steepholm (steepholm) wrote,
steepholm
steepholm

A Place for Everything, A Time for Nothing

Recently the teatime quiz programme Two Tribes asked a contestant to say whether the proposition that "William Shakespeare was born in the United Kingdom" was true or false. The contestant answered "True", and that was accepted as obviously correct, but I was of course left spluttering about the Act of Union, and dismayed at the apparent lack of historical sense of anyone involved. It's not that I mind the contestant's being awarded the point, but some acknowledgement that the question was problematic or ambiguous would have helped settle my dinner.

That story, combined with the various reports on the latest genetic study of the people of Britain (which every paper appears to have reported in such a way as to confirm its particular prejudices and obsessions), issued in the following mongrel autobiography, combining geographical precision with temporal indifference.



"Two Tribes"

Meet my folks – we’re into ochre.
Meet my folks – we’re into beakers.
My people winter at Stonehenge.
Doesn’t everyone?

My tribe? Why, I’m
Of the Belgae.
I hail from the province of Britannia:
A citizen of the Empire, where I was born.

In the Kingdom of Wessex I had my birth,
In the Kingdom of England
In the Kingdom of Great Britain,
with and without,
with just a bit of,
Ireland
(and possibly France).
The EU is my native land.

Meet my folks – we’re into ochre.
Meet my folks – we’re into beakers.
My people winter at Stonehenge.
Doesn’t everyone?
Tags: current affairs, my writing
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