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McGonagall update - Her Most Regal Majesty, the Queen of Snark
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McGonagall update
122 signatures, stunningly.

I've come up with a sort of mini faq thing, which I've posted to a community of my acquaintance. Since they seem to like locked posts there, I'll repeat it for the mildly curious here.

A stamp for William McGonagall

Hello there,

I'm trying to drum up interest in a petition I've created to see if we can get the Royal Mail to produce a stamp commemorating the life and works of William Topaz McGonagall, possibly the worst poet of all time. If you think this would be a good idea, then please sign up.

The petition can be found at


You can find out more about McGonagall and his remarkable life at http://www.mcgonagall-online.org.uk/ or via his wikipedia entry at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_McGonagall.

If you feel so inclined, a link in your journal would also be helpful

Thank you.

I've had a couple of questions about the petition:

Are you serious?

Yes, I am. I have a genuine admiration and affection for McGonagall, which is shared by many other people. While he could not be regarded as talented by conventional standards, his boundless and unquenchable optimism in the light of the ridicule of his peers is inspiring and laudable. As someone who finds it terribly hard to believe in themselves some times, he seems worth commemorating.

Naturally this noble task is being undertaken a lightheated manner, and is not terribly likely to meet with success. However the petition seems very much in line with the spirit in which McGonagall lived his life. I may not be walking to Balmoral, but I'm happy to traipse the dusty roads of the Internet in search of fellow supporters for his cause.

Bad poetry isn't exactly rare - what makes McGonagall special?

It's difficult to say. Parodists such as Private Eye have attempted to ape his style, but there is something genuinely spine-tingling about the sheer awfulness of McGonagall's poetic voice that defies imitation. Part of it stems, I think, from his aura of total conviction that he was doing great work. Had he had a shade more humility, he is unlikely to have produced anything so remarkable.

Why a stamp?

A friend suggested it one day in a list of things she'd rather do than deal with a minor irritation in her life. I created the petition as a way of cheering her up, but also because I would love to see McGonagall remembered and introduced to a new generation of fans.

Will I get spammed by Petition Online?

As I have no connection to the site, I can't offer any guarantee that your details will be safe. What I can tell you is that they've been around for several years, I've signed petitions on the site in the past, and I don't believe I've received spam as a result. Furthermore, an Internet search failed to turn up anything suspect about them.

When will you send in the petition?

When the number of signatures hasn't increased significantly in a month or two.
2 comments or Leave a comment
khalinche From: khalinche Date: May 10th, 2009 07:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm tempted to sign it merely because of the first line of his autobiography, 'The first time a landlord threw peas at me...' even without considering the amazing awfulness of 'on the hill there stands a cow...'

Also, hello! It was nice to meet you.
sesquipedality From: sesquipedality Date: May 12th, 2009 07:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
Nice to meet you too. :)
2 comments or Leave a comment