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  • Hogan

    Derek Jacobi? Yeesh. Just goes to show that a great Shakespearean actor can still be a complete dumbass.

    • Ed

      Not to mention that dumbass Orson Welles.

      The reviews for “Anonymous” have been surprisingly good for the most part. Don’t fret for the Shakespeare professors, they’re secretly enjoying the attention. I understand Oxfordians are actually upset because the plot twists history so outrageously – evidently the Virgin Queen spent more time than previously realized popping kids like a rabbit.

    • Halloween Jack

      Just goes to show that a great Shakespearean actor can still be a complete dumbass perfectly willing to do it purely for the paycheck.


  • joejoejoe

    There is a confusing typo in blurb debunking the myth of black confederate soldiers – it reads “back Confederate soldiers” instead of black.

  • Christ! There have been five billion people born since I was????

    Wait. That doesn’t count deaths, does it?

  • And I think you mean “personhood” not “prersonhood”

  • c u n d gulag

    Oh, for Christ’s sake, they’ve been trying to prove that William Shakespeare’s been part not only only of the 1% of the wealthy, but of the .0001% of British Royalty, for almost 500 years, instead of one of the 99%.

    Get over it!
    It wasn’t Marlow, Bacon, Kevin Bacon, Veggie Bacon, or Lord Hoohah/Froofrah who wrote those great plays and sonnets.

    It was some middle class schmuck son of a middle class schmuck who wrote better than anyone else, arguably in history.

    William Shakespeare – one of the 99%.
    And damn proud of it!!!

    Grumble, grumble, yell at cloud…

    • Hogan

      Could such noble words truly have been written by a man with only a grammar-school education?

      Could an educated and traveled aristocrat have thought that Milan was a seaport and Bohemia had a coast?

      • c u n d gulag

        Thank you.

        Also, too, all of the anachronisms.

        If written today, some of them would be like having Nixon, as Caesar, having someone checking the internet to see who knew what, when, and what the people thought about the Watergate break-in the next morning.

        • jeer9

          Yes, there’s nothing to the Oxfordian theory. It’s all snobbery and birtherism. After all, Lemieux’s read it in The Atlantic. A few strange anomalies that that might stop the intrepid biographer in his tracks.

          1.) No record of correspondence exists between Shakespeare and any of his contemporaries, though we possess the letters of such lesser lights as Gabriel Harvey and John Lyly. The man who poured out his soul in poetry and plays apparently never wrote anything of a personal nature that friends thought worthy of keeping.
          2. The Stratford man’s son-in-law was a doctor who kept a journal of his activities and, though he mentions meeting Michael Drayton, a provincial poet, he never brings up the fact that he shares a family connection with the great man.
          3.) After the Stratford man’s death, no library or collection of books is found at his home.
          4.) And of course his will mentions nothing of the work upon which he has spent his life’s energies. Apparently, he cared very little about what happened to the manuscripts (though he brags in verse that his creations will live forever), though Ben Jonson sees fit to have an anthology of his works published. Yet Shakespeare cared only about the cash, so we’re told, but he doesn’t seem to see that the First Folio will be a best-seller. Strange, indeed.
          And so it goes, on and on.

          If one is going to rely on an appeal to authority, I suggest Freud, Twain and Henry James are a bit more reliable as opinions on the source of creativity than a group of scholars whose academic reputations are invested upon one unsupported assertion after another.
          The film may be crap (and probably is coming from Emmerich) but reading the reviews one should try to discriminate between the critic’s dislike of the cinematic product and his revulsion that certain historical narratives are being challenged.

          “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

          • I say jeer9 is soullite.

            • Soulite couldn’t have written that in a month, with an English tutor and a ghost writer on retainer.

          • sleepyirv

            1) Seriously? Are you also suggesting Christopher Marlowe didn’t write his own stuff because we have none of his letters?
            2) Yet people who wrote about major poets of England at the time always listed William Shakespeare.
            3) No books were listed in his will, which was not uncommon at the time.
            4) Shakespeare didn’t own the rights to any of his works, so he had none to give away. We really could not suggest what he thought about how his works would survive.

            You’re suggesting we ignore academic who studied the Tudor period and understand the circumstances that Shakespeare lived under and instead listen to people with their own person axes to grind?

            The only ones using unsupported assertions is anyone suggesting William Shakespeare did not write his plays. The people at the period say he did. Present evidence that someone else did.

            • Malaclypse

              I wrote them. I used to have all the old parchments, but my Canadian ex-girlfriend kept them all when we broke up.

            • jeer9

              1.) There’s a great deal of information about Marlowe’s formal education and his involvement with other playwrights including terms spent in prison. The Stratford man received apparently a superb education at his provincial elementary school which, according to orthodox biographies, had the rigor and discipline of a modern day college. He then traveled off to London with his hickish Warwickshire accent and began producing plays about court intrigue and noble corruption, many of which drew upon Italian and French sources which had not been translated into English at the time. Probably picked up those foreign languages on the rough-and tumble streets of London.
              2.) The argument is over whether a pseudonym was used. In 1622 Henry Peacham published The Complete Gentlemen which lists those who have contributed to English poesie and at the head of the list is Edward DeVere. Shakespeare is nowhere to be found, a strange lapse from such a scholar.
              3.)It’s not the will, but the fact that no books were found at his house. The idea that Shakespeare didn’t possess an extensive library staggers the imagination.
              4.) Shakespeare brags in his verse that his works will live on forever. Read Sonnet LXXXI and then tell me that Ben Jonson cared more about the preservation of his work than the Bard, even though Shakespeare allegedly retired for the last ten years of his life and was quite litigious, so they say; yet he couldn’t muster the energy to reclaim his rights despite an enormous windfall that these works promised.
              And, seriously, academics don’t have an axe to grind? What world do you inhabit?

              • (the other) Davis

                …yet he couldn’t muster the energy to reclaim his rights…

                What rights? England had no copyright law until 1709.

                • jeer9

                  Apparently, Shakespeare was much less interested in preserving and publishing his work than Jonson, which may explain why almost half of his oeuvre was never performed or reproduced despite the public’s intense interest in this author. You really should read the comments over at Orr’s review. Mr. Ray presents a very compelling case. But if he isn’t quite your cup of tea, you might try Justice Stevens. Lemieux fashions himself as something of a legal scholar, but I doubt he’s familiar with the good judge’s 1992 law review article on the controversy and it really should be read before one disparages the contrarian side or parrots the contempt of other know-nothings. Stevens was of course known for his sober-minded, prudent judgements, but there was actually some crazy, fucked-up shit going on beneath the surface.

                • (the other) Davis

                  Aaaaaand your response is completely unresponsive to my question.

                • jeer9

                  “Rights” is a very poor choice of words. In Shakespeare’s day copyright as we understand it had not been invented, that is true. However, Stratfordians argue that he “sold” all of his plays to the theater companies and then washed his hands of them, taking no care to see that they were published as he had written them. The distortions in these early quartos were often ludicrous but in the strange world of Stratfordians great authors often exhibit no curiosity about their published works. Thanks for catching my poor phrasing.

              • sleepyirv

                1) Sarcasm about Shakespeare’s Grammar School education is not evidence of anything. Or are you suggesting Ben Jonson is also a phony since he did not go to university? If Shakespeare’s knowledge of nobility is weak, so is Shakespeare’s plays- nobles behave like middle-class Britons, not British nobility. What plays are based on unreadable foreign sources?
                2) Also not listed by Peacham was Christopher Marlowe and other noted poets- Obviously Marlowe a fake! Except Peacham barely named anyone and he was mostly interested in nobility writing poetry. Poets who listed Shakespeare but NOT Oxford among poets include Richard Carew, William Covell, Richard Barnfield, Richard Haydocke, and Thomas Cutwode.
                3) Evidence? All we know of his estate is from his will.
                4) As stated, England had no copyright law.

                If you don’t trust academics, whatever but it won’t make your case any easier.

                Do you have any POSITIVE evidence showing anyone wrote Shakespeare’s plays? Because I have Shakespeare’s NAME on the cover of plays. You gotta have something good to get over Occam’s Razor

                • jeer9

                  There’s lots of information on-line about the Oxfordian theory which I haven’t the interest in duplicating here. Many of the plays, especially Hamlet, parallel events in De Vere’s life and satirize powerful political figures who would not have wanted their reputations tarnished by such a portrait. Justice Stevens’ 1992 law review article is a good starting point. Of course, choosing to do some research on the issue will require an open-mindedness, curiosity and recognition of historical revisionism that may prove difficult for you. Better perhaps to trust the official story and rely on that dependable close shave from Occam.

          • Scott Lemieux

            Jesus, if this is the most convincing evidence that the Oxfordians have, I’d hate to see the weak stuff.

            • calling all toasters

              You can read them all in Erich von Daniken’s Chariots of the Bards.

            • jeer9

              Are you making an argument? Help me out here. Otherwise, stick to your sabermetrics.

              • Would you change your mind if you knew that the baby Shakespeare was found in the reeds on the banks of the Nile?

                • jeer9

                  The drollery of the groundlings can often be amusing. That Fluffy McGravitas, they say, is a regular Bottom,and his responses are truly mechanical.

          • Halloween Jack

            Hey, guess what? Absence of evidence still isn’t evidence of absence.

  • Warren Terra

    I realize it’s a Politico link, but apparently George Will’s next column will say of Willard “Mitt” Romney:

    Republicans may have found their Michael Dukakis, a technocratic Massachusetts governor who takes his bearings from ‘data’.

    Yup, even George Will, the allegedly respectable, allegedly intellectual member of the Republican commentariat, the weedy one in tweeds and glasses, now believes – along with the famous anonymous Dubya staffer who derided the members of the “Reality-Based Community” who responded to that they saw around them instead of making their own reality – that it is a failing and a weakness, indeed a punchline, to have your views informed by the real world instead of ideology.

  • wiley

    This is the first time I heard about Amber Cole. This bears repeating:

    The onus is on women not to be used. Men do not hear “don’t be an abuser” in the same way men don’t hear “don’t be a rapist.”

    Because we are too busy lecturing Amber Cole. We don’t know what’s going on with these boys. And so, it is only a matter of time before the women who know them cannot bear to look at them either.

    During the eighties, when the problem of child sexual abuse was being addressed publicly, I read an article about children being shown a film about it. It started talking about the abuse of little girls, and the little boys laughed. Then it talked about the abuse of little boys, and the little boys stopped laughing.

    Most men aren’t rapists, but any man or boy old enough to overcome a girl or women can be. We women can’t tell the difference unless we know the man or boy well. During a rape awareness week on campus, I noticed a lot of men becoming very defensive. I don’t drive, and so have always walked a lot, and walked sometimes at night because I chose not to limit my life by the sun and I enjoy the night. (I garden at night, too.) I walked like I carried a loaded gun, and when I heard footsteps behind me I’d turn around to see who was behind me and to let them know that I was aware of them. Most often, when it was a man behind me, he’d get defensive and start falling over himself apologizing for being there. I would say something like, “Just wanted to see who was behind me—thought you might be someone I know.” or “So. You’re not the rapist, huh? Good. I’m not going to rob you or shoot you either.” They tended to be quite relieved and relaxed.

    Still, the person most likely to convict a rapist is a man with a daughter. I know a man with a daughter who turned 18 last month and is striking out on her own. She is a former charge of mine (I was her baby-sitter for a year, and her nanny for three years). We had a talk last night about pregnancy, birth control (which included talk about how drunkenness can raise the risks of b.c. failing) and abortion. Her mother isn’t going to do anything remotely adult and responsible for her, so after all the happy talk about her first job, and then her first apartment, we’ll have a frank discussion about sexual violence, security, and self-protection.

  • wiley

    Uh-oh. Will get around to reading the post about Bank of America later, but I have a confession—I love BofA. My A.D.H.D. includes a bureaucratic and accounting disorder that has made me close many bank accounts in shame, though I have always enjoyed saving money and used to kiss my passbooks when they came with a savings account.

    I absolutely adore on-line banking, bill pay, and transfers. BofA doesn’t charge me for my accounts and they have always been very helpful. I closed a business account the other day, and while I was doing that I had the bank associate order some checks for me (the checks will probably last longer than I do) so I could send ten to twenty dollars a month to OWS. He was very polite and helpful—they always are. I didn’t tell him why I was ordering the checks, but did say that I needed the smallest possible number of checks because I hardly ever use them, and then I said, “I know Bank of America is in a lot of trouble lately, but I must say that it has been great banking here, you’re always helpful and I love the on-line banking”.

    For someone who has had my head injury, it’s truly a blessing. Though I would also like to join a credit union, and should probably be looking into that right about now.

    • dangermouse

      I guess at any large enough institution someone’s bound to have had a good experience.

      As far as I’m concerned everyone there (and every other such institution) who had any responsibility for “Deposit $500 -> use debit card -> debit card purchases are charged before the $500 is credited -> “overdraft” “protection” fees devour all your fucking money -> you scream at yourself in your car and cry as you figure out what you as a 19 year old who doesn’t know shit about the world are going to tell your parents happened to the money (AGAIN)” can swing gently in the breeze from any convenient tree, securely fastened.

      • wiley

        Oh. I turned that offer down. I have a Sears card and I’m very careful with that. I just put 300 dollars down and charged the rest for a flat screen TV and a 5 year insurance plan for it. Monday I’ll pay half the balance. Later next week I’ll pay for my former charge to get an eye exam,glasses, insurance for the glasses, a case, and a cleaning cloth. I’ll have it all payed off in two months.

        Credit cards can be a be a blessing or a horrifying lesson. This stuff should be taught in high school. Many middle class kids benefit from parents who teach them these things, but parents who don’t understand these things can’t teach themselves, much less their children. It’s really a costly bitch to learn the hard way. That’s how I learned. The hard way.

  • ema

    Fetal personhood laws are a really, really terrible idea.

    Or, maybe, they’re a brilliant idea. Once the fertilized egg is granted legal personhood courts will no longer be able to sentence women of reproductive age to jail.

    And think of all the potential jobs for law school graduates. Somebody has to represent all those Egg-Americans when they sue the uterine containers.

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  • Halloween Jack

    There’s a much wittier and pointed takedown of the movie here.

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