Tuesday 28 January 2014

The Dreadful Menace

If you've been watching BBC television at all in recent days, it can't have escaped your attention that the Sochi Winter Olympics will soon be upon us and that the BBC is very excited about it all. So excited that it has commissioned a toweringly grandiose trailer for the event, featuring epic images of a vast icy mountain, up which various athletes toil through a blizzard, in the manner of the youth who bore mid snow and ice a banner with this strange device - Excelsior! Actually, that Longfellow poem might have done nicely for this trailer - but no, the bombastic, doom-laden tones of Charles Dance (best known these days as Tywin Lannister in Game Of Thrones) boom out, intoning something in rhyme (I hesitate to call it a poem), prefaced by the question 'Nature - Who will conquer it?'
'I am the dreadful menace.
The one whose will is done.
The haunting chill upon your neck.
I am the conundrum.

I will summon armies.
Of wind and rain and snow.
I made the black cloud overhead.
The ice, like glass below.

Not you, nor any other.
Can fathom what is nigh.
I will tell you when to jump.
And I’ll dictate how high.

The ones that came before you.
Stood strong and tall and brave.
But I stole those dreams away.
Those dreams could not be saved.

But now you stand before me.
Devoid of all dismay.
Could it be? Just maybe.
I’ll let you have your day.'

Nobody has so far come forward to claim authorship of this piece of work, so it was presumably cobbled together by 'creatives' at the advertising agency. I'm sure its stirring words will inspire our curling team to ply their brooms with superhuman vigour.


  1. Read it using the voice of Pam Eyres and all is revealed.

  2. A bit harsh on Pam I'd say, Malty...

  3. That poem perfectly catches the ecstasy I feel when Canada wins their challenge of South Korea's gold in short-track speed-skating on the basis of illegal equipment. Although, Nige, I must say making fun of curling is a low blow, worthy of a hard-up remittance man in a seedy bar in Saskatoon.

  4. Ho ho - nothing against curling Peter - capital entertainment I'm sure - it just seems to fall a little short of the High Olympian rhetoric...


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  6. This is perfectly suited for the Night King character from GOT.