Striving for the greatness of the past in the participle of the present
Meet Ian Martin, the creator of TWITTERBOROUGH - a futuristic suburb near Corley Services on the M6
Monday. A very important day. Not just for me, but for the future of this country. I am scribbling some ideas (literary and spatial) in my monogrammed Moleskine memepad and I have to say they look BRILLIANT.
Obviously, as scribbles, they only look brilliant to me. When people realise what I’m ‘saying’ with wobbly pen lines, thinking doodles and question marks they will definitely agree. These scribbles will carry more cultural weight in posterity as they represent an auteur’s impression. Much more valuable than the artist’s version.
Tuesday. I’m working my scribbles up into a series of ‘conceptual blockouts’ to communicate more immediately the true essence of my scheme. Details of the scheme remain secret for now, but when it’s time to communicate, these blockouts will be invaluable.
Wednesday. Articulate my conceptual blockouts with enigmatic captions, or ‘clutch points’. It’s important at this stage not to lock down too many conclusions about how the vision could be taken forward, so for extra safety I leave the clutch points in neutral.
Thursday. Some bastard close to me has leaked my scheme to the Creative on Sunday. I decide to spoil their exclusive by confirming to EpicSpaceOnline that I am indeed the creator of TWITTERBOROUGH, a futuristic suburb near Corley Services on the M6.
Twitterborough will be part of a series of grand projets to mark the transformation of Ancient Mercia into a trimmed-down, fit-for-purpose England. Proper values. Astonishing architecture. World-class users. Good shit like that will be standard when Tamworth reigns again as capital city. ‘Back to the 8th Century!’ That’s the motto of New Mercia. Unfortunately this motto has attracted a fair number of wrong constituents: nutty religious types, law and order fetishists, time travellers. Although nobody’s complaining about the t-shirt sales.
The Mercia/Coalition Liaison Group is making great headway with its Draft Paper for the geographical rationalisation of England. Admittedly no actual timetable has yet been set by the government for the return of regional development agencies (or as they’ll once again be known, Kingdoms) but it will be ‘as soon as practically possible’. That sounds pretty encouraging to me.
Meanwhile, Epic Space Online’s very interested in the sheer scale of Twitterborough. It will be about the size of a small nationally-owned forest, and a short distance from Junction 3. That is, coincidentally, the site. Once the forest has been bought and the middle’s been scooped out it will be converted into a massive ‘actual space’. This will echo stylistically the vast tweet-sprinkled tundra of real Twitter, but in ‘natural 3-D actuality’. Girdling that will be a rich blend of Twuxury Living, niche monetising opportunities and high-end corporate filler. This might all on paper look like a terrible idea, but at a later stage we’ll put in some water-saving, energy-scrimping bollocks and then it’ll be an amazing beacon of environmental truth. There’ll be rare wading birds, exotic lichen, rescued otters and an OBE in it too, I shouldn’t wonder.
Friday. Press conference to launch Twitterborough as a ‘destination brand’. Everyone suitably impressed by the early bar and nibbles, and by the huge 3-D renderings of the scheme’s Intelligent Middle Area, with its glittering necklace of ‘twitterspheres’.
Twitterspheres are opaque foam-framed hyperglazed meet-up pods, encouraging random clouds of online chatmates to ‘coalesce together’ in the real world. Comfortable surroundings, brilliant catering on request, please ask the avatar for a brochure. Full of earnest media types just chilling out and exchanging ideas in a semi-private little world of connectivity, hysteria and despair.
I’ve opened channels to some Swiss euthanasia clinics, just to see if there’s any synergy worth exploring here.
Saturday. Unbelievable. Our stupid executive masterplanners for the ‘electronic village’ bit of Twitterborough have submitted a very weak proposal. ‘Urban squares’? In a village? Idiots.
Their ‘frission statement’ is riddled with inconsistencies. ‘We aim to create a real community in which people will want to live through different stages of their lives, yeah, which is why we’re proposing sustainable neighborhoods (sic)’.
Wrong. Firstly, we want people to be living through one stage of their life but with many serviceable aspects of that life, thanks. Secondly, it all sounds so vulgar. Nothing says ‘non-u’ more stridently than ‘neighborhoods’.
Sunday. Newspaper review in the recliner. Good piece on Twitterborough by Darcy Farquear’say. ‘A morally ambivalent elephant in the room’ he calls it, which seems fair.