Friday, November 07, 2008

Olaf the apolitical optimist

'The best argument against Democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter'- Winston Churchilll

O Olaf, even when you weep
the tears laugh as they roll
down your Joke Face.
Olaf, come on!
Let's play at Singing
and blow up balloons in
Glasgow Chamber of Commerce,
because we cannot join Mensa,
Neither start nor stop revolutions.
And we refuse to educate ourselves
in economics because we have
shortbread attention spans.
O Olaf, despite everything,
even when you weep
the tears laugh as they roll
down your Joke Face.

13 comments:

Rachel Fox said...

'Shortbread attention span' - lovely term...should be adopted by education specialists.

Dave King said...

A few home truths - as my grn would have said - so tellingly expressed. You can't ask for much more.

Jim Murdoch said...

I'm afraid it's the 'shortbread attention spans' that I stumbled on in this piece. It's sounds clever but I don't get it unless it's some reference to the caricature of the Scots we get on shortbread tins.

Rachel Fox said...

Shortbread is crumbly...full of flour and butter (ie stodgy)...plus aurally it works cos of the 'short'. Getting it yet Mr M?

Jim Murdoch said...

No - 'short attention spans' would work just as well for me. It does no harm, the extra syllable, but it doesn't work for me and that's not how I see shortbread. Just my opinion, Rachel.

McGuire said...

I love shortbread attention spans, of course, it is an intentional mocking of the 'scottish intellect' and particularly the 'glasgow intellect'. It is a caricature of the Scottish intellect.

I know many see shortbread as a noble, heart buicuit (and I do enjoy them) but I thought it worked better as an insult as a derision, rather as something wholesome that goes well with a cup of tea.

It's staying I'm afriad.

Jim Murdoch said...

That was what my wife thought.

McGuire said...

(I apologise for the typos. When I type in hasty my spelling goes haywire).

Did your wife like the poem, Jim?

Perhaps 'short bread attention span' is a cheap dig, or bad pun, but it has charmed me and won.

Jim Murdoch said...

To be fair I only read her the one sentence and asked her what it said to her.

McGuire said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
McGuire said...

Ah, ok, fair enough.

Well, I might be mocking my own people, but it's necessary, in the context of the poem. You see, the thing about Olaf as he is, he is in constant contradiction, even in this poem, hating political apathy, yet entirely aware of the necessity for political organisation. Politics is not the main problem, but the people who take part in it, and the people who do not.

Sorlil said...

Nice one! The Churchill quote is classic, so true...!
I like the 'shortbread attention span' and the menacing undertone of the blowing up balloons.

the broken down barman said...

did i hear someone mention shortbread tins??? tartan lads and bonnie wee jeanie mccall??? arrrrrgggggggggggggggggggggg