The Three Helens

When Helen Zille announced recently that she was not going to stand for the DA Leadership again this year, the reactions were many and varied. Colleagues used the opportunity to praise her good work for the party, opponents (generally quietly) celebrated and thinkpiece writers fell over themselves to write thinkpieces, having been starved of opportunities for years hours since the statue debacle and not knowing that the lucrative magic porridge pot of xenophobic attacks were just around the corner.
Very few people turned to the medium of poetry. And that, dear readers, was a shame.

Surely someone must have gone down the versificational route to express their feelings on this momentous event. Yeah, there was plenty of interpretive dance, but I was after metrical composition, and I could find none. In fact, it was only on page 2 of the esteemed Southern Suburbs Tatler that I found appropriate balladry documenting Zille’s decision. Only right, then, that having found Charlotte Caine of Claremont’s The Three Helens that I share it with you.
I’m on it. Doing it right now.


The Three Helens

Charming and friendly
Yet firm when she needs
With vision, courage and purpose
Is how this first lady leads

Voted “The Best Mayor in the World” [Is this going to scan? – Ed.]
Always giving her extraordinary all [No. No, it’s not. – Ed.]
She has always steered the way forward [Double use of ‘always’. – Ed.]
In showing us how to stand tall [Utterly dreadful. – Ed.]

She’s a person who knows how to plan
She’s a woman who knows how to work
No matter how arduous the task may be
She’ll face it; she will never shirk [Semi-colon = extra points. – Ed.]

She has gone from strength to strength
She stands above the crowd
She always goes the extra length [It’s ‘goes the extra mile’, ne? – Ed.]
She has made this country proud [Double rhyming couplet special bonus. – Ed.]

Completing an industrious trio of Helens
Helen Suzman, Helen Joseph, Helen Zille [Keller? Mirren? No? – Ed.]
With dedication, intelligence and determination
Each one a warrior; each one a winner [This doesn’t rhyme. Just saying. – Ed]

Helen Zille is a phenomenal woman
She has earned her place in history
She personifies an invincible spirit
And leaves an indomitable legacy


[Rather awkward and stumbled a bit towards the end. A bit like her, I suppose. – Ed.]


A couple of points here. Firstly, that since (I’m assuming) the Southern Suburbs Tatler must have been near inundated with several (or more) poems saying how great Helen Zille was, this is ever so slightly disappointing on the quality front. How poor were the others? Were the rest of them just racist outbursts from angry, privileged, Southern Suburbs, white-bearded men? Well, yes. Yes, they were.
This is surely the only reason for fielding these six stanzae.
And then secondly, that in this isibongo, there is no mention of Helen’s continual Twitter meltdowns. And yet this makes up at least [a lot] of her legacy, indomitable or otherwise. So here you go:

Of course she has her dark side too
Like when she rants on twitter
And calls Simphiwe Dana
An ill-informed, arrogant critter

Yeah, I know. It was rushed, inaccurate, it doesn’t scan, it’s rather forced and poorly laid out. Fits right on the end of Charlotte’s work perfectly then. Hashtag seamless.

I’m almost (almost) tempted to write a whole Helen Zille poem, but right now I have to go home and build a flat pack table (uThug Life) so that’ll just have to wait.

Enjoy your long weekend, SA. We’ll be back with more tomorrow. And the day after. And on Monday. No rest for the well wicked, innit?

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Two Pics

Here are two amazing pics from opposite ends of the world, neither of which are mine (the pics or the ends of the world):

Firstly a clever composite image of the recent total solar eclipse taken in Svalbard by Thanakrit Santikunaporn (not even joking).


Here’s a quick explanation of what was done and what it saw. Amazing.

And then this of the eruption of Calbuco, everyone’s favourite Chilean volcano, from Marcelo Utreras:


Here are some details (and more, less good, photos) about that. Your carbon footprint offsetting for the next two hundred years is now rendered utterly pointless, right there.

But on a more positive note: well done, great photo takers. We are impressed.

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What do you think?

This arrived on my timeline this morning:

What do I think?

I think that the student should have said “please” in his/her request, the teacher should know what his/her grammar are a bit better that what he/she did, and then that the student should show a great deal more respect in his/her reply.

It’s a pretty shoddy show all round. That’s what I think.

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Wow. More brilliance from Jack & Harry – the Seafret boys (you may remember them from such posts as Seafret – Oceans). Here’s the new video for Atlantis, filmed in Ireland with the assistance of Brendan Canty, who did the video for Hozier’s Take Me To Church. (Ellie Goulding cover version here)

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

It’s lovely, lovely stuff.

Also, go and listen to this – Sinking Ship – my personal favourite of their tracks.

So far.

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I saw this tweet this morning:

and I was intrigued, because Southern Scotland (much like the rest of Scotland) isn’t known for its support of the (blue) Conservative party.
I went to the (rather cool) website to have a closer look, and yes – it seems that in their latest polls, the Tories hold an ever so slender lead over Labour and the SNP in those three constituencies. I don’t actually come close to believing this, by the way. But supposing for a moment that I actually did, how cool are the numbers in Dumfries & Galloway?


That’s tight.

In fact, according to figures from the 2010 results, it would mean that those top three parties are separated by only 200 votes. It would also mean that the Conservative vote has remained completely unchanged while loads of Labour voters moved from Red Ed to Scary Nicola’s Party (SNP). OK, so that latter bit is more believable.

I have limited interest in the UK election, if I’m honest. I do enjoy the websites and the facts and the figures. But it’s all been a bit negative, confrontational and depressing. I’m not voting and it’s clearly going to end up in a horrible, horrible mess after the vote, no matter who doesn’t win.

Still, I’m going to have my beagle-eyes on D&G, and I’ll try to remember to update you on exactly how close it turned out to be after the big day.

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