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Thoughts in a strange pub — 15 Comments

  1. “I really fucking hate televisions in pubs.”

    Same as that, GD. The problem, as you say, is that they demand your attention. They are almost impossible to ignore, even with the sound off, and are a gross intrusion on conversation because they distract one so. Still, with the astronomical amounts of money that Sky demand from pubs, with any luck they will all ditch the TVs soon. They must be near broke by now, most of them, having thrown out their best customers. Fools.

    What’s with the new, minimalist comments box then? Basic font; no italics / bold / underline (I used html to italicise the quote, and I don’t even know if it will work); I was able to copy and paste the quote from the blog directly into the comments box instead of going through the “you wanna paste what you just copied? Ok, paste it into this little box here and click ‘ok’, and we’ll paste it into the comments box for you”. Something to do with your new OS?

    • Televisions without sound are like music in a lift, or a very bad itch between the shoulderblades [just where you can't reach] – intensely irritating and not doing any good at all.  I really don't know why they bother.

      Sorry about the editor buttons – the basic WordPress software was updated and it fucked up one of my plugins.  I had disabled it but have now switched it on again.  You now have the buttons but I have nothing on the main editing page!  And your italics did work.  Congratulations!

  2. Agree mostly with all you say. My one reservation as a sports fan with Sky Sport at home for the bigger games, is the arrival of fucking Setanta and the need to visit the pub for some matches now. Mostly I go to the boozer to meet friends and drink or to peacefully read a compulsive book on my own. On those occasions, I hate the telly AND the music. Even my local who do great food and even make their own hooch, seem duty-bound to fill the place with background noise and flickering digital images.
    I have a theory that the younger generation need many things happening simultaneously because they lack both the confidence and the attention-span to actually debate a damned thing past soundbites. Oh, and they can’t shut up during a match either!

    • I can understand televisions being used when there is some major sporting event on, but they should really switch ’em off for the rest of the time.

      As for your last paragraph – agree 100%!

  3. We are surrounded by unwanted TV sets in pubs. Some years ago my local bank installed a TV and I wrote a letter of protest to the manager. His female secretary phoned me and sweetly said the customers would appreciate news about currency fluctuations and other things. I told her that I went to a bank to deposit cheques and withdraw cash and didn’t want distractions. Anyways, on a recent holiday in Ireland I noticed that the television set has been withdrawn. Is it just because the bank wants to save money on TV licences?

    • Why on earth would people in a bank queue want to see currency fluctuations?  If you are queuing to change currencies then watching fluctuations is leaving it a bit late in the day?  It would be like having videos of surgical operations playing in a doctor’s waiting room…..

  4. I very rarely go to bars and when I do they are a stop off on a bike ride. Seeing as I tend to ride in decent weather rather than in the rain as I used to when younger I sit out side where it is calmer. Pubs are just empty shells of what they used to be, at one time I used to look forward to going down the pub necause as likely as not you would strike up a good conversation with someone, but not now. Bars nowadays, it seems to me, attract the most uninteresting people.

    • There was once a time when you would hear the sound of laughter and conversation coming from pubs as you pass them on the street.  There was once a time when you would have to fight your way to the bar to order a drink.  They used to be the hub of the community where people would go to meet friends or have a casual chat with strangers.

      As you say – they are now just empty shells with dead business and dead customers.

  5. I think the decline in the pubs started on new years eve 1999 when they wanted to charge you just to get in the door, even if you were a customer for the whole year up to then.
    It was around this time that people started meeting up in houses to drink, and as for the young ones they get their news and gossip from their phones.

  6. A friend of mine was responsible for tied houses in a major British city. He came up with this rule – they could have a telly in the pub as long as it was placed somewhere where it could not be seen by any member of the staff. From then on they were generally switched off!

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