeless problem.
All of Londons beggars should be given a little patch of ground complete with stick-on cardboard box (sponsored by Special Brew).

Here they should be allowed to beg to their hearts content while simultaneously being paid by Mayor Ken for their good work in contributing to the diversity of sights in London. Keeping the streets "street". man.

Soon you'd have higher class of beggar, a corporate beggar if you will who no longer intimidates the public but instead becomes a respectable item of street furniture. As these beggars start to thrive the real, dirty beggars will soon find it hard to compete in the new corporate age and will have to find other ways to earn a living. Like getting a job.

Why stop there!?! Whores could be paid to stand on street corners soliciting, grafitti artists could be given free tins of spray paint if their work is blnd enough, flyposters, whorecard posters...
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