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30 September 2017 @ 08:00 am
Don’t come you back, you English soldier  
In a temple in Myanmar, Boris Johnson, who aspires to be Donald Trump, recites
Kipling. Alas, does not get to the “bloomin’ idol made o’ mud/ Wot they called the Great Gawd Budd.”
Elenbarathi: Knowledgeelenbarathi on September 30th, 2017 07:09 pm (UTC)
*falls about laughing* Oh, that's priceless!
"He had taken part in a ritual involving pouring water over a golden statue of what he described as “a very big guinea pig”, when he approached a 42-tonne bell, rang it with a wooden stick and spontaneously started reciting Kipling’s poem."
Sounds like he was overcome with the romance of it all - standing in that very place, the old Moulmein Pagoda lookin' eastward to the sea, that he'd first read about as a young lad - it is a very romantic poem. Probably it's never even occurred to him that Kipling's portrayals of women and non-English people (including the Irish) are quite insulting by 21st-century standards even when he's being his nicest: "I've a neater, sweeter maiden in a cleaner, greener land!"

It ought to be mentioned that Kipling's 'Barracks-Rooom Ballads', of which The Road To Mandalay is one, are all written from the viewpoint of a character, Thomas Atkins, a common British soldier. They're not meant to express the personal opinions of the poet, which were different in many instances.

So, too bad for Boris Johnson, who seems to have a chronic case of foot-in-mouth disease. "Better to keep one's mouth shut and be thought a fool, than open it and remove all doubt."