Today, I walked down to the Quayside with my camera. Just for a change, I went with the 70-300mm zoom instead of my main lens. Which turned out to be a Good Thing, as I was able to get in a lot closer to this nifty Space Invader.
Smaller Space Invaders have been appearing around Newcastle, to the delight of photographers, the amusement of the artist responsible, and the annoyance of the police who have threatened the artist with arrest once or twice. It’s all connected with a new exhibition of urban art at the Baltic, entitled Spank the Monkey. Unlike most Baltic shows, this one sounds like it might be interesting and fun, so I’ll be going along at some point. I’ve got a load more pictures to sort out, and I’ll get round to them as soon as I can.
Last month, I mentioned the case of the postman who got into trouble for telling people how to avoid getting at least some of the junk mail that we’re all deluged with. Once upon a time, the Royal Mail was a public service – you know the kind of thing, something that exists to serve the public. But of course, that sort of thing isn’t allowed these days. Like most other former public services, it’s now a “business” labouring under the delusion that it’s in competition with other suppliers. Now for some areas of what they do, this is true. There are indeed companies eager to grab lucrative business mail. But the service of delivering mail to every household in the country? Nobody’s going to even try to compete there. But apparently, the management of the Royal Mail are very worried that if they don’t deliver tons of worthless, unwanted junk, somebody else will. And when this postman made the mistake of actually serving the public by telling them how to opt out from getting at least some of the rubbish, his bosses got a bit upset.
However, BBC News reports that he has been allowed to keep his job. But they’re not letting him back on the same delivery round, for reasons that probably make sense if you’re a manager in something that used to be a public service.