Dismal

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If you want to go to Banksy’s latest show and you can’t find an online ticket then your only option is to queue. So British. Your only choice of destination is Weston-super-Mare. So British, so Victorian, so wonderfully, beautifully crap; its pier reaching hopefully across the quicksand knowing that one day, if global warming permits, it will become part of a seaside town.

Being British, of course, we were great at queuing and we took it on cheerfully. For 5 whole hours. Even when a man with a megaphone told us it was pointless, we stayed there determined. We drank beer and chatted to the neighbours and just enjoyed being at the seaside. What’s the difference between standing in a queue with people who make you laugh, and giggling with them in a crowded pub? Answer – the beer’s cheaper.

We got tickets in the end, and we were unreasonably happy about it. Only a massive queue can make you feel like that.

Dismaland itself was full of things that made me think, and laugh, and feel uncomfortable, like I was somehow part of the exhibit. Only someone who grew up entranced by Disney would be that gutted to see two sad sweet bluebirds try to haul their beloved Cinderella out of her mangled pumpkin.

Only someone who feels angry with heartless politicians would be so disgusted to come across a sudden billboard of David Cameron’s spammy face.

Only someone who was brought up to be relentlessly polite would feel so disturbed by their own reaction to the intentional rudeness of the staff. Why did I try to snatch that leaflet from the grumpy girl at the entrance or swear back at the very rude fairground man?

Call me paranoid but the whole thing seemed to have been put on just for me. It held my attention in a way even the best gallery show never will.

And the real stroke of genius was the setting. Weston-super-Mare, a place that I genuinely love even if I sound sarcastic. The security of childhood holidays – sugary movies, peeling paint, and disgusting sticky rock. We wandered along the sea front when the main attraction closed and it felt like we were still in there. The uneven tiling in the public toilets, the sand sculptures enclosed by chipboard walls, donkey silhouettes against sundrenched mudflats and that poor, hopeful little pier.

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This post was written by vikmartin

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