Hey, Barbecutie

Posts Tagged ‘the people always get the rulers they deserve

When asked to write this retrospective, I contemplated how my life has changed since I first made that post some thirty-odd days ago. It feels strange, looking back. Am I the same person who typed those words? Is the world the same world that first read them? Of course not. We all transform and change, we do not stay stationary, we can not and we must not. Of course there will come a time – it may even be now – when my Gove/Pob comparison is outdated, or irrelevant, when future generations will not know or even care who either figure is. This is inevitable, and inescapable, and neither should I wish to escape it. That this is a fact is also proof that the world does turn, that people do grow and mature and change, that nothing ever stays the same. I take comfort in this. And so my post will remain a snapshot of that moment one month ago, a time passed, when someone who once was me noticed something that once was true in a time when it once might have meant something, as the world turned on its axis for the million million millionth time.

Michael Gove is Pob.

To calm her down, I asked her to recite what I knew to be her favourite American poem.

‘Okay, James Joyce-‘ I prompted.

‘James Joyce was stupid. He didn’t know as much as I know. I’d rather throw dead batteries at cows than read him. Everything was fine until he came along. He started the Civil War. He tried to get the French involved but they wouldn’t listen. They filled him up with pastries and desserts. They tried to get us to use the metric system and we said, No, go away, we like our rulers. Thomas Jefferson said, You always get the rulers you deserve.’

‘Do you know any other poems by heart?’


(An extract from “A Very Practical Joke” by Sheila Heti. This is my favourite collection of letters, words and phrases in lingual history, and has been a great comfort to me at times like these.)