Friday, May 7, 2010

A very special British general election PSF!

A very special photo to cheer up Squib!


Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;
Or close the wall up with our English dead.
In peace there's nothing so becomes a man
As modest stillness and humility:
But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
Then imitate the action of the tiger;
Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,
Disguise fair nature with hard-favour'd rage;
Then lend the eye a terrible aspect;
Let pry through the portage of the head
Like the brass cannon; let the brow o'erwhelm it
As fearfully as doth a galled rock
O'erhang and jutty his confounded base,
Swill'd with the wild and wasteful ocean.
Now set the teeth and stretch the nostril wide,
Hold hard the breath and bend up every spirit
To his full height. On, on, you noblest English.
Whose blood is fet from fathers of war-proof!
Fathers that, like so many Alexanders,
Have in these parts from morn till even fought
And sheathed their swords for lack of argument:
Dishonour not your mothers; now attest
That those whom you call'd fathers did beget you.
Be copy now to men of grosser blood,
And teach them how to war. And you, good yeoman,
Whose limbs were made in England, show us here
The mettle of your pasture; let us swear
That you are worth your breeding; which I doubt not;
For there is none of you so mean and base,
That hath not noble lustre in your eyes.
I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,
Straining upon the start. The game's afoot:
Follow your spirit, and upon this charge
Cry 'God for Harry, England, and Saint George!'

Quite a wordsmith, that Will.

It’s impossible not to hear that speech without wanting to get to your feet and invade France.

And I quite like the French.

Although it’s just as well that he didn’t write

Then imitate the action of the cat;
Wake up, demand food,
Then returnth to sleep.

Which robs it somewhat of its grandeur.

53 comments:

squib said...

"A very special British general election PSF!"

Tories. Oh dear. Another depressing PSF

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

I'm waiting for first-hand reports from TSFKA's special European correspondent.

Over to you, EMS.

squib said...

Funnily enough, I actually find the accordion very depressing. It always makes me feel like there's a party going on and I'm not invited

I was listening to someone play one last night and I felt like bawling

Perseus said...

"Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;
Or close the wall up with our English dead."

Reminds me of that great scene in 300 (an unfairly maligned film, I reckon) where they build the fortress wall out of dead Persians.

Speaking of skirt and sandal epics, I went to see Clash Of The Titans in 3D.

Naturally, I loved it, even though it's silly, but my two biggest complaints were:

1. The 3D was stupid. They turned it into 3D after the fact and it's obvious. Only the opening credits were impressive. The rest of the film just looked like everyone had shadows, and it actually made me a little dizzy. See it in 2D.

2. They fucked the whole Andromeda thing up. For starters, they removed the romance between Perseus and Andromeda. In the ancient text, much of what Perseus did he did out of lust for Andromeda, but in this interpretation she's nothing but a political symbol, and he's merely on a revenge quest. Secondly, aside from the Medusa head, the most popular image from the story is meant to be a naked Andromeda tied to the rock - classic S&M, but in this one, they have her dangling from a crane in a white (non see-through) nightie you can get for $19.99 at K-mart.

**

Back to the poem though... Shakespeare is da shiz.

Alex said...

I think sad tunes sound kind of pretty on the accordion.

Reminds me of that great scene in 300 (an unfairly maligned film, I reckon)

I think the maligning was well deserved. I liked the comic, though.

squib said...

No, the tunes were happy. That's why they were so sad

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Should I change the photo then Squib?

Talking about the accordion, I was driving with The Boy the other day with a Pogues CD playing.

He had a good, long listen and then said "That's pirate music. I like pirate music".

The only explanation I can think of is that he picked up the sound of the accordion and associated it with Captain Feathersword from The Wiggles.

squib said...

No, don't change the photo. I mean there's no sound, is there. LittleSquib has a dress like that.

Perseus said...

Alex... I liked 300 because of a) the look, and b) the silliness of it all. 'Troy' had a go at realism and failed. 300 seemed to say, "oh this is an awesome yarn, let's ham it up." I enjoyed the ride, though they said the word 'Spartans!' way too much.

I never read the graphic novel thingo though. The movie is never as good as the book anyway.

There's a novellised version of Star Wars that was written after the film was made, and even that's heaps better than the movie.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

even that's heaps better than the movie

That's not that difficult.

Perseus said...

I liked the original Star Wars. the other five were fucking shithouse.

The original was just the story of Perseus disguised (Princess Leia was Andromeda, Darth Vader the kraken etc etc).

But Lucas certainly fucked it up from there. One more scene in 'The Senate' and I was gonna do an Elvis and shoot the TV screen. Episodes 1-III were like watching Bold & The Beautiful and switching to Parliament Question Time during the ad breaks.

Puss In Boots said...

Well, I'm very glad I have never seen it then. Although it's a bone of contention in our household. I refuse to watch it, and it's the boy's favourite film. He keeps telling me if I love him, I should watch it with him. I keep telling him if he loves me, he wouldn't ask me to.

I'm considering watching it with him as my wedding present to him. Although I'm not sure how I'll last through it all.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Did you like the French, Puss?

Alex said...

Puss, watch the original 3 movies. Then ask for something big in return. Like a true nerd, I like the middle one the best and it doesn't start to get really silly until the end of the third one. Avoid the prequels at all costs.

The original was just the story of Perseus disguised (Princess Leia was Andromeda, Darth Vader the kraken etc etc).

I don't know that it directly translates to the myth of Perseus, but it's certainly stock fantasy stuff. Brave young knight with mysterious parentage on a quest to rescue a princess from the castle of the evil wizard, avenge his father's murder and liberate the oppressed villagers. And doesn't the Kraken belong in Scandinavian folklore?

You're right about 300 being silly, though. And I thought the sub plot with the queen (which was not in the comic) was fucking offensive. Also, I'm against the use of the term 'graphic novel'. Be a grown up and just admit that you read comics.

Puss In Boots said...

In general, Ramon, or some specific context?

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

In general, Puss.

Puss In Boots said...

Loved them. I loved France, the people, the food, the culture, everything. Well, except the weather. I went in Spring and it was very rainy. But otherwise, I loved France. The people were so nice and helpful. Everyone says they're rude, but they're really not at all. Maybe if you don't attempt to speak their language at all, they might be. But all I could say in French at the time was, "je m'excuse, je ne parl pas francais" and they were all perfectly lovely to me. Not like the Germans. The Germans were rude, arrogant bastards. I hated Germany.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

If anybody's interested, the next Government of the UK will be...ummm...

wari lasi said...

And I quite like the French.

Why Ramon? Nice food and they don't deserve their flash language. But there it ends. They like to blow up bombs in our part of the world, not to mention the Rainbow Warrior. Arrogant cunts. I just had lunch with some friends and they'd been to the French Consulate here and were blown away with how rude they were. I was surprised they didn't know.

And Bill is really fantastic. I've always loved Shakespeare. Or is it really Francis Bacon?

Perseus!! Can the Tigers muster their first win in Adelaide this weekend? They're at $4.35 but I might even tip them. Would you?

Puss In Boots said...

Arrogant cunts. I just had lunch with some friends and they'd been to the French Consulate here and were blown away with how rude they were. I was surprised they didn't know.

It really surprises me when people say this sort of thing. I didn't meet one rude French person the entire time I was over there. Everyone was lovely. Even when I had trouble conveying where I wanted to go or what I was trying to buy, they were all very patient with me and extremely friendly and nice. I just don't understand why people say they're rude. Maybe it's the accent? I don't know.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Because they executed their king, wari.

And they've got a cool National Anthem.

wari lasi said...

I have heard Puss that they are much better in France (I recall reading once that they are one of the least travelled peoples on earth, of you know, civilised people). Better than Highlanders though, I'm sure.

It is a pretty funky National Anthem Ramon. And I normally don't subscribe to racial/cultural generalities. But from my High School French teacher, to a very recent bad experience with an EU aid guy, they have been incredibly arrogant almost to a man (or woman, you know what I mean).

eat my shorts said...

I'm waiting for first-hand reports from TSFKA's special European correspondent.

Over to you, EMS.


Oh. Rightio then. Aherm. Keep in mind I don't know much about politics, but here's what has been happening on the ground...

Everyone's narky because no-one knows who the PM is going to be, they've ended up with a hung parliament. The Conservatives are saying they've effectively won (I don't think they actually got enough for a majority, but they got more than Labour) and Labour are saying, "Hold your horses, wait until all the votes are counted." (Actually, Labour aren't saying that much, apparently Gordon Brown is having a nap. No, really.)

A whole bunch of people (tens of thousands) didn't get to vote after they were turned away from some polling places. There was a late surge in people wanting to vote & some polling places couldn't cope with the crowds. So there's going to be a massive inquiry about that. What I don't understand is why they hold the election on a weekday?

Uuhhmm...what else?

I think the Lib Dems probably could've shit all over the Conservatives & Labour, but they've done really, really, really badly. I'm told they now have to decide who they're going to align themselves with.

Leading up to the election, everyone seemed to be saying that they didn't want to vote Conservative (memories of Thatcher are still alive & kicking over here) & they didn't want to vote Labour either (something to do with ministerial expenses scandals), so the Lib Dems probably should've taken advantage of that, but didn't.

Erm ... I've been trying to get a more recent update on what's actually going to happen, but Ready Steady Cook was on and I can't miss that.

Alex said...

Nice work, EMS.

What I don't understand is why they hold the election on a weekday?

It's almost like they don't want people to vote or something, isn't it?

Dr. Golf said...

Up in Ulster it looks like Sinn Fein have taught those Pommie DUP scum a lesson.

Oh yeah, and the Torries will form Government.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

That's some good work, EMS.

If I was actually paying you anything, I'd give you a bonus.

But I'm not.

So I'll just shout you a beer sometime.

eat my shorts said...

It's almost like they don't want people to vote or something, isn't it?

Yeah Alex, it kinda is. At least in Australia you don't have to worry about trying to get to a polling place after work. Or, imagine trying to vote in your lunch hour? Urgh. I just think how shitty I'd be if I'd actually decided I could be bothered to vote in the first place, waited around for public transport to get to a polling place, queued up for hours & then get told I can't vote.

Here, they close the polling places at 10pm. I heard that at one school, they just drew everyone who was lined up outside into the schoolyard before 10pm so that they could vote. Other places just told people it was 10pm & therefore the polling places were closed, so sod off.


So I'll just shout you a beer sometime.

Awesome, Ramon. I might just have to take you up on that next time I'm back in the country.

As for any updates ... we'll, there's none, really. The Lib Dems are still deciding who they want to align themselves with. They don't really match up with the manifesto of the Conservatives, but the Conservatives are all: "But hey, we agree on *some* stuff, so it's ok." Basically they agree on education policy & something else I forget right now. But they disagree on pretty much everything else, including some pretty big stuff like the economy & changes to the electoral system (apparently the Lib Dems have been calling for changes to the system for ages before this election, which has made everyone ask big questions about the system they have here). So, if they align with the Conservative, I think a lot of the party members will be fairly shitted off.

Gordon Brown has said the the Lib Dems: "If you don't want to play with them, you can come over to my place. It's pretty swish, I've got a PS3." But the Lib Dems are sitting on the fence. It's fair to say that Labour are up shit creek, even if the Conservatives didn't get a full majority, there was a major swing from Labor to Conservative & I guess you can't just discount that. (Although a lot of people here would really, really, really like to discount that.)

Like I've said before, I know shit-all about politics, but if I were the Lib Dems, I would refuse to align myself with either party. Then whichever one actually ends up governing will become so unpopular because of the economic cutbacks that are going to have to be made, that the Lib Dems could then, in the next election, do what they should have done this election & shit it in.

Anyway, if they end up deciding on a PM, I'll let youse all know. Hope the mothers out there had a lovely mother's day & got spoilt rotten. Hope the rest of you were good to your mums and didn't swear in front of them (I know that's all it takes to make my mum happy).

Alex said...

I find it strange that Tasmania recently had an election that resulted in a hung parliament and now the UK has had one too. It's not something that you're doing is it, EMS?

eat my shorts said...

By my mere presence? Hmmm, maybe? Maybe not. Probably not.

I did vote in the Tasmanian election before I left. And this is going to sound way dodgy, but I can't remember who I voted for. It's a fair bet it wasn't the Liberals, because I'll die before I vote Liberal. It would've either been Green or Labour.

I wonder what will happen with the Australian Federal election. When's that supposed to be, anyway?

Alex said...

It hasn't been called yet, EMS. I assume that Ramon would probably have the best chance of guessing when it'll be. We do have the budget on Tuesday night, so that's something exciting to look forward to.

eat my shorts said...

I'd actually be quite interested in some TSFKA-flavoured budget coverage.

Oh, and ... this.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

I find it strange that Tasmania recently had an election that resulted in a hung parliament and now the UK has had one too.

Political scientists are already working on something they're calling the "EMS factor".

Puss In Boots said...

Completely off topic: Ramon, if you were female, I would definitely buy these for your birthday.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Gee, thanks Puss.



I think.

eat my shorts said...

I've got an extra special political update for you all (because I know you're all very keen to hear about it):

Gordon Brown is resigning in September. And I was outside Downing St (well, you know, outside the big gate thingy) just after it happened (OMG, I might just get into this whole politics malarkey after all). The coppers on duty there are right comedians, as it happens, entertaining the crowd & all that.

I wasn't there right as it happened because I was having a beef pie at a pub that used to be in between Sweeney Todd's barber shop & Mrs Lovett's pie shop, and then I went on some dodgem cars, so I kinda just missed the big moment, but got to see the aftermath which I would argue is just as important.

Also, the 'w' on my keyboard is sticking and that's annoying, so I'm trying to find alternates for 'w' words. Limited success so far. I probably won't keep you updated on that one. Unless you really, really want me to.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

You're on a roll, EMS!

You really should consider this political commentator caper on a professional basis.

Puss In Boots said...

And continuing on my theme, I thought you'd like this one, Ramon.

Alex said...

I see a new form of Gonzo political journalism being pioneered right here. The EMS style. I reckon you should keep the sticky 'w' thing as a running aside to tie your reports together and build context, or something.

eat my shorts said...

You really should consider this political commentator caper on a professional basis.

I might have to. I can't get any teaching work at the moment. It's getting fairly dire & looking like I'll have to come home with my tail between my legs soon. Ack.

I reckon you should keep the sticky 'w' thing as a running aside to tie your reports together and build context, or something.

I forget about the 'w' until every time I go to use it & it doesn't work and I'm like, "Hey! What's wrong with the w?" And then I remember it's sticky. You'd think I'd remember about it, wouldn't you?

Anyhow, Nick Clegg said this morning (he's the leader of the Lib Dems) that they're trying to resolve the situation as soon as possible. The rumour is that the Lib Dems will work with Labour to form government. Well, up until yesterday they were saying that the Lib Dems were going to work with the Conservatives. So who knows what the fuck is going on. The Conservatives could still try to form a minority government. Oy vey,what a shemozzle!

Alex said...

I can't get any teaching work at the moment.

I find that interesting. I know heaps of teachers that have gone over there to work (I'm related to about 20 of them) and none of them had trouble finding employment*. I guess it's probably a good indication of what's going on with the British economy at the moment.

Also, it's budget time!!

*Although most of them said that they were the shittiest schools they had ever seen.

eat my shorts said...

Part of the problem for me has been shitty recruitment agencies who promise the world & then you arrive & find out that the schools hire Cover Supervisors. They're unqualified teachers who work for half the rate and squeeze qualified teachers out of the supply market. In some cases. Apparently in mine. That's what I'm told. Who freaking knows.

Also, one agency says they're still waiting on my UK CRB check, while another says I don't need it to work. Apparently it's in Australia. The first agency said I had to pay for it myself and the second agency said they pay for it, then take it out of my pay. After a certain amount of work days, they give the fee back to you.

I've given up on the agencies and I'm just applying for jobs/sending my CV to schools that look good. You don't pay for the recruitment agencies as a teacher, so I guess that is a fair indicator of the kind of service they provide.

eat my shorts said...

David Cameron is the new Conservative British PM.

Can I have that beer now?

Perseus said...

Hmm, David Cameron has formed a coalition government with Nick Clegg as his deputy.

This is like wearing a tuxedo with board shorts.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Can I have that beer now?

Yes.

Yes you may EMS.

I'm twittering it now.

Alex said...

I asked some rellies, EMS, and it does seem that things have tightened up over there. It's a pity you didn't go ten years ago. They were apparently begging for teachers then. I did manage to get two points of advice: a) Make sure you get your criminal history check sorted before you leave Australia (bit useless to you now, I know); b) Show no loyalty to the agencies. Sign up with a few and then lie to them if you end up getting double booked. Don't know if that helps at all.

eat my shorts said...

I'm twittering it now.

Lies! Lies & untruths! You don't have Twitter! Bah!

Alex: That advice does help, at least, part (b) does. I actually found a forum on the Times Education Supplement website which said a similar thing. Basically I'm now harassing the first teaching agency, who I hadn't heard from for about 3 weeks. I called them yesterday, and as a result, today I've had four emails and a phone call. They've put my CV in for a position today. Pfft. Yesterday I finished & sent off two applications and phoned another school to arrange a visit. I don't really know what it is they do with their time.

The second agency organised a trial day for me last week, but I got sick & couldn't go. Missed out on that job as a result.

I haven't told the first one I'm with another agency and I'm not telling them about all the other jobs I'm applying for without them either. Apparently, if they "introduce" me to a school for a temporary position, then the school wants to keep me on for longer, the school has to pay the agency a fee. It can cost them between a thousand & three thousand pounds. So more often than not they advertise the job, invite you to interview & appoint someone else because it won't cost as much.

If I'd known all this about recruitment agencies before I came here I wouldn't have bothered with them at all. But all the info I had told me that schools didn't hire without the agencies, which is a complete furphy.

Anyway, excuse the rant - I'm sure this is boring the shit out of most of you, but it feels oh so good to vent my frustrations somewhere.

Puss In Boots said...

Be careful with the agencies and the jobs you apply for directly, EMS. If an agency submits your CV for a position, and then you approach the school directly for the job and they hire you, the agency will usually sue the school for their placement fee anyway. If the school then finds out they're going to have to pay for you, they might drop you. And the agency won't have anything to do with you after that either, because you've tried to circumvent their process.

The boy works in recruitment, and he's always ranting about people who apply directly to the company after they've gotten the information from him. They sue people all the time. So be careful about that.

eat my shorts said...

Thanks for the info Puss. I need all the help I can get at this point.

My problem with that is I'm not informed about which schools/which positions they're putting my CV in for. They're very cagey about about it. So I'm obviously going to have to be a lot more proactive finding out about that.

But ... a few weeks ago, I found a job, emailed the agency to ask what they thought of the school/if they knew of the school & position. They told me they'd already put my CV in for it, but I could apply again myself if I wanted. Why would they say that? I don't understand. I didn't do another application because I didn't see the point if they'd already submitted my CV.

Boogeyman said...

EMS, don't take that exclusivity BS from recruiters.

They have to ask your permission to put you forward on a role by role basis, and that permission extends ONLY for that role. The next role that comes along, even with the same employer, they still need to get your permission to represent you.

So if you go for a teaching job at a school, and they fill the role with someone else, you are not bound by any exclusivity period with the recruiter that put you forward, even though some shonks and sharks will try to tell you otherwise. If that same school had a different role come up the next day, you could apply directly if you so wished.

Puss In Boots said...

Just to clarify, I was talking on a role by role basis. I didn't mean you couldn't ever apply directly to a school a recruitment agency had previously put you forward for for another role. I just meant you couldn't apply directly to a school for a job after finding out about the job from a recruiter.

eat my shorts said...

Boogs, Puss: Gotchya. Thanks both for the clarification. It can be pretty confusing, it seems so much simpler back home without the recruitment agencies.

I just meant you couldn't apply directly to a school for a job after finding out about the job from a recruiter.

Heh. They've not told me about any jobs, so there's not much of a risk of that happening. They're pretty useless. It feels like I'm much better off applying for jobs myself.

I get the feeling I'm of more use to them (and can make more money for them) if I'm still on their books as a supply teacher, so they're not terribly interested in getting me a longer contract with a school.

Alex said...

I'm suddenly reminded that I was talking to a bloke not long ago about his most recent experience with an employment agency. He reckoned that they were conspiring to keep him out of work because it was worth more to them if they got him a job once he was deemed to be 'long term unemployed'. That was over here though. Probably has no bearing on the British system.

eat my shorts said...

That's very interesting & rather shonky. Don't know about that happening here. I think there's something in the visa rules about me not even thinking about unemployment benefits, or I'll be transported back to Australia the original-convict-bowels-of-a-ship-eating-weevils-for-months way. So I get around it by pretending unemployment benefits don't actually exist.

And if anyone asks - I didn't even mention the words. I'm not a fan of long boat trips.