Love is Like Two Vast and Trunkless Legs of Stone

I met a traveller from an antique land

Who said: Two vast and rootless roses red

Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,

Half-sunk, a blue-hued violet lies, now dead,

Whose damaged leaves and petals, roughly fanned,

Show that the breeder well those bouquets knew

That this was some great imitation of –

The roses red, the violets blue of hue.

And on the broken vase, these words appear:

‘My Name is Valentine, the Saint of Love.

Look on my Day, ye Lovelorn, and Despair!’

Nothing beside remains – ’round the decay

Of those colossal plants, boundless and bare,

The lone and level sands stretch far away.

A Typical Scene from my Life as a Literary Pedant

[Originally published on Facebook on 26/12/2015]

Me, educating children: “You’re probably assuming the monster is the titular Frankenstein. This is actually a common misconception. The title refers to the scientist. The actual monster is, as usual, capitalism.”

Children, refusing to be educated: “Dad, who is this guy and why was he hiding in our room?”


[Door Slam]

Official Disney Princesses, Ranked by How Much of Their Onscreen Time They Actually Spend Living as a Princess

  • Merida –  initially the only official member of the Disney Princess line-up that is actually living as a princess for the full duration of her on-film appearance. 10/10
  • Moana – it’s a little unclear whether her people consider her a princess or not, but if they do she retains the rank throughout the story. 10/10, with caveats.
  • Jasmine – briefly stripped of her princesshood when Jafar uses magic to transfer her family’s royalty to himself (at which point her social rank is functionally that of a slave). 9/10
  •  Anna – ascends to the rank of queen at the end of her second film. 9/10
  • Ariel – effectively disowns her royal family and has a brief stint living as a mute human vagrant and then princess-to-be, in self-imposed exile, before her reconciliation with her father; becomes a queen in the sequel. 8/10
  • Aurora – seen as a baby princess in the prologue, then lives in exile and unaware as a peasant until she comes of age; technically she’s living as a princess during the time she’s asleep though. 7/10
  • Cinderella – an unacknowledged aristocrat until her marriage at the end of the first movie; spends the entire second movie as a princess; then gets un-princessed again after the prologue of the third; then re-princessed again at the end. 6/10
  • Elsa – ascends to the rank of queen after the (admittedly long) prologue of her first film, but then appears as a princess again in flashback in the second one. 5/10
  • Snow White – living in exile as a peasant for most of the film; only an acknowledged princess briefly at the very start and again upon marrying the prince at the end. 4/10
  • Rapunzel – briefly seen as a baby princess, but living unaware as a peasant for most of the film before her eventual return to her family. 4/10
  • Belle – a peasant until her marriage. 3/10
  • Tiana – working class and/or an amphibian for most of the film – and afterwards only technically a princess through marriage to an impoverished and possibly disowned prince. 2/10
  • Pocahontas – debatable, as a Native American chief is arguably of equivalent social rank to a European king, making her effectively a princess, but she does not use the title and the sequel makes it clear that, when she is briefly made to live as a princess, she doesn’t like it; so she is otherwise discounted here out of respect for her life choices. 1/10
  • Mulan – a bog-standard soldier, then an Imperial Counsellor, eventually marries an implied nobleman, never actually makes it as high as princess, clearly only on the roster to make it a little less overpoweringly white. 0/10

Honorable Mentions:

  • Esmeralda – was removed from the line-up in 2004, presumably because someone noticed she was never a princess (how exactly they justified kicking her out while retaining Mulan is unknown). 0/10
  • Megara – technically becomes a princess upon her offscreen marriage to Hercules who is, after all, the son of the King of the Gods, but is otherwise possibly the lowest-ranked Disney heroine, spending most of the film as a slave; occasionally makes a guest appearance in the Disney Princess franchise, but isn’t officially a member. 2/10
  • Giselle – is actually a princess according to the film’s villain but doesn’t seem to be aware of it, however she only occasionally makes a guest appearance in the Disney Princess franchise, isn’t officially a member, and her film isn’t even part of the Disney Animated Canon. 1/10
  • Vanellope von Schweetz – is a homeless outcast until her game’s code gets repaired, then remains a princess for all of about a minute before dissolving the monarchy. Not part of the Disney Princess franchise, but there’s a pretty great bit in her sequel movie where she does interact with them. 1/10
  • Other 0/10 non-princess Disney heroines (Jane, Wendy, Alice, Tinker Bell, etc) occasionally make guest appearances in the princess franchise also.
  • Eilonwy – not part of the Disney Princess franchise for some reason, despite being a princess for the full duration of her film. 10/10
  • Kida – not part of the Disney Princess franchise for some reason, despite being a princess for most of her first film, ascending to the rank of queen on her father’s death and remaining as such for the sequel. 8/10
  • Kiara – not part of the Disney Princess franchise for some reason, possibly due to a ban on sapient lions, but is a princess for the full duration of her film. 10/10
  • Melody – not part of the Disney Princess franchise, possibly because her mother is in there already so it would be a bit weird; nonetheless is a princess for the full duration of her film. 10/10
  •  AquataAndrinaAristaAttinaAdella, and Alana – unambiguous princesses from a Disney Princess film, but not official Disney Princesses because they’re essentially bit-parts in a film about their sister. 10/10
  • Mei, Su and Ting-Ting – unambiguous princesses from a sequel to a Disney Princess film, but not official Disney Princesses. 10/10
  • Charlotte la Bouf – apparently counts as a princess for the duration of Mardi Gras because her father is the King of the Mardi Gras parade, and that’s good enough for the laws of magic. Otherwise, she’s upper middle class. 1/10
  • Tiger Lily – weirdly the only major heroine in Peter Pan not to be considered for the Disney Princess franchise, despite being the only one who actually is arguably a princess due to her father’s position as Chief (and unlike Pocahontas, she seems to accept the title so far as we know); possibly left out to avoid reminding people how astonishingly racist her tribe’s depiction is. 10/10 with caveats.
  • Sofia the First – not actually part of the Disney Animated Canon but possibly still an honorary part of the Disney Princess franchise due to significant character overlap; either way she’s only a princess after her commoner mother remarries. 7/10

Interestingly, Merida and Moana – the only 10/10 princesses actually recognised as such by the Disney Princess franchise – are also the only official Disney princesses not to be based off of a character from any pre-existing, non-Disney story. They’re also two of only three not to have an onscreen love-interest (alongside Elsa).

Also, not related but an amusing fact I wanted to shoehorn in here: so far as I can recall, only two of the official Disney princesses have ever canonically killed someone: Tiana has a body count of one; Mulan has a body count somewhere in the thousands.

I like how a lot of Greek Myth sounds like it was made up on the spot by someone uninterested.

[First published on Facebook on 26/12/2019]

“Where did the Minotaur COME from?”

“Um… a human and a bull loved each other very much.”

“…how did THAT work?”

“The human had a very convincing cow costume.”

“But… why?”

“Cursed ”

“By who?”


“For what?”


“Stealing WHAT?”

“…The cow.”

Iconic Opening Lines of Novels, Reimagined as Insults about Yo Momma

In a hole in the ground there lived yo momma.

There was a boy named after yo momma, and he almost deserved it.

Yo momma left me sad and gloomy.

Dr. Weiss, at forty, knew that her life had been ruined by yo momma.

The sun shone, having no alternative, on yo momma.

He was an old man who fished alone in a skiff in the gulf stream, and he had gone eighty-four days now without taking yo momma.

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that yo momma must be in want of a wife.

Of all the things that drive men to sea, the most common disaster, I’ve come to learn, is yo momma.

Once upon a time and a very good time it was there was a moocow coming down along the road and this moocow that was coming down along the road was yo momma.

The past is a foreign country; they do yo momma there.

A Deleted Scene from ‘Romeo and Juliet’

[First published on Facebook on 9/12/2019]

Benvolio: “Romeo, what dost thou spend thy time thinking about?”

Romeo: [shrugging] “Butts, oft.”

[They notice that Juliet is eavesdropping from the balcony]

Romeo: “That is, I mean, uh, BUT SOFT! WHAT L-“

The Asexual Spectrum, as Explained through Awkward Compliments

[First published on Facebook on 8/12/2014]

Asexuality: It’s not that you’re not hot; it’s just that I can’t tell.

Nonlibidoism: It’s not that you’re not hot; it’s just that I don’t care.

Celibacy: It’s not that you’re not hot; it’s just that I have better things to do.

Demisexuality: It’s not that you’re not hot; it’s just that I don’t know yet.

Grey-asexuality: It’s not that you’re not hot; it’s just that I’m not sure I’m currently in the best position to make that call.

Aromanticism: It’s not that you’re not marriagable; it’s just that I can’t tell.

Nonamory: It’s not that you’re not marriagable; it’s just that I don’t marry.

Asexual reproduction: It’s not that you’re not hot; it’s just that I’m a single-cell life form. What are you doing here? How am I speaking? What’s going on?

Meanwhile, in the timeline where the Doctor is an asshole

[First published on Facebook on 3/12/2020]

Doctor: “I’m burning up a sun, just to say goodbye.”

Rose: “What? But… I’m still here? I’m not lea-“

Doctor: “Sorry, I already burned up a sun. Too late now. I don’t make the rules”

Rose: “Bu-“

Doctor: “Goodbye.”

[The Doctor slams the TARDIS door and vworps off, leaving Rose standing alone and confused. Above, the debris from a burnt-up sun spells out ‘GET BENT’ in the sky]

Romantic Poetry, By Region of Origin

[First posted on Facebook on 4/12/2018]

English Romantic Poets: “Nature is beautiful! So serene! So peaceful! So subtextually feminine! It is our calm and nurturing mother and bride!”

Scottish Romantic Poets: “Nature is FREAKING RAD. It doesn’t care about you. It’s too COOL to care about you. It’s too busy being SHARP and CRAGGY and PROBABLY FULL OF HAWKS.”


German Romantic Poets: “Nature is inexplicably full of magic dwarves.”

A Second Dialogue About Onsecond

Costello: “Hey, Abbot, who was that girl you got to second base with last night?”

Abbot: “Nah, Who was the girl I only got to first base with.”

Costello: “I’m not asking about the girl you only got to first base with, I’m saying, who w