A town like mine is crap by definition, being full of a certain type of people adding to the crapness.                                                                                                                                                       

What do you think of Oldham?                                                                                                                

My crap town.                                                                                                                                                     

Of course, don't take my biased word for it, come and see for yourself.                                                                                 

Look at the lack of work and jobs, for those like me who want to work.                                                          

Know that the few jobs there are cornered by agencies who say they'll get you a job and lie through their teeth.                                                                                                                                       

Then there are the gals.                                                                                                                              

Rough ones and nice ones.                                                                                                                                           

The chavvy and gobby women can drink and fight like a man.                                                                                                    

Stay two metres away from them or you're in trouble if they kick off.                                                                     

Pity the fool who marries one.                                                                                                                      

What about the nice ones?                                                                                                                     

Good look catching one of them, do you have a bulging wallet to keep her?                                              

The guys match the ladies move for move.                                                                                                        

Chav and those of a higher standard.                                                                                                                        Myself I don’t trust the chav lads, looking for someone to mug, smoking weed, stealing cars and hanging out on street corners.                                                                                                                       

What good do they do for the town?                                                                                                          

Help make it crap, I can tell you!                                                                                                                            

Mr Posh lad is ok; he strives to better himself by getting a good education and decent job. Moving away from crap town, saying he's from Manchester when asked where he's from.                             

Not Oldham, oh no.                                                                                                                                 

Where most are on benefits.                                                                                                                                                             

The teens growing up are the generation of the damned with no prospects and little chance of a better life in crap Oldham.                                                                                                                      

What will the future bring?                                                                                                                          

More crapness I think, in our crap town, in our crap country.                                                                                  

Is your home town crap too?                                                                                                                    

Mine is.                                                                                                                                             

Nevermind the Asians, aged eighteen, in their brand new German cars.                                                                                     

There's drugs on those streets, I can tell you.                                                                                                  

Drugs and booze are among the few things to do here, an escape from crapism, for a while.





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Wed 25th Jan 2012 08:13

Pies - I forgot to mention pies. There is nowhere in the world like Wigan for pies. That is obviously where Oldham is falling down...

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Tue 24th Jan 2012 23:49

Heh heh, in response to John's comment - there's a lot wrong with Wigan, but a lot right also! The centre is quite lovely - lots of old Tudor buildings. I once had to entertain a french student for a day and took her to Southport. On the way home she we drove through the centre of Wigan (before the advent of pedestrian zones) and she ooed and aaaghed over it, wishing that I had taken her there instead. It just goes to show that you can undervalue what you have under your nose. There is a warmth and friendliness about the locals also - a down to earthness that I love.

But I can also see that there is a roughness and a lack of 'citizenship' in certain northern towns, which is a bit tiresome. Throwing litter and dog fouling are quite bad and there is a rough element to the night life - so yes I can identify with aspects of the poem. High unemployment isn't going to make things any better either.

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nick armbrister

Tue 24th Jan 2012 18:22

Indeed there are many hard working Asian people in Oldham and other towns, some are wealthy. And the there are a few who are young and do illegal things and come by wealth, in an illegal way. The legal ones will out number the illegal ones in this town or any other and people of all backgrounds and races do legal(having a job) and illegal(drug dealing) things. The word chav was used by myself to hi light a certain type of person, not working, on the edge of society, maybe involved in petty crime, not bothered about the future. To use another term or to describe them by this last sentence would take the edge of that part of the poem. Chav term fits this work in my view. I was thinking about my town in a negative way(not stereotyping tho) to do this poem. In time a positive opposite 1 will follow, as and when i do it.

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Tue 24th Jan 2012 18:08

Hi Nick
Some funny lines in here,but a bit muddled in places. Possibly needs a partial re-write to sharpen up what is more like a narrative.I can definetely see that most of us can identify traits in our individual towns that might want us to label them as 'crap towns',but,overall,I'm sure even Oldham has positive aspects to it,as does my hometown of Wigan!! Haha!(Isobel,I'm pretty sure your hometown is mine also. "I now live in a crap town too"?!What were you thinking to write such a thing? x)

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Tue 24th Jan 2012 18:00

I suppose street language moves on so fast that sometimes it's hard to keep up with what it means to different people. I don't find the term Chav offensive because my kids use it a lot - often as a reference to the shitty kids at school that give them grief - the ones they feel scared of.

I like my poetry to appeal to people from every different background. I like to think that whether my audience comprises black, white, Asian, whatever - they will all laugh along with me. There is a danger in isolating races or drawing stereotypes within races. It makes your poetry non inclusive. It also takes the focus of your poetry away from humour because a good proportion of your audience will immediately become uncomfortable with the content.

There may well be a lot of Asian men driving BMWs in Oldham. I don't know - I've never been there. If that's the case I would suggest it's because Asian people work hard, many in family businesses with long hours. They have great respect for family and borrow from each other rather than banks so don't pay the same level of interest. They also have a great respect for the value of education. I don't like having to explain my reasoning like this - it sounds patronising and stereotypical. I'm just showing you a different perspective.

High lighting Asian wealth in your poem makes you sound a little bitter and envious. If you were looking to write a funny rant, it definitely detracts.

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nick armbrister

Tue 24th Jan 2012 17:26

The term Asian is not racist but used to describe Asian youths. I could have used the well know racist term we all know but chose not to for decency. Chav is not offensive in my view. Dont read my next poem lol Laura. Each word has a meaning but people see that meaning differently, you may see chav as offensive. Myself i dont. And yes Anthony, i relocated in the south for a few years a bit ago. Always end up back north tho in my hometown lol. Think its time to move again lol. 1 day i will write a nice poem about my town. Watch this space...

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Laura Taylor

Tue 24th Jan 2012 16:34

Would agree with Isobel that you should keep race out of this, as it's verging on the offensive. I myself find the use of the word 'chav' offensive, as it goes.

Do you ever look deeper than the surface, Nick? You might be surprised if one day you ever try.

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Tue 24th Jan 2012 16:24

The trouble with removal firms Anthony (and I can talk from experience) - is that they take along all your old crap with you. It doesn't matter where you live, it's all about perspective.

I now live in a crap town too - dodge the dogshit on my way to and from work/school. I've never been happier though!

I think this would make a funny performance rant - though I think you are better to keep racial differences out of it.

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