London is in the grips of a politically made housing crisis. It’s not just London, of course. Housing in general has become so heinously un-moored from the basic, life-necessary entity that it is; transformed instead by Thatcher and the decades of neoliberal economics that followed into a speculative commodity for opportunist capitalists. But London’s status as an international tax haven and shadow banking hub combined with a corrupt construction sector only building hyper-expensive properties doomed to sit empty as investments for big capital rather than investing in more social housing means that the living situation here is…fraught for ordinary people. To say the least.
I dunno what the housing situation is like where you live, but a quarter of all London residents rent. And renting in London could be fairly described as: A spike-sprinkled slalom course of sorrow and pain. Predatory landlords; extortionate prices; dilapidated properties; shoddy renter protections—it’s a veritable bonanza of ballache!
You get the picture.
If you do manage to find a decent enough place for a price that doesn’t smash your knees with a shovel once a month, then you still have to navigate the choppy waters of the Flatmate Sea. I saw an intriguing example of the kinds of sights one encounters while sailing those currents the other day on Reddit that I wanna share with you here. Strap on a life-jacket, because into the storm we go:
Okay, cool. Cool. A little bourgeois-sounding, but points for originality, you know? I don’t know what ‘therapeutic bodywork’ means, but then a foundry is mentioned. A foundry! I don’t think I’ve ever even encountered the word ‘foundry’ outside of, like, Age of Empires. Fine. Intrigued, to say the least, I am. And, apparently, Yoda for some reason. Let’s carry on.
‘Garden’ is good. Garden is always good. And, you know, personally I used to be a bit of a party animal but now as my bones begin to creak I gotta say I do enjoy the quiet life myself more and more, yeah. And I don’t think anyone can really object to movies, or personal growth, or self-realisation. Anthropology of primitive societies came a bit out of left-field there, but though I’ve personally rarely thought about it that sounds damn interesting too!
Alright let’s see what we’ve got nex—…
I… Hmm. I don’t really have an issue with incense, no. I mean, it’s fine, I guess? But ‘holy smoke’? I’m not that big into the incense scene, but is that a common term for the stuff? Well, whatever, let’s keep going.
Uhh, okay. Sounds like they’ve been through some pretty tough times, in terms of this whole ‘finding a person to live with’ thing. I can empathise with that. We’ve all been there. I mean I’m not sure what I think about ‘maximum intimacy.’ as it sounds a bit more intense than what I would be looking for in some flatmates, really. But…you know… Benefit of the doubt, and all that. Although it does sound like there’s more to come so:
‘A conscious female’! Well that’s a great start! ‘We need you to be awake. At all times. And function as a sort of human guard dog for the property.’
I dunno why but ‘a conscious female’ is a collection of words that just put me on edge.
The next collection of words is something that seems ripe for mockery, but I have a soft spot for hippies and people who refute the brutal consumer-capitalist world order, so all that stuff about not being a ‘techno-human’ I’m inclined to let slide because, hey, I get it, man. Seems a bit absolutist to say that if I socialise in a pub then we won’t get along, but still! I get it! Operate outside the accepted parameters. I love socialising in pubs, but it’s definitely a programmed part of the techno-rat race.
With a ‘k’.
There’s a loooooot of words there.
But magick. With a ‘k’.
Sorta back with you there, guys. Nothing I reaaallly disagree with here. I’m just having a liiiiitle trouble getting over that ‘k’ in ‘magick’.
Just say ‘dirty naked grease-orgy’ and be done with it. Don’t be shy.
Nothing wrong with any of that!
Right there with ya!
I… hmmm. I mean, sometimes I’ll need to close the door and draw the curtains. That’s just…how it works. Otherwise it’s not so much a room as a pen. And I’m generally a pretty outgoing/confident type. But sometimes I’ll need solitude and silence.
A-ha! Silence! See!
I do find the singling out of ‘pulp fiction’ there for scorn funny. What a strange, early 20th century-style prejudice. Damn those moving pictures! Corrupting our youth! And don’t even get me started on the talkies!
It’s quite a mixed bag otherwise, that bit. I do hate TED talks, but I also like headphones. I don’t socialise on the phone, but I do in person. Which I thought you said was a good thing! Guys, I’ll be honest, my head is spinning, I’m confused!
I’m from the Czech Republic, does that count?
Got it! You want a realistic down to earth show…that’s completely off the wall…and swarming with magic robots! Or some sort of dirty naked grease-orgy. I think I’ll take my chances with the extortionate asbestos corridor down the road, cheers.