Some arguments you just aren’t going to win. In fact, if you are me, even trying to win just makes look like a complete arsehole and I just end up with me digging a deeper and deeper hole with my mouth. One day I may actually learn this simple fact about myself on a deep enough a level that I actually cease harming myself and losing everything I hold dear in the process.
One argument I constantly lost was the notion of the scale of gundam model kits, complex plastic facsimiles of gigantic human driven mechanical men also called mobile suits or, if you want to be really geeky, gunpla. A dear friend of mine would look at the latest mini bulked up tank on legs that I had bought myself as my own Christmas or birthday present and she would pick up the weighty and multiple jointed lump of six inch high plastic and then look at me suspiciously as I would proudly state the “the real thing would be about 200 foot tall” with a big grin and wide eyes. She would look at the little chap in her hand and look me in the eye and say clearly and slowly “what real thing Chris? This. Is. A. Toy.” I would then go on to open a little hatch somewhere and fish out a tiny plastic person and explain that if this was a real person it would be five foot high and just imagine how big the real thing would have to be if that was a real person. She would look at me with the kindness reserved for the very vulnerable and explain “But. This. Is. Not. A. Real. Person. This. Is. A. Toy.” I should have learnt to quit with arguments here really, I should have know when I was beaten.
I have weird issues with scale, I guess most men do but this is not about exactly what constitutes as an, erm, “big one” or variants on exactly how one measures six inches. I do think a lot of it though is less to do with the size of one’s genitals and is more about what action figures one played with as a child. If you compare a Star Wars figure to a spaceship designed for them the ‘real’ (that term used in imaginary things again) version should be at least five times the size. I guess the idea of a seven year old child trying to drag a three metre wide Milenium Falcon ship about is less than feasible, not to mention the cost of such a thing. So children, particularly boys tend to develop a capricious attitude to the notion of the scale of things.
I have on occasion been accused of being negative or even a pessimist, but it more complicated than that. I look at the world and I want things to be better. I want people to be genuinely nice and kind to each other, I want people to be safe, I would like things to be made well and priced fairly and I expect people who have enough of whatever to be decent enough to know when they have enough and share things around when they do. I know I’m not really cut out for this world, with all its greedy, grasping, entitled, over confident, under talented, pushy people, but I really think that if I lose that essential naive optimism (even though it often seems to leave me very disappointed) then I will give up on life entirely. Yeah… I can’t wrap my head around it either.
I have spent the last week reimagining many local views and landmarks as they would appear if the town I live in was built by me. Altering the scale, the style or the usage of many buildings and objects that I see every day so as to make them better and much more interesting. The idea came from someone I used to know who hated one particular red brick office building with a passion. She could see ocean house from her window and in her view it spoiled the otherwise perfect panoramic view of the sea and the park. She would strategically place a large vase of flowers in front of it in the window so as to obscure it from her vision. Strangely enough, some years later, the very same ugly building would become dear to my heart as I would wait for a very lovely lady to come out of it so I could take her to lunch. So much so that I smile every time I look upon it. I was sitting on the window sill last weekend and was looking at the rather tenuous sea view and the buildings I could see and I took the idea of altering my view to its logical conclusion by drawing it as I want to see it as opposed to how I actually do. Then I took another thing and then another until I had enough images to turn into a set of greetings cards based on how things would look if it were up to me.
One person’s vision is something that is sadly lacking nowadays and is more conspicuous by its absence in a place like St Leonards on Sea where so many of the more iconic buildings were the vision of a single person. Architect Decimus Burton was responsible for the look and feel of the original Victorian part of St Leonards, lending the once prestigious and uber trendy seaside getaway with the grandure of the districts of London that he had designed previously. This set a high bar for others to aim for locally. Then much later on a chap called Sidney Little a.k.a the King of Concrete created a number of incredibly distinctive buildings in the Art Deco style. It’s been downhill ever since then with the curse of committee building, where everyone has their say and every grand idea gets watered down to nothing over tea and biscuits. Whilst my own ‘grand ideas’ depicted here are at best shockingly expensive and at worst defy the laws of physics at least they are good fun. We need a bit more of that in the world right now.