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Separating sheep and scapegoats

Ian Martin
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Ian Martin is punished by the Auteurs Regulatory Board

MONDAY It seems shameful that the SNP can just unilaterally declare Scotland’s rugged scenery a ‘restricted area’. Even worse that they should require English tourists to buy an ‘access card’, which must be presented at a ‘mountain pass visitor centre’ which – full disclosure – I’m designing, so ethically everything’s absolutely fine.

TUESDAY Fuming. I’ve been fined six grand by those sanctimonious berks at the Auteurs Regulatory Board. PLUS four points on my cultural navigational licence, thanks to its mewling disciplinary committee. ‘Morally blameworthy’ they called me. ‘Morally blameworthy’. You can’t even SAY it without mimicking their prim vindictiveness.

The facts are not in dispute. Yes, I charged the clients – two extremely arsey retired teachers by the way, they’re always the worst – £80,000 to re-narrativise their 1960s bungalow into a ‘future-proofed eco-home’. As I said in my defence, who even knows what that actually even is?

Phase One of the re-narrativisation was getting them to stop mowing the lawn as a way of encouraging biodiversity. This worked a treat. It attracted all sorts of wildlife, big eco tick, thanks very much. But they complained that advising them to stop mowing the lawn didn’t feel like eighty grand’s worth. Fair enough, point taken. I decided to think laterally, like those young urban buccaneers shortlisted for the Turner Prize, and had half the roof removed, to allow the healing natural air to develop a unique environmental conversation between the bungalow and its context. Of course things got ‘wet’ and ‘ruined’. Mother Nature is a harsh mistress. I argued that the additional air created by the demi-bungalow easily came to 80k. It was after all in Bromley, which is very expensive now. Alas, the officious shits chose to punish me instead. I shouldn’t be surprised. In this cynical age, auteurs are a soft target for society’s cruelty.

WEDNESDAY Oh, and on it goes. The appalling academic performance of one of the country’s earliest free schools – Droitwich Latin Primery – is being blamed on MY DESIGN. In plan, the school is shaped like two adjacent bagels – one offering innovation, the other offering maximum flexibility. There’s a choice of circulatory regime (clockwise and anticlockwise) and a choice of ethos (‘faith’ or ‘left blank’).

Now certain conservative factions are claiming that pupils are bumping into one another all the time and worrying about what they believe, distracting them from important free school studies such as fencing and whatever, Contemporary Scapegoating.

THURSDAY While Milan has its famous furniture expo, pandering to the tastes of the cultural effete, Tamworth’s own Chair Fair is much more down to earth.

It is my pleasure to open this year’s event, held as usual in the former Essoldo cinema, which has the catchy tagline ‘BE PART OF THE FUrniTURE!’ Chairs of all descriptions to suit all budgets, delivery within 20 miles free if you spend more than fifty quid, can’t say fairer than that. The Reclining Flatchair is very popular, a sort of waterproof pop-up shelter designed for the buoyant people-trafficking and rental market.

FRIDAY Entire day written off for tax purposes.

SATURDAY Five-a-zeitgeist theoretical pub football. Inter-War Pubs 1, Inter-Pub Wars 3.

SUNDAY A fascinating report in the Creative on Sunday, which conducted a survey into attitudes towards the sexuality of architects’ pets. It makes for grim reading. This is partly because it has been written by epic space correspondent Darcy Farquear’say in his customary fainting-couch style, and partly because it is ‘co-written’ by Bauhau, his preposterous cis-gendered bisexual architectural dachshund.

Summary: while attitudes towards pet sexuality are relaxed in areas such as Camden and Shoreditch, it’s another story altogether in Cannock and Doncaster. It is of course depressing that architects’ sexualised dogs, nuanced cats, miniature ponies, French-speaking parrots, tropical and freshwater fish, snakes, fancy rabbits, domesticated otters, red squirrels, giant spiders, iguanas, falcons, butterflies, chickens, urban cows etc are mocked simply for the clothes they wear or the sexuality they blazon.

But most of the anecdotal evidence seems to have come from Darcy and Bauhau’s social circle, in particular from the noisy and irritating Piers Haverbreaks, environmental commentator for Russia Today, and his terrified corgi, who’s apparently ‘exploring the rainbow of canine sexuality’ in miniature biker boots and a frock. Elsewhere, there’s poignant testimony from everybody’s old friend, the magic arborealist Isis de Cambray, and her transitioning chameleon.’



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