One of the perks of upgrading the blog is that I now have the ability to upload audio files. I want to test what I can do with this.
As a first step, I made a recording of me reading the poem I wrote for Halloween 2014. Let me know what you think…
I posted an excerpt from this last year. Lately, another bit of it has been running through my head. It was my G&S-ified depiction of the scene where Palpatine declares himself Emperor, set to the tune of Ludwig’s song, “A Monarch Who Boasts Intellectual Graces” from The Grand Duke. (Note that throughout, “republican” and “democratic” are used in the general sense of political concepts, not the present-day parties in our own galaxy.)
Oh, the Chancellor who uses emergency powers
Will gain, if he’s smart, a good deal of support.
He can speak to opponents without getting glowers
And won’t have any need to lie or distort–
You know, I am sure, in these perilous hours,
That though a sep’ratist danger still towers
And threatens this Senate of ours,
I know of a plan that will make ‘em abort!
Oh! My motto is “safety;” I’m not a daredevil,
And while I rule here, we will all be secure.
With a powerful Emp’ror, who’s quite on the level,
Republican principle may long endure!
Oh! His motto etc.
When rule democratic simply fails to succeed;
And Congressional meetings are just a mess–
An Emperor clearly’s the thing that you need
To at once set ev’rything right in Congress!
With no more long meetings progress to impede,
Improvements extreme we can make with all speed,
It’s easy to do, and I will do the deed—
It’s done! And here’s to our having continued success!
Oh! Our Galaxy nearly had gone to the Devil,
But I thankfully happened to know of a cure–
With a powerful etc.
Oh! Our Galaxy etc.
I’m sitting here eating crackers,
I dip ‘em in something bad for my liver.
The branches outside move in the wind;
And I reach for my sword when they quiver.
The Xboxes whir in the night-time
As I wait for the red ring of death.
I don’t suppose anyone knows
How long I can go without breath?
The creatures all over the mansion
Hide in the shadows when I look around.
But I feel their presence upon me,
And twitch upon hearing their mockery sound.
I don’t think the lights will stay on in the storm—
I don’t think we can get pressure on Brady—
I don’t like the fact that there’s ground on the snow—
I’m losing my mind for the love of a lady.
My paranoia has gone to extremes;
I think Wikipedia’s telling the truth.
I think that some monarchist penguin
Is judging me for the sins of my youth.
Mister or Miss, don’t misjudge or dismiss
This missive of awful inanity.
For as bad as it is living like this,
I’ve found I prefer it to sanity!
Wins the division
With no Tom Brady
Garoppolo will be good–
But defense will not.
Taylor and Watkins
Need to prove if they’re for real
Or it’s “Goodbye Rex”
Fitzpatrick is back,
But he’s still not the answer–
Can’t make the playoffs.
Flacco will surprise–
(I know, I said that before)
This time in good way.
Sure, they’re talented–
But injuries, suspensions
Mar their playoff hopes.
Lack of discipline
Showed in last year’s playoff game
Same story each year–
Like the chimera, Griffin
Can’t be believed in.
Luck will bounce right back–
Better for having struggled–
And win Super Bowl
Old order changeth:
They now warrant some respect–
But still no playoffs.
The next “game changing” QB
Who crashes and burns.
The Wizard of Oz?
“D” made Osweiler look good.
Pay no attention.
Sanchez of ’09
Paired up with that strong defense
Would have been scary.
Not as bad as they
Looked last year, but they are still
Far from being good.
But Denver’s dangerous “D”
Keeps a lid on them.
Solid, but boring,
It’s always the same story–
Reid is good, not great.
“Captain” Kirk Cousins
Boldly goes where they’ve not gone
In years: Super Bowl.
Eli will be good,
And a strong passing offense
Makes them wild card.
If they stay healthy,
They’re best in their division.
Too big of an “if”.
After failed experiment.
Reid looks good now, huh?
Fox’s teams do well
In his second year with them.
They make the playoffs.
They come back even better.
But Peterson’s done.
They are a strong team—
But their luck has to run out,
And this is the year.
No Calvin Johnson
Will mean no identity–
It will be ugly.
Newton will regress;
But still will be good enough
To win division.
Brees is getting old.
Can’t sustain their old style–
Will need to rebuild.
Is Matt Ryan good
Or a glorified Stafford?
It is hard to say.
Winston has been good;
But they seem too pass-happy
To be complete team.
Wilson is awesome.
May be league’s most balanced team–
But lose title game.
Kelly’s second chance
Works out for them and for him–
“Kap”, Hyde run wild.
Move back to LA
Makes them seem glamorous till
Fans see their offense.
Palmer, Fitz are old–
Without a solid QB
Offense falls apart.
About ten years ago, I wrote a comic opera adaptation of the Star Wars movies, with songs set to Gilbert and Sullivan tunes. It was just an exercise in songwriting that I did for fun, but it definitely helped me learn how to write a decent rhyme.
Re-reading it now, I see most of my lyrics were pretty bad–although to be fair to myself, few lyricists can ever hope to match the great W.S. Gilbert.
But there were a few songs I wrote that were pretty decent. For instance, this adaptation of the meadow scene from Attack of the Clones, in which Anakin explains his dictatorial political philosophy to Padme. It’s set to the tune of “Were I a King” from The Grand Duke.
ANAKIN: Were I in charge, in very truth,
And yet had kept my health and youth,
In spite of my ascension;
To keep us peaceful, keep us strong–
And make these blessings last for long–
I would request the voting throng
All their concerns to mention.
To some big council they would go
And voice with elocution,
Their little problems all, and lo!
They would find a solution!
The men who would be to this council elected,
Would all by popular vote be selected–
And if they all did what they said on campaign,
They could run for office again!
CHORUS: Oh, the men who would be etc.
ANAKIN: And if councilmen should disagree
The problem would then come to me–
And I’d make the decision!
One side may say to “Cut the tax!”
The other says “Prevent attacks!”–
Unlike our current plan that lacks
An executive with vision–
Both sides would have to go to me,
And I’d make ’em see reason!
And if they still would disagree–
I’d have them shot for treason!
Oh, the man who can mold a political sphere
Completely bereft of corruption or fear,
Can govern and rule, with of his brains a tenth
Intelligent life–and possibly Ennth!
Roone Howard was the best strategist to ever write a political ad.
He could convince starving men that entitlements were bad;
He could make you self-disenfranchise to prevent voter-fraud;
It is said that he made the Holy Spirit believe there wasn’t a God.
If you employed him, your head would lie easy underneath of its crown;
Because he would lie easy to cut all of your challengers down!
But if you opposed him; then may Heaven have pity on you,
For he’d tell your fam’ly and friends you weren’t anything like who they knew.
Oh, no one likes to hear it said,
But he could paint McCarthy “Red”
If that’s what was needed to serve the empowered.
By stroking feelings barbaric,
Or stressing facts esoteric,
No one persuaded like that Devil, Roone Howard!
One day, his most prominent client, a National candidate, came to see him and ask
Him to set about working on what he reckoned a well-nigh impossible task.
His opponent, it seemed, was lovely and charismatic with a great reputation;
She wore her good deeds and record like armor against character assassination.
She spoke like a Cicero, and was quite incorruptible; her personal life was above suspicion;
While Howard’s client was deficient in every category but that of ruthless ambition.
So old Roone Howard set straight to work on how to stain and destroy and annihilate
The political chances of this candidate with the resume seemingly so inviolate.
For weeks on end did he toil,
Burning each night the midnight oil
As for any shred of a scandal he scoured.
But never even a trace
Of shamefulness or disgrace
Ever met the eye of the clever Roone Howard.
At last, just when all hope seemed utterly lost, Howard hit on an ingenious scheme.
He at once called a meeting to announce the whole plan to his political team.
“’As ours is a business that’s dirty and vile,” this political Clausewitz reasoned,
“A lady this good has no place in it–let it go instead to a man tough and seasoned.
This, gentlemen, I feel is a message which our cynical populace is bound to feel true!”
He proved to be right! In a matter of weeks, the lady in question up and withdrew.
Howard’s man could then run unopposed, and his targeted office he easily won;
Howard was given a government job, and the lady they’d beaten could find herself none.
O, Howard took comfort, I’m sure,
That he’d destroyed someone so pure;
And laughed at her whose votes his campaign devoured.
For even perfection complete
Couldn’t hope to compete
Against the devious mind of that scoundrel, Roone Howard!
(You can see the original here.)
The day dawned dark and grim
As I arose from the depths of nightmare.
I gazed with fear my window from
And saw the streets outside were bare.
The city was deserted, a gilded grave of glass.
I started out upon the street,
And not a soul I met as I went along;
For none was there to meet.
The sun shone green betwixt the clouds,
A cast of light I never saw;
And the wind blew strong and cold,
The air was harsh and raw.
And then at last, an empty highway on,
I met what might have been my twin–
Save the empty sockets for his eyes,
And his cacodaemoniac grin.
He smirked, as if ‘t were all some joke.
And then he melted to a bloody pulp.
And it was then–I think–that I awoke.