‘How Dare You, Santa! How Dare You!’ by Susan Jarvis Bryant The Society December 25, 2019 Culture, Holidays, Humor, Poetry 61 Comments Christmas has been canceled—it’s naughty Santa’s fault. His haughty carbon footprint has been a grave assault on melting polar ice caps; they’re now a muddy puddle, where sweaty elves and Rudolph are sizzling in a huddle. Adios St. Nicholas, your super-speedy sleigh should’ve been an eco-yacht; your flights have doomed the day! The fun-fueled pixie factory packed with sacks of toys is now a reindeer refuge—bah humbug, girls and boys! Gone are high-tech headsets, transformers, trains, and drones, Lego, Furbies, Barbies, Little Ponies, and iPhones, all chock-a-block with plastic, all apt to shock the nose of roving ocean turtles; such presents are their foes! Snuff your Yuletide candle! Sling your Noel stocking! Tear the tinsel from your tree! Stop the manger’s rocking! Toss the treetop fairy! Scrub the mistletoe! Stuff your puffing chimney! There’ll be no Ho Ho Ho! Extinguish roasting chestnuts! Dump puddings plump with figs! Quit crooning lilting carols! There’ll be no choral gigs! Free the fatted turkey! Cork the festive sherry! Bolt your door! Flick off your lights! Box up all your merry! So long to crass Kris Kringle, a climate refugee washed up in a downtown bar in Memphis Tennessee, minus scarlet garb and beard, now sporting something spartan, killing karaoke with strains of Dolly Parton! Susan Jarvis Bryant is a church secretary and poet whose homeland is Kent, England. She is now an American citizen living on the coastal plains of Texas. Susan has poetry published in the UK webzine, Lighten Up On Line, The Daily Mail, and Openings (anthologies of poems by Open University Poets). NOTE: The Society considers this page, where your poetry resides, to be your residence as well, where you may invite family, friends, and others to visit. Feel free to treat this page as your home and remove anyone here who disrespects you. Simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Put “Remove Comment” in the subject line and list which comments you would like removed. The Society does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or comments and reserves the right to remove any comments to maintain the decorum of this website and the integrity of the Society. Please see our Comments Policy here. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) 61 Responses David Watt December 25, 2019 Thank you Susan for writing this hard-hitting satirical poem. I think that you have captured the hypocrisy of travelling in an environmentally friendly multi-million dollar yacht (well out of reach for most people), and highlighted a generally misguided meanness of spirit. Reply Julian D. Woodruff December 25, 2019 Fun and sly, as usual. Thanks and Merry Christmas, Susan Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant December 26, 2019 Thank you, Julian – “Fun and sky” – I like it!! Happy New Year! Susan Jarvis Bryant December 26, 2019 Oops, I meant ‘sly’ – predictive text sucks! What a great theme for a new poem! Susan Jarvis Bryant December 25, 2019 Thank you, David. A pinch of stark, in-your-face truth coupled with rhythm and wit works wonders… I hope! A very Merry Christmas to you! Reply David Watt December 26, 2019 Wishing you and everyone at the SCP a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year! Mike Bryant December 25, 2019 How dare WE have a Merry Christmas? But your lovely words have indeed made Christmas merrier! You continually impress and amaze. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant December 25, 2019 Thank you, biggest fan! Merry Christmas! Reply Joseph S. Salemi December 25, 2019 Top-notch work, Ms. Bryant! It’s satire with an edge to it, which is so much more effective than merely playful, light-hearted, fake satire. Just look at the face on that little retard Thunberg. All she needs is a smudge mustache to look like a female Fuhrer. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant December 25, 2019 Thank you, Mr. Salemi. Humor is a marvelous medium for pointing out the dastardly evils in our society. Perhaps, just perhaps, those who don’t bother with skewed mainstream news might see the truth in literary entertainment. After all, Charles Dickens did an awful lot to bring mass attention to the evils of society. I’m no Dickens, but one can but try! Here’s to a brighter and more enlightened new year! Reply Paul December 25, 2019 Well done, Susan! I would have offered a seasonal wish, but that no longer seems appropriate, since Santa’s now an outcast reprobate. Done and dusted’s the Yule, I fear…but here’s to you! Have a great New Year! Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant December 25, 2019 Thank you, Paul! Here’s wishing you a beautiful 2020! Reply Beverly December 25, 2019 A wonderful read! Love the humor! Happy Holidays! Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant December 26, 2019 Happy Holidays. Beverly! Thank you very much for reading and commenting. Reply Monty December 26, 2019 Well, how encouraging it is to see that Greta’s got America rattled. She knows who the real “retards” are on this planet; she knows that someone as real and as meaningful as herself will never appeal to superficial Americans; and she knows that it’ll be nigh-impossible to burst America’s bubble of convenience and laziness . . . but she’s gonna try! She knows, as does the rest of the world, that America’s seemingly-irretrievable insularity automatically means that it drastically needs educating more than any other modern country. She also knows how America normally reacts when someone threatens to burst its bubble; it simply gets the CIA to murder them . . . but still she’s gonna try! I’ve always enjoyed your poetry in the past, Susan; but obviously I didn’t enjoy this one. It’s so blinkered: so American. Even without the shameful theme of the poem, I detest the way you’ve defaced the poem with the ridiculously-excessive amount of exclamation-marks (similar to how Dickinson used to deface her poetry with those ugly strokes and dashes) . . but the theme is vulgar, especially the brazen words in the 3rd stanza which are more or less saying: “If the turtles have to die in order for us to continue getting the presents we desire . . then the turtles must die”. You need help. Watch out, America . . Greta’s comin’ for ya. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant December 26, 2019 How dare you, Monty! How dare you! LOL This is merely a humorous take on the ridiculous pre diction and arrogant condescension of an ill informed human tool of heinous propaganda – nothing more, nothing less. If you see it as “so blinkered so American” – you are so very wrong. I’m writing from a perspective that has absolutely nothing to do with America and everything to do with a political agenda that concerns the entire globe. I do, however, appreciate your opinion even if I disagree vehemently. Here’s an explosion of exclamation marks for good measure… Happy New Year!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Reply Mike Bryant December 26, 2019 Just for the record, Susan doesn’t own even ONE plastic straw. I know she loves animals, because I AM a sea turtle. I had to leave the ocean because a huge, “eco-friendly” yacht plowed through my habitat killing kith and kin. Susan took me in and nursed me back to health. Her poem is not satire. It is a true story with a happy ending. Reader, I married her… AFTER I began identifying as a human male. I am now post-op. The shrapnel from the bow of the plastic yacht has been removed from my nose. If you love turtles, you must love this poem and the caring woman behind the words. Reply Monty January 14, 2020 1/ I like your style, Mike: that was s highly imaginative and undeniably funny riposte. I can’t pretend it didn’t tickle me; and it also deflected me somewhat. ‘Twas only when I noticed your reference to the yacht that it occurred to me for the first time how America (Amec) must’ve reacted when it first saw the headline: ‘Greta To Cross Atlantic In Yacht’. For a nation which has allowed itself to’ve been misled by its government (as usual) into displaying contempt for Greta Thunberg (Greberg), that was the perfect headline to fuel their contempt; and to delude themselves that their contempt is somehow justified. But if one looks past the headline, there’s every chance that it wasn’t even Greberg’s idea to employ a yacht. Given that she’s now surrounded by leading global environmentalists, and given that they obviously felt it was imperative that she attended the conference (Amec more than anywhere), it was probably they who suggested the yacht. Also, I’m sure Amec would’ve instantly envisaged some large luxurious vessel (as intimated by your use of “huge yacht”); and I must confess that when I first saw the headline, I assumed that the yacht would afford some level of comfort. But . . not a bit of it! It was a yacht designed purely for racing at the highest level. Thus, it had no toilet; no shower; no cooking facilities (they used freeze-dried food); no beds (they threw some single mattresses in the hull for the journey, which they took turns to use); and it certainly wasn’t ‘huge’ (around 55ft, with 6-7 humans on board). In fact, it’s fair to say that it was probably the most primitive way that humans could cross the Atlantic in this age (apart from a kayak, maybe). Lest you think I was avidly following said voyage . . I can assure you, Mike, that – prior to your last comment – I didn’t know any details about the yacht. I saw a headline around a week before they sailed, announcing the voyage in a solar-powered yacht . . and never thought any more of it. ‘Twas only when I saw your above reference to a “huge yacht” that I got curious, and decided to google the craft (Malizia ll); and I was as surprised as anyone to learn of the sheer basicity of which it was comprised. I bid you a successful and contented post-op. 2/ Of course you have no reason to believe me, Susan, but I can assure you that I don’t lack an ounce of humour. But even if I did, it would still’ve been immediately obvious that your poem was a purely and intentionally humorous one; anyone could see that. It was also clever and innovative, although I wasn’t in the mood to say so in my last comment. Thus, my previous rant wasn’t because I failed to see the humour in your piece, far from it. In fact, the main thrust of my rant was directed at Amec, not you personally. And it wasn’t in any way specifically in defence of sea-turtles; that was just incidental owing to your reference to them (contrary to how the poor commenter below interpreted it; she thought it was a rant purely in defence of sea-turtles, even being moved to use the word ‘fanatic’! The whole thing flew hopelessly above her head). But I saw your poem as flagrantly and proudly flaunting Amec’s ignorance. And more than that, I was concerned about the dangerous message it could convey. (I should add at this juncture that I’ve got a habit of assuming all the images which accompany poems on these pages are the author’s own choice; that they submitted the image(s) with their poem(s) . . but I’m sometimes reminded that this isn’t always the case . . and that some images are chosen by Mr Mantyk. Thus, if the image accompanying your poem wasn’t chosen by yourself, then I’ll admit that I jumped the gun a bit, ‘coz that image – in the context of the poem – played a big part in my ire) My very first thought was . . what if some youngster reads this? They see an image: Greta v Santa, and then go on to read the poem, which implies to them (if they’re not old enough to grasp the humour) that it is indeed Greta v Santa: literally one or the other. Either start considering our impact on the planet and compromise on our lifestyles . . or to heck with the planet, let’s continue getting the gifts we desire at Christmas. And we both know which option a youngster would take! That’s why I consider it to be a potentially-damaging piece; and that’s why I feel you’ve used the wrong vehicle to get your ‘point’ across. Contrary to how I might come across in this thread, I’m by no means any kind of ‘environmentalist’. My ‘footprint’ is probably no smaller than anyone else’s reading this. I’ve never been one to take note of how my personal actions might affect the natural world; I was never aware of such things. On top of which, I’ve always been quite selfish when it comes to my determination to live my life as I please . . I’ve never compromised on that, and have never allowed anything to impinge upon my loose and varied existence. I’ve always been aware of the effect that humans are having on other creatures, the rainforests, etc; but I’ve long since taken the (maybe pessimistic) view that such iniquities are now irretrievable. Hence, I’ve washed my hands with it all: I just live my life without reading papers; without watching TV; without using any social-media (except emails), and I’ve thus been sufficiently content. I’m 56 now, so I’ve resolved to just live out the rest of my time, and try to keep all the shit out of my head . . but through being in Nepal in recent years, even one as careless and carefree as me has been unable to avoid the current global concerns. Nepal (where I’ve lived for 3-4 months every winter for the last 15 years; and indeed where I am now as I write this) has, since the 60’s, attracted thousands of western ‘travellers’ during each winter-season (for ‘travellers’, some might use the word ‘hippies’, although it’s not a word I’m fond of using); thousands of like-minded humans from across the globe converge on a certain region of the country each winter. A gathering of the clans, if you like. These include some of the most interesting, diverse and deliciously-eccentric humans one could hope to meet (for those three traits alone, Amec would probably dismiss them as freaks, or scum; but that’s alright, it’s to be expected: the people are aware of that). Many of these people DO consider themselves to be environmentalists; and those who don’t are still more concerned than the average western human about such things. And, given that I’ve been befriending and mixing with these people in recent years, I’ve been hearing and learning more and more not only about the REAL impact, the REAL threat to our planet . . but also about the small measures humans can take to try staving off such threats. For example, about 5 years ago, the westerners in Nepal started to alert the locals to the threat of plastic, and showed them how they can offset the use of such. The locals embraced it fully, to the extent that now, 5 years later, all bars/cafés, etc, use only bamboo straws. Also, instead of bottled-water, shops now have big water-tubs where customers take their empty bottles to be refilled. And in Goa (a state in neighbouring India which also attracts thousands of western travellers of the same ilk every winter; and where I spend a few weeks every year visiting chums), the same policies have been introduced and similarly adopted by the locals; and are now spreading to other parts of the country. I’ve been watching this happen with my own eyes, Susan; and after witnessing these efforts being made in recent years in Asia: what I once saw as an irretrievable global threat, I’m now starting to think that if we could all make similar efforts worldwide – collectively – then maybe there’s a beacon of hope that the threat might be retrievable. That’s why it disgusts me to hear constantly of Amec’s indifference. These comparatively poor, third-world countries are making an earnest effort to do their bit, while Amec continues with impunity to wallow in its convenience and obesity. Just in the last few days, folk here in Nepal are saying that the despicable, gormless oaf who’s supposedly running Amec (let’s call him Flump) has in recent days announced that the few climate-change policies which Amec has in place (the least amount of all modern countries; but a few, none the less) are to be rescinded! I can tell you that people here were stunned to hear that, Susan; and I dearly wish, for Amec’s own good, that its people could be made aware of how Amec is viewed by the rest of the world. It’s the biggest paradox of our age: that the country which sees itself as the most advanced on the planet . . is the same country which is seen by others as the most backward. Finally, a word on Greberg. Since she’s been speaking publicly, she’s never said anything which hasn’t already been said by others before her; she’s simply been relaying the same findings that scientists have been warning us about for the last cuppla decades. But there’s one gigantic difference: When we’ve heard others before her saying the same things, we may – with good reason – have wondered whether some of those speakers really meant what they were saying, or whether they had an ulterior motive. Many world or national leaders have been saying all the right things, just to sound good and win votes . . and then doing nothing. Also, many countries have a Green Party (or the equivalent of), and as with any Party, there’s inherent in-fighting amongst self-serving individuals with ambitions of attaining the Party Leadership. Hence, when we hear them speak, we suspect they may just be towing the Party line. That’s the age-old worthlessness of politics. But Greberg has NO such self-serving interests; she has NO such voters to woo; she has NO one to impress. Everything she says and does is purely off her own steam; and is so patently heartfelt. If Amec cared to Wiki her, it’d see quite clearly that this is her own thing: and hers only. When she first began her actions, her own parents strongly disapproved; and her school-authorities threatened her with expulsion. She persevered. Think about it, Susan: at 15 years-old, who else COULD she have been doing it for but herself, and her own feelings. THAT is why she’s attained such recognition in such a short space of time; because she is simply BELIEVABLE. When she speaks, no one is left wondering whether she has an ulterior motive. That’s why she’s different; that’s why she’ll make a difference! And that’s why Amec’s concerned: ‘coz Greberg represents something of which Amec has no concept . . a thoroughly believable public-speaker. Amec’s worried that she’ll garner enough world support to force Amec to change its ways. That’s why Amec is quick to dismiss her; that’s why Amec loathes her; that’s why Flump speaks ill of her; and, unsurprisingly, that’s why Amec was quick to jump on the ‘luxury yacht’ bandwagon. Of course the global climate-change movement has latched on to her: who wouldn’t? Of course they’ve welcomed her with open arms. To those who truly believe in the task they’re fighting, she must’ve been a dream, a breath of fresh air. Someone believable, and someone to appeal to the young of the world. The young may be the most important target regarding the future. That’s why I said above that “Greberg’s got Amec rattled”. It weren’t just a figure of speech . . she has! If she didn’t already know, I’m sure she’s been told by now that the population of Amec in their 30’s and above are, in general, too far gone in their insularity; their wall of convenience may well be impenetrable. But there’s a chance she might be able reach the young of Amec. And if she can, the young may start to pressure their elders into changing their ways. That’s why the elders are rattled. Only the young can save Amec. In which case, how perceptive it was of Mr Wilde to have, more than a century ago, uttered the words: “In America, the young are always ready to give to those older than themselves the full benefits of their inexperience”. ‘This Be The Verse’ is a fairly well-known poem by Philip Larkin, and it has as its first stanza: They fuck you up, your mum and dad; They may not mean to, but they do. They fill you with the faults they had, And add some extra just for you. Thus, even Amec’s young might be hard for Greberg to reach; but that won’t deter her. She seems to me to be unstoppable in her singular determination. It may be the case that, strictly speaking, she doesn’t even need a team or movement around her; all she needs is a good P.A. and a competent travel-organiser . . her self-determination will do the rest. That’s why your description of her as an “ill-informed human tool of heinous propaganda” – is so misguided, and so wrong on every count. a/ She can’t possibly be “ill-informed”, ‘coz she ain’t been informed by anyone else – she’s informed herself since she was 8 years-old. b/ She can’t be a “human tool”, ‘coz she ain’t being used by anyone. Yeah, she’s now surrounded by people from a global-movement, but they’re not using her. If anything, SHE’S using THEM to express her own feelings to a wider audience. c/ And as for the “heinous propaganda” bit; well, everything I’ve said in this rant (and the previous one above) has been directed not towards you personally, but towards Amec. But if you’re personally referring to the whole climate thing as being “heinous propaganda”, then I don’t mind telling you personally that you’re simply out of reach. p.s. I re-read your poem again before writing this, and I can’t help but admire it; it’s really catchy. I just don’t like what it represents. I hope you can see that now; and you don’t hold it against me. Mike Bryant January 14, 2020 Monty, I am utterly impressed and flabbergasted by your absolutely hilarious observational humour. Bravo! Bravo! Bravo! My feeble attempt at humour must now rest shamefully next to your masterpiece of parody. I am absolutely shattered by laughter. Thank you so much for pillorying all the America-haters around the world who you have so cleverly caricatured. You have turned bigotry into comedy gold. Thanks again. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=16&v=br9dRlsrLQI&feature=emb_logo How would you like to see that plastic boat heading for YOUR nose? A straw might be preferable… Monty January 14, 2020 No bigotry involved, Mike; I was only generalising. I’ve got a cuppla good yanky chums where I live in the South of France; and I’ve befriended hundreds more in various parts of Asia in the last 30 years . . and they share the same view of America as non-Americans. That’s why they live in other parts of the world these days. Incidentally, I’m currently in a band in Nepal (I hit things with sticks); and our trumpet-player, Gus, is a native of Nebraska. But he’s been dossing around Asia for the last 20 years; and he assures me that he only goes back to America for funerals and weddings. Mike Bryant January 14, 2020 Wow! You amaze me, Monty. You’ve completely changed tack and are now acting like a doddering, self-loathing ex-pat who hates his own country and has surrounded himself with others who hate THEIR own countries! BUT, of course, you DO play the drums, so you are undoubtedly cool! Don’t think I’m not impressed! You are killing me with laughter. Please, please stop! The images you conjure up are genius – a Keith Richards wannabe alongside an embittered Nebraskan thrilling the hordes in Nepal! You ARE a poet AND a philosopher of no small talent! I have a feeling YOU will be hosting the Golden Globes in place of Ricky Gervais next year. That will show all the idiots just how thoroughly woke you are. I hope I haven’t used too many exclamation marks for your liking, Monty. Susan January 14, 2020 Monty, to answer your concern – NO, I don’t hold anything against you. Unlike my brash, American husband, my English upbringing ensures I NEVER mock the afflicted. Joseph S. Salemi January 15, 2020 Monty doesn’t even realize that Mike Bryant was making fun of his amorphous 17-paragraph ramble! Talk about cluelessness. Mark F. Stone December 29, 2019 Susan, This is very well crafted. I particularly like the last stanza and the spartan/Parton rhyme. Merry Christmas! Mark Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant December 30, 2019 Thank you very much for taking the time to read and comment, Mark. A very happy new year to you! Reply Sally Cook December 31, 2019 I knew the minute I read your. poem that your feelings for sea turtles were above reproach. The truth is, I also married a self-identifying human male sea turtle. No doubt there are a plethora of others – perhaps our husbands can create a movement to confound those less imaginative and more fanatic sorts who think they have all the answers but fail to recognize humor when they stumble over it by the seaside. Thanks for a great poem, and my belated wishes for Christmas .and all the year through. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant January 1, 2020 Thank you so much for my huge 2020 grin, Sally. It’s heartening to hear there are others out there with husbands just like mine! The idea of a movement to restore a sense of humour to those who aren’t blessed with this marvellous trait is a stroke of genius. Here’s to a year full of wit and wonder! Keep writing and smiling, Sally Reply Monty February 1, 2020 There was no “change of tact”, Mike. You mentioned the word “bigotry”; in defence, my reply was to simply emphasise that none of my above words – lest they were misunderstood as bigoted – were directed at any individual American . . only to America in general: and everything it represents. Of course there are good ones, and I’ve met many . . that’s all I was pointing-out, just so we could throw the “bigotry” thing outta the window once and for all. And yet, my simple explanatory comment suddenly compelled you to refer to me, inexplicably, as a “self-loathing ex-pat”. Where did that come from? Talk about “changing tact”! How could you possibly deduce from my comment that I hate myself? How? I imagine you’re now asking yourself that very question; but you still won’t find an answer. It was equally senseless for you to deduce from my comment that I “hate my own country”, but, ironically, you struck lucky with that one, ‘coz, although you had no way of knowing it, you’re half-right. Although I don’t actually “hate” England, I hate what it”s become in the last 20-odd years – asphyxiated with political-correctness and suffocated with dumbing-down. That’s why I left there 20 years ago. So, you can have that one. And, again although you had no way of knowing it, you’re also half-right on the next one: “You’ve surrounded yourself with others who hate THEIR own countries”. Well, yeah: it’s true in a way. Although “hate” might not be the right word, it’s safe to say that all the westerners who spend their time in India and Nepal don’t really care for their own countries any more . . otherwise they wouldn’t be in Asia, would they? So, you can have that one as well. How angry you must’ve been when writing your last comment . . to aimlessly describe Gus as “embittered”. Even if he was just an average, nine-to-five fella who couldn’t play any instrument, how can you label someone like that if you’ve never met them: that’s as shallow as it gets. But what’s worse: Gus is a genuine legend in some parts of the world. In the 80’s, before gravitating to Asia, he was in a fairly well-known Jazz band in Holland for a few years: who sold records all over Europe. Now in his early 60’s, he still retains the simple joy of playing his trumpet; whether it’s with renowned Indian musicians at a high-class concert . . or playing for his beer-money at a beach-party in Goa. He really doesn’t care. And on top of all that: he’s a character. A real, deliciously-eccentric, endearing character . . with real friends all across the globe. And as such, he’s content. And ‘content’ is the operative word, Mike. People mistakenly cite being ‘happy’ as something to aspire to, but ‘happy’ is bullshit, ‘coz it’s an ambiguous word, and everyone’s got their own ideas as to what constitutes happiness . . but ‘content’ means only one thing: thus, self-contentedness is the ultimate human achievement. And Gus is as contented as any western human can be. If you’re now thinking that I’ve sinned by rambling on for a whole paragraph about someone you’ve never met . . well, I felt it was only right to make you realise that the REAL sin was referring to Gus as “embittered”. I’m sorry to ruin your attempted quip, but Keith Richards didn’t hit things with sticks: he plucked things with fingers. And while he was doing so, his band-mate, Charlie Watts, was sat behind him hitting things with sticks. From such an elementary error, can it be assumed that you’ve never been into the Stones (given that you thought the guitarist played the drums). Or were you getting muddled-up with Keith Moon, who DID hit things with sticks in another band, The Who? If so, then you’re right about the “wannabe” thing . . for an average and limited drummer such as myself, I will always “wannabe” Keith Moon. He’s my hero. As for the rest of your comment: I don’t know what Golden Globes is.. I don’t know who R. Gervais is.. and I’ve never before heard the word ‘woke’ used as an adjective. And regarding the exclamation-marks . . do as you feel. But if you really are both on a crusade to change the laws of English Grammar – by replacing full-stops with exclamation-marks – it might be an idea to tender your proposal to a higher body.. such as the Ministry of Education. Who knows.. if they accept your proposal and act upon it.. you’s would both be famous. I’m so sorry to disappoint you, Susan: but I’ve got a certain trait which automatically renders me immune to affliction . . I’m a confirmed atheist! And as for you, Salemi: stop fantasising. I grew-up in England, remember . . the home and birth-place of sarcasm. And it still plays an integral role in my social discourse. Thus, I knew fully-well what Mike’s game was in the above exchanges . . and now you’ve read my first paragraph in THIS comment – explaining my intentions with my previous comment – you can now see that you’ve jumped the gun as usual. It’s you who didn’t get it. There’s only been one instance in this thread when sarcasm’s been misunderstood – and that was when I initially told Mike that his earlier comment was a “highly imaginative and undeniably funny riposte”. Judging by the nature of his reply, he thought I was being sarcastic with those words.. but I wasn’t. I was being serious: I genuinely appreciated his humour. Mike’s good at sarcasm: he should’ve been English. But you’re far too stiff for all that. In real-life, my own sarcasm – and that of many of my old chums – would leave you in knots within seconds. So, if you’d kindly keep your head in the sand . . and stick to counting other people’s paragraphs. Reply Joseph S. Salemi February 2, 2020 We’re all counting your paragraphs here at the SCP, Monty. We have a betting pool on as to when you’ll reach fifty in one post. As for England being “the home and birth-place of sarcasm,” I guess you haven’t read any poetry from the Greeks and the Romans. Start with Archilochus in Greek, and Catullus in Latin. Reply Monty February 3, 2020 Will you kindly stop swearing; there may be children reading this. It wouldn’t be right for them to see such blasphemes as archilochus or catullus. If ever I do reach such lofty heights as fifty paragraphs, would you kindly let me know? I don’t count: I just write and read. Mike Bryant February 2, 2020 https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Bigotry “… in defence, my reply was to simply emphasise that none of my above words – lest they were misunderstood as bigoted – were directed at any individual American . . only to America IN GENERAL: and everything it represents. Of course there are GOOD ONES, and I’ve met many . . that’s all I was pointing-out, just so we could throw the “bigotry” thing outta the window once and for all.” I know exactly what you mean… I hate all ex-pats, of course there are good ones, and I’ve met many . . some of my best friends are ex-pats, including my gorgeous wife!!!!! “ But if you really are both on a crusade to change the laws of English Grammar…” https://grammarist.com/usage/tack-tack/ Your small, niggling and numerous grammatical mistakes are, of course, a mark of genius… obviously sarcasm and disdain for all things American and British. And, as for Mr. Salemi, I’m sure he understands just how highly intelligent and undeniably imaginative YOU are. By the way, congratulations on Brexit. I know that as a citizen of the world you’re happy to see “Old Blighty” go. Signing off with respect and admiration, Michael Reply Monty February 4, 2020 Yeah, I’ll stick my hand up to tack/tact, Mike. ‘Twas an elementary error; one committed, I suspect, due to neither word having ever been in my everyday-vocabulary. But’s that’s no excuse; ‘twas pure laziness and complacency on my behalf. If only I’d paid as much attention to that as I did to your finding that said error amounted to “numerous grammatical mistakes”. I don’t wish to be a spoilsport, Mike, but I didn’t click on to either of the links. Not out of obduracy, but my usual aversion to such things. I hardly ever click onto links I’m sent. Too often in my short and infrequent internet life have I clicked-on to what I thought was going to be something pertaining to the current page . . and ended-up on Jupiter, with some martian insisting that I sign-up for something which requires a monthly-payment. So I don’t bother unless it’s strictly necessary. And in this case it wasn’t, ‘coz I saw your word ‘bigoted’ in red, and it made me realise that perhaps I could’ve worded my previous first paragraph a bit better; but I think you knew what I was getting at. And I saw the word ‘tack’ in red, which instantly alerted me to my error. You’re dead right about Salemi: he of all people knows how “undeniably imaginative” I am (many are the times that he’s found himself on the other end of my imagination).. but “highly intelligent”? Get those words away from me! If only you knew how thick I was with what most would consider to be the simplest everyday practical tasks; and what an absolute dunce I am with all things technological requiring common-sense. “Highly intelligent”? Ughh, the mere thought of it. I shudder to think how completely different my life would’ve been if I’d been intelligent. I take comfort in Wilde’s words: ‘Anyone can have common-sense . . provided they have no imagination’. See? We’re generally given one or the other . . rarely both. And the clear majority are given common-sense or intelligence. Brexit means nothing to me, simply because Blighty means nothing to me any more. I despise what it’s become in the last quarter-of-a-century. I will always be eternally grateful that spent the first 37 years of my life there, ‘coz there was no better place on earth to be in the 70’s and 80’s, when there were no rules, and no cctv, etc. But now . . nah, it bears no resemblance to the place in which I grew up. I’ve still got a fair few friends there of 35-40 years standing, and as such, I always go back there 4-5 times a year (just for long weekends, etc): but that’s as far as it goes these days. Reply Mike Bryant February 4, 2020 We might be soul brothers you crazy son of a bitch… Mike Bryant February 4, 2020 Are you still in Nepal? Susan Jarvis Bryant February 4, 2020 Monty, I recognize an awful lot of what you’re saying in your final paragraph. I was born in England. My grandfather fought in WWII, I danced at the Lyceum in the Strand, worked for the government in Palace St., and, in latter years, lost heart in the future of my country. I moved to Texas in 2011 and I’ve learned a lot. It pains me to hear you dumb down Americans. Having lived here for nine years, I have learned an awful lot and my perspectives have changed. My son lives in Munich and I love Europe – I just don’t like what the European Union has done to the member states freedom-wise. I am intrigued by your choices and lifestyle and don’t rule out your views. I think the overbearing governments have pitted ordinary citizens of every denomination against each other and maybe we have overcome this on this post. I certainly hope so. Nathanael February 4, 2020 This conversation (not to mention the poem) was an absolute blast to read! We really do need more fun-poking and satire to combat the ridiculousness of today’s world. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant February 4, 2020 I agree wholeheartedly! The more utter ridiculousness is highlighted in a canny manner, the more it’s exposed. Thank you for your perspicacious comment – I began to think my poem was buried amid overbearing politics. I’m glad you’ve seen the humor. Reply Monty February 4, 2020 Well said, Nath: you seem to have your priorities firmly in the right place. Banter is life . . Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant February 4, 2020 Monty, it looks like you’re on the road to redemption… I want to put an exclamation mark, but I will resist the impulse. 🙂 Monty February 4, 2020 Nah, I ain’t on that road, Susan. I think I was about 13-14 when I saw a signpost saying: Redemption.. turn right. I turned left! The idea of true banter is when conversation just flicks naturally from one thing to the next, and it’s participants bounce off each other effortlessly; hence it never stays on one subject longer than it needs to. Thus, the ‘exclamation-mark’ thing’s spent.. and long gone. It had its moment, and it deserved its moment . . but then we moved on to the next phase, then the next one, and many more since. Banter must never go backwards, only forwards. Or, as can be seen in another of Wilde’s utterings: ‘Good conversation should touch upon everything.. and fix itself upon nothing’. Susan Jarvis Bryant February 4, 2020 Point taken, Monty. Your love of Oscar Wilde has let you off the hook. You may be interested to know that the Menger Hotel opposite the Alamo has an Oscar Wilde suite. I spent a fabulous night there knowing that dear Oscar had been to Texas – a land I have taken nine years to adjust to. If Oscar Wilde loved his surrounds, his discerning observations caught on with me. I saw the beauty too, and still do. Reply Susan & Mike Bryant February 4, 2020 Also, my husband Mike and I appreciate your free spirit. We may not agree on certain political aspects, but we most certainly agree on free expression and the wonder of living our lives as we choose. Long may liberty reign. Reply Mike Bryant February 4, 2020 “Monty December 26, 2019 Well, how encouraging it is to see that Greta’s got America rattled. She knows who the real “retards” are on this planet…” Monty, you have been a very bad and judgmental boy… Susan is letting you off very lightly, and so am I. We’re not retards… perhaps before you comment next time you should ease off on the wacky tobaccy… Anyway… I agree with my lovely English Rose… Reply Monty February 10, 2020 You must dance well, Susan: it’s not an average dancer who can say they’ve danced at the historic Lyceum . . good for you. I haven’t dumbed-down Americans, and I haven’t dumbed-down America; America IS dumbed-down, and Britain equally so . . political-correctness has ensured that. When I go back to Blighty for short visits these days, it’s like everyone and everything has been wrapped in cotton-wool. There’s such a massive over-emphasis on Health and Safety, and no one wanting to say or do anything which might result in them getting pilloried or sued. Everything just seems to be so restricted these days. And I simply don’t wanna live under those conditions: hence France. The French are a bit more rebellious, and slightly militant in their determination to live as they please. They have a saying: ‘We work to live, not live to work’.. and it’s true, that’s why they’ve got the shortest working-week in Europe – 35 hours. They’ve got it sussed. I don’t really care for or against the EU: I don’t take any notice of it. Many of us ex-pats refer to the EU as the USE (United States of Europe), and that’s how it’s become. What were once central-european countries have become states of the USE, and Brussels is the Washington. I agree with you that this has had a limiting effect on many of the countries involved; and some are slowly losing their identity. Luckily, the only effect the USE has on me personally happens to be a positive one, ‘coz it means I can travel around Europe freely without having to worry about visas or changing money. I wouldn’t say that the governments of EVERY denomination have “pitted its citizens against the others”. A lot of them try it with their propaganda and media, but any individual can and should have the conviction to say: “I’m not gonna dislike the citizens of a certain country just because my government wants me to.. how shallow” (in this respect, Americans are disadvantaged, ‘coz they don’t really travel abroad to see for themselves: “Hey, these people are friendly and welcoming”.. so they have to rely on what they’re told by their media, etc). Is the Wilde suite at the Menger in name only, or is there paraphernalia in the room pertaining to him? He’s been to several places over there: he once toured the US for a few months giving lectures. We can’t (me, you and yer man) agree or disagree on ANY “political aspects”, ‘cos I ain’t got any. I’ve literally never paid any attention to it. I never once voted in all the time I lived in Blighty: I was intentionally immune to it all. At any given time, I could probably have named the current Prime Minister, but that was it. I would never have known who the Chancellor was, or the leader of the opposition, etc. I never worked the whole time I was there, and was never on the dole, either: I just done my own thing. Hence, I didn’t need to know about things like politics . . . but it certainly seems like we three agree on “free expression” and “living as we choose”. In the modernity of the western-world, it’s not so easy these days to live as one chooses; it takes a fair bit of persistence, determination and good old-fashioned stubbornness. For what you refer to as “soul brothers”, Mike, we Brits have another term – which just happens to have a poetic twist to it: ‘a brother from another mother’. As for “crazy”, well.. it’s an ambiguous word, ‘coz we’ve all got our own definitions of what ‘crazy’ actually is. But from how I see it, I think I am a little bit . . and I hope I never become un-crazy. And “son of a bitch”: well, I never had a dad, and from what I gathered earlier in life, my mum wasn’t shy when she was young, so there may be something in that. You shouldn’t take the “retard” thing personally, Mike. It wasn’t just inane name-calling, as in: ‘you retards’.. ‘you idiots’.. you lunatics’.. I’ve got too much imagination to have to resort to that. There were two valid reasons why I specifically used that word: 1/ Forgetting for a moment my own personal feelings, I can assure you that a large chunk of the global population really does see America as backwards, as regards to how America thinks humans should live (the consumerism, the worship of money and celebrity, the racism, the insularity, the apprehensiveness towards other races), and another word for ‘backwards’ is ‘retarded’. 2/ (and this was the main reason for my use) If you look at your new friend Salemi’s very first comment in this thread, he refers to “that little retard Thumberg”. That alone justified my use. Please don’t jump on the “wacky” bandwagon, Mike: you’ll only encourage the spastic in this thread to vomit some more on the page. Can’t you see how puerile and pointless it is? How would you feel if I said: “Before you make a comment on these pages, Mike, can you make sure you don’t drink any wine”. See? Don’t stoop down to his level. He’s on his own down there . . and he should be left there. Mike Bryant February 11, 2020 Monty, I must say that the British Empire was the birthplace of the tremendous freedom that you and I enjoy. The Industrial Revolution has freed the world of slavery. Some have proposed a return to the joys of the Middle Ages. These longings, of course, are only that. They are held by those who have, either consciously or not, decided to ignore huge swathes of history. As for your contention that “a large chunk of the global population really does see America as backwards”… IF true, there is an even larger chunk that are striving to join us here in this abominable federation. The Wilde Suite at the Menger does have a small display. There are reproductions of old photographs and a copy of The Picture of Dorian Gray… nothing too valuable, I’m sure. But we did enjoy the stay, and I’m quite convinced that his spirit lingers there. Joseph S. Salemi February 11, 2020 Here’s a bit of news about Greta Thunberg. It was just in today’s newspaper. The BBC is giving her a big contract for a reality TV show about her world travels campaigning for the ecology racket. Greta (and the greedy Thunberg family) will soon be rolling in dough. I guess she isn’t that much of a retard. She knows that there are Big Bucks in the trendy religion called Environmentalism, and she’s cashing in on this fact. If everything plays out true to form, Greta will soon be living in America (probably in Hollywood or Palm Beach) and she won’t be giving a damn about her “carbon footprint.” Congratulations, you little Swedish meatball! Welcome to the world of capitalism! We’ll be happy to have you in the United States. The country is already filled with left-wing freaks, so you won’t be noticed. Reply Mike Bryant February 11, 2020 I agree, Mr. Salemi. We need more champagne catastrophists to make fun of. They are source of new material for poems like “How Dare You Santa”. Reply Monty February 12, 2020 Poor you, Mike. Until your last comment, I really had no idea how perfectly content you were to just be someone else’s puppet. At least Susan’s shown clearly that she’s willing to speak for herself. Oh well, I s’pose one out of two ain’t bad. Mike Bryant February 12, 2020 Monty, I had you down as a free-thinker. The BritishBullshitCorporation keeps shoveling it and you keep eating it. I’m not the one dancing to the tune of the globalist corporate masters. Who’s the puppet now? Anyway… ain’t Susan’s poem grand? Monty February 12, 2020 It’s all over, Mike. I’ve got nothing to say to you after this. I’m perfectly willing to have banter or debates with those who think and speak for themselves; but you’ve recently made it quite clear that you’re not in that category. Instead, you’ve now shown yourself to be nothing more than a shallow vassal who just jumps on the bandwagon at any opportunity. You either wait for your new-found chum to make a comment, then reply with a glowing endorsement of whatever he said . . or you reply to my comments using the same inane words that he’s been using for months. You never really say anything off your own steam: and if ever you do, you shield it with irrelevant political terminology. I didn’t use the word ‘puppet’ loosely; you really are the perfect reactionist. So, that’s it for me. I now know what you’re all about. I’m not gonna waste my time with a chihuahua who just snaps at my heels at any opportunity with words not his own. I don’t deal with people like that. Hence, you’re now perfectly free to throw everything you’ve got at me: secure in the knowledge that I won’t hinder you with a reply. Go on . . get it all off your chest. Mike Bryant February 12, 2020 Bye bye Monty… good riddance. Mike Monty February 12, 2020 Taken from the BBC’s website: The BBC’s science department today announced plans for a new documentary-series with Swedish environmental activist Greta Thumberg. The series will follow Thumberg’s crusade as it takes her to the front-line of climate-change in some of the most extraordinary places on earth: while she explores the damage it causes, and what action could be taken to limit the threat. Throughout the series a group of scientists will lay out the science which lies beneath the threat. As she travels, Thumberg will meet not only leading environmental scientists, but also political leaders and business heavyweights, exploring the scientific evidence with them, and challenging them to change. The series will also share some of the quiet moments as she writes the impactful speeches that are now broadcast and analysed around the world. Rob Liddell, the BBC’s executive producer, said: “Climate-change is probably the most important issue of our lives, so it feels timely to make an authoritative series that explores the facts behind this complex subject”. Taken from a twisted degenerate’s spew: “Big contract”? There’s no mention of a contract – big or small. You added that just for special-effects. “Reality TV show”? Your own words: thrown-in just for special-effects. “Ecology racket”? Your own words: thrown-in just for special-effects. “The greedy Thumberg family will soon be rolling in dough”? Her family haven’t been mentioned, not once. Again, your own words thrown-in for special-effects. “Big Bucks”? Although she obviously won’t go unrewarded, there’s been no mention of money.. big or small. Your words only. Special-effects. “Cashing-in”? Your words only. Special-effects. “Hollywood.. Palm Beach”? It’s safe to assume that she’ll never again set foot in the US, unless her work dictates it. See? By taking a positive story and distorting it into your own sick fantasies, you’ve made it perfectly clear that in your desperate attempt to scrape the barrel . . you’re even prepared to patently mislead and deceive the SCP Readership. How dare you try to spread your sickness to others . . keep it to yourself. Reply Joseph S. Salemi February 12, 2020 The name is Thunberg, not “Thumberg.” You’ve misspelled it four times. As I’ve mentioned before, you should cut back on the marijuana. You quote a BBC press release as if it were handed down from Mount Sinai. How naive and trusting of you! Do you also read the horoscope columns in the daily paper? Greta and her family are set to rake in Big Bucks. That’s fine for them, I’m sure. But it certainly tarnishes the kid’s saintly environmentalist halo. Reply Monty February 12, 2020 It’s too late. Leave it. You tried hopelessly to turn a scientific documentary into a reality TV show; and you simply got caught in the act of deception. Accept it: and just feed off the crumbs of my misspelling of Greta’s surname. You can make it a lot easier for yourself by just accepting that I was only doing my duty to the SCP Readership in exposing your falsehoods. Reply Mike Bryant February 12, 2020 Monty… a scientific TV show? Like Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth that was taken apart in court? There is nothing scientific about the climate narrative. You are as au fait with climate truth as you are with the history of poetry. Susan Jarvis Bryant February 13, 2020 I believe politics shouldn’t overshadow poetry. Literature is often used to highlight political unrest and governmental misdemeanors, but the imagination and craft of the author should always remain in focus. I fear this fun and farcical poem is in the ‘popular posts’ section for all the wrong reasons… though, I’m not complaining. Reply Mike Bryant February 13, 2020 I’ve never had Your imagination and craft out of focus. I’m focused like a laser on them… and You. Your poetry ROCKS!!! Reply Joseph S. Salemi February 14, 2020 Satire is meant to get under some people’s skins — otherwise it wouldn’t be effective satire. Susan’s excellent poem worked wonders in this area. She shouldn’t regret the backlash it may have caused. The poem is effective for two reasons: 1) its imagination and craft, and 2) the fact that it squarely hits its target. Susan J Bryant February 15, 2020 Thank you Mike and Mr. Salemi. I appreciate your comments. I also know that any mention of politics in poetry leaves the poet open to passionate opinions. I will admit that I was naive as to the full potential of such passion, but hey, that’s the feisty nature of free speech and I’m grateful this site welcomes it in these increasingly restrictive times. I’m going to keep smiling and poking poetic fun thanks to SCP. Rod Walford March 16, 2020 Susan I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to see this thread but I have to say your poem is quite brilliant and skillfully written. I don’t know which I enjoyed most – your poem or Monty’s ripostes! Great idea to highlight the world’s wrongs and lay them at Santa’s door. After all, as my 7 yr old grandaughter recently reminded me “He’s not real you know…my friend Sofia thinks he is……..but she can believe what she likes!” Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant March 16, 2020 Thank you very much for your wonderful feedback on my poem, Rod. When the world is dissolving into insanity, I always think humour is vital for pointing out idiocy while keeping up the spirits. Your granddaughter is obviously a young lady blessed with an astute mind and rationality – essential tools for a sane future. Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.