Senatus Populusque Romae

Ah Easter! The time of year when we celebrate the death and resurrection of one Yehoshua ben Yosuf* by giving each other a fattening, brown, alkaloid laced paste† (known by the Aztec words for “bitter water”‡) moulded into the form of bird ova and rodents. What a strange, strange people we truly are.

So what, all are probably wondering, happened to my promise of more frequent updates? Well my time this long weekend has been spent locked away in the Geek Cave, feverishly typing out the conclusion of Part 2 of “The Pathetic Circle of the Dance Class Damned” over in the Tales. I have also put a big dent into Part 3, which (with a bit of luck) should be up in only a few months. In addition, I’ve gone through the rest of the Tales and not only corrected the horribly inept and antiquated CSS (they now look pretty much as I actually intended them to from the start), but made numerous spelling corrections, and even added a few extra bits and pieces here and there. So if you were looking for an excuse to reread the Tales from the start, now might be the time.

In other news I was rather surprised, nay, flabbergasted to notice a brand new bit of graffiti down at the local railway station the other day. It wasn’t the presence of the tag that blew me away, the local delinquents have some kind of sophisticated roster system running to keep the station nicely decorated, with new tags appearing within ten minutes of the Westrail maintenance workers coming and painting over the old ones. It was what it said…


SPQR, standing for Senatus Populusque Romae (The Senate and People of Rome) was of course the insignia of the ancient Roman Empire. So it was rather suprising, if not disconcerting to see it roughly spray painted across the wall just behind the Multirider machine. My contemplation of this strange anomaly on the train ride to work led me to a number of possible conslusions…

1: A tagger somehow managed to read a history book (or more likely watched Gladiator), and decided SPQR would make a unique and interesting tag

2: A crew of taggers somehow managed to read a history book (or watched Gladiator), and have decided to model themselves after an ancient Roman Legion, dressing in armour and togas, carrying swords and spray painting SPQR everywhere

3: An actual Roman Legion or Cohort was caught in some kind of time storm, pulled through to modern Australia, and on finding a spray can and figuring out how it worked, decided to claim the railway station for the Emperor

4: It was a particularly inept spray painting of the (typically badly spelled) tag “SPORE”

I have to admit the last is the most likely, albiet the most boring. In any case I’ll be challenging any likely looking types down at the station with “Quo vadis?”, and keeping an eye out for any golden eagle standards lying around the place.

Of course, given that the Eagles just won the Western Derby, I’ll probably find hundreds.

Historical research is fraught with such perils.


* The Greeks, who couldn’t leave well enough alone, decided to call him Jesus for some reason

† In the southern hemisphere Easter occurs at the end of summer, so if you leave chocolate out of the fridge for more than a few minutes, it very rapidly reveal itself to be a paste.

‡ “xoco latl” in case you were wondering


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