Words Fail Me


Words alone fail me. So I drew a comic.

Yep, it’s been that kind of week. Hug your loved ones and pour yourself a cup of xocolatl tonight.

Time for other news. And it can be summed up in one word: finally. Last week, a certain wonderful man said sorry to Chinese people. This man is a superhero of social justice. His name, if it ever dare be uttered or written, ought be followed, as Mohammed’s is (PBUH), with a line of letters standing in for words of praise and peace. (By the way, I’ve never known why Muslims have to wish that peace be upon Mohammed PBUH. Isn’t he in heaven, at peace already? Surely he’s not in a place that lacks peace, where he must rely on the wishes of the still-living to have peace be upon him. But what would I know? I’m just a dhimmi, doing time on Earth and payin’ his jizya. I’ll just keep doing what they tell me to do and leave these tricky questions to be answered by the smart fellers in Qom, Riyadh and Dandenong!)

Well that was a long diversion! And now I’ve lost my way! But ‘confusingly’ is the adverb of choice when describing the way we Leftist writers write! Anyway, I’ll get back to my point. As I was saying, Dan Andrews MTROHCBQAPANSTANN (meaning ‘May the rotting of his corpse be quick and private and not subject to any non-consensual necrophilia’, which is about the best you can wish for the after-life existence of secular atheists. I like that it looks like the name of a country that ends in ‘stan’. It’s long, so I’ll just use an asterisk next time, but I urge everyone to use it when referring to Mr. Andrews*. Well, this has turned into another long diversion. I’ll start again from the beginning.)

Right. Dan Andrews* said sorry to Chinese people because more than 150 years ago during the gold rush, there was racism against them. This urgently-needed and heartfelt plea for simple forgiveness immediately solved the problem of racism on long-abandoned goldfields in the far corners of the British Empire under Queen Victoria. And about time! I know I’d been talking about it at the water cooler here at the Department of Inequality Studies for, I don’t know, ages! Now, obviously not every Victorian in those days was racist against the Chinese! Take criminal gang member and full-face-covering, police-killing enthusiast Joe Byrne, played with perfection by Orlando Bloom in the movie Ned Kelly. In that movie, the magnificent preter-Lefty Byrne was seen speaking fluent Chinese, just like Kevin Rudd does. No idea where he found the time to study it. I can barely get past ‘knee how’ myself. But that’s beside the point. The point is Joe Byrne wasn’t racist. He only shot white policemen. He also sent crazy letters to newspapers and advocated a republic of Victoria. He’s our kind of people.

He’s not quite as good as Dan Andrews*, though. Dan Andrews* is a legendary hero, and he is doing what dear leaders all over the world ought to be doing. There are countless apologies to be made for things which happened ages ago. Take this one for example. In Book XI chapter 36 of Annals, written by Tacitus, we read about a gentle young homosexual man named Suillius Caesoninus. His only ‘crime’, according to Tacitus, was to attend a wedding party orgy at which the emperor Claudius’s current wife Messalina bigamously married a buskin-wearing, head-rolling man named Silius. All good so far. Just people having fun and being free to marry whomever they want, as they should! Tacitus had previously described Claudius as ‘uxorious’. I had to look that word up and it seems like a good character trait for a man. Still fine so far. But then Claudius found out about the bigamy and he became a raging maniac, as all men are wont to at any time without provocation. He started a vindictive campaign of domestic ultraviolence against his formerly beloved wife Messalina, as well as all the attendees at the orgy, including of course Suillius Caesoninus. Messalina ended up getting stabbed by men who ‘violently burst through her door to find her weeping and moaning uselessly on the floor’. That gleefully misogynistic description is bad enough. But here’s what Tacitus said of Suillius Caesoninus, from Michael Grant’s translation. TRIGGER WARNING.

​Suillius Caesoninus (was merely banished rather than be executed) because of his own vices ​– at that repulsive gathering his had been merely a female part.”

Gee, thanks Tacitus for that blatant homophobia against a poor sweet bottom who only wanted to be left alone to enjoy a crazy treasonous bacchanal in peace! And worst, that line you just read is in every university library in the English-speaking world! Why have gay people had to endure Tacitus’s awful bigotry and the snickering of Latin and history students in libraries for the past 1,900-odd years? Why has Suillius been remembered so cruelly all that time, when statues should be erected of him for his courage? It’s an outrage, and it’s time for an apology. (And maybe a redaction, along the lines of the new, nigger-free edition of Huckleberry Finn.) The current successor to the Roman Emperor is either Vladimir Putin, Recep Erdogan, Jean-Claude Juncker or Frank-Walter Steinmeier, and I doubt the first two are going to do anything. So it’s up to the other two. Well, gentlemen? We’re wanting. It’s time to right a past wrong. Which of you will be the first to step up and be an ’emperor of social justice’ by apologising to gay people for the offensive bigotry of quote-unquote ‘great historian’ Tacitus? Which of you will be Europe’s Dan Andrews*?

Correspondence time! I was pleased to see a reference to H. G. Wells’ War of the Worlds in a comment on last week’s article, even though Wells is a dead white male whom no university English department bothers with anymore. It’s all lesbian POCs, Muslims, gay guys and anti-fracking white women in their 50s using iambic heptameter now. However, the reference to Wells reminded me of my boycott of the Guy Pearce version of Wells’ The Time Machine back when I was in high school. I picketed outside Video Ezy with a sign saying Guy Pearce was too white and male and straight, and should have been replaced with a Thai ladyboy. That way they would have covered race and sexuality. I also thought that despite her racial credentials Samantha Mumba was too ‘good looking’ and should have been played by a woman with more realistic proportions (i.e. fat). Happy memories. But things were not all ‘peaches and cream’ back then. We had no transgender toilets, for a start! And no Dan Andrews* either!