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Trouble with our Paradise; viewpoint.

Byline: RICHARD MCCOMB

It's important to stay one step ahead of the game so I've often considered what I would do if I had to call it a day on crusading journalism.

There's always my cross-dressing high-wire act but if that doesn't pan out I've thought I could always give PR a spin. I've sat in editorial marketing meetings so I know all about strategy and I don't think there's much else to the PR gig except strategy. And press releases. Strategy and press releases.

Camilla: "Yo! Colin. Can you make the 6am strategy meeting?" Colin: "'Fraid not, babes. I'm up to my nuts in pre-strategy strategy."

Camilla: "Drag!" I had always considered a career involving art or design to be outside my "skills set." I was rubbish at art at school, notching up a still unsurpassed all-time low of 11 per cent for an art exam. So naturally, I've tended to rule out architecture, graphic art and portraiture.

Then I copped a look at the "artists" impressions for the new-look Paradise Circus in the centre of Birmingham. They bare a striking resemblance to the portfolio submitted by Master Richard McComb for his end-of-year 3rd form assessment and can best be described as free form, or possibly free of form.

The development of Paradise Circus is the next big landmark project for the city, following in the wake of the re-erection of the fence in my backyard. It will inevitably lead to the bulldozing of John Madin's derided Central Library and the construction of some dinky offices, a swish hotel and some spud-u-likeit franchises.

In architectural, aesthetic, commercial and cultural terms, the new face of Paradise is a big deal for Brummies. So the first viewing of the artistically interpreted grand vistas was something of a disappointment, revealing a new world populated by scary people with squiggly glasses and featureless faces. These citizens lack noses and appear to be sitting at lots of empty tables, bored out of their skulls.

In fairness, the doodles, by Glenn Howells, are meant to be "indicative sketches," but as one of the country's foremost architectural practices I'd hoped for a little more pazazz.

Still, I'm happy to wade in and offer my services, as is my cat. I'm great with gouache and Millie's a whiz with the Etch A Sketch.
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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Feb 11, 2010
Words:386
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