Monday, 14 March 2011

The Conspiracy

(Note from The Editor: seems intent on screwing this post up.  Seems to have taken a dislike to apostrophes.  So if nothing makes any sense, for once you do not have to blame The Chronicler.)

Slowly but surely I am coming to the conclusion that there is a deliberate conspiracy afoot. An intrigue between anywhere with photograph-ability and the electrical supply companies. Its global and spreading like a mutating virus. This has been finally proven. Roadside signage has been erected, instructing, commanding, dictating me to take a photograph. Thank-you, I wouldnt have noticed those fantastic, sculptured, eroded rock towers if you hadnt brought them to my attention, you even offered me a scripted title. You then allowed a column of pylons to march right across the foreground. Like lumbering enslaved giants, cowed and dejected they stretch out across the hillside.
Maybe the conspiracy doesnt place natural phenomena against the utilities industry, maybe we are being prepared, manipulated by a more subtle machination. Could this be a scheme hatched by the photographic industry of Japan, whereby the next generation of cameras will automatically include photo shop soft ware that will immediately erase all poles, wires and cables, all for a small consideration, the cost of a new upgrade. Old camera cost plus 15%, sorry, no trade-ins: nobody wants them. Cynical? Who, me?

There is also, on occasions, the unintended, interesting consequences of the utilities existence. To remove them from my viewfinder Ive walked a short distance away from the road and their alignment. Ive found a perfect camp site. This on comes with a patch of compacted, thorn free sand, tree shade and a visual screen from the road.

So if you can't beat the parade of poles, and let's face it, I need their cargo to charge up my camera battery, then you just have to join them. Yet, there is a certain beauty in their outline and a degree of anthropomorphism. The tall structures found in the UK, I liken to an elegant patrician spinster; the more squat pylons of northern Europe are Homo erectus, new down from the trees. The trick is to incorporate the offending impedimenta, using their structure to tell a story, lead the eye into the picture or as a construct in their own right. Theres the tilting telegraph, like staggering drunks, that place and locate the grass swamped, disused, railway. Or the near infinite line of concrete poles, fusing as one with distance, breaching the distant horizon. The strung out pylons playing to the undulating road, rising and falling like a set of scales, metronomic in beat, scripted musical notation. Now, stand with your back propped against one of these wooden poles and you can feel and hear the song and the tension in those strung out wires. Then theres the tall thin skeletal erections, their lattice work enmeshed with a thatch of twigs, the condominium of parakeets nests.

Out here in the open, in-between spaces, they and the asphalt are the only reminder of human existence, and for ourselves, a tentative tether that prevents a vague shadow of angst or loneliness from settling down on us.

Last night you gave me air conditioning and a fan, tonight you showed me to a camp spot.

Thank you power people.