Tuesday, 3 August 2010

"Dear HRH Prince Charles, from Science" (No. 23)

He's at it again, the crazy old Prince of Wales. What with his Dad monopolising the outrageously-offensive-behaviour-toward-foreigners-while-completely-missing-the-irony-that-technically-he-is-one approach to public engagement, and his mother covering the waving-and-looking-stern-at-public-functions side of things, Prince Charles has opted to compensate for the ever-diminishing power of the monarchy by attempting to use his influence and position to promote alternative medicines to the general public via numerous means.

He also sells biscuits, like you'd expect of anyone who's first in line to the throne.

His Foundation for Integrated Health closed due to the small matter of a massive case of fraud

(that's the 'unofficial' reason of course, the 'official' reason is that the FFIH closed because it had 'achieved all its aims' or something, which suggests that its aims were 1. Spout gibberish. 2. Have funds nicked by a notorious swindler. 3. Go home)

However, much like another sort of fictional Doctor, it has regenerated into a different form as a 'College of Medicine'. This does seem to be pushing it a little bit, so time for somebody to receive a communique...

"Dear HRH Charles Windsor, Prince of Wales

All right Chuck? How's it hanging? It's me, Science, the anthropomorphic personification of that concept you try to avoid as if it were a diseased commoner.

Still peddling those organic biscuits? You do realise that being 'organic' (whatever the hell you think that means) doesn't automatically make a food healthy, right? I'm not saying that eating one of your biscuits is like injecting 500ml of tans-fats directly into your aorta, but they could be compared to deep fried place-mats on the healthy-eating scale of things.

Obviously, it would be very naive of me to assume you had a grasp of even the most basic principles of health, given the increasingly mad theories and pseudoscientific guff you keep trying to push into the public domain, like a man trying to force a courgette into a passing strangers ear (an equally pointless and potentially damaging activity, no matter what his intentions).

Normally I expect such activity from people in your position. You have been raised to believe in the notion that people like yourself deserve to live in unrestrained luxury funded by others because you're inherently superior due to who your ancestors are. There is no logical basis or evidence for this conclusion aside from the 'it's been this way for a very long time'. A fair point, a system that persists for a very long period of time must work because it endures, right?

On a related note, have you ever considered living in the sea? Technically, your ancestors lived there for a lot longer than they lived in palaces. Just wondering...

But I don't really feel it fair to antagonise you for your questionable faith in alternative medicine, given that you've received an upbringing which doesn't really encourage much questioning and rational thought, and that's no fault of your own. And you may not know this, but alternative medicine may have a long history with the Royals. Allow me to explain.

If you look closely at history, it seems that while it was Samuel Hahnemann who is credited with the creation (yes, creation, not discovery) of Homeopathy, the concept may have been first established around 200 years older, by your own ancestor and namesake!

Remember Charles I? You probably don't personally, unless you've aged a lot better than most people. He was a Monarch called Charles who tried to impose his illogical self-serving beliefs on others, and look what happened to him (I'm not saying you'll be decapitated for your behaviour, I'm just letting you know that there is a precedent).

According to reports from the time (nearly 400 years old, so that makes them more reliable, right?) when King Charles' head was severed from his body (that's what happened, in case your parents always told you that he "went to live on a Scottish farm with a castle" if ever you asked about him), people crowded round in order to collect as much of his blood as possible. I imagine there was a fair bit of it, the carotid artery alone would have had quite a copious output when suddenly exposed to the air.

Why would anyone do this? I'll admit there may have been some cynical Vatican-like people who thought they could make a quick profit from an influential figure dying by splashing some t-shirts (or whatever the 17th century equivalent was) with suddenly-much-rarer Royal blood and selling them to the crowds. But this was a time when the common people believed Monarchs were imbued with magical powers by God (note the past-tense, there), and it is said they collected the blood believing it to have healing properties.

It's only a simple logical step to conclude that, given the meagre amounts anyone could have collected, it was diluted to prolong it's use. Diluting something without affecting its healing potency? Now, why does that sound familiar? This is just conjecture though, it never caught on as a method at the time. Maybe they overlooked the 'like cures like' law of similars preached by modern homeopaths? If this were true, diluted kings blood would probably have treated nonsensical delusions of superiority. Or maybe in this case, headaches.

So maybe your love of homeopathy is based on a subconscious desire to follow in the footsteps of your namesake? (excluding the public execution bit, presumably). Or maybe its just that, considering the size of your gene pool (gene-puddle?), whatever rational parts of your subconscious mind are remaining recognise the problem and are constantly screaming about the benefits of dilution, but the message is being scrambled by your powerful bullshit processing centres? I'd be happy to discuss this with you some time, get you some help if you want it.

Anyway, enough preamble. I noticed that your Foundation For Integrated Health (or 'Foundation For Shite' as I call it, FFS for short) is now a 'College of Medicine'. You think this is acceptable? I know that officially you 'aren't involved', just as 'officially' you probably don't hand-make each of those lard biscuits you sell, but let's drop the pretence. But Colleges of Medicine are quite blatantly my territory, not yours. You can't just borrow my terminology because you don't have enough credibility! I'm not a politician, I won't stand for it.

So here's the ultimatum; change the name, or at least make it clear that you aren't teaching and giving degrees in medicine. If you don't, then in every credited scientific teaching establishment throughout the world, I'm going to introduce a new qualification for scientists. It'll be a one page exam, all they have to do is fill in their name. They instantly pass the moment they turn up, and they shall be have achieved the qualification of 'Highly Ridiculous H'exam' (the extra H makes it sound posh). As such, anyone who passes it shall be able to put the letters HRH before their name.

Consider this a formal warning. Your move, your Highness.

Love and kisses

Science (BA hons)

email: Humourology (at) live.co.uk
twitter: @garwboy



Zeno said...


Michael said...

It's not the only questionable group who have used a scientific sounding name to gain recognition and I suspect not the last.

Anonymous said...

Dear, Science,

Hey, it’s me, anthropomorphic representation of a Duchy Originals Sicilian Lemon All Butter Shortbread Biscuit,

Chuck asked me to reply to your letter as he’s busy with the cows. Actually, he left your letter in the farmyard and I picked it up when I passed by in my earlier wheaty form. Actually, he fed it to the cows in the hope that they would absorb your sciencey loveliness through their intestinal tract and introduce a little of your scientific credibility to his produce. Like osmosis. That’s a science thing, right?

Okay, I admit it, Chuck didn’t ask me to reply at all. I picked up the remains of your letter when the cows regurgitated it amongst the cud and saw my chance to find help from a sympathetic ally.

I’m organising a great escape from the Duchy farm. Me and my pals, Hazelnut & Cranberry Sweet Oaten Biscuits and Rosemary & Thyme Cheddar Cheese Nibble are making a break from it, We want to be McVities chocolate digestives.

Will you help?

Crumbs and nibbles,

Lemon Shorty

JadedGreenEyes said...

And here I thought it was the ears that made me distrust dear Chuck.

The world will be a better place when Science helps Lemon Shorty become a McVities chocolate digestive. Think of the symbolism in such an action!

Smart and lovely letters, the both of you.

Dean Burnett, Neuroscientist said...

Hi DOSLABSB, it's me Science.

Good to hear the news of the impending rebellion. I'll help out any way I can, but I'd be careful when trying to join McVities biscuits, I think Jaffa Cake may be an undercover informant just posing as a biscuit.

Science (BA hons)

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