Cognitive dissonance

[aka Fucking with your mind!]

Be confused… be very confused! If you were brought up on the myths and legends of a corner of Cardiff known as Tiger Bay, then the latest extension of the 21st century docklands redevelopment will mess with whatever is left of your functioning brain cells. After air-brushing a major part of local history out of the picture for a few decades, the latest in local bureaucratic administrative hype is set to house, employ and entertain you. Put your hands together and welcome the vision that is Porth Teigr!

I live here

Whatever that is… because what is emerging out of the primordial slime of Roath Basin bears no relationship to the proud badge of Tiger Bay; and it isn’t even in the same place as the original! Not that the location of the original has anything of architectural merit to draw the attention of the discerning student of urban mythology… the southernmost boundaries of the original, relatively small Tiger Bay area, is demarcated by some prime examples of skyline blight, which actually looks even more attractive than the low level flats and houses that hold many of the original street names…

Tiger Bay [1]

Porth‘ is Welsh for ‘gate’… so in modern parlance are we supposed to have created a misdemeanour on such a scale that it becomes ‘Tiger Gate‘? Well, if you look at the blandness of the 1960’s architectural replacement for the previous Victorian ‘slums’, perhaps we have. Social engineering had become a slight of hand for so-called urban redevelopment… a destruction of world renowned character makes way for the monumental achievement of bland mediocrity.

Why are we so reluctant to celebrate our gritty historical reality when it doesn’t conform to the textbook presentation of swords and sandals, or castles and stately homes? Here we have the site of the very first multicultural society in the UK, built on the necessity of world trade, and testimony to the power of the melting pot to bring people together in local harmony. Heaven forbid that we might put the cost of demolition and reconstruction into refurbishment of what already exists. Or perhaps the forbears of the Ukip tendency were subtly at work, with a long-sighted determinism to break up any thriving community based largely on immigration. It becomes less easy to blame it on the immigrants if we have the tangible evidence of their hard-working contribution to our financial and cultural wealth.

As a cat who originates from London but was duped into relocating into the old docklands of Cardiff I am intrigued by all this Tiger-stuff, and hope to bring you more of the true history of this historical and cultural landmark. Until we speak again I have been ‘Immigrant Juno’, scrounging off my native ‘repatriated refugee’, and contributing mainly through my litter tray!

Immigrant Song

How is a cat who has moved between countries supposed to feel with all this anti-immigration stuff in the media? Where is the evidence for all this negative impact of immigration? It seems to me like us cats bring nothing but diversity and peacefulness into your miserable whining lives.

I ask you, am I putting additional pressure on your precious veterinary resources? It seems to me like not many of your indigenous cats are desperately queueing up to get additional appointments at the local vets. What’s more, I am a fairly healthy cat, doing my own thing and not needing much else other than an annual check-up. Hardly the basis for claims I might cause the collapse of your animal health and welfare services.

Do you really think I am just an opportunist trying to cash in through some kind of ‘cat litter tourism’, cynically just trying to avail myself of the benefits of your superior quality litter? It seems to me like you should be more concerned about the way your indigenous cats just go around digging up other people’s gardens with no consideration for the inconvenience they cause.

What do you think about the fact I simply arrived in your country and moved straight into a nice flat surrounded by quiet canals, close to all the amenities of the city centre and the bay? It seems to me, listening to the headline grabbing nonsense in the media like you think I obviously deprived one of your indigenous cats out of a home.

Do you think I have suddenly arrived and put one of your local mouse-catchers out of a job? It seems to me that there is an absence of local cats queueing for any available jobs currently; more interested in waiting around for a ‘more for less’ job opportunity to show up. Taking in the rays and having naps seems to be the preference for many of the indigenous cats (though I can’t criticise them on that count).

What about the issue of dog immigration… after all, don’t they go in for eating your children? It seems to me like that would be a real alien invasion; so perhaps you need to get a more positive immigration policy in place, not just allowing any old dog in, but prioritising how we integrate and get on well together.

        

Fortunately for me my host servant recognises the value of us cats moving into their humble abode, and bringing some colour and variety into their lives. It seems to me like many of you people should be a bit more selective about the scare-mongering nonsense you listen to from a small minority of those on the small-minded political extremes. Sure, one or two of my kind step out of line a little, and they may cause you a few problems; but don’t let that be your view of all of us. However, I am a bit partial to the idea I keep hearing called UKIP… I like to kip as often as I can, after all this amount of beauty doesn’t come without a great deal of sleep you know!

Juno cushion [3]

It seems to me like you do have some of the more objective media reporting around, if you can be bothered looking for it; and until we speak again this immigrant wouldn’t have anything other than the Observer lining my litter tray.