A reluctant rebrainer
Ian Martin appears in the Court of Environmental Justice
MONDAY In the morning, scribble ‘crop-up’ to describe the next, more organic generation of pop-up. In the afternoon, propose ‘iContemporany’ as the style matrix for ephemeral privatised funscapes, then have a little lie down. In the evening, predict ‘social imagineering’ as a nudge-tool delivering scalable consensus via soft-money throughlines for professional dickheads.
TUESDAY Yet more grief in a buff envelope from the Royal Institute of Chartered Auteurs. Not only late with my subs again; I’ve been summoned to a disciplinary hearing.
It’s like living in Stalinist Bloody Russia, but with ecology narks instead of the KGB. Now the spies are embedded among us as ordinary-looking liberals in cardigans, nobody’s safe from their prying sanctimony.
WEDNESDAY I hate the arsey RICA and its arsey headquarters - a hushed, closeted Georgian townhouse briskly converted into butch relevance with sextuple glazing, biodegradable carpet, gloomy lighting and verbalised carbon dioxide.
I am led to the Court of Environmental Justice. Airless and smug - the adjudicators and clerks all look like they just finished The Times crossword. I have been arraigned on three charges, to wit…
1. That I did, with malice, aforethought and in contravention of the Voluntary Accord on ‘Living Smart’ (Helsinki Agreement 2005), include a fireplace in the cited Luxury Retreat For A CEO Of Digital Services, thereby encouraging the client to burn fossil fuel and smoke illicitly up the chimney. Fined 500 guineas and three points on my auteuring licence.
2. That I did, with disregard to the hurt and annoyance of others, conduct a telephone conversation during the national two-minute silence for global warming. Docked one week’s earnings. Three points and 20 hours global community service.
3. That I did, with orchestrated contempt for Earth’s Precious Resources, specify a mahogany and ivory panda enclosure as part of the cited Underground Leisure Hub For An Arms Billionaire. Fined 400 sovereigns, three points and compulsory attendance at the Rebraining: A Green World conference.
Oh balls, not another all-day berkfest, please. I’m amazed it’s still going, to be honest, this sustainability nonsense.
THURSDAY To a mid-range Mayfair hotel for Rebraining: A Green World. Half the delegates look like evangelical fitness freaks. Entitled superiority, outdoorsy. Tan level: ‘Branson’. The other half look like week-old balloons with faces drawn on them. They’re the cocky office bastards who get on everyone’s nerves all the time, who do suggestive little dances if their football team’s won, and whose favourite nouns are ‘win’ and ‘fail’. Then while they’re off on a site visit to a partially constructed luxury hospice or whatever, everyone says ‘ooh perfect let’s send bastard office cock to this stupid green conference…’
I despise everyone here, ha ha ha oh God yet here I am, one of them. I too seem to be wearing a name badge and steeling myself for the introductory remarks of some 160-year-old Welsh mentalist who once built a weekend cottage out of fucking car batteries and did the recycling for Nye Bevan or Ronnie Scott’s or the Imperial War Museum, possibly all of them, don’t ask me I’ve nodded off.
A bit later I award myself a 45-minute comfort break in order to miss ‘HOW GREEN WAS MY VALUE - property and construction experts talk about fiscal responsibility in the context of ecologically sound design. How to monetise probity and create natural run-offs via green margins’. It seems reasonable to extend the comfort break into a comfort lunch. I make myself as comfortable as possible, then weave back into the conference suite for closing remarks.
These include: ‘Dry stone walls make good occasional neighbours’. ‘Articulate the particulate!’ ‘All footprints are shadows, all shadows footprints’. ‘If we are to conserve, then let us serve. And DESERVE, that rhymes too’. ‘Green is the new black, and grey is the new pink’. ‘Return to your conservatories and prepare for jam-making!’
FRIDAY Hand in my validated attendance form for Rebraining: A Green World at the RICA. Boom, that’s me in the clear for a bit. Now very keen to get back to auteuring the shit out of the built environment.
SATURDAY Five-seven-five-a-side ecological zeitgeist haiku play-offs. ‘Lovely rainwater/filling this antique barrel/super picturesque’ 2, ‘Opportunity/followed by morality/as a retrofit’ 3 after a metrical recount.
SUNDAY Recliner-enabled husbandry of planet Me and my precious resources, including a very acceptable 20th-century Armagnac and a coal fire.