Arse and soul.
If you spend any of your time mucking about with matters creative, even as a self-confessed amateur, enthusiast or garden shed hobbyist, you will sooner or later be tempted by the demon of derision.
Taste is a matter of taste. But if you consider yourself to have it, you will also be very aware of who doesn’t.
As you develop any kind of confidence at your craft – by week three of your pottery class, for example – you will begin to feel an instinct to voice the odd confident remark. The remarks of judgement. Things like: “That pot’s crap, Dave. What were you thinking, you idiot. Looks like a child did it.” And so forth. You’ve been there.
And so have I. I have to rein in this veritable beast of momentary certainty every day. I can’t helping looking at, well, everything, and trying not to despair that I wasn’t consulted. It’s such a burden being a creative sometimes, it is.
Of course, it’s one thing to rediscover disbelief and incredulity at the Eurovision song contest each year, or to wonder how no-one in this week’s losing Apprentice team couldn’t see how risibly poor the layout of their posters was. The maddening propensity of local British business to reach for the typeface Brush Script when designing a shop front is something that gives me indegestion and migrane from grinding my teeth… but most people are largely unaffected by these things. Beyond the scope of their respective creative jobs, these items are largely – dare I say it? – cosmetic.
But if there’s one thing that to me rather matters, one creative medium we should all be pressuring our councils and our friends who are developers and our blummen’ MPs more about, if I had to sacrifice my Lyn Truss Mega-Wedge-Tip Emergency Apostrophe Maker for one truly worthy creative critical cause… it’s archetecture. Buildings. Your very environment.
For, the canvas of the archetect is the rest of your chuffing life, mate.
We have to LIVE with the epic lack of wellbeing created by most of the business compromises dotting our high street. Walk past them, around them, under them – dear Lord, into them – every day of our lives. Their massive brooding presence creates just that – presence in our outlook. Casting shadows or light. Making our journey to here and there easy or hard, uplifting or depressing.
Buildings won’t go away. You’re not allowed to just blow them up. I’ve asked.
And so it is in this high-minded spirit of condecending frustration, utterly un-schooled or qualified but bloody right, obviously, that I share this link with you. I am not proud that this will take you to a page of the Daily Mail. I will attempt to apologise for this another time. But look at the pictures and weep. If your soul can stand it:
The vein in my head is throbbing again, dear.
I think it means that another tiny but important part of me has died.