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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Come friendly bombs, fall on DC!: For John Betjeman's birthday, here's John Derbyshire's parody of Slough

I have no use for Betjeman (official websitewiki), but was reminded earlier of his birthday and that always puts me in mind of the excellent parody, below. It was written by John Derbyshire, on of my favorite authors and a previous contributor to National Review. He was tossed for political incorrectness, and the poem above was pulled from their site after an hour or so but left available at Derb's site.

For reference, the original poem, Slough, is below the parody.

Come, friendly bombs, fall on D.C.!
It's not fit for humanity.
There's nothing there but villainy.
Swarm over, Death!

Come, bombs, and blow to kingdom come
Those pillared halls of tedium —
Hired fools, hired crooks, hired liars, hired scum,
Hired words, hired breath.

Mess up this mess they call a town —
A seat for twenty million down
And rights to the incumbent's crown
For twenty years.

And get that lobbyist who'll spin
His case to congressmen, who'll win
Amendments, raking fortunes in
For racketeers.

And smash his desk of polished oak
(Paid for by honest working folk
Toiling 'neath taxation's yoke)
And make him yell.

But spare the lesser worker bees,
Federal and private employees,
Working for meager salaries
In government Hell.

It's not their fault they cannot see
How power stifles liberty,
How citizens who once were free
Become enslaved.

From childhood they've been raised to think
That federal power solves everything
They can no longer smell the stink
Of power depraved.

Spare these folk; reserve your fire
For those who wallow in the mire —
That smug, smooth, chauffered, canting choir
Of puffed-up fools.

Come, friendly bombs, fall on D.C.!
Leave it as it used to be:
Potomac winding to the sea
By tree-fringed pools.


Come friendly bombs and fall on Slough!
It isn't fit for humans now,
There isn't grass to graze a cow.
Swarm over, Death!

Come, bombs and blow to smithereens
Those air -conditioned, bright canteens,
Tinned fruit, tinned meat, tinned milk, tinned beans,
Tinned minds, tinned breath.

Mess up the mess they call a town-
A house for ninety-seven down
And once a week a half a crown
For twenty years.

And get that man with double chin
Who'll always cheat and always win,
Who washes his repulsive skin
In women's tears:

And smash his desk of polished oak
And smash his hands so used to stroke
And stop his boring dirty joke
And make him yell.

But spare the bald young clerks who add
The profits of the stinking cad;
It's not their fault that they are mad,
They've tasted Hell.

It's not their fault they do not know
The birdsong from the radio,
It's not their fault they often go
To Maidenhead

And talk of sport and makes of cars
In various bogus-Tudor bars
And daren't look up and see the stars
But belch instead.

In labour-saving homes, with care
Their wives frizz out peroxide hair
And dry it in synthetic air
And paint their nails.

Come, friendly bombs and fall on Slough
To get it ready for the plough.
The cabbages are coming now;
The earth exhales.

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