Worst Poem in the Universe?
Thanks to the Telegraph for alerting us to this remarkable confluence of bad taste, bad policy, and incredible wealth: a poem engraved on a plaque affixed to a 30-ton iron ore boulder outside the West Australia estate of multi-billionaire mining magnate and poetess Gina Rinehart.
The poem, which consists of eight rhyming couplets, proclaims the benefits of the resources industry and lampoons the government. But its aesthetic quality has come under question, with one critic describing it on Wikipedia as "the universe's worst poem, although many still dispute if it qualifies to be classified as poetry".
It's telling that the cheeky critique appears on Wikipedia and not in the Australian press--a substantial portion of which Rinehart recently purchased. Rinehart, a climate-change denier, was charged with shifting the public debate in Australia over a tax on carbon, which nevertheless cleared its final legislative hurdle last November. She helped fund, for example, an Australian tour by flamboyant climate denier Lord Monckton. Her influence can only grow in the future, given that Forbe's sees her on track to become the richest woman in the world.
And the poem? You be the judge:
The globe is sadly groaning with debt, poverty and strife
And billions now are pleading to enjoy a better life
Their hope lies with resources buried deep within the earth
And the enterprise and capital which give each project worth
Is our future threatened with massive debts run up by political hacks
Who dig themselves out by unleashing rampant tax
The end result is sending Australian investment, growth and jobs offshore
This type of direction is harmful to our core
Some envious unthinking people have been conned
To think prosperity is created by waving a magic wand
Through such unfortunate ignorance, too much abuse is hurled
Against miners, workers and related industries who strive to build the world
Develop North Australia, embrace multiculturalism and welcome short term foreign workers to our shores
To benefit from the export of our minerals and ores
The world's poor need our resources: do not leave them to their fate
Our nation needs special economic zones and wiser government, before it is too late