Lazy Saturday Reads: Shakespearean Insult Edition
Posted: April 23, 2016 Filed under: just because
Today is said to be the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death. As a tribute, I’m illustrating this post with famous Shakespearean insults. Several are drawn from this 2013 Buzzfeed post: 17 Shakespearean Insults To Unleash In Everyday Life. You can take a wild guess as to whom I might like to see some of these insults directed.
NPR: Shakespeare Saw ‘360 Degrees Of Humanity,’ And That’s Why He Endures.
April 23 is a big day in England: It’s St. George’s Day, a national holiday named for the country’s patron saint, and it’s also the day William Shakespeare is said to have been born and died. This April 23 marks the 400th anniversary of his death.
According to the Royal Shakespeare Company’s artistic director, Gregory Doran, the only account of Shakespeare’s death was written 40 years after it happened, by the vicar of the church where he’s buried. “[The vicar wrote] that Shakespeare and his friends Ben Jonson and Michael Drayton had a ‘merry meeting,’ drank too much and ‘Shakespeare died of a fever there contracted,’ ” Doran says. “So it sounds like Bill and Ben and their friend Mike went out for a birthday binge and overdid it, and he shuffled off his mortal coil.”
There was also a typhoid epidemic in 1616 and Shakespeare could have died of that — but Doran prefers the drinking story. Doran’s company is marking the 400th anniversary with four history plays, which they’re performing at New York’s Brooklyn Academy of Music. The plays — Richard II,Henry IV parts one and two, and Henry V— reveal much about what makes Shakespeare great: his gift for lyric poetry, bawdy comedy and depicting heroic triumphs and tragic downfalls.
Actor David Tennant (known for his appearances in the TV series Doctor Who and Broadchurch) plays the tragic King Richard II. Tennant believes that, more than 400 years ago, Shakespeare saw how history repeated itself. “I think whenever you put [his plays] on, you see political resonances,” he says. “Maybe that says more about the fact that we, as a society, never seem to learn from history, or maybe it just talks about Shakespeare’s ability to get to the kernel of human experience and to be expressing those eternal truths about how we live our lives, how we attempt to create power structures” — structures that crumble, as they do for Tennant’s character.
A few more links to check out:
CBC News: Shakespeare’s 400th: celebrating the Bard 4 centuries after his death.
The New Yorker: Encounters With Shakespeare.
The Independent: William Shakespeare 400th anniversary: The Bard’s works on screen – the hits and the misses.
The Guardian: Shakespeare’s last act: a torrent of twisted fantasies.
Yesterday, Dakinikat called my attention to some very sad news. Crime writer Michelle McNamara died in her sleep on Thursday. She was only 46, and the cause of her death is still unknown. McNamara was married to comedian and actor Patton Oswalt and had a 7-year-old daughter.
From The New York Daily News: Writer Michelle McNamara, wife of Patton Oswalt, dies at 46.
Oswalt’s publicist, Kevin McLaughlin of Main Stage Public Relations, said Friday that McNamara died in her sleep Thursday. No cause of death was given but McLaughlin said the passing “was a complete shock to her family and friends, who loved her dearly.” ….
The University of Notre Dame graduate was the founder of website True Crime Diary, which shined a light on breaking news stories and cold cases.
She once said she founded the blog due her curiosity on criminal cases.
“I’m drawn to cases that aren’t so high profile, that are maybe even a little neglected, but which have enough evidence and clues that anyone with a will and an Internet connection can try to piece together the puzzle,” she said in a 2011 interview.
“That’s exciting to me. It feels like the difference between looking forward or looking back,” she added.
For the past couple of years, McNamara had been working on a book about an unsolved serious of home invasions, rapes and murders committed over several years believed to have been the work of one perpetrator whom McNamara called “the Golden State killer.” McNamara wrote a fascinating series of articles about this cold case that are archived at Los Angeles Magazine.
During their trip to Great Britain, President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama spent some time with young Prince George at Kensington Palace on Friday.
NBC News: Prince George Stays Up Past His Bedtime to Greet Obama.
The younger generation of royals, Prince William, his wife Kate and his brother Prince Harry, hosted President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle for dinner Friday at Kensington Palace in London.
The Obamas arrived at Kensington Palace in rainy weather and were greeted by William, Kate and Harry who ducked under an umbrella to kiss Michelle Obama on each cheek. Dressed relatively casually, with no ties for the men, the party posed for a photo before heading inside.
Reporters caught a glimpse of William and Kate’s eldest child, Prince George, whose birth in 2013 sparked a global media frenzy. The young prince was allowed to stay up later than usual to meet the Obamas, and spent about 15 minutes with them.
In a photograph released to the media of the group chatting in a drawing room before dinner, a rocking horse could be seen, as well as a fluffy Portuguese Water Dog toy given by the Obamas to Prince George. Bo, the White House dog, is of that breed.
Read more and see adorable photos at the link.
In not-so-adorable news, the presidential nomination races drag on even though the winners are pretty much decided. On the Democratic side, party leaders and others who care about winning in November are getting sick and tired of dealing with Bernie Sanders nasty attitude, his truly repulsive campaign manager Jeff Weaver, his campaign surrogates and his dudebro supporters. The candidates’ wife isn’t winning a lot of friends either.
A couple of days ago, Josh Marshall had a few choice words for Weaver: This Dude is Toxic.
There appears to be a cleavage at the highest level of the Sanders campaign between Jeff Weaver and Tad Devine. The latter is in the more typical mode: We’re going to keep fighting and see where things are after the run of Northeast states in the next couple weeks. But Weaver, at least based on what he said last night on MSNBC is in a pretty different place. Weaver says that if Sanders is mathematically eliminated from winning the pledged delegate race, the campaign will spend June and July lobbying Super Delegates to overrule the pledged delegates and give the nomination to Sanders.
As I’ve mentioned a few times, the Super Delegate system, at least in its current form, is unjustifiable. It’s a time time bomb sitting at the heart of the nomination process. The only saving grace is that it’s just never going to be lit. History shows that the Supers always go with the pledged winner. And if they threw the race to the non-winner, it just wouldn’t get past go. Unless there was some pretty good argument that the race for pledged delegates was in effect a tie, it would blow up the party.
This is especially the case for the Sanders campaign since democratic process, transparency andnot letting the establishment choose the candidate has been at the heart of his campaign. Turning around now and asking the dreaded Super Delegates to hand Sanders the nomination is a pretty hard argument to make.
But Weaver appears to have won the argument, because Sanders has continued his vicious attacks on Hillary Clinton in his Pennsylvania appearances. Politico talked anonymously to a number of Democratic party “insiders” to get their reactions to Sanders’ continued attacks on the front-runner.
Insiders to Bernie: Don’t take the fight to Philly. A few choice excerpts:
Only 1 in 10 Democratic insiders said Sanders should try to woo superdelegates to help him overtake Clinton on the convention floor in Philadelphia if he finishes the primary season trailing in pledged delegates, as campaign manager Jeff Weaver suggested Tuesday night in a televised interview.
“I think it would benefit the Democrats to have Bernie drop out sooner rather than later and ask his supporters to coalesce behind Hilary,” said a Wisconsin Democrat, who, like all respondents, completed the survey anonymously. “He stands no chance of winning the nomination at this point, and the Democrats can show a united front while the Republicans are so deeply fractured.”
“Bernie made his point,” added one Colorado Democrat. “It’s time to bring the party back together. The longer he waits, the more damage he does. The question is whether or not he cares. The rest of us do.”
A Nevada Democrat suggested the Sanders camp should focus on “doing what’s necessary for a Democratic victory in November,” but said Weaver “made a fool of himself by declaring on MSNBC that Bernie would take the campaign to the convention even if they were behind in delegates and popular vote.”
“The primary is over. There is no path, and there is no math,” added one Florida Democrat. “The sooner he lands the plane, the better chance he has at building a real legacy from this.”
“If any adults actually supported Bernie, they would tell him to get out next Wednesday morning,” said a New Hampshire Democrat. “But he doesn’t have any adult supporters. So he will stay in.”
I have to agree with the person from New Hampshire. Bernie is going to do as much damage to Hillary and the Democratic Party as he possibly can.
I admit I haven’t been paying a lot of attention to the Republican race, but this Politico headline stopped me in my tracks this morning: Delegates face death threats from Trump supporters.
First it was an email warning Steve House, the Colorado GOP chairman, to hide his family members and “pray you make it to Cleveland.” Then there was the angry man who called his cellphone and told him to put a gun down his throat.
“He said, ‘I’ll call back in two minutes, and if you’re still there, I’ll come over and help you,’” House recalled.
Since Donald Trump came up empty in his quest for delegates at the Republican state assembly in Colorado Springs nearly two weeks ago, his angry supporters have responded to Trump’s own claims of a “rigged” nomination process by lashing out at Republican National Committee delegates that they believe won’t support Trump at the party’s convention — including House.
The mild-mannered chairman estimates he’s gotten between 4,000 and 5,000 calls on his cellphone. Many, he says, have ended with productive conversations. He’s referred the more threatening, violent calls to police. His cellphone is still buzzing this week, as he attends the RNC quarterly meetings in Florida, and he’s not the only one.
In hotel hallways and across dinner tables, many party leaders attending this week’s meetings shared similar stories. One party chairman says a Trump supporter recently got in his face and promised “bloodshed” if Trump doesn’t win the GOP presidential nomination. An Indiana delegate who criticized Trump received a note warning against “traditional burial” that ended with, “We are watching you.”
Wow! Can this campaign get any uglier? My guess is it can.
What stories are you following today?