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Email from Byter David in response to the post yesterday on The Green Eye of the Little Yellow God:
In his 1942 essay on Rudyard Kipling -George Orwell says "There is a great deal of good bad poetry in English," Which, I think, echoes the sentiment of your latest post.
Exactly, thank you David.
Here is a fuller quote from the above article:
It is no use pretending that in an age like our own, ‘good’ poetry can have any genuine popularity. It is, and must be, the cult of a very few people, the least tolerated of the arts. Perhaps that statement needs a certain amount of qualification. True poetry can sometimes be acceptable to the mass of the people when it disguises itself as something else. One can see an example of this in the folk-poetry that England still possesses, certain nursery rhymes and mnemonic rhymes, for instance, and the songs that soldiers make up, including the words that go to some of the bugle-calls. But in general ours is a civilization in which the very word ‘poetry’ evokes a hostile snigger or, at best, the sort of frozen disgust that most people feel when they hear the word ‘God’. If you are good at playing the concertina you could probably go into the nearest public bar and get yourself an appreciative audience within five minutes. But what would be the attitude of that same audience if you suggested reading them Shakespeare’s sonnets, for instance? Good bad poetry, however, can get across to the most unpromising audiences if the right atmosphere has been worked up beforehand. Some months back Churchill produced a great effect by quoting Clough’s ‘Endeavour’ in one of his broadcast speeches. I listened to this speech among people who could certainly not be accused of caring for poetry, and I am convinced that the lapse into verse impressed them and did not embarrass them. But not even Churchill could have got away with it if he had quoted anything much better than this.
In so far as a writer of verse can be popular, Kipling has been and probably still is popular. In his own lifetime some of his poems travelled far beyond the bounds of the reading public, beyond the world of school prize-days, Boy Scout singsongs, limp-leather editions, pokerwork and calendars, and out into the yet vaster world of the music halls.
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In looking up some funeral humour for last week’s Funny Friday, I came across the following photograph:
I looked into it further and found that it was an actual funeral.
I have previously posted about clowns and the fact that they are creepy and scary, even Stephen King having supposedly said that that is what he finds most scary. Read that post at:
A clown's funeral with clown casket bearers would be even creepier, especially if you happened to see it whilst attending the cemetery for another person nearby. Could you imagine looking up and seeing the above sight?
The above clown funeral took place at the Fairview Cemetery in Springfield USA (no, it wasn’t Krusty) in 2009 when 79-year-old Norman Thompson, member of the Antioch Shrine Funster Clown Unit, was buried. His clown-friends dressed up for the occasion and honoured Norman in full clown regalia.
Apparently this is a tradition for clowns and magicians, this is their way to show their respects to their fallen colleagues.
Illustrating that fact is a question in an interview with a noted funeral director about his work:
What’s the most bizarre request you’ve had for a funeral arrangement?
We once conducted the funeral of a famous clown, and his colleagues were dressed in full clown costume on unicycles and one drove a small clown car weaving around the hearse whilst other clowns were giving flowers out to shoppers in the high street.
By way of additional information, Norm “Boppo” Thompson was awarded the “Unsung Hero Award” in 1999 by the Great Lakes Shrine Clown Unit Association. He was also a Life Member of the Antioch Shrine Funster Clown Unit and was the Driver/Captain for the Unit for over 15 years. He was known as the “Fire Chief “of the Antioch Funster Clown Unit, after the trailer he was pulling in Canada caught fire.
Pics of Boppo’s funeral:
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