Ian Martin stands up for the 3D community
MONDAY. This government has betrayed everything I hold dear. It has betrayed the British people. More seriously, it has betrayed architectural metaphor.
It promised to take us up in that glass lift to the top of Lloyd’s. You remember, we were going to have a packed lunch and oversee the City. Instead, this government has taken us up the Oxo Tower.
TUESDAY. I despair, I really do. ‘Whither the built environment?’ as we used to say during the last recession, and the one before that. I’ve a good mind to commit some thoughts to paper on this matter.
When I say ‘commit to paper’ I mean upload to my controversial new blog, Painted Air. And when I say ‘some thoughts’ I mean a series of fat, shrill paragraphs in a variety of fonts.
I am already huffily drawing up a list of charges against The So-Called Coalition. It’s already being talked about as a professional class action, in my head at least. I will not be silenced. Time to campaign on behalf of what I’m grandly calling The 3D Community: designers, dreamers and dudes. Our serious and most righteous grievances include:
• Majesty of architecture overlooked in favour of financial services
• Pastiche now displaced by random bits of historicism all just jumbled up and in it together
• Notion of ‘truth in beauty’ contracted out to Spanish hedge fund
• VAT exemption for conceptual thinking to be phased out
• Withdrawal of funding from ‘gritty, urban’ architecture, support for ‘mainstream, fictional’ architecture only, e.g. Downton Abbey
• Marxist beard and Situationist trousers no longer acceptable qualifications to teach Visual Arts at a further education college
• Introducing paywall for all hardcore public architecture
• Prince of Wales’ letters being answered for the first time in 14 years
• Prime minister declined invitation to this year’s ancient Anoynting & Crowneing of Ye Chief Architectt at Stonehenge
• Deliberately confusing ‘homeless’ and ‘non-doms’ in the minds of the electorate
I am so incensed by this stupid government I might even start an e-petition.
WEDNESDAY. Thank God for the entrepreneurial spirit of people like me. People whose selfless, ceaseless hunger for money enables the enrichment of us all.
It has taken seven lunches with senior Westminster contacts – one of those lunches, I might add, conducted in a luxury hot-air balloon – but I have done it. This far-sighted, intelligent government has finally appointed me to remodel the National Psyche. I will leave the blog/e-petition for now.
THURSDAY. I applaud this new-look, benefit-capped London the critics are all raving about.
Apparently it’s going ‘Sherlock’. Central London will shortly be entirely owned by Russian, Chinese and Indian billionaires and then rented out to attractive eccentrics who don’t cook or clean and travel everywhere by black cab.
It proves that we CAN use welfare dependency to affect social engineering. Oh, the power of deduction.
FRIDAY. Sketch out my redesign for the National Psyche. The brief from the Department of Entertainment calls for an inclusive psyche ‘that everyone likes, or at least thinks they like’.
I propose a strong, independent aesthetic. No Modernism and as few European influences as possible. Its form will be ‘classy classic Classical’, although I’m playing down the whole Greek thing for now by giving it Jacobethan cladding. There will be columns though. These will be plain, to resonate with our Age of Austerity, and topped with moral capitalism.
All aspects of the National Psyche will be open to commercial sponsorship. Indeed, an appropriately generous donation could embed a sponsor’s name at the very heart of the sense of who we are as a nation. Discreet negotiations are underway at the moment.
I cannot comment on any frontrunners. Let’s just say that a certain Mr Murdoch, keen to make amends for any offence he may have caused the British people, has suggested rebadging it the National SKYche and I for one can see no harm in that.
I am planning a stately landscape setting for the remodelled version, with surrounding woodland insulating our collective imagination. And a vast ornamental lake in front, to make the whole thing reflective and self-regarding.
SATURDAY. Switch off cognitive functions, go on internet, discover the government’s now saying there’s no such thing as a National Psyche and that they’ve appointed Andrew Lloyd Webber to score a new National Narrative instead.
SUNDAY. Suspended agitation in the recliner.