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The irrepressible and frequently incorrect [twitter.com profile] dhothersall started it. It's not my fault, I promise.

So #indyrefpoetry is a thing. All of my efforts have been far, far too terrible to commit to the Twitters, but that's what I have a longform blog for, so now you all must suffer. [personal profile] scotm deserves credit for originally enduring all of these over IMs. He will testify that, although terrible, they were at least written very fast. Regular readers may recall that I seem to do all right at iambic pentameter. How bad can it be?

Pretty damn bad, actually )

My last attempt actually fit into 140 chars, and was Oh, ye cannae shove yer Westminster oligarchs aff a gravy train. Thus was it indicated, quite appropriately I think, that it was time to stop.

ETA.

Oh, no, there's more )

I tried to do a pastiche of Sassoon, but it just isn't going to work. Sassoon is beyond my meagre skills. You should probably consider yourselves lucky.

No, I'm not going to do Rabbie, and you all already know why.

gominokouhai: (Default)

As the demigoddesslike (and deipnosophistic) annajroberts draws to a close her epic deconstruction of a certain popular novel (which magnum opus begins here), it is time once again to turn to your regularly scheduled lamentations that E L James is, for some unfathomable reason, remotely successful.

annajroberts[twitter.com profile] ajrobertswrites
When you type SHA into Amazon's search engine the first predictive result is Shakespeare. The second is Shades of Grey.

annajroberts[twitter.com profile] ajrobertswrites
I suppose it could be worse. Could be the other way round, but talk about opposite ends of the talent spectrum.

annajroberts[twitter.com profile] ajrobertswrites
I wish Shakespeare HAD written Fifty Shades of Grey. It might have contained some actual dick jokes. And maybe they'd have killed themselves

pajh ‏‏[twitter.com profile] gominokouhai
@ajrobertswrites I foresee a project.

annajroberts [twitter.com profile] ajrobertswrites
@gominokouhai Ugh. Forget it. I've only just put one parody to bed and I only wrote that to get it off my chest.

pajh ‏‏[twitter.com profile] gominokouhai
@ajrobertswrites I'm just considrin the potential for proper rhetoric in the contract scene. I might do it if you won't.

annajroberts[twitter.com profile] ajrobertswrites
@gominokouhai Do it! I won't - I've had more than enough of those mewling, worthless assholes, with their sex contracts and crap BSDM.

pajh[twitter.com profile] gominokouhai
@ajrobertswrites I have four lines of stichomythia in iambic pentameter earworming me now. I may have to write this down to exorcize it.

You asked for it, you got it. (Okay, you didn't ask, but still. Nobody expressly forbade it.) I include the foregoing discussion as context, so you know who is to blame for the ensuing nonsense.

(A further disclaimer: no I've not read Fifty Shades of Grey. In fact I once had to discipline a staff member who I suspected of reading it. Turned out to be a false alarm. So having only read the parody version, and not having read Twilight either, I have no idea if this scene actually takes place, but I'm led to believe it does. So there.)

TEN AND TWOSCORE CHIAROSCUROES
Or, A Bardish Bawd for the Bored.

ACTUS SECUNDUS, Scaena Prima.

Chr. My lady, shall I tie thee up with ropes?
Ana. Yea, even with your cable ties withal.
Chr. O madam, wilt thou take it up the butt?
Ana. My lord, I never so had thought before.
Chr. Not e'en consider up the butt to take't?
Ana. Mayhap I shall consider it.
Chr.                           Dude, sweet.
Ana. But shall we speak not of our hearts'—
Chr.                           We'll not;
      For thou art but a paltry Mary Sue
      And I a ripoff vampire libertine.
      No more than this we are, no more;
      And poorly written are we both at that.
      No sooner would I tear off both my stones
      Than tarry long in such a perfect void.
      But use thee shall I for my carnal aims,
      For what this novel lacks in plot it shall
      Repay with dirty bits in purple prose.
      With organ perpendicular I'll search;[0]
      In pleasures horizontal shall I find
      My consolation for thy lack of mind.
        For surely there could be no woman dumber
        Than one who seeks to romance such a—
Ana.                           Bummer.
Chr. I seest what thou didst there.

There, now it's out of my brain. And possibly into yours... sorry about that. I started off with two couplets I had to get out of my head, and ended up with a full-blown sonnet: there is a lesson here, I'm sure, but I'm damned if I want to know what it is.

--

[0] Bad Quarto editions have probe here, but later editors bowdlerized it for the sake of their own sanity.

gominokouhai: (Default)

Recently, there's been growing evidence to suggest that Edward II was not killed, by red-hot poker or otherwise, in 1327. Logically, then, he must still be walking around somewhere. Or not. That would be silly. But the concept raises some serious questions.

Crucial to Ian Mortimer's argument is the account of William le Galeys, ‘William the Welshman’, a hermit living in Lombardy, who turned up on Edward III's doorstep one day in 1338 and said: hi son, how's it going?, or at least something very similar in French. At that time, pretenders to the throne were hung, drawn, quartered, clubbed, struck, lifted, lowered, hurled, stretched, drowned, dragged, drugged, bashed, bonked, thudded, tweaked, walloped, and then... splugged on a gillikin spike. Instead of this, William le Galeys was entertained for several weeks at royal expense, and then went back to being a hermit in Lombardy. Gillikin spike makers were reported to be outraged. The obvious inference is that William le Galeys was in fact the deposed Edward II, travelling under an assumed name.

There is, as I say, a serious point arising here that many medieval scholars have missed, and I'm sure I'll get to it in the next paragraph or two.

A man officially declared dead, given a new identity, who roams the earth doing good works. (Becoming a holy man is how one did good works in the fourteenth century: they hadn't invented rationalism yet.) Logically, Edward II is Michael Knight. It remains to be seen whether Edward II had a sarcastic talking car, but given the lack of evidence to suggest that he didn't, we're forced to assume that he did.

Of course, given the time period, it was probably a talking horse. Logically, therefore, Knight Rider and Mr. Ed are the same show.

gominokouhai: (Default)

Today (by which of course I by now mean yesterday, due to Dreamwidth posting weirdness) is the 214th anniversary of the battle of Cap St. Vincent. Happy Battle of Cap St. Vincent Day, everybody!

It was at St Vincent, when 15 British sail of the line went up against 27 Spanish, that a youngish Commodore Nelson personally led the boarding party that captured the Spanish ship San Nicolas. From there he hopped over the rail onto the San Josef next to her, and captured that, too. After the battle they called it Nelson's patent bridge for boarding enemy vessels.

This is HMS Victory. She was the flagship at the Battle of Cap St Vincent, commanded by Admiral Sir John Jervis. He became Earl St Vincent after the battle.

DSCF5920

When you see that bearing down on you with the guns run out, you know it's time to panic. This is one of the first things we learn as sailors.

This is the upper gun deck of HMS Victory. You're not allowed to take photos here, but I was. On this day 214 years ago, this picture would have looked a great deal messier than it does here.

DSCF5899

There are two more such gun decks below. The guns get progressively bigger as you go down.

Eight years later, at the battle of Trafalgar, Admiral Sir John Jervis Earl of St Vincent was First Lord of the Admiralty. It was to him that the schooner HMS Pickle reported the news of the victory at Trafalgar and Nelson's death. By that time Nelson had himself been in command of Victory for two years. He got himself injured by a sniper because he insisted on poncing about on the quarterdeck in full dress uniform looking like a target, then lived just long enough to be told that he'd won the battle, and promptly expired. I swear he used to plan these things.

I'm told that today is also Crass Commercialization Of Basic Bodily Functions Day, but I prefer to talk about things that are actually important.

gominokouhai: (Default)

Frisky and Mannish were amazing, as ever. It being the finale for the School of Pop, it was a little melancholy, too. Still, The College Years is still on, and if anything it's better. Edinburgh people: go.

(Here's the trailer in case you have no idea what I'm talking about.)

Then: stargazing! It was cloudy. We saw a single Perseid. One lousy meteor. It was a bloody good one though; a big chunky one with a trail of smoke following it, looking like the shooting stars you get in cartoons. Lovely.

Thus, since astronomy was a bit of a washout, I leave you with a snippet of medieval history:

Robert Curthose, eldest son of William the Conqueror (known as William the Bastard before 1066), instigated his first insurrection against his father in 1077, aged about 24, when his younger brothers emptied a chamberpot over his head. Apparently they'd grown bored of playing at dice and decided that this would be a good way to liven up a dull afternoon. Yeah, and you laugh at what Harry gets up to in the tabloids these days.

Angry that William failed to punish his brothers sufficiently, Robert rode forth the next day and attempted to capture the castle at Rouen. Like you do. It didn't go well. Basically it's not a good idea to pick a fight with a man called the Conqueror, especially not if that man is also called the Bastard, and especially not if that man is also your dad. (Rumours that one of Duke William's other names was Lord Will-spank-the-shit-out-of-you-when-I-get-you-home remain unconfirmed.)

Anyway, bottom line, Robert didn't get to be King after William died. We got William II instead. On such matters as that tenth-century pisspot do the fates of empires turn.

(Lord Will-spank-the-shit-out-of-you-when-I-get-you-home would make an excellent character on Knightmare.)

gominokouhai: (Default)

Lovelace and Babbage!

Lovelace and Babbage, (CC) Sydney Padua

Starring: Ada Lovelace! Lovelace, (CC) Sydney Padua

And Charles Babbage! Babbage, (CC) Sydney Padua

This is quite possibly the best thing ever. And the artist claims that she's not doing a comic. I need all of you to email her and tell her how many copies you'd buy, and convince her otherwise.

Quite long )

Off to the West Coast for the weekend. I need a holiday.

On stones

Sun, Jun. 15th, 2008 15:17
gominokouhai: (Default)

Somebody has left a pamphlet in the office about the evils of caffeine. I'm very glad they did. It reminded me that I have a cup of tea brewing. Mmm, tea.

~

Today's constitutional crisis, threatening to rock the very foundations of the Scottish establishment[0], is that Our Eck reckons that the Stone of Scone is a fake. I'm not sure what constitutes fake when we're talking about rocks. Is it secretly made of plastic? Is it just rock veneer on a cardboard facsimile? Is it somehow less rocklike that we've been led to believe?

I've always thought it was a pretty stupid national symbol in any case. Down south, they have the Crown Jewels in all their resplendent finery. Up here we have a chunk of rock, and we're proud of it.

Mind you, Edward I the Scots-Hammer went to the trouble, in 1296, to raise an army and come all the way up here in order to steal the same said chunk of rock. Who's looking foolish now?

And theories persist that instead of the historic throne of Scottish kings, he was given a toilet seat instead. Who's looking foolish now? I've often wondered how that would have worked. Let's imagine it together, in Braveheart-style glorious Technicolor™-o-vision:

Lights! Camera! Irish Army Reservists! Action! )

From the article, Professor Ted Cowan says: How credible is it that you can just make a replica of something like that in five minutes because Edward I of England is coming to steal the real one? Actually, it's really very credible indeed. It's a rock. You can find them just lying around.

The Professor, we're told, is one of Scotland's most senior historians. And yet he doesn't seem to know the scarcity value of rocks. I think Edinburgh isn't what it used to be.

--
[0] Pun not intended, I swear.

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