» Humour ¦ What You Can Get Away With

Everyone needs to go and see The Wire: The Musical, even if it doesn’t appear to feature a one-word duet between Bunk and McNulty:

You should also, of course, make sure you’re fully familiar with the 19th century work that it’s based on.

(An attempt at satire. Contains spoilers for the first couple of novels in A Song Of Ice And Fire and the Game of Thrones TV series until the middle of series two)

The politics of Westeros are currently dominated by the actions of the great noble Houses. On the surface, these Houses seem to have existed in their current form for hundreds of years, but closer examination reveals that they have all moved great distances from the lands they originally occupied, even if they have renamed places within their new lands with old names to present some form of continuity with the past. All of course covet the mythical ‘centre ground’, though none know exactly where it lies.

Currently dominant, though not in absolute power, are House Lannistory, renowned for the folk saying ‘a Lannistory always gets someone else to pay his debts’. Led by Lord Camwin, they currently hold power thanks to their alliance with House Libertheon, though some are dissatisfied by the compromises this has entailed. Camwin is obsessed with his legacy and with berating subordinates for not following his orders. He has sent the impish Lord Borion to rule King’s Landing in his stead, but now wonders if that is a good idea, as Borion appears to be building his own power base there. Lord Camwin has tried to replace the House sigil with a tree, but many think it should remain a roaring (and very British) lion.

House Libertheon, known for it’s sigil of a black animal on a yellow background, can point back centuries to when its ancestors were kings, though they tend to mumble a lot when asked about what happened in between. They share power with House Lannistory, though some question whether young King Nicholas has any Libertheon blood in him, or if he is actually a complete Lannistory. House loyalists have rallied around Lord Visionis with his claim to represent pure Libertheonism and the Orange Heart of the Lord of Liberal Reform. Others look to the younger Lord Socially, and his belief that the House should work closer with House Toiler.

House Toiler are well known by their red rose sigil, and were the dominant power of the land before their overthrow by the Lannistories. They are known for their occasionally progressive attitudes towards minority groups, but also for their ability to get involved in many different wars in support of their allies. Internal Toiler politics are complex, with brother often turning upon brother – currently, one of the Maceband brothers leads the House – while other lords jockey for position.

Elsewhere, the North is ruled by House Scot, whose King Alex (his sigil a salmon on a D-shaped shield) has declared its independence, but he knows he must come south to win many battles before that is recognised. In the West, the Greylloys sometimes proclaim the independence of the Iron Islands, though some feel they should merely accept a better position in service to the rest of Westeros. The Iron Islands are known as a very wet place, whose inhabitants follow the Soaked God and proclaim that ‘what is dead may never Dai’.

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According to sources that I can’t reveal, I can exclusively reveal that should the country vote No in the referendum on 5th May, we will be required to gold-plate every pencil used at polling stations. This will cost something in the region of eleventy squillion pounds, and it’s clear that the country can’t afford this expense at this time, especially when that eleventy squillion pounds could be used to pay for an elevator to the moon.

So, what would you rather spend eleventy squillion pounds on instead of keeping our current electoral system?

(When the director of No2AV feels free to make things up and continually repeat figures that he must know have been proven to be entirely imaginary and unreliable, I feel it’s time to fight nonsense with nonsense.)

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Inspired by this piece of news, which is quite interesting casting actually.

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For entirely ego-driven reasons, I feel the world needs to know how this morning’s Twitter meme began:

chickyog: Morning all. has Nick Robinson exploded yet?
nickjbarlow: @chickyog No, but when he does, the Telegraph and Mail will claim it’s Nick Clegg’s fault.
chickyog: @nickjbarlow Ha. I feel a meme coming on.
chickyog: Just stubbed my toe #nickcleggsfault

Oh, and my favourite thing to blame Nick Clegg for so far? This:

Chinese Democracy took 15 years because Nick Clegg was arguing with Axl about adopting proportional representation.

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Ken MacLeod‘s novel Newton’s Wake features a character living on a distant world in a post-Singularity future who writes operas based on badly remembered and misunderstood history. This gives us classics like The Tragedy of Leonid Brezhnev with gun-toting communist leaders denouncing each other as revisionists in song.

It only comes to mind because Conservative Home seem to be pitching a similar idea, perhaps as a dramatic counterpoint from the same era:

In the Falklands Margaret Thatcher led our armed forces to a great victory.

I’m thinking it’d have to be in a pseudo-Wagnerian style to really work and depicting the scene where she storms the beaches at the head of the Task Force will prove a tough job for the director and set designer, but it is opera, and no one really goes there expecting too much realism.

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