all right

Occasionally adding corroborative details to add verisimilitude to otherwise bald and unconvincing,
but veridicous accounts
with careful attention, indefatigable assiduity, and nice discrimination.

04 July, 2011

The PM and the People Agree

“Discite justitiam moniti et non temnere divos.” 
—P. Vergilius Maro, Aeneidos, VI, 620.*
Our Heroic Leader or εἰς κόρακας

Hark!   “I have been to hell and back,”
our honest PM said;
she met, perhaps, Persephone,
or walked among the dead.
She says she’ll journey thither more—
“a dozen times” or so—
and there, for once, her folk concur
on whither she should go.

Like Heracles and Orpheus
(who, retrospectively,
made a woeful error there
and lost Eurydice),
our leader crossed the River Styx
or over lakes which burn:
such heroes—once—could come back home,
but must she, too, return?

Some might consider it quite weird,
or rather more than odd,
that one who’s seen the site of hell
does not believe in God.

*  Poor Phlegyas all loudly warned:  “Learn justice; let not gods be scorned!”  (So Aeneas hears as he passes through the underworld.)
†  At a media conference in Canberra, today, our mendacious leader said, “as I think is well known, I’ve gone to Hell and back, and I’ll go there a dozen times more to change the distribution of opportunity in our nation.”  Malcolm Farr of The Australian, reported: “Julia Gillard says she has been ‘to Hell and back’ promoting Labor values as she again drew a stark line between her Government and the Greens.”  This, however, was not the first time that the Prime Fibster has announced that she (or her party, or both) traversed the infernal regions:  at the National Press Club in August, 2010, she averred, “you’re talking to the leader of the political party that literally went to hell and back to modernise the Australian economy, including reducing tariff barriers.”  Note that the PM said that she (or her party) literally went to hell and back—either she refers to herself with “that” instead of “who” (which she sometimes does) or she meant that her entire political party took a fact-finding tour of the pit of eternal damnation.  Many will scorn her inability to pronounce such words as hyperbole but, escaping media scrutiny:  Gillard misunderstands “literally.”
See also “The Wisdom of Julia Gillard”.

UPDATE I (6 July):  In Parliament, yesterday, the PM said:  “I will be wearing out my shoe leather literally, Mister Speaker, around the country, making sure that Australian families who want answers about the carbon pricing package get those answers.” 

UPDATE II (9 September):  Thorfinn, my younger son, adds a little joke on the subject to his site:

I told a son of
Gillard’s claim.  His opinion
of her hellish trick

was to say she’s no minion
of hell; she’s Old Nick.

UPDATE III (21 September):  in question time today the PM said that the Leader of the Opposition “literally slept through the global financial crisis”. 

UPDATE IV (11 November):  see also “Incredibly Challenging”.

1 comment:

Mark Bolton said...

So I wasn't imagining the "Hellen Back" comment?

You'd think anyone with a modicum of education would know of the "Hellen Mucus" character from the Young Ones.