The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

All The Fun Of The Fair …
April 25, 2018, 6:15 am
Filed under: Comment

When I was a kid, I used to go to the annual ‘Goose Fair’ in Nottingham.

Goose Fair is, if memory serves me, the biggest and oldest fair in Europe and from about the age of 5, I used to go there – first with my Dad, then with my friends – to play on the arcade games, go on the rides and eat mushy peas out of a polystyrene cup.

I loved it and even now, if I find myself in England in the first week of October, I’ll make it a priority to go along, even though it isn’t quite as magical to me as it once was.

I say this because a few weeks ago, we took Otis to an old-school fair in LA.

It’s nothing like Goose Fair, it’s indoors for a start, but it has rides, games, prizes and food.

As you can see from the photos, he kinda-loved it.

Talking to him afterwards, it became apparent that it wasn’t just the lights, noise and fun that captured his attention but the ability to feel like he was in control of all that was around him.

I don’t mean that in terms of him getting me to pay for whatever he wanted to try, I mean it in the sense that he was suddenly able to explore activities and adventures that were normally off limits to him … either because of access or age.

Things like riding a horse.

Or a motorbike.

Or patting unicorns.

For him, the fair was less about igniting his imagination and more about stepping into a World of possibilities.

Maybe that’s what made me love Goose Fair when I was a kid and maybe that’s why it still holds a fascination with me today … because while I’m old enough to do pretty much whatever I like, a fun fair lets me do it with all the enthusiasm and freedom I felt when I was younger, without any concerns what anyone else will think.

In other words, the fun you get at a fair isn’t because of the rides, but because it let’s you live without the limits society places on us.

Sure, video games do a similar thing – but there’s something very different between physical transformation and just emotional – which is why it’s a shame so many of the fairs are closing down, including this one in LA, because as much as I love playing video games, there’s something far more infectious when you’re in it rather than just controlling it.

Which is possibly the best reason everyone should give a shit about AI/VR.

31 Comments so far
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“eat mushy peas out of a polystyrene cup.”

Another thing about your terrible tastes explained. Mushy peas are disgusting. I’d rather easy the polystyrene cup.

Comment by Billy Whizz

says the fucker who eats poptarts cardboard everyfuckingday.

Comment by andy@cynic

Poptarts are 1,000,000,000% worse than mushy peas. Mainly because mushy peas are awesome and poptarts are – as Andy said – pieces of cardboard with boiling hot stickiness inside.

Comment by Rob

trying hard to turn otis into a proper nottingham hooligan i see. luckily he had his mums genes so his future is relatively safe.

Comment by andy@cynic

hes wearing fucking nikes. freebies i presume.

Comment by andy@cynic

I think I paid for those. Oh hang on, no I didn’t.


Comment by Rob

and you liked goose fair because thats where all nottingham thieves learn their trade as pickpockets.

Comment by andy@cynic

The Freebie King doesn’t need to pick pockets.

Comment by John

I hadn’t known that immersive experiential design was pioneered in Nottingham. Would that innovative impetus be related to a need to escape from the reality of the city?

As for VR – is that a reference to the number of people who throw up at funfairs?

Comment by John

‘VR’ stands for ‘vomit radius’ – which is how far back you have to stand from the Waltzers in order to avoid being sprayed by bits of regurgitated rancid hamburger.

Comment by Ian Gee

Otis looks so happy and he’s growing so fast.
By the way, your last 2 paragraphs are brilliant.

Comment by Pete

thats what kids fucking do.

Comment by andy@cynic

I have so much to learn about parenting.

Comment by Pete

Ok. Serious question. When you talk about control being inferior to being “in it” do you mean haptic sensation because you also say that Otis liked the sense of being in control?

Comment by John

have you gone fucking mad doddsy?

Comment by andy@cynic

I read this blog don’t I?

Comment by John

I’m not saying ‘inferior’, I’m simply saying it was obvious Otis loved the fact he was experiencing a physical and tangible transformation … beyond just imagination or emotion, but a whole new World. Even more than haptic sensation, or at least how many technologists would interpret that.

Comment by Rob

So “far more infectious” doesn’t mean superior?

Comment by John

No. It just reflects his preference.

Comment by Rob

I once visited Goose Fair, but I abstained from mushy peas in a polystyrene cup. Am I correct in saying they would be served with mint sauce?

A fascinating read given where technology is pushing us. The look of joy on Otis face seems to say the physical world still has am important role in society.

Comment by Lee Hill

Either you have an incredible memory or the idea of it disgusted you so much it’s burned in your memory, ha.

Comment by Rob

maybe he just liked it because he lives in lalaland and that place is as fake as fuck.

Comment by andy@cynic

ok ive been waiting long enough. why the fuck have none of you wished me a happy birthday. or sent me a fuckload of presents. ill even take credit card payments. the lot of you are wankers.

Comment by andy@cynic

I know for a fact you’re lying. I don’t mean that it’s your birthday but that you’ve not got any presents because George and I have sent you a joint gift. You might not have got it yet … you might not like it when you get it … but you have definitely got one.

Comment by Rob

How can you be another year older when you keep looking younger?

Comment by Pete

if thats my present if fucking sucks.

Comment by andy@cynic

Happy birthday Andrew.
Looking forward to seeing you all saturday.

Comment by Mary Bryant


Comment by Katerina

poor fucking showing. but the present was alright. could have been fucking bigger.

Comment by andy@cynic

Happy birthday Mr Ungrateful. Hope you had a special day, we will celebrate on Saturday.

Comment by George

[…] George on All The Fun Of The Fair … […]

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