The Death Pyramid of Toxteth
A revolution in death is being built in Liverpool.
Cremation; the nation’s preferred method of disposal when it comes to dealing with the dead. You can be scattered at sea, kept on a mantlepiece or, as a friend told me about his own friend’s late mother, discreetly sprinkled on the carpets of several well known landmarks behind the backs of the oblivious security guards.
Another option is to be part of a 23 foot tall death pyramid built out of 34,592 specially designed bricks, each with 23 grams of human ash fired into a hollow in clay in a process called MuMufication.
I previously wrote about a death pyramid that was due to be built on Primrose Hill. Now, as someone who gives an awful lot of thought as to what will happen to my beautiful corpse when my own time comes – the family have sadly vetoed having me taxidermied and being used as a naked coatstand – ideas like this fire the imagination.
The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu (better known as Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty) have turned to undertaking and have devised the ‘People’s Pyramid‘. Pyramids have long been a fascination to them both, featuring not only in their logo as KLF but also from an earlier idea where they wished to build a pyramid containing the same amount of bricks as people born in the 20th century.
The aforementioned KLF was the name the pair had when they were a musical duo who filled the dancefloors of many clubs in the early 90’s, mainly with a banging 1991 track featuring Tammy Wynette, giving her her first UK top 40 hit since 1969.
Infamously they turned their back on fame by burning a million pounds of their wealth on the Ardfin estate on the island of Jura in Scotland in 1994 as an art protest and filming the entire thing in what the Observer newspaper commented at the time as ‘the oddest thing to happen this year’.
Buy Now, Die Later
But that’s all in the past. The pyramid scheme, being built in Toxteth, Liverpool, allows you to be MuMufied – you’ll get a certificate and a Brick of Mu, all for £99 – as well as your name forever being immortalised in the Toxteth Book of the Dead.
The whole thing came about after the burial of Jimmy’s brother, who sadly took his own life. Feeling that there should have been a greater sense of occasion to mark his passing, the idea of the Toxteth pyramid began to take shape. “He would really love the whole notion of being the first brick in the pyramid”, Jimmy would later remark.
Every November 23rd, bricks of those who have consented to the project will be added to the structure – it’s estimated that the pyramid won’t be complete for at least a couple of hundred years. Upon its unveiling last November, floods of people came to Toxteth Town Hall to take part, a condition of attendance being that you had to bring your own trolley. There was also special offers too, with people over 80 getting a slice of the action for 99p and students entitled to take part for only £9.99.
Sure, it’s a bit kooky. But hell, in my eyes, this is far better than your textbook catalogue-headstone affair and with a far more honest reflection on what the people it commemoriates were like. Moreso than an ‘in loving memory’ could ever convey.
Fancy being MuMufied yourself? Follow the link here.
Thanks to Paul Vesty for giving me the heads up on this bloody wonderful thing.