It’s St George’s Day. As I write, English people around the globe will be participating in a ‘knees up’ to celebrate the life of their patron saint.
The Scots, Irish and Welsh will also be raising a glass today. Mind you, that isn’t in honour of the English patron saint, moreover the result of liking a beer as much of us Anglos.
Personally, I shall be celebrating my Englishness by writing a blog on a Japanese laptop, pruning Dutch spring flowers in my garden, treating my fence with French wood preservative. All this with a heavy heart after my Italian owned football team lost yesterday, effectively ruling out automatic promotion to the Premiership and condemning us to a play-off lottery to earn the right at feasting at football’s top table.
This evening I will continue this patriotism by eating an Italian food, washed down by Australian beer or New Zealand wine……. I will do all this with a cry ‘God for Harry, England and St George’.
Incidentally, William Shakespeare, the man who wrote the stirring battle cry in Henry V from which the line above appears, died 401 years ago today. This will trigger worldwide celebration of the work of a man deemed by many as the finest ever writer in the English language.
Until recently, I hadn’t realised how many of quotes adopted in everyday conversations received their inaugural airing within Shakespearian essay. For example:-
“Break the ice.”– The Taming of the Shrew
“Neither a borrower or a lender be”– Hamlet
“Bated breath”– The Merchant of Venice
“Be all and end all” – Macbeth
“Refuse to budge an inch”– The Life & Times of Karen Strachan (The Musical), and
“Can you empty the dishwasher, Gary!”– The Tempest
Hopefully, I haven’t tempted fate by writing the name Macbeth, which is deemed in theatrical parlance as bad luck to utter. Instead they are encouraged to refer to it as ‘the Scottish play’.
I actually saw the Scottish play last year in Leeds. It was the Scotland rugby team playing against the USA during the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
What will be the legacy of contemporary creative writers to the children of future centuries? Could it be a Bruce Forsyth catchphrase perhaps? In the year 2416 will a female promise a night of passion with the words “It’ll be a big night tonight if you play your cards right!”…… That’s if they don’t already!
Or could the inhabitants of this planet 400 years hence be quoting the words of the Eastern European meerkat puppets used to sell insurance products on TV.
Will the same chuffing meerkats be still selling insurance products? After all, the company who uses this sales approach don’t seem in a rush to move on to a different idea. This despite the writers of the ads milking the originally good idea with three years of uninspiring tat.
Will there be males and females in four century’s time? Perhaps we will have evolved into hermaphrodites by then. Which if nothing else will mean if you tell someone to “Go f*** yourself” they will have the wherewithal to literally achieve the request.
My cynicism of our current writer’s legacy to future generations is of course tongue in cheek. Poking fun at Brucie’s writers, as well as an insurance companies apparent unwillingness to change an advertisement strategy despite it no longer being funny, just self-indulgent whimsy on my part.
There are of course reams of literature from our time that will I’m sure be utilised by people in the 25th century, whether they are hermaphrodites or not!
For example I envisage the saying ‘Catch 22’ being around then; a phrase adopted from Joseph Heller’s novel of the same name.
Likewise, I’m sure ‘chortle’ taken from Lewis Carroll’s Through The Looking Glass, and ‘honey trap’ from John Le Carre’s Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy will maintain longevity of use for many generations to come.
Saying that though ‘honey trap’, ie clandestinely using your sexuality to lure a suitor into revealing information, won’t be much use if people are hermaphrodites in 2416.
Right, I’ve got to close this now as, like St George, I have a dragon to conquer…… Well, if truth be told, negate my missus’ nagging about preserving my garden fences. Enjoy your St George’s Day!
Once more unto the breach dear friends, once more.