You've probably already heard the news, that according to Vice Magazine, The Only Way Is Dalston is coming to MTV.
"Wahey!", you are thinking sarcastically. Another show, like The Only Way Is Essex and Made In Chelsea comprised of self-indulgent gits who fill our screens with their unrelenting sense that they mean something, when actually we watch them because they can't fake act for sh*t. You only have to pick up a copy of the London Evening Standard to see the impact that these shows have created: Ollie Locke or some other person with long hair frolicking in their pointless West London pad telling you why you should care about their new pointless West London pad, while scantily-clad badly tanned women with windscreen wiper eyelashes in OK! Magazine harp on about you why their ex-boyfriend is a whore.
So you'd think that when I heard the news that cool East Londoners will be next under the lens of the cameras I would be disgusted, immediately whip out my keyboard to write the words "DEAR INTERNET" and start shrieking.
Even though I have lived in East London until very recently, I cannot wait for the programme to come to our screens.
Because East Londoners need to have the piss taken out of them...urgently.
Now don't get me wrong, I don't have a vendetta against where I lived or any grudge that caused me to move from the area at all. In fact I love the area. You've still got a lot of indie culture right there on your doorstep, you've got brilliant access to the rest of the city's transport infrastructure, and most of all, by living there you get the thrill of being able to possibly see your house in the background at some point of the opening titles of The Apprentice, during those helicopter shots of the side of the nearby Gherkin.
However, the more I lived there the more something became rather came apparent: how serious you have to be if you are living there. How bizarre everyone was. How everything you express has to come with a meaning, and how nearly everything you listened to had to have the sound "WUB WUB WUB WUB WUB WUB WUB WUB WUB WUB WUB FWAB FWAB FWAB FWAB FWAB" attached to it at all times.
Take style for example. All clothes had to be at a certain angle. A certain proportion of people living here wore sunglasses inside and outside at all times, so much so that after a while you start to think that it is attached their body biologically, like the Home Secretary Theresa May and her outfit that makes it look like she is actually a Sontaran from Doctor Who.
Then there are some of the characters who lived in the area. There was a homeless person directly outside my street who would play the same note on the accordion on loop while dancing on one foot until around 3am. When a passer-by would eventually give them a few coins, the homeless man would be offended, would throw back the money at them, and then shout the words "I NEED SOME WEED."
But the best example to show how uber-serious and weird the local area is was a time that the flat directly below me threw a party. I knew that they were having a get-together because the subwoofers were causing my washing machine to bounce higher than it would during its final spin. Plus there were three people having a collective piss in the hallway. Anyway one of the residents of the house invited my housemate James and I to attend to "drop by" and "check us out". I was certainly in the mind of doing so, primarily because it was 2.30am and my windows were bouncing, so I decided to have a pop in before putting in my mouldable ear plugs* in to block out the noise and head off to bed.
Without a doubt, it was the most f*cked up party that I have attended in my life.
When I entered the flat I saw three people taking photographs of each other, in the shower... whilst the shower was on. It wasn't a jokey "let's go and get our boobies moist because we're drunk" sort of wet, it was "let's all stand in the shower and pose like these photos are being taken by Annie Leibovitz" sort of wet. They were leering over each other in weird positions, like an Ikea wardrobe that you've assembled badly, whilst a photographer in the hallway was clicking his flash camera saying the words "Do it. Yeah. Bend it. Yeah. Pose it. Believe it."on loop. Everyone there was taking it seriously. Someone was even complaining about the poor lighting and whether anyone had a lightbulb that wasn't of the dim energy-saving variety.
The room next to the bathroom was the living room, and the sound blasting out of it was the music that I could hear from the floor above. Weirdly enough, even though there was a layer of concrete between us, the sound you could hear was exactly the same. The stereo was basically farting. Inside the room everyone was collectively staring out of the window at the passing traffic. No-one was talking to each other (you couldn't talk over the sound of the fat car belching), half the people were staring out of the window and occasionally leaned out so they could feel the slight misty rain coming from the rooftop above. Vocally the room was dead for half-an-hour straight. After a while of being vaguely puzzled I wandered over to someone in the corner and asked them why nobody was talking to each other. "This is a time for thinking. And this is the place to do it" she said. I felt weird.
It was at this moment that I wanted to leave, but I couldn't (my friend there had been coaxed into the corner of another room by two people with beards asking him about the influence of Nietzsche's work). I therefore sat in the corner of the living room drinking a warm Budweiser wondering if some people wearing ripped clothing bought it ripped, whether the ripped bits of their clothing developed through time, or whether they did it deliberately by throwing themselves down some stairs or attacked themselves with those soft felt scissors you got in primary school.
So would I like The Only Way Is Dalston to be aired? Well I don't necessarily see how cool East Londoners can be exempt from the programmes that take the mick out of other sections of society, like posh rahs living in Made In Chelsea and various people who did too much of the fake tan in The Only Way Is Essex. We don't watch these type of programmes because we don't actually care about the plotlines of the show or the ups-and-downs of their pretentious lives.
No. We love these programmes because we hate their arrogance and we love every opportunity that they either fluff their lines and say something bizarre or incoherent, and come across like pretentious idiotic losers. East London certainly has a few people who are like this.
But most of all, I want you to watch such a programme and get some enjoyment by realising how f*cked up the area can be sometimes.
A warning though MTV. A few of them may be so drugged up to their eyeballs you might need to use subtitles to help the audiences understand what is going on. Subtitles certainly would have helped when I lived there.
*If you live in a busy street I highly recommend them.
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