Squeeze for the camera…

khan
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan does it a lot. David Beckham too and Joseph Gordon Levitt. A whole raft of show-biz types in fact and including on occasion and to my horror, my eldest son.
 
I refer to pulling a certain face for the cameras. Ben Stiller called it Blue Steele in his movie Zoolander, but I think this pose is slightly different.
 
It involves the narrowing of the eyes and adopting a subtle general strain to the face. It’s a look that says, “Hey, I’m sexy. Have you noticed?”
 
It might be classically described as ‘the smoulder’ but I think a more accurate description is the ‘doing a poo’ look.
 
This post will be included in my forthcoming book, Dominic Holland takes on Life - and might be a perfect take because it's a book designed to occupy toilets and presumably some readers will be doing this look as they read. 
 
A previous Mayor of London is currently the Prime Minister of Great Britain and no doubt the ambitious Mr Khan would love to repeat this career path. Hence his ‘doing a poo’ look in all his publicity shots to capture our votes and the top gig in years to come. But this is a tall order.
 
Under his Mayor ship, the old roads of London have been butchered to make way for hundreds of miles of cycle lanes – and because we are British and not Dutch, none of these cycle lanes are being used. Where I live, the newly installed cycle lanes are shunned for being too perilous; having to accommodate bus stops and trapping general detritus to tip cyclists off too easily. 
 
Meanwhile, the remaining constricted roads are much more congested. Journey times are longer. Emissions up. Cars crammed and crawling next to empty cycle lanes. 
 
Fuel consumption up to go with frustration levels. And compounded  by the radio advertising campaign (at our expense) extolling the virtues of its transport policy with the catchy slogan...
 
"To the Mayor of London and Transport for London (TfL), every journey matters."
 
Unless your journey happens to be in a car.
 
In the movie, Field of Dreams, Kevin Costner was instructed to build the field and the players will come. And they duly did.
The same logic is employed here.
 
Build the cycle lanes and the cyclists will come.
 
But will they?
 
No one would argue against the merits of the bicycle. But in cities as vast as London, when it is dark by 3pm in the winter, wet cold... how realistic an option is cycling?
 
The politicians though are determined that this will happen. Cameras at every junction await to charge and fine motorists and squeeze them out of their cars and on to bicycles. 
 
It might work but I doubt it. 
 
A dangerous gamble then. It is not just the millions of £ spent on this new infrastructure. It is the political careers of the politicians on the line.
 
These individuals will be hoping and praying that they are vindicated. And they will be fretting that their call is wrong. Our mayor might even be shitting himself and if this does come to pass, then at least he is well practised at doing the look. 
 
 
 
 

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10 Comments

  1. Lorraine October 11, 2020
    Reply

    Love the blog today Dom. I have to say”the look” only works on some people – most look ridiculous while attempting it I’m not a fan of cycle lanes I think far too much money is spent on something that a few cyclists use, most of them think they own the roads anyway! I think you should stay safe and cycle in Richmond Park, sure you can do a cool 36 miles on a good day no bother‍♂️

  2. Beth October 11, 2020
    Reply

    All I have to say is: well said- very well said.

  3. Lorraine October 11, 2020
    Reply

    I apologise Dom. The symbol changed when I posted.bit 2ad supposed to be a cyclist!!!

  4. Sydnee Coleman October 11, 2020
    Reply

    You posted extra early to today it’s 5 in the morning where I live. Well it still is a lovely blog Mr. H, I think only a few people can do the look you are talking about (me not being one). And all I see is Rapunzel‘s face from Tangled, when Eugene does this face and I laugh. Now with cycling lanes, I don’t really have an option because I don’t live in the city but I do love riding my bike, but that is not the same as cycling huh?

  5. Sydnee Coleman October 11, 2020
    Reply

    You posted extra early to today it’s 5 in the morning where I live. Well it still is a lovely blog Mr. H, I think only a few people can do the look you are talking about (me not being one). And all I see is Rapunzel‘s face from Tangled, when Eugene does this face and I laugh. Now with cycling lanes, I don’t really have an option because I don’t live in the city but I do love riding my bike, but that’s not the same as cycling huh?

  6. Julie Salt October 11, 2020
    Reply

    Another issue is that trucks delivering supplies to shops in London are consistently getting fined for parking near those shops (because there is no alternative). These fines have just gone up massively. Those companies are going to pass the costs onto their customers meaning higber prices for everyone. There is no other way to deliver supplies at present, so what do they expect those companies to do?

  7. Sydnee Coleman October 11, 2020
    Reply

    Also to quote your eldest son “But way would it give you the option to post it twice? That is my question. I was like ‘how did I do that’Lol lol

  8. Michelle S October 11, 2020
    Reply

    I feel your angst .I live in florida and our officials have spent so many thousands of dollars for simply planting palm trees down the medians of our roads or roundabouts for “beautification” purposes and yet our schools and public parks are in constant need of attention ! Crazy
    priorities.
    On top of it all… our mayor could not possibly ever pull off a
    blue steel look.At least that would be something.

  9. Victoria October 11, 2020
    Reply

    My town is the opposite when it comes to cyclists. We have bike lanes and have monthly meetings (according to my mom) that encourage us to get out and bike. They even made it safer for kids to get to school by riding bikes.

    And the squeeze look your eldest son makes is jokingly called having a frog in his mouth, which I just find absolutely hysterical.

  10. Rachel Conrad October 12, 2020
    Reply

    The “look” reminds me immensely of the silly “this is your model face” thing that’s trending right now.
    That does seem a bit odd for there to be a big push for cyclist lanes in a city that can be considerably wet and cold.
    I had no idea it gets dark at 3:00pm in London! That’s so cool!
    I didn’t know you were coming out with another book either (sorry if you mentioned it already on your Patreon, and sorry that I’m not currently subscribed to you). I’m really excited for it!
    Can’t wait for next week’s blog!

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