Thursday, May 25, 2006

Happy Birthday, Bronze Medal!

OK, so this is a couple of days late, but it's time that we wished this haven of all things Indie, Tea and Time Lord its first happy birthday. Yes, Dear Readers, it was one year ago on Tuesday that The Bronze Medal took its first steps into the world with a post called 'An Unearthly Child'. At that point, I was unsure how long things would last but we've made it a year! We're now about 8th on Google if you search under the terms "Bronze Medal", "Idlewild" and "Cyber Control" (look, I was bored one night) and have reached that age when we can take our first steps in to the world, and begin rejecting our inheritance of Gormenghast (mental note: stop making jokes that only you, and about two other people, understand). Anyways, if you'd like to leave any wishes of good luck for the future of this glorious refuge from the world, they'll be much appreciated.

It seems only right that on our birthday, we take a look back at some of the things we've learnt over the past year. Firstly, it suddenly struck me yesterday that paying for black bin bags is actually just throwing money away. Why can't they be free? If you stop and think about it, it's probably the most pointless use of money ever! Also, something I strongly believe, and can account for from personal experience, is that call centres do not work, to either the people working in them or the people having to speak to someone within one. On the side of the worker (sounds a bit socialist, eh?!?), people don't like to be reduced to statistics. It may be wonderful to be able to pour out such statements as how many times you pressed delete over the past week and train you on typing, but it makes you feel as though you are constantly being watched. And that's what is happening. It's quite alarming to suddenly be asked one day why you disappeared for eight minutes the previous day, and somehow you feel a bit embarassed admiting you couldn't deal with it anymore. So in short, they don't just reduce you to a statistic but they invade on your privacy as well. One of the main things that distinguishes humans from the other wonderful species on this planet is our ability for compassion, understanding and tolerance. Unfortunaltely call centres erode this. Moreover, for the person calling, the fact you end up talking to someone who has just completed three weeks of intensive training means that no-one really knows what they're talking about. They're simply reading from a pre-prepared script that erodes individuality. Finally, due to the pressures placed on the people working inside them, you end up having to deal with people as quickly as possible, thus reducing all interaction to a transaction. Thus, look up 'dehumanising' in the dictionary and you should see 'call centres' listed there.

I've also become increasingly fascinated by the subject of time and temporal theory over the last year or so, to the extent that a friend remarks that I'm the only person they know who uses the phrase "space-time continuum" continually and in a serious manner. I just think it's such a fascinating thing though. To think that at any moment in the above-stated continuum you have the ability to mould that into what it is, the fact that this abstract thing can at times move so quickly and yet move so slowly at others, and that you're the only person experiencing time in that way at that moment. It's truly fascinating.

Personally though, its nice to be at this point in time. There are certainly some things to look forward to in the future, not least the fact that I appear to be reaching my career goal. Suppose I should make it public that for the next three years I'll be living in Cardiff, undertaking my PhD and teaching first-year undergraduates in my old department. That's actually quite scary when you stop and think about it as its one hell of a responsibility, but I'm quite happy to think I'm gonna have another three years in the Bute. In fact, a big cheesy grin has just come over my face.

Finally though, I want to thank everybody who reads this for reading it. Your support and enthusiasm is very much appreciated and keeps the thing going. Oh, and a very Happy Birthday to Mr. Edward Easton for the forthcoming weekend.

Cyber Control's Top 5 Records to Celebrate Our First Birthday:

The Young Knives - She's Attracted To
The Zutons - Pressure Point
People in Planes - Narcoleptic
Maximo Park - Going Missing
Snow Patrol - Chasing Cars


Talk Show Host said...

Good luck for the future... if that is the space-time continuum you are looking at :-s!

Talk Show Host said...

I like your new links!! (Even though I have been relegated down the page!)

Inspiring.. I think I might add more to my lowly blogsite!