Books Magazine

Look at the Pretties!

By Ashleylister @ashleylister
Free. Not often you get something for free is it? They might be a bit naff but Blackpool illuminations are one fo the few things left that people can appreciate without cost. Thats the beauty of them for me. Not just because I'm skint and tighter than a tramp with his last bottle of cider, but because for all their tacky glory they are something that can be appreciated without obligation.
We have adverts polluting our vision every time we leave the house, with glorious graphics and intricate designs it's hard to get away from someone trying to cajole us into purchasing their wares. Vision pollution, each fighting for our attention and forcing themselves uninvited into our subconscious. Gives me brain indigestion.  If someone popped their head in front of me and waved a product in my face 24/7 restraining orders would be involved. Against me.
Look at the pretties!
Blackpool illuminations might be a bit old, a bit battered and somewhat random but that's what I like about them, they are there for their own sake. No-one (save for the odd sponsor) is trying to make me buy their overpriced gubbins. Yes, I guess the reason they exist is to draw cashflow into the town but it's not compulsory to go and see them. It's quite a nice walk with a bag of chips on a dry evening in between bodyswerving the guys rattling buckets. "I pay me council tax doncha know!" There are still some up I remember from my childhood and it's nice to see them alongside the newer creations. It's nice that my kids still think they are magical.
There was uproar here when the Council started charging to see the switch on, not just because people didn't want to pay, but because it took something from the spirit of the lights. Start charging to see them too, and people will expect chuffing holograms, flash CGI effects and graphics and a new set each year for their cash, which would be worse. Or lights featuring warbling contestants from the X Factor complete with Cowell and his uber pants. Hideous.
Keep em naff, keep em free, and avoid the guy with the light up swords like a venereal disease.

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