I haven't been on-campus in Aberystwyth since October, so bear with me. The full ramifications of the concrete monstrosity currently under construction upon the Arts Centre plaza have only just sparked a response from the flagging neurons in my brain.
If you have no idea what I'm talking about, check out the photo to the right and let me explain: La Scala is the title of a large concrete staircase leading to nowhere standing outside the Aber student union building... which sells alcohol... and incidentally has a rather good view of the sun setting on the sea. Now back up a second and pay particular attention to those bits of the last sentence in italics... aren't you just a tiny bit worried? If not for your fellow humanity then for the permanent staining of concrete likely to result from bodies eviscerating in their tumble from atop it. Old bloodstains might attract tourists... new ones attract bad press.
It's probably fair enough that the money for turning this misbegotten notion into suicide-jump reality (an estimated £140,000) came from the estate of Molly Winterburn, an artist with close links to the Arts Centre who favoured the idea of bequeathing cash for a public sculpture... it was her money and her desire. Which has nothing to do with the idiocy of this particular construct and its location. Why choose this design? :mad:
So, whose fault is this fatality waiting to happen? Not the union, that's for sure: they're probably shitting themselves whilst fantasising about the publicity nightmares; this is the handiwork of the Arts Centre management, who own the entire plaza, right up to the doors of the Union. I presume that planning permission didn't need to enter into the equation, because I don't think even local government hate students that much. There's also the argument that, as adults, drunk people should have more sense, and it isn't the Arts Centre clientele. However, what those outside Aberystwyth may not be aware of is that the Arts Centre—as well as the Union—services the local market for clubbing and drinking... well, they either need brilliant security or better lawyers...
I'm hardly a poster-child for responsibility... but this, this is taking the piss... I'm also aware that a minority of my audience is probably tutting at the mild excess of bluer language in this entry. Well, it's nowt but an honest response: I can't believe anyone as having been so utterly fucking stupid as to authorise this thing's construction. Any profanity is for emphasis rather than laziness—words really cannot come close to the mental image of ex-people smeared across a hard surface. :shock:
Thanks to the folks at The Courier for salient facts, the wonderful caption: "Security on La Scala was so stringent that we were unable to take this photograph," (beneath a shot taken from the precipice) and for thus reminding me that I actually own a camera. :shifty: