Its been a while since I last updated the site, personal and legal issues have prevented this, a mentally and physically enforced writers block. I’d like to say that was the only reason, but it isn’t, bottom line is I haven’t really had anything noteworthy to write about. Now don’t misunderstand, I’m not saying I don’t have locations to write about, believe me I do, but the stories behind them or the pictures that resulted have been seen or heard before, nothing special. In my mind.
Personally I find giving the standard tale of “we went here, we climbed these stairs, I found a shoe, it was fun” to be dull, you’ve read it before. This was an accounting factor in why almost half of this sites content was binned during the update to the new design, all of which suffered from the above.
So what’s new then? Well, I’ll give you a clue, it revolves around exploration within the UK, which can mean only one thing. That’s right, politics! After all, it wouldn’t be the UK without it. Yes, the ugly beast has reared its head from behind the Google search engine and is once again running rampant. The topic of debate this time is not that of a “who-done-what”, but rather the question of “Has the Urban Exploring scene in the UK imploded?”
Yes? No? What do you think? Most, if not all who agree with above, start and finish their argument by saying that exploring was somehow better “back in the day”, that everyone got along, there were no politics, crews or cliques and that you were practically tripping over new locations. Said explorers frequently pointed fingers at forums such as 28days, and groups such as the LCC as the main cause of this downfall, stating that they apparently “ruined” exploration for everyone else.
While this nostalgic circle jerk of ignorance is fairly amusing at face value, like one of your granddads “my generation was better” rants, it does actually contain a truth, that locations were once easier to find. While this is indeed true, its also pretty redundant, doing no more than stating an inevitable fact. Obviously the more you do something and the more people that do it, the quicker it will come to an end and deplete your resources. This doesn’t mean there is nothing left to explore, I find that extremely hard to believe, it just means your research is going to need to be a little deeper than throwing a few choice words into a search engine and seeing what pops up.
What about the other point raised? Did everyone really get along without the recurring involvement of politics, crews and cliques? Again, no, you must be out of your mind or new to this activity if you believed that to be the case. All of the above have always existed within the exploring scene, well, as far as the online aspects are concerned anyway. Even 28dayslater, what is now the largest and most infamous of the UK UE forums was practically born due to a cyber slap-up between the admin and members of Darkplaces.
To suggest a universal camaraderie existed is a joke. If it did appear to exist, it was a farce, all the distrust and hate simply hidden from public view, buried deep withing each forums levels of acceptance, those above talking smack about those below. You only have to mention 28dayslater’s infamous “Dedicated Few – Sh**cu**” thread to know this to be true.
So hold on Mr & Mrs Nostalgic explorer, I’m confused. If the politics and forums have remained the same, what exactly is your reasoning that exploring was better back in the day again? Oh of course, silly me, how could i forget. Its that explorers before 2011 didn’t have ego’s or attract police and media attention. After all, any exploring historian will be able to tell you that exploring totally flew under the radar until those naughty rapscallions ruined exploring for anyone and got arrested in London!
What’s that I hear you protest? The group took a small electric vehicle for a ride, their homes were searched and they had to go to court? Ah you got me, this is true, none of that has ever happened before. Wait, just one second, didn’t those two coming out of that sewer get similar treatment? Oh, and the Dartford group? I also could have sworn I saw several videos of a certain buggy being posted on the web, and that crane, and that head-stock lift. Oh, but those were “funny” so I guess it doesn’t count. Now that I think about all these things that certainly didn’t happen before 2011, I feel that a certain group had to go to court for that power station thing, oh and those involved in that NHS case, oh yeah lets not forget the Greenham one, oh and the, wait never mind, I might be here for a while if i continue. No? Oh well, must be me then, maybe I imagined those events. Excuse my mind for tarnishing the crystal clear reputation of pre-2011 explorers.
In my mind the answer to the above, if you haven’t worked it out by now is simple. No. With the exception of the obvious incident last year the enjoyment I’ve gotten out of exploring hasn’t changed one bit. Had said incident not occurred, I would still be enjoying exploring as much as I did when I first started. Although the people, locations and ways in which the spaces are used might have changed, the overall concept has not.
The point to all this, beyond giving me something to write about, is that exploring is, and always will be the same. Both the good and the bad. I must stress that for all I’ve mentioned there was, and still is a lot of good within the community that greatly outweighs the bad. However, you can look back and pretend that it was somehow better or that things have now changed, but you’re deluding yourself, the rose tinted glasses you wear clearly blocking out the negative aspects you either forgot or refuse to acknowledge.
Or maybe I am indeed wrong, perhaps my experience with the community was that of its own segregated bubble and the one you were a part of was the pinnacle of perfection. I doubt it, but if you choose to go on believing that, slagging off and blaming others for their actions you deem detrimental or upsetting, then you only serve to prove my point. For that, I thank you.