Is there a time and a place which is inexplicably romantic to you? Like, early-70's New York, when the city had gone to pot and had become generally a pretty dangerous place is one of those places for me. Intellectually I know it'd be a terrible place to live but I still can't help but think of it in romantic terms. I'm not talking about the greeting card Woody Allen version of social-climbing Jews going to see French films and then back to their midtown apartments to drink wine and discuss existentialism, I'm talking about the seedy, vicious place from Taxi Driver and The French Connection, full of pimps and thieves and people who'd just as soon shoot you as look at you.
Another one of those places is early-to-mid-80's London. After the self-immolation of punk, in the midst of Thatcherism and the pockets of neo-fascism it dragged along with it. When the cultural gifts that London gave to the world were whatever mid-tempo R&B songs Stock Aitken Waterman had vomited up this week. Part of it is the fact that gentrification hadn't completely absorbed London yet, so the working classes were still (if barely) hanging on in the city. But I guess maybe what I really romanticize is the idea of living in a World Capital that's at a low ebb in terms of its broader impact on the culture, because it's a place where anything is possible, and where if you can hang on you know things can only get better.
This is a song by the fairly execrable Style Council, although it's pretty decent by their low standards. It's bland and MOR and totally sounds like mid-80's London.