312 • Failure

312 • Failure

The night they invented Champagne
I was fighting the Fascists in Spain.
When they slipped me a slug
(Served in Franco’s own mug)
I just emptied it into a drain.

George Orwell (celebrity author of Dining Out in Paris and London) evidently drew on personal experience when commissioned to write songs for the musical Gigi; but Maurice Chevalier dismissed an early effort (fragment above) as ‘half-hearted’, and the gig was offered to Jean-Paul Sartre instead. In today’s political climate, however, we recommend the resurrection of the Orwellian text, which centres on mendacious boasts and – crucially – the cretinous, offhand actions of a failed fighter who, ultimately, knows himself unfit for anything but illusory greatness.

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