Help! HRH the Prince of Wales has called me a headless chicken

We admire Prince Charles – so why should he suddenly pounce and call me a Headless Chicken? Is this any fit way for a future king to address a future subject? No. Has he forgotten that I sent him a copy of my 1987 book on Landscape planning? Obviously. Are we still friends? Dunno.
‘Headless chicken’ is his jibe for climate change deniers. But who does he include in this category? Since I know of nobody who doubts the thermometer’s evidence for global warming, he must be attacking those who believe, as I do, that God and Mother Nature are affecting the climate as much today as they have done for the past 13.798±0.037 billion years. Do I think man is part of nature? Yes. Do I think man has some influence on climate change? Yes. Do I think man is the sole cause of climate change? No. So why call me a headless chicken? Honestly, he has spoiled my day. So did that blast of wind and rain which hit me in the park. A little global warming hereabouts would be acceptable at this time of year.

8 thoughts on “Help! HRH the Prince of Wales has called me a headless chicken

  1. Adam

    Tom You are famous ! Credit to you ! Bearing in mind HRH has quite often come up with ideas one often thinks are one station short of Dagenham,and he thinks you are a fowl, rather suggests he is loosing the plot ! Perhaps a get-well card might cheer him up !!

  2. Christine

    Since Prince Charles has stuck his head above the parapet it seems there is a lot of potential ‘headless’ people/animals? All this sounds very damaging, and it would be good to think there is a way for everyone to keep their heads in the debate.

    I am sure it is something akin to deciding the shape of the earth and the position of the planet within the universe – it is really better not to jump to any conclusions – but rather to proceed with intellectual caution and circumspection.

    1. Tom Turner Post author

      It is the exaggeration from the ‘scientists’ (and princes) which troubles me. So far as I know, nobody is denying the existence of climate change or any other kind of change (for dust you are, and unto dust shall you return) and to make a glancing comparison with holocaust deniers is outrageous, especially from a prince. Hearing a tired old cliche from him is also depressing. He has landed far better insults in the past and, like, Adam, I fear for his health.

  3. Christine

    Perhaps the prince has picked up on the change of mood since the GFC? It is more difficult to be morally outraged or panicked with less economic security it seems?

  4. Tom Turner Post author

    I think he sees himself as ‘the people’s prince’ and wants to be loved by the people. This makes him want to jump onto bandwagons – and I think this explains his willingness to criticise factory farmers and architects – ‘the people’ don’t like ugly boxes and don’t like highfalutin language.
    Moving away from the prince, here is an example of two translations (from Building Design) of Tschumi’s ‘explanation’ of la Villette. I admit to enjoying giving Tschumi’s leg a mild tug, though I also think he made a useful contribution to landscape theory.

    “The park’s architecture refuses to operate as the expression of a preexisting content, whether subjective, formal or functional. Just as it does not answer to the demands of the self (the sovereign or “creative” architect), so it negates the imminent dialectic of the form, since the latter is displaced by superimpositions and transformations of elements that always exceed any given formal configuration. In a Nietzschean manner, La Villette moves towards interpretative infinity, for the effect of refusing fixity is not insignificance but semantic plurality.”

    Plain English translation by Lee Monks: Parc de la Villette is a bit different. There are no phallic or weird signature shapes, thankfully, although it is tricky to describe as the architect was a bit mental.

    Ike Ijeh translation: Not even Doctor Who could unravel this one. Without doubt, Bernard Tschumi is the Grand Wizard of Obfuscation, the undefeated Master of Miasma. One imagines that he would answer even simple requests for directions with sonnets and soliloquies charged with such withering uber-intellectual ferocity as to transform even the most ardent linguist into a pile of smouldering ash by the time he had finished. Like Eisenman he has spent much of his career tormenting architectural students, but at least Eisenman’s bleating provides unintentional humour; Tschumi is just blow after blow of cerebral haemorrhaging. It is a matter of extreme injustice that while one imagines that his buildings are subject to all manner of health and safety scrutiny, his pen is allowed to proceed unimpeded. Read him at your peril.

    Unintelligibility rating: 5*/5

  5. Christine

    How about this interpretation of Tschumi – ‘If you don’t stand for something you wont stand for nothing but rather will stand for many things.’?

    1. Tom Turner Post author

      It would have been a good declaration for Tschumi to make – perhaps he needs a speechwriter.
      But landscape designers cannot be as single-minded as, for example, a Steve Jobs. They have too many clients, including bees, frogs and hedgehogs.


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