An old friend drops in on Oi! Thump!
So, we were all sitting around in the top-secret Oi! Thump! headquarters, nursing our hangovers and pondering the nasty political situation in the large country to the south of us, when the doors banged open and in strolled Pliny the Younger. That's right, Mr. Caius Plinius Caecilius Secundus himself. Now, we hadn't seen much of Pliny since he passed away in about A.D. 112, but, given what's been in the water around here since the unicorn fell into the cistern and drowned, we weren't all that surprised when he showed up.
"Why so glum?" he asked.
"Weeel," we said, "our good friends to the south of us look like they might actually, if you can believe it, elect to their highest office a man who would make you long for the days of Domitian."
"Ye Gods, not George W. Bush!" said Pliny.
"Unfortunately, yes," we replied, warming to the topic at hand. "You should have seen the little twerp debating his opponent the other night. Oratory is fucking dead, man."
"Now there, you speak the truth," quoth our guest. "Indeed (and I remember expressing similar sentiments once long ago in a letter to my friend Maximus) I am ashamed to describe the speeches of today,
the mincing accents in which they are delivered,
and the puerile applause they receive."
Then we all hit the sambuca and the rest of the night is a bit of a blur.
For the record, the letter to Maximus is Pliny II.14.