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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Essaies On The Di-Siapoearing Piers (No, not Morgan).

Ally promised me: I had to say something; something at least about her cobalt rock glass' origin, and her memories witnessed as they passed by, as that was said, as I heard her call from beneath the road, above the sea, the underbelly of time and a town. Ah. Dear Pier. I had so much to say to you, mon chere. So much I saw that day (described below). Sat at a glass table, cogitating something of insignificance eight years ago. 2994? AD? Who knew. There were many causations in her; objefications of her were riddled with rigour. We should save her. We should remodel her. We should... I wondered. Could she be left to rot, to be melted by seatime and attrition, by molecular processes of mollusc and muscle? Damn words. The whole edifice of her, wrought iron mass, girders that were fitted by a Coroner on acid, trusses that were veiled as Victoria was veiled, internal, anything but what it was. And yet, a pier is a pier. Not Santa Monica Pier, where Seals are games and the pier is a walking pier; a pier is for finishing. Did I say finishing? For fishing, surely. She wasn't sure. Perhaps a pier means there is an ocean nearby? It was milk and cereal. Christmas morning, Denver Colorado. I recall it clearer when I'm drun....., She laughed. Speaking of which.... I pulled out Metzinger's Bible, on the first person, bent my back into the armchair that looked out the window to the snow that sat ontop of the Nederland and Never Never wrlds of whorl that was Aspen and her lights and their heads shone on and its snowing and she says, Meillasoux. Meillasoux who, to the phone and its not One of her Old Undergraduate friends from the Sorbonne then its two of her Cousins from the Normal School or Six of their friends in town for a cnonference. Dis i say I wanted to speak French. She tells me, after, after, and long after. There will be three of them. One of them's Meillasoux. Thanks.
she hands me a glass. We should call out for a pizza. Looking at the snow, wavering, wavering. Ring ring. Oh. They're calling back? 
IN CONCLUSION: The pier should be destroyed because now we have all these other objects to contend with, we can by hyper-sure that the years will be remembered and  that the loss of one object which isn't an object is a blessing rather than a curse....

i use the word Victorian "super-loosley" in this text/ as loosleys as I tie words to vowels, a trace of lineament and lacey spice need not get in your way of seeing it this way--she does preside over the town, and tho it was not all built in that era, there's an air about Hastings (right or wrong): hyper-Victorian on the outside.....tho in reality, she has every architecture represented. it's not a pejorative either.

FOR Mustard.

Note: IN THE  original version of this revel, the one that occurred in my "head" i was to make no mention of you; to draw attention to OOO directly would spoil the Op-Ed style piece that I had originally conceived as a piece of journalism to send into the local paper, as it seemed sufficiently worthy to attempt this, I made several trips in and around Hastings "reasearching" this article. But then came the Harman Scaffold, and qwuick on the heels of that, a more serious realisation that what I was in fact arguing for was the demolishment of the pier in question (or at the VERY least, some agreement to let "Nature take its toll" and we'll watch that as Event, rather than a "Restoration". (You'll be interested to note that the pier did indeed receive something of its first Refit only as late as the year 2000... almost as if our reticence to do anything more with it was somehow part of the object). The refit didn't last long (good enough to add a sense of style and excitement to the yr 2000 air around here), much revel happened, the new owners did dis-appear (to the Cayman Islands?) and it had been in various stages of rather disconcerting opening and closure ever since (bits of it open, but not all of it). To be truthful, the trusses look okay, but the main supports look like they could heave ho any minute. It's all very angular, and very good for artists who like something in front of them when they are drawing the sea. True. And there's a very good case for pulling it down and building another ( more... "new") for a 21st Century and three hundred years into the future) True. It's as good a case as the Restoration Project, but I was arguing for the demolition; for the end of it... so we could at last GET at that Horizon. I felt sure that day, as I still do, that this was a worthy philosophical point, for it seemed to me that a gradual dis-apearance (in the form of erosion, however aesthetically pleasing) would only repeat Bodrillard's historical move and wouldn't move us post-Victoria. My argument is that there is all-Victoria in the town and we needn't have as much of that object, so there for sure wouldn't be any loss for architecture. One could simply walk round the corner and bathe in the splendour of the Brassy Institute or walk on five minutes to the massive Pelham Place, set as it is so superbly into the cliff, beneath the Castle. Where, of course, I stand now, on the parapet of that castle looking "down" into where the magically transported pier would be in some other ocean, in someone else's backyard (much like the whales in Star Trek Four were transported), only brings the Castle into view, more, AND more of the road and the sea. Oh, I concluded CLEARLY, there was much more to be gained from the pier as an absence, even if that absence was not the main goal (the conmplete absence of absence being when the horizon, France there, and across to Newfoundland permantly came into view, then there would be no pier there. Then there would be sea. And this, I could see, was a coastline that needed to be opned up. I, legislating for the aesthetics of all, determined by my own free and clear observation, in this case, non preservus ex. the pier and look. I know what we will find (by eidetic fiction and braketing off, I have seen the pier-no-pier) and discovered my essay for the next revel: the view of the Oceans as seen from this perspective (like Pirsig's Hudson) suddenly opening up. So I thought best not to mention philophy if possible as I'd only confuse myself and my general readership (Or would I?) and as revel is revel, it didn't matter anyway because revel one and Essay 2 didn't translate from head to silicone in symmetric array (and might never do, as you seem to have suggested).

Here's the Essay as it first appeared:

Dear Sir: I was in a right mood for revellrye bread and tea, bones and all were qwaking with the schizzo lust, so I strolled straight to the beach. The sea's near the horizon, the horizon's grey and Qween Victoria overlooks all the Carnival Processions. Once the formed arrowhead of Red Arrow Jets swarmed in nenisonoseconds across the sakysky; but that was all long gone and gone a while ago, circa 1966 the Beatles appeared on the pier; I was swilling round a new beer with my mates, Johnno and Bill Buford from the local football team. We were just hooligans, Mods, whatever you wanted to call us and there we were, chatting about this Julie or that when we first heard the noise. Or was that the Rolling Stones? At the seashore I stopped and tried to remember. The Dmiral Benbow, I noticed had been nouight but bought to a London trader, and I couldn't remember. No. It was definitely the Stones, but probably not 1966, more likely earlier. The pier had been there for years. All our mums and their mums played Bngo on it, and there was always music. Ask anyone, those Sundays at the Proms, sea gurgle below your knees, the music sky high, moon blaring its whiteness at two a.m dawning head clearing through a massive amount of intoxication. You really hear the waves when yr hammered. And every four a.m on a Sunday yr as likely to see ten to fifteen of us, just sat there, "digging it" as we learned to say. Then we'd be off on our bikes and gone, back to our Weetabixes and Horlicks, Corrie and whatever job we had at that time. But there it was: the pier, burned out and gnarled. I could see the bent metal from the furnace, even tho  a third of a mile on the horizon, something about it had been putting it into a new light. There really was no other way of saying it. After the flames had finished their job, and after the first wave of clearance of walls and debris and iron in the sand had passed, I stared, revel in my eye. Beside me, a corner cafe. There was Victoria, towering over Wellington's Gardens, very close to where the Prince Regent had stayed, William the Conqueroro's Dinner Table which had sat inert in front of the pier for three hundred decades, and opposite the orehouse and Bayeux Tapestry, all burned now. All gone. The strusts at the end of the pier stuck forty feet into the sand were wooden spikes of indifference now. That small protruberance where I had learned to Pier fish with my uncle, spinning into the sea. And yet something else appearing as I look, takes me back to the pier fourteen times, rubbing my eyes as now the pier's wrecked and half the buildings on it pulled down, I see I am able to see parts of the horizon that before I could not see; in fact, walking past it I can see across the bay to Beachy Head, where I know there is a Marina and a hundred stories about suicides, and as many about what lives in chalk, And there before me, in me somehow, France seen clear, and the shape of this local stretch of three miles of inlet, finally being seen. Why? Because the pier's been burned. It went up several weeks ago, thundering, howling wind took two boys little game into an inferno. Such a shame, some say. Such a shame. And only just after we received the Guiness Book of Records Title for Most Pirates Gathered. I'll miss it I will. At the bottom of London Road, I turn left and walk toward it. There's Bottle Ally, convered, so if it does rain I can walk underneath the promenade, where I don't hear the cars. I often walk on the seashore simply and only because it drowns out the noise of cars. But I don't hear the cars this day. I only hear my memories ricocheting around what remains of the structure, the bent metal, the new open space on the left hand side of the front where I bought the bookshelves, where i sat getting drunk many a time, where i took that lady, where i was treated to a magician's show, where that Record shop was, what that tea was like; all the particulars of memory shut out by the image of that Uncle and that day, years aded on to years ago, with Uncle Tony. Sad how he turinged out. It doesn't take long to reach the pier on foot from the bottom of London Road; a few minutes. In the middle of the pier, underneath the wrecked brick hall of Drum and Bass Legends and all night Raves, the glass walls of the Cafe where one could easily imagine one was on sea at deck in a Cruise Liner film. Should one need it, two public toilets and a small casino. Those were the days. It's all bolted up. The railings, iron (this is all about Victoria you know) spiked and brass padlocked, and men in suits and top hats, and the darling buds of May in technicolour with swimwear pantaloons and cupped broacdes of Velvet in Hey Day shimmering Sunshine dans Saint Leaonards by the Sea, Home of Burton Saint Leonard, home of Hoover Hastings, Coeur de Leon, bonhomie, renegades, pirates, smugglers, Just a town, just a town with a name. Hastings. Well, I look up, through the posted notes from the Council that assure me :No, the Pier isn't being Dempolished, it's just being. And I laugh. Steel studded to the lampost a Signboard for the local Contract Scaffolders who are holding it all together: Harman Scaffold. I laugh. I find it amazing that there could be such a coincidence as this because only that mornning, minutes before I had set out for the sea, I had been having tea with Tony and showed him "Toward Speculative Realism and Circus Philosophicus" having been in the bookshop nearby in search of Husseurl I had stopped in for tea to warm up a bit, as we say. But Harman Scaffold? The Harman philosophy? Could it be a Scaffold? What joke was God playing now on me, putting this philososopher into my head, and all that he has to say about Objects. Object Oriented Ontology. Me and the pier were now nothing. It was I and the Scaffold, that Memory trace of my uncle, and a legend told to me by my own father about that night the Stones played on the pier. Homage to Papa, dear Pier (so perhaps it is Albert we have to thank) for the many years of sound pleasure and joy that the pier has brought Britain, how many billions of photographs of her have been takes, how many ways of being on it experienced. Today the pigeons swarmed like starlings around the Bombed out enter me, the pier shouts. Enter me. Save me (the placard loosley attached to the side railings). Let me fall into the sea. Let me be. Open your hearts and eyes to the horizon. All from a placard of Harman Scaffolders. An almighty din in my ears, sea scraping through the billions of pebbles, high tide it comes right up through the floor borads; its been a eyesore for years: should we smash it up? Who gives a * about the Vioctorians?> What did they ever do for yes, eh? I was astounded how much of the sea I could now see as well as the ice creams i'd eaten, and the arguments i had witnessed and the glad smiles on market day, and the penny slots etc. Not gone though, I thought. Not gone at all. More present now than she's ever been, drawn to my attention by Fire.... and

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