There are somethings that are missing from yesteryear (which was apparently at some point in the mid-fifties) that this world is in dire need of.
Sense of community (“sure”).
Being able to fix your own car (“uhuh”).
Children playing in the streets (*yawn*).
And the only food that was bad for you was too much for it (“and who really gives a basket of warm, fluffy fucks?”).
Not to mention that there’s no real music anymore…
Perhaps the problem is that these are issues whined by those who came from those times and are now, regrettably, dying to the tune of some K$sha ballad whilst their grandchildren are too fat to get out the door and play in the streets where they will be preyed upon.
What we need are some new things to miss from the past.
Such as Leagues.
Why aren’t there any Leagues anymore?
There used to be Leagues bombarding your front doorstep with still-warm prints of their latest campaigns to do away with this or to bring for the that and many other times simply stating their existence as any good League surely has the right to do.
And I refuse to permit any form of online gaming groups to be classes as a League on the grounds that they are useless (thus far), proffer not even a single leaflet and really are simply not the sought of people you’d want to be stranded with in a dark zombie-strewn forest.
Keyboard skills do not translate well to activities that do not require keyboards.
More activities without keyboards; they’re long missing too. I’m now at the stage at which writing with a pen hurts my hand after only a few sentences and I – being cursed with verbiage – am left feeling overly impassioned by the toll and toil of my inky craft in what amounts to a the longer nouns on my shopping list. I’ve stopped buying croissants as a matter of…it hurting.
Croissants are the food of the typing-types.
And Messiahs. There used to be tonnes, as though it was raining with Messiahs and we were up to our blessed ears and had our holy hands full with the constant barrage of those who had come from as elected by their own relative Almighty and were seeking my salvation and bank account details (plus free cool-aid).
I can cure you.
Especially your sciatica.
Just kick my dog in the face, like I do.
Of course, don’t kick my dog in the face as I’ll consider that an invasion of my personal property (as well as an invasion of my best friend’s face with your foot). And when I say ‘kick’ – I mean: nudge him in the face with your foot whilst he nibbles you. And when I say ‘dog’ – I’m referring to my Lurcher/Greyhound of whom it requires a good deal of height so as to foot-nudge properly; the effect might not be the same on your pug. But kick that too; it’s good for the species (ours).
And the species matters to me, just like it should to a Messiah.
I’m not the Messiah to canine-kind, but they’re welcome in the healing process of your sciatic nerve.
Dogs are another thing that used to be done better.
Mongrels were proper mongrels; full of salty beans and with a hint of wolf and whiff of poodle mixed together into something that wanders down the street with as much swagger as any worldly millionaire that knows that one day its steak and women as an evening’s entertainment – the next its soup for dinner and soup for romance.
The League of Mongrel Messiahs.
I’d take their leaflet.
This might be a little beside the point since you’re not in the room with me but – gosh my typing sounds good today. Although at times it can be a little stalted as I try to remember the spelling of “stalted”, as though it were a pleasing piano melody that contained an unneighbourly and offbeat pause that could ruin the piece altogether.
Perhaps that’s the key to good writing. But how should a scribble sound?
Short sharp dashes aplenty, with many pleasing whooping whirls too; just like a good signature. I’ve always felt that when writing with the passion of really writing, it should be a highly physical and audible thing with just the right amount of shoulder pulse and groove amongst the melody of those nifty little z’s and capital N’s that the young folk and Nazis are so fond of (whilst also including some woo’s for the older pups and owls; for I’ve also always felt that ‘woo’ looks like an owl laying down and imitated).
A tad off topic but somehow more to the point.
How very me.
I imagine the League of Mongrel Messiahs would have their leaflet written only by the most audibly-pleasing of writing techniques.
But which sounds most musical?
The only form of writing that provides a “whooooosh!” throughout; such an essential aspect that emails and texts insert it onto a sent message just in imitation of those fabulous flying machines.
But all I’ve got is a keyboard.
And a croissant.
And a large dog.
And what more would you expect from my League of Mongrel Messiahs?
What could be more hopeful than a chap looking to be your Messiah with croissants and a dog as such vital aspects of his arsenal?
Whilst a good-looking slogan (especially on a sash and even more especially on a slash and keeping the question mark) – I hardly think this is something to be provided by a Messiah. Promised, perhaps, but not provided.
A manner in which to wait until the final finality?
I can do that.
It’ll involve sticks and shouting, large amounts of general things, landing hard, smoking a pipe, a large ego with just cause, meadows, fishing via the stabbing method, boulders and some saintliness.
Or just some occasional blog-articles.
At least we have some new things to reminisce about now.
Perhaps it’s due to the trends in history that make these two things seemingly ubiquitous, or perhaps it’s simply a matter of sheer genital/national charisma, but it would seem that vaginas and the Irish are perpetually IN.
Something that is not consistently trendy is the regularity of contributions to my own blog. However, here’s a second offering to the world in my own attempts at being IN.
To begin with (as is the typical case for humans); vaginas.
I would put a very genuine bet of whatever’s thought worth wagering that vaginas have had a greater say in the sway of the world’s political, artistic, warring, scientific, economic and even mathematical tides; more exquisite than gold, more hungered for than food and of greater footing than land (meaning that you can surely rely on vaginas as a reliable foundation, and also meaning that vaginas are a tremendous location to warm ones’ toes in the chillier of an ice age night’s).
And they’re IN, as opposed to their male counterpart, which is only IN when it is victorious (aka – literally IN).
See how they’re defended, let alone fought for. A vagina is something that nobody wants to see clubbed, and whilst a penis and their accompanying descendicles give a man a shudder as a particularly villainous gust of wind flutters them about so amusingly, it is the thought of any disadvantage to the vagina that we find incomprehensible.
A good sturdy vagina is a thing of evolutionary brilliance. It has the power to eek out a full-blown baby and yank-in a man of any amount of yard, it can keep the toes warm (as previously mentioned) and can be as frosty as any other delicious treat, it smells tremendous in the fashion of a honeyed pork chop and is self-cleaning.
I cannot think of a single thing that is easier to advertise than a vagina.
If vaginas, as a clan/consortium, made rum – I’d buy it and so would you. And I don’t like rum and you’re some gay guy that I’m writing to currently, but whilst I’ve got little choice as I’m as straight as my own sex organ (slightly leftwards…and just a little rightwards; my willy’s a smashing scenic route), you choose the ‘Rum du la Cunni’ because you know it’s a brand you can trust since it comes so highly recommended.
You know the way in which your dad comes with you whilst you are purchasing your first car? Same thing really, you’re father recommends vaginas, and though they might not be your particular cup of tea with a custard cream, you trust your old man’s word.
Now, I know that the penis is an incredibly trendy piece of hard-worn hardware, but that’s only in the state of arousal known as a ‘boner’. That’s: ‘boner’.
A boner is a mightily impressive thing and is certainly how I’d start my colony on a desert island, but once they’ve reverted to being as flaccid as…an unaroused penis…they’re merely an appendage that doesn’t even flop that well (and flopping’s what it does best).
I wrote an articles previously, discussing which would be preferable as a climbing wall; again – it was the vagina that came up trumps as even in the event of a safely unaroused wall of vaginas suddenly becoming aroused; at least you’ll die with sweet smelling fingers.
It is at every single one of these points that vaginas and the Irish differ.
The Irish don’t smell that sweet, unless they’ve gotten themselves a vagina, they’re difficult to advertise (“anyone in the mood for an Irishman?”) and whilst they’ve been present at many crucial times in crucial matters – people didn’t decide to do that much because of the Irish.
However, they aren’t half IN, in fact – perpetually so.
Now I’ve been held the esteemed company of both vaginas and the Irish, and whilst both are complete charmers, it is the latter that are the conversationalists you want in your ear (vaginas are a hushed bunch aside from the occasional shouty one).
The Irish are inherently IN, despite several centuries of racial oppression, and one can tell this best by how often they were the topic of conversation.
Plus, everyone’s a little bit Irish, from India to the USA, the most commonly hyphenated racial mix is “-Irish”. “-German”, “-African” and “-Italian” have either had their day or seen a minor resurgence (“-English” is meanwhile nowhere to be seen). The Irish are amongst all peoples and people are most definitely fashionable – that’s why we haven’t had nuclear war yet.
And it is worth considering that the reason that people are so preservationally trendy is that they’re an ickle bit Irish, and thus we have Irish to thank for the distinct lack of nuclear war we’ve been enjoying lately.
It is also worth considering that should nuclear war commence then we’d all be shrouded in a little haze of green, and whilst the Irish look just swell in green – it most certainly doesn’t suit vaginas.
Additionally, the Irish are famed for distilling a certain spirit, yet I doubt it’d compete with the barrels of Cunni Rum that’d also outsell oil.
If I could have an Irish stereotype in my home – a charming chap with completely mental hair, looking slightly scruffy yet with startlingly blue eyes, lulling me to merriment with some heart-breaking melodies and then some extraordinary tales of drunken adventures, as well as that habit for getting on with all others aside from other Irishmen – then I’d get rid of that fucking plant and enjoy the new stereotype/furniture.
To be honest with you all, I started this article with the pure intention of detailing how vaginas and the Irish are perpetually IN, and whilst the Irish most certainly are perpetually IN, I’m beginning to find an imbalance in this article as to which is the more fashionable.
I don’t think its racist to say that vaginas are most fashionable than the Irish, but if it were then call me a racist; vaginas are more fashionable than the Irish.
Of course, there are many perpetually IN things that the Irish out-weigh.
Bubbles are incredibly in vogue and have been for as long as they’ve been noticed, but the Irish are better than bubbles because they can do everything a bubble can whilst still being able to fight for Home Rule so charismatically.
The Irish can float around a crowd and make everyone look and wonder where they came from, they can appear suddenly in either the most lackadaisically ebullient or rabidly hardcore of times, and have a pleasing shininess to them; everything a bubble can, plus the Irishness.
I think that’ll do; vaginas, the Irish (especially stereotypically) and bubbles are perpetually IN, albeit with a hierarchy in with the vagina is Queen of the Queendom.
Next time, should it occur, will be all about cowboys and how things always seem more appealing when wet (e.g. a wet apple is an alluring apple. Nobody asked for a dry apple).
(P.S With apologies to the Irish and much gratitude to the vaginas)
I’d bring that chap back and have him stand in my kitchen.
I don’t know how I’m going to go about that by any means other than confidence (I’ve no time machine…why’s it always a time ‘machine’? Why not a ‘time plant’? It could grow older and younger and so on and so forth…If you’d like to steal this idea that’d be great as long as I don’t have to deal with it anymore.) but I’m going to get that smelly defiler of the ages into my kitchen and have him look out the window.
Whilst I can’t deny that Genghis’ methods were efficient (if altogether too runny) I’d love for him to see the progress that ‘nice-chapping’ can afford.
By being fairly pleasant to one another, with a “Good morning” here and a “That’s a lovely blouse, Mr Smith” there, we’ve got ourselves green lawns, fluffy cats, milk on the doorstep and families playing in the streets whilst soft, warm sunlight lands on all. Such loveliness you can see through my kitchen window.
Genghis might not see my point. It could be that he’d look out my kitchen window, murder it, murder me, make his way through the frightened door and proceed to take out his predisposition for upsetting a picnic all over the family picnic, sunshine and milk bottles.
Follow this up with a quick bit of back and forth about world history, wars, government, sociology, poetry and how to slurp soup without annihilating the fellow sitting next to you, and I think he’d calm down with the conquering.
Really, I expect he was a consequence of his circumstance: “Kill (the Chinese) or be killed”, similar to the rapacious conspiring by the royal/nobles of medieval England; looking to one another only to magpie how to be exemplary in sinister, Machiavellian machinations.
This being so, I’d still berate him, make him sit in special spot to look out the window.
Then maybe he’d use his powers of annihilating for good, such as by…murdering…traffic incidents…Then there wouldn’t be any more traffic incidents because Genghis Khan had kindly murdered them all for us. Just trying to be helpful, eh?
Look, I know he was a genius of strategy and governance, and that’s really another addition to my point; what if he’d used benevolence more widely? A man such as him using this in ancient times; would we be even lovelier today?
I’m not sure who I’d bring back from history and berate next.
Definitely Pol Pot, so that I could really rub it in his face about how crap he was at what he devoted his love to. That’d satisfy me to some level.
Perhaps Thomas Edison for being so bitchy…eurgh. Poor Tesla. Poor elephant.
We’ll find out, me included, next time on ‘Bring Back And Berate’!
I’ve heard some criticism as of late.
Following the seemingly destined article from Time magazine by a chap following Ali through his early to late years, an article of magnificent insight and appreciation as only from one who was there if not him, I read a “Dear Editor” letter in response.
Apparently a wanker had a pencil this day.
Forgive a paraphrase or two, (something along the lines of which I’ve said prior) for the response came as thus:
“I don’t like boxing. He wasn’t great. Nah.”
Indeed, this Italian chap named Fausto, spoke of his likelihood to not even read this edition; so strong was his disappointment of what it contained within. Not that he would know; owing to not opening the edition he was so disappointed in.
Little minds might well sift for insight into menial and miniscule subjects, and that’s fine (what could be finer than thinking about nothing much at all – please see metaphysics), but I don’t like a bully with or without a pen and to see a journalist and the dead picked on for the purposes of you wishing to share a bad day are unacceptable.
Get thee to a nunnery and from there turn left to OFF in a FUCK manner.
Why was Muhammad Ali great?
Only in terms of people; yes.
In terms of the science of the sport; indeed – “Nah”.
Nifty and continual; a chap who showed his penchant for dodging like a loony-tune, and leaving a man exhausted from successfully achieved swings and far more numerate misses.
His boxing was very good; and that is an understatement when regarding the mass murder (he could kill me repeatedly if he wished) of him vs I, and then an enormous overstatement should he have ever dared (as surely he would have) to dance with Tyson.
And that’s that; most thatilly.
And it is joyfully important to recall to all minds that his boxing talent and skill were merely as they were; “His boxing was very good”.
Naturally you’re to assume I’m on my way to thriving in verbosity over his spirit and standing; his courage and morality; which I have regard for, but not before compliment boxing as the scene-setter it is.
A world of men willing to receive a knuckily death-threat to the pretty and increasingly ugly face, the whimpering brain and even the shocked visceral innards.
It might not be the art it is often entitled as; but it is an extraordinary frame.
And so on to the man beyond the athlete.
Compare the term “sacrifice” to the term “donation”. The sacrifice of three prime years to a melancholy ether, could well be a synonym for donation to his might, his thought and his future.
Less so a matter of sound fiscal planning; his absence from the boxing scene was a departure from the income scene; his heroism of self did his wallet and entourage no favours.
Still, though I am grateful to this man, who made demonstrate the easeless act of will in order to achieve a more contented heart.
Morality made apparent.
There is a final credit to devote to this man.
I’ve heard a plethora of vocal recordings, capturing Ali and often letting him loose, from squeaky loud mouthing to an old hat wearing a better one than you, I’ve heard what Ali said to himself.
“I am the greatest!”
“I AM the greatest!”
And thus he became so.
Amidst a dislocated brain from the meat mountain of Foreman and the part immovable object/part irresistible force of two-hundred-thousand-year-old genetics from Frazier, and the shuffling existence of the concussion-infused Parkinsons disease; Ali has remained the greatest through no victory other than this; he took the time to realise he was.
“I AM the greatest!”
Ali was because he told himself he was.
And luck – both good and sour.
Ali told himself he was the greatest and so he was.
Self-doubt can lay a person to the unknown foundations of tomorrow, but Ali would only be the foundations of that tomorrow following a regard held highly and a continuation of the mantra.
He told himself: “I AM the greatest!”
And then; see what happened.
For the superb article of Ali by Robert Lipsyte, see the following link: http://time.com/4358073/muhammad-ali-robert-lipsyte-on-the-life-of-the-greatest/
There has often been the brought up notion, from conversation to Hollywood movie, that if a modern man (‘man’ because – you know – they’re the ones with enough forearm to make a difference in the movies. Plus stubble and vests) were to emigrate backwards through time and enter the past…he’d be awesome.
Typically, we’re talking medieval history. The variety of history in which, if you tried with some vague degree of determination…you could be king.
King’s in those days populated the land with babies and…what modern man wouldn’t? When the wenches are as buxom as a barn door with tits – you’d procreate yourself to the throne.
This is of course the Hollywood elaboration of realistic approximation for how the Kings of the times behaved (and why). And they’re not far off.
The point to be made though is that if you were to be sent back in time to a period of history in which becoming a King is an option…no you couldn’t.
No. No you couldn’t indeed.
You could not rule the land purely because you’re from the future as this doesn’t mean you could somehow outwit people into doing as you instructed.
And this states a great deal about how much of a dick you are. Dick.
What are you going to do when you arrive back in England circa 1209?
To begin with, you’d likely appear in a field, which I feel is just terrific because I’ve got a lot of time for fields (I respect them. Ask me why and brace yourself as I may get emotional all over you), though you may realise that you’re going to have to just keep walking until something happens.
Here’s the first issue- eat something. Or be a dick and don’t eat something.
The removed existence of delicatessens and your fridge equates to you bumming around grasping a stick with dreary ambitions of convincing something onto the end of it, somehow wind up being cooked (since you didn’t even think about skinning the poor medieval dish did you? You dick) and then shat out with zero comforting wipes to you posterior.
And what are you going to wash it down with?
The beverage of the time consisted of cholera and pox-ridden water full of fish cum and your neighbour’s proverbial digested…or you could drink beer. And seeing as how you’re in a field with no beer and nothing on the end of your un-triumphant stick (I’ve got a lot of time for sticks. You could ask me why but I already wrote about it here: https://samsywoodsy.com/2015/02/18/the-evolution-of-the-stick-and-why-it-matters-to-me/ ) then you’re going to be drinking a hell of a lot of nasty neighbour-contents…and you might not even be near a river. You dick.
So, let us Hollywood a little.
You’re in an English Medieval town……………your move, brother.
What are you going to do? Convince them you’re able to do anything? You’ll be shovelling pig leavings as soon as you fall face first into them once you’ve been hounded for the first time for dressing like a futuristic weirdo by your newly-acquainted Medieval bullies. I bet they’re as blunt as this sentence.
Unless you can juggle, you’re going to slowly blend the fuck in with this crowd of peasants and vaguely attempt to wonder how you can apply anything at all you knew from your time spent in century 21.
One plus side however which you may have neglected to conceive…you’ll be a giant to these wee little peasants. 5 to 6 feet of bloke walking through the literally shitty streets would be an impressive sight to the average peasant, as they gradually gain neck-ache from constantly seeking to look you in the eye.
And you’d wash. Shiny people would be a novelty and they’d likely seek to make some sport of you until the inevitable burning takes place – mostly because you’re different in a time of maniacal fear and superstition, partly because you’re a dick and you’re shiny.
I’d burn you.
I’d blend right in. I’m good with a stick and they’d regard me with respectful contempt a distance away great enough to avoid a clobbering from my now-triumphant stick. Back then, having a stick was a serious possession to have…and I’d have one. Plus I’m stocky.
You’d probably have quite a few sticks actually; regrettably compiled into a revoltingly effective bit of kindling around your dickish feet.
Apologies for the perpetual inclination I have towards call you a dick – I’m a little sad, in fact greatly sad, but will address this once I’ve expressed this issue of you being a dick amongst peasants.
You dick amongst peasants.
Here’s the knee-knocker right here and no mistake.
Make a difference.
What the fuck could you contribute to the Medieval society? A very small amount of sod/bugger (your choice) all I fear.
Whilst you’ll spend the remainder of your time through time regretting not being a woodsman and trying to somehow make a gun out of stones and bits of squirrel…you could have introduced good people management skills.
The people that are going to survive when thrust back in time? It’s Human Resources brother!
And those amongst us built like either a gorilla with a bit of wit or the aforementioned barn door with tits (‘knockers’ – if you will). Being gorilla-like with wit is a common component of the successful throughout time. Good genes.
They’re the fellas and femmes who are going to be able to cope with the repressed civilisation people were living as part of in the times. They’re going to encourage the sticks to stack around your feet because they’re going to survive and having some shiny giant screaming about lightbulbs and why he doesn’t regret doing what he did to that squirrel is only going to help them if it’s the burnt version. Because back then the conversation was over until someone was burnt.
By the way…when the elderly chestnut comes around about going back in time and killing Hitler surfaces…no you couldn’t.
No. No you couldn’t indeed.
How would you be able to kill Hitler? What the fuck are you talking about?
“Oh, I’d use my modern-age charm to deceive the guards and make my way through the big door and give Hitler a meaningful chat about why he shouldn’t have done that which he did. And then I’d kill with a move I learnt from Tekken. Because…I’m a 21st Century-kind-of-guy.”
You think far brighter and more capable murderers weren’t already trying to accomplish this feat? I’ll say this for World War Two – we had some good murderers on both sides and to suggest you would be the guy to go back and use your knowledge of internet memes and Grumpy Cat to encourage that bullet into Hitler’s Brain is a disservice to their murderous careers.
But aside from you’re …ah fuck it. I’m all sad now. Here’s why I’ve referred to you as a dick thus far.
In total honesty, if I was thrust back to 1939 I’d rip off Terry Pratchett. And I’d fail.
What a guy.
We’re talking about a fellow of inspired inspiration; by which I mean that he didn’t just have a next-level imagination or an outstanding work ethic…he had both. Therefore, his inspiration was inspired. As were we all.
Now there are going to be a series of heartfelt and on-the-nose prose written about the man Pratchett, but not to include my own would be impossible since I write inspired by him, and now I write for him.
Maybe I should only do obituaries; its assured work. Plus the subject matter’s fairly thrilling.
I’m sure that Pratchett would approve.
What a guy.
Terry Pratchett – thanks for making my childhood, teenage years and adult life perpetually spiced with ingenious and innovative imaginings spliced with beautiful doses of some of the greatest humour I have ever known.
I miss you and always shall.
To begin; good day to all those people out there that hoped to begin reading this to find an article spouting hateful ignorance. Apologies for my lack of consideration here- maybe I should have been a little weaker as I grew up. Maybe my parents should have been wankers to placate you.
“Wankers to placate”- welcome to samsywoodsy.com- the home of very, very really good writing.
As for why it matters if Shakespeare was gay, the answer is twofold.
Firstly, we are extremely fortunate.
Shakespeare lived in a time when homosexuality was lethal.
A ‘cure’ for the condition would have been seen appropriate if the subject were murdered so as to cleanse the rest of the population.
Had his supposed homosexuality been discovered- he would have summarily and excruciatingly murdered by the state and his neighbours, whilst his works would have been as likely to have been recalled as our contemporary equivalent of Jimmy Saville programming being aired.
If William Shakespeare was gay; he was fortunate to survive the 17th Century with as many limbs or as little pain as he did.
Though likely he would have been burned for his ‘crimes’, and his poems, plays, sonnets and even correspondence would have been just as likely to live on as if they were wrapped in a parcel atop the burning pile at his feet.
Therefore, if William Shakespeare was homosexual then we, as the ever grateful audience, must be thankful that we have what we have- it may have been maliciously lost.
The second importance of the suggestion that Shakespeare was gay is as follows.
It matters if William Shakespeare was gay, if it mattered to William Shakespeare.
This is to say: as it may have been an inspiration for what must have been an already inspired soul.
His appreciation of love, hate, brotherhood, hate, death, womanhood and manhood, not to mention unrequited love, would have been exacerbated by the fact that he was living in a time when the world accused him of evil and his nature plead him to be himself- and yet he could not.
Perhaps Shakespeare found love, and was compelled to keep it secret, or perhaps the love was for another man with whom he could not bring himself to confess of his love to. The guys wore tights all the time back then- shapely legs were on display and erections were ridiculous to attempt to hide- unless you pretended it was some kind of prop.
Shakespeare may have been an entirely different subject for us had he been heterosexual. Perhaps he would have been dull, uninterested in the world and uninspiring in prose.
That being said- I find no suggestion that he may have been homosexual, but perhaps that is a natural thing.
Why should I be able to?
Shakespeare, of men, loved to write about the bright young things.
Take Prince Hamlet. Clever, upper-class, great sense of humour but…what can I say; Norway.
Then, let us examine Lysander and Demetrius of A Midsummer Night’s Dream fame.
Demetrius. A man of formal haircut with some sort of sensible-recommended birth to his name, likely military and with starch in his shirt collar, his thin moustache, and his wallet. Altogether a starchy male. Demetrius would agree with the statement: “Sit up straight and you have a better life”. I told that to a child once. I was only partly right.
Then you have Lysander. Likely confused yet politely grinning, with a Hugh Grant ‘Flopsy’ of a hairstyle (which his mother always SO adored) and, if he is wearing something, it is probably all of it undone.
Summarising, as I tend to towards the end, if Shakespeare was gay then it matters as follows.
If it mattered to him; it matters. As an inspiration for his talent and for forging his soul into what seems as though otherworldly appreciation of love, hate, fear, brotherhood, friendship and all other grand components of all tales- in a time when homosexuality was lethal.
Secondarily, if Shakespeare was gay, then we are extremely lucky to have his work survive, for had is nature been discovered then he would not have lived to astound us via quill; his words and thoughts would not have survived the 17th century.
This is why it matter if Shakespeare was gay; because it may have made him who he was and we love the man and his work at least to the fairly moderate degree of hoping he lived long-enough to avoid execution.
A fairly reasonable level of love in my opinion.
This November of 2014, in the usual early run-up to the Christmas advertising frenzy (and I do mean ‘frenzy’- this term referring to the rushed absurdity prevalent in promoting the push), there have been the regular additions to the regrettable art form.
These have included the rather sublime idea of inserting a penguin into the scheme of things- meaning that sheer adorability is prevailing as it should not (when the panda’s gone- you really won’t care compared to the loss of your hair, or democracy). Thank you John Lewis.
Another has been the suggestion of ‘Christmas Dinner Tables Across The Nation’- with a cleverly-cut panning shot along several dinner tables- suggesting that Christmas is a time to be around the dinner table eating ‘our’ products with the people you care about, and that if you’re not– then something’s very wrong with you as you’re not part of our advert. Thank you Aldi.
Then Sainsbury’s did something for which I hate them.
And let’s not confuse ourselves with some minor definition, as though I find their actions really rather awkward for me to watch, possibly even to the point of annoyance.
I refer to hate of the romantic kind. I now detest the supermarket brand with a power inconceivable to those persons without any serious genital damage. After another fashion- I hate Sainsbury’s as though they sort to make profit from tales of the actions of my terribly-late ancestors.
The Christmas Day Truce- 1914
On the 24th of December, 1914, a century ago this year, there was a tragically temporary and soul-shakingly inspiring truce between the war-devastated men of Germany, France and Britain for several hours.
The Christmas Day Truce, as it came to be known, began as the realisation of the time of year dawned upon the entrenched soldiers in some field in northern France.
Hearing the German troops singing, the soldiers of all sides came to know that though different words were being sung in strange accents, they were in fact being sung to a comfortingly familiar tune.
There was a great deal of carolling across No Man’s Land on this day.
Time passed, and eventually a German soldier clambered from his hole in the ground, to stand tall as though as natural a thing as breathing-in deeply on a beautiful day, and began calling to the opposing side.
Startling courage, and utterly heart-breaking, when considering the likelihood of murder in the process.
The French and British slowly climbed from their own hellish holes, to stand as men in greeting a friendly neighbour they’d been sharing the same few square meters of land with for the past many weeks.
What followed was a mass evacuation of all trenches, as the soldiers walked through No Man’s Land, to meet their brethren on Christmas Day. The beginning few minutes of awkward niceties gave way to utter unity between all men there, with football being played (score unknown to us and probably debated by those in the know), barbers attending to all customers- no matter the language of their home, and exchanges of gifts, laughter and honest thoughts of the war that each nation’s generals would have ordered execution upon those “stirring up trouble”.
It was fear of this latter aspect of the day, as well as a grotesque concern that the men would not fit back to fighting well following such jovial meetings as football and spirits in No Man’s Land.
Therefore, as the light began to fail, troops from both sides were ordered to return to their trenches; the Truce was over.
Soon after, those troops involved in the Truce were replaced with battle-ready troops fiercely instilled hatred for their opposing nation’s mankind.
The war continued. Several years, and several million deaths down the cold and lonely road, the war came to an end.
The Truce of Christmas Day in 1914, however, was not forgotten.
It was remembered, as it is to this day, as a shining definition of humanity.
The men on that day made a choice, in the midst of horror, chaos and the ugly-probability that your most proximate friend would suddenly explode, to disobey orders and to lay down their arms, shake hands, exchange pleasantries and play football.
Haircuts and fears of not returning home. Madness of war was put aside by some outstandingly courageous men, so as to demonstrate unity as a species.
Note also that this was no event of Christianity ‘poking’ through the fog. This was humanity arching over No Man’s Land, certainly singing Christian hymns, but uniting over circumstance and shared traditions of their homes and their current circumstance across the continent.
They united in hope against our thus-far perpetual insanity of leaders in war, and that is not forgotten.
And this…THIS…is where Sainsbury’s needs to fuck off and read a book.
The Sainsbury’s Foul Forgery
The Sainsbury’s Christmas advert shows handsome, clean and apparently un-embattled men missing their loved ones at home, whilst they sit in a fairly well-kept trench.
One of them opens a care package from home to find a photograph of his best girl back home, and a fucking huge bar of SAINSBURY’s chocolate.
He smiles this tedious little Mona Lisa smile to demonstrate that he’s handsome and just like you…you cute little consumer you.
The hymns are then sung, followed by a BRITISH troop emerging from the trench first, to wish a Merry Christmas to the Germans.
Note, just fucking-well note, that in the Sainsbury’s forgery it is a British soldier to emerge first from the trench. This is historically inaccurate, but having a German being brave and leading the noble way probably wouldn’t have sold so well.
Nor would having the French present either, as no French are apparent throughout.
I feel that either Sainsbury’s doesn’t do business in Germany and France, or that this advert simply won’t be aired there.
From here on the handshaking is shown, the barber giving shaves is displayed, as is the famous game of football.
The day, as in history, comes to an end, and the two sides go back to their holes in in the ground.
A German soldier climbs back down his trench ladder and places his hands in his pocket. In there he finds a fucking huge bar of SAINSBURY’s chocolate.
Then something appears on the screen.
It is a logo.
It is a brand logo.
It says…SAINSBURY’S. #Christmasisforsharing
The revulsion was hard to fight through as I made efforts to vocalise my anger.
Branding The Christmas Truce by Sainsbury’s
In this advertisement Sainsbury’s have taken an astonishing example of humanity in history, in which men laid down their arms to shake hands, have haircuts and play football in the midst of the horror and chaos of war, and Sainsbury’s have smeared their logo over it- claiming this historical event for their own and inserting their own definition of the event over the top.
The meaning of the Christmas Day Truce, in the eyes of Sainsbury’s is: “Buy our shit. We’ve just played a touching piece of historically inaccurate footage prior to our brand name…so buy our shit.
Taking a truly inspiring historical event and smashing their brand name into it is the worst advertising I can think of. Those men that laid down arms to shake hands and play football that day, to later live or die, have been USED by Sainsbury’s to sell turkeys.
Can you think of a time when a company has perpetrated a lowlier act?
This is typical Association Advertising- the motion of airing a piece of footage, often totally un-relatable to the company paying for it, and then ramming a brand/product name on the end of it in the hope that the viewer will remember the name whilst enjoying the emotion instigated by the footage.
This is weak, uncreative, and in this case- thievery.
The Charity Effect- The Buying Of A License To Sell
There are those in favour of the advert.
There are those that feel that since Sainsbury’s are donating a portion of their Christmas profits to a charity dedicated to serving those suffering from the effects of war, that this is all therefore tolerable and decent.
The monetary amount donated to charity is not comparable to the amount of money Sainsbury’s will be making this Christmas.
The effect of the money donated is that Sainsbury’s have bought a licence to brand the historic event with their own name and to play with the facts and the heart of the tale in favour of selling their own Christmas products.
Sainsbury’s here are flogging the cuteness of the humanity out of the Truce so as to flog products. Flogging to flog, as it were.
If Sainsbury’s were donating money purely for the sake of commemorating the Truce and donating money to charity, then they wouldn’t put their brand name on it.
A beautiful event in history has been stolen to sell Christmas products.
It is in no way respecting the event- it’s about nothing but profit- otherwise they WOULD NOT HAVE DONE IT.
Sainsbury’s wouldn’t hashtag #christmasissharing, they wouldn’t put their name in the commercial and they wouldn’t alter historical facts for any reason other than to use the event for profit.
“The Christmas Day Truce- brought to you by Sainsbury’s two for one Christmas Crackers and Party Food.” Eeeew.
This is nothing but the most cheap and lowly thievery of an inspirational event that belonged to all of us…and still does.
From Here Onward
Now, I am extremely hurt by Sainsbury’s- but that is irrelevant.
I do not want that advert banned, nor do I wish to receive an apology from Sainsbury’s supermarkets.
However, I do feel that due is an apology to those simple men whose actions prior to their deaths have inspired people around the world for 100 years, and whose deaths Sainsbury’s have used to encourage greed and profit.
I will no longer enter a Sainsbury’s as I can Taste the Difference in morals here and there is a distinct muddiness that goes even deeper than that on the boots of the boys in their holes.
All that is left is to remember that the Christmas Day Truce is ours- being as it is a beautiful example of dignified humanity that must be taught to all. No generation must suffer to go without this essential demonstration of unity in the face of dictated madness.
And no company can claim what belongs to us all.
The Christmas Day Truce is OURS. And we will never forget it.