Sunday, 8 March 2009

A Saturday Tale - and a Few Words of Explanation

It Saturday morning and as I'm writing this lines of red double-deckers (buses) are disgorging those of semi-local shoppers that still have the odd pound or two in their pocket. Not that Wood Green Shopping City (the local mall) is quite the retail magnet it once was - these days its upper level more resembles a pub brawled''s is grin. Anyway, today I'm at the Tollgate, a pub in Turnpike Lane, North London. It has just gone 9 a.m. and the excuse (and I do feel a need one) is purely medicinal. Not that I ever suffer hangovers per se you understand, but I am left somewhat shaky at times after a good skinful the night before. Yesterday evening was squandered in the John Logie Baird pub in Muswell Hill (Yes the TV inventor Geezer - no not that kind of TV, that invented itself. Actually the bloke lived much of his life in Hastings on the south coast - so hands up anyone who knows his connection with this place). Perhaps the word 'squandered' is being just a little harsh - I did nearly - not quite, but very nearly - finish all the right he required to top out INSTITUTIONALISED volume 2. And in my defence I must point out that yesterday morning I typed up another 950-ish words (and close to another 2000 the day before that).
The reason I am bothering to say any of this is to excuse the delay in adding the text portion to my last posting. As you may have guessed from the title my aim was to group together a series of images that appeal to my taste, that I have come across during my various exploratory expeditions into Web-world and that, to my mind at least, if considered sequentially tell a tale roughly analogous to the INSTITUTIONALISED storyline thus far. I hope the originators don't mind but I've left the crediting details intact so that they should benefit from the exposure in any case (Except the captioned image which someone sent me anonymously).

From left to right and from top to bottom we have the luscious Rosalyn Young (I hope I've spelt that right) representing the epitome of the domestic face of discipline - what a wonderful little uniform for aaround the home! Then we have that intake/admission procedures scene from the Bars-and-Stripes site - what I like particularly about this one is all the tiny details they have included. There is that 1950s prom dress of course - a delicious confection in its own right, I'm sure you'd agree - but then there is that thick white line marked out on the floor and that young Lady's toes are just touching. What's so important about that, I hear you ask? In fact I'd wager that few will have even noticed it. But that simple white line is what this picture is all about; it is the story it is telling writ large. Note how that line is spaced away from the desk that the young woman facing. It is not the natural place to stand - and to my mind that is the point. It is irritating, petty, frustrating, restrictive - it is all of those things and more, but what it really represents is that young woman's life - at least for the foreseeable future.

As for the rest you can probably guess - and that's the point really; to mentally craft your own tale. But I have to say that to my mind nothing quite conjures up so much imagery as a girl being caned across the toilet pedestal by woman in a nurse's uniform. The absolute epitome of institutionalised discipline, don't you think! Corporal punishment, petty rules, even toilet training, it's all there written out in that one image.

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