The play of course, is among the required reading of the 2020 Shakespeare challenge(look up the Folger Library for additional information), so getting ahead of the curve, having about four extra hours in my day, I sat down with this play for this first time.
Right off the bat, love is a static, opaque, unquestionable thing, but as the play unfolds, it becomes, still equally opaque in a text reading without the benefit of foreshadowing or a reflective physicality, becomes somewhat plasticized, with all sorts of love-bombs going off later in the work. Early on, we see a friendship expressed in almost a coupling-kind of way, and a court relationship given the same treatment, but all is eventually ironed-out. What was in the beginning a very flat almost generic treatment of love, becomes the raw material for a lot of productions to interpret until their hearts are content(a pun!).
The actual comedy of the play is the interaction of the fool/clown, with the rest being irony pushed to a high precipice, a remarkable zenith of peaks as the multiple threads converge, and surely, the convergence is in some parts easily brought-off, yet in the case of our four chiefs, Shakespeare is at pains and feels the need for some scenes here and there to “establish”, while ignoring some needs to establish, to comedic effect, such as a woman proposing marriage to a man seemingly on first sight, and he, struck by her beauty agreeing and “beating-feet” to the cathedral.
What gives the play an extra dimension is two-fold. Firstly, the comedy is tempered by several perilous situations, and a brother and sister each believing the other dead for a long time in the play. Secondly, some of the pranks in the play seem very mean and one character exits vowing a later revenge on the whole lot of the players. So some fingers are broken in the making of the omelette of a theatrical production.
To start, I did just what he did: I separated success-based happiness from joy, only I called it peace. In fact, there were several debates with some friends about the difference between peace and joy. I defended peace, because at the time, it is what I needed, to calm down, to find a sense of ease in my soul, but since that time, that feeling has become a bit stronger, and now I would call it joy.
Joy is then happiness without a basis in merit or success, without being hijacked by the world into some kind of slogan of “The American Dream” or something. Joy is simply an enjoyment.
Gratitude is important and sustains joy. We become thankful for the little things, we learn how to express that, and it increases our sense of joy. You know, instinctively, what to be thankful for: not the little banes and guiles that surround us, but the good things, the providential things.
I kept an old bedroom, dust-laden now, sealed, in remembrance. The rats kept vigil on the lace of the bedspread. What might have been, never was, and was best not to have happened, enshrined now, just like the Grand Canyon is a place of dead and forgotten dreams. We go there now and only see little fish fossils, and the dreams are no longer palpable, dust-dead and ecru.
I do things my own way. Like in a Nike commercial. For some people, this is the path to the bottom of the heap, while for others, its 12 million for an endorsement deal.
Who is this? This…. Man Who Came To Earth. Is it a path to a defeat, like a self-fulfilling prophecy? That all his sins would come alive and eat him? Repudiation or vindication? I honestly wonder where it will all lead, but nevertheless, I should not feel trepidation, not a jot or tittle of worry, because it will come unbidden, unheralded, and sure-footed as ever, at an even pace of time’s snail crawl, like the hands drowsily scour the face of the clock.
This Man Who Came Down To Erf.
This woman who fed a secret, everyday, as if it were one of her children, nursing it at her breast, keeping it in swaddling.
The beguiled earth and the hearts that drank their fill.
I was born I was made too I watch them through the knotholes in the floor I am bent to this purpose too just like they are bent to scowl at me looking at a natural mistake
To have a purpose, a necessary function that contributes to the hole(oh thank goodness for the internet, I think). Yes my purpose is to entertain, in lieu of any other higher purpose. But to be “bent”, intended by nature to fulfill a role in the ecosystem: how dull. I should rather be a clown with free-range of my expression, rather than a hammer or a screwdriver.
Deddy was born momma was born I just came though like the dew after a thunderstorm I appeared like the residue of an un-natural dream, something that defied nature and purpose, defied the ability to even exist around other people and I will die to and thats just like closing your eyes
One’s experience is reality, experience and the news, that which expands the circle, that which fumbles with the Gordian knot for a while, and then goes and cries on its bed. For what does one know better? Better than what he has experienced, or in reference to something told? This is a summation, the facts of existence sufficing for the pure experience of the thing, and becoming the bane of experience, the bane of perspective. Coloring the experience.
I should just come up come up when all the people are up there come up and say hello I could hear them screaming and it sounds like me after deddy hits me and I say to them you been bad and then they run away oh why I could come up and show them show them what they hid away what they wanted others not to see just break this lie and get it out in the open I should come up
Alex Rodriguez comes to Carter Mills near Christmas and does everyone a good turn by paying off their title loans, the majority of which were held by Jimmy Stewart Title Loans. The rub is that this cripples Jimmy Stewart’s business, shifting all accounts from paying to resolved, and forcing him to give back all the auto title deeds.
Jimmy Stewart had been helping out the young sickly lad, Pip Old Chap, Good Old Man, but now, with his income dried-up, he was rendered destitute and Pip Old Chap’s condition worsened, without prospect of any help with the medical bills or extra nickels for egg creme’s or peppermint candy provided by Jimmy Stewart.
“Lord! I think….. I think…. I should do everyone a favor and jump off this bridge!”
Cue the trip to an alternate reality: a reality without Jimmy Stewart, like what if the milky-licker was really dead.
The Cartesian plane, the end wrapped into the beginning, like a snake trying in vain to devour its own tail, and the dog returning to its own vomit. Signs and wonders. The dog and the cat lying down together. Nature railing against all its tenants.
The Morris reality, the shadow substance of the universe, styling himself “Origen” firing-off missives that frustrate the common standards and repudiate everything life has shown him, as if he were trying to re-shape the very weavings of reality by his own thoughts.
“No, it can’t be this way!” whimpers Jimmy Stewart. Morris from Comfort and Casual running wild with plastic bagfuls of socks in his 76 Ford F100, tearing-ass down the street like a mad man, screaming into his underhood-mounted megaphone, a tinny din of madness.
Madness has a “tinny din” then.
Cue the savior: Derek Jeter, Esq. Rolls into town low in cash, in his Bugatti Veyron, and lets the car roll to a stop outside Jimmy Stewart’s Title Loan. “We’re just crazy enough to give you a deal, Cap’n” says Jimmy, holding back his tears. “I need nine-hundred thou, chief, to give Pip his operation, and I want to get it right here at your title place!”
“We’re saved!” screams Jimmy Stewart, and takes the the title to the Veyron, and starts rebuilding his business, thousands and thousands by the month, after month, after month. And Pip’s operation is a success.
And now Jimmy Stewart has money for Pip Old Chap’s egg cremes and peppermint candies. And maybe even some dance classes with Natalie Portman’s husband.
Cue Title: “A Film by the Acolyte, Migelli Bin Origen, with the grateful cooperation of William Larkspur Caedmon”
On page one of Walden, Thoreau writes “At present, I am a sojourner in civilized life again.”
Under the word “present” on page one of Walden or Life in the Woods, on my Kindle, I composed the following note:
“The publishing of indecency may demoralize the newsroom while conversely depressing and enticing the audience but the overall kaleidoscopic skywritten strobing is one reflecting an indecent society on the whole. Embittered reporting then circles the great oak of culture not only as the master’s degree holders feeling a panicky titillation but an overall malaise engendered by the public then spoken to about and from the halls of power, reflected in the overall republic system.”
But at once, the news becomes entertainment, showing us the worst among us, or the sexiest or something, something interesting in an otherwise mundane existence, and in the end journalists maybe like to be thought of as rock stars.
Michael Crichton did serious damage to his writing career just before his death by writing of a theory of the “horrification of news” in which newscasters began to conspire to scare their audiences, and this, after the end of the Cold War. I remember the date 1986 from the writing.
But there were other factors, namely in entertainment, with the teenage slasher films, campfire horrors and babysitter bloodbaths that were endeavoring to speak to a whole new segment of the moviegoing audience, where before, during the 1970s, some of the boundaries had vanished producing, among other fodder, some very sexual charged and generally horrific content designed for the adult audience. However, in the 1980s, the younger demographic became important, and during this time, (almost in the middle, in fact) Disney developed its own tent pole production program that would alter give us “instant classics” like Aladdin, the Lion King and Beauty and the Beast. The one from the 1980s that created the tentpole or “big draw” picture, was the Little Mermaid, itself writing sort of as an apology for the original kids story.
Here we talk of scares, where in the original folk yarn of the Little Mermaid, the ending is horrific, with the girl basically disappointed, hurting and likely praying for death, like that would be the sweet release from her earthly troubles, and that in what was taken for decades upon decades as a children’s story. Disney then, comes along and offers-up a sort of satisfactory dream-like re-imagining with a very happy ending.
Even as Crichton says, the news media began more and more, as a whole, to try and inspire fear.