The Null Device

Coming soon to Disneylondon

First there was the Millennium Dome, then the London Eye, and then that American wanker in the glass box; now, the global theme park that is London is to get a new attraction: a giant circular video screen/camera that links London to a similar system in Vienna. (Why Vienna, you ask, and not, say, Berlin or New York or somesuch? because the company behind the thing is from there.) The screen captures live video of people in front of it and sends it to the screen in Vienna, which does the same, effectively creating a huge portal between these two cities (sort of like the Lucky Dragon franchise thing in that William Gibson novel). Except for the 13% of the time that it blasts ads at all in earshot.

That all reminds me of a high-concept, Disneylondon version of that "alt.tv" screen in Bourke St.; originally it was meant to be some sort of hip, underground pop-culture thing, run by the custodians of pop-culture, ad agencies. It showed animations, BMX/skateboarding segments and interviews with People Off The Street. Oh, and every so often it would show ads, when the speakers arrayed around the nearby streetscapes would come to life and provide a soundtrack to the captive audiences waiting for trams.

The "alt.tv" concept (I wonder if they tried to take over the USENET newsgroup as a promotional medium) fizzled, and the screen seems to have been taken over by stock quotes, news tickers, and Leunig claymations on repeat. Oh, and ads.

Anyway, back to Disneylondon, the theme park that the Second City of McWorld (the title of First City being shared by New York, Washington and LA) is turning into. Maybe if they actually handed over management of the city to Disney Corp., the Tube would run properly and not keep crashing into tunnel walls. And they could use the decommissioned postal rail tunnels for theme park security.

There are 2 comments on "Coming soon to Disneylondon":

Posted by: kstop http:// Wed Oct 22 17:18:32 2003

funnily enough, my last two foreign excursions were to London and Disneyworld. Anyone who compares London to Disneyworld hasn't been to Disneyworld. For one thing, London is probably the apex of evolutionary urban planning, while Disneyworld is the exact opposite.

Also, a Big Thunder Mountain rollercoaster crashed in its tunnel segment recently, killing 1 and wounding 11 more, so they probably wouldn't be able to keep real trains on time.

Posted by: mark http://donotuselifts.net/ Wed Oct 22 17:43:35 2003

"London is probably the apex of evolutionary urban planning..."

Come on, it can't be *that* bad!

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