Monday, November 14, 2011

The New TV Season

                                        By One with an Agenda

   The most extraordinary thing has happened on prime-time television. We had been watching for the start-up of the new series “Hell on Wheels” on AMC-- about the push West to build the transcontinental railroad. Surely an interesting subject, don’t you think.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


  It’s All Hallows, the day to honor and supplicate all the saints at once. Maybe you would call it economical, but It feels good to me  anyway. You have to admit that the Church really knew how to use the calendar.
  Not to mention that it’s one of those Number One days this  year. 11.1.11 Think of that!  Why is it so impressive, Numbers  are  plumb mysterious….  even to mathematicians, I’m told.
    And tomorrow is All Souls, the day for me to remember and think of and appreciate all my dead. Good souls all. They were my  good luck.
   Thank heaven that Christ Mass is on its way. Though I don’t believe a word of it, I am nevertheless  profoundly affected by and drawn to it. I look forward to the Angels’ singing.
    And speaking of not believing in it, we spent early Halloween at the film Anonymous. All that Elizabethan stuff about the Queen, her lovers, and some jerk named Shakespeare.
   A guy leaving the movie ahead of he turned back to say, ”Bunk, right?” Yup that’s it; the film is sumptuous bunk. It’s a fantasy of Elizabethan politics and scandal with a sub-plot of Who wrote Shakespeare’s plays? Well, it’s the old story: third rate poet, Edward DeVere, Earl of Oxford. He’s characterized in the film as the very model of the romantic, post-Goethean artist, too pure, too tormented, too special, too soulful and rare for this world. His life is a longing for release from his suffering in the act of writing poetry.
    A man like that in Shakespeare’s London would have been so  rare as to be freakish. Shakespeare and his fellows were, and thought of themselves as workmen, as makers of poems, and  plays, and paintings, and dances, and architecture, and statues, and music. We forget that our idea of the artist is largely an idol of the nineteenth century. But we enjoyed the movie, even if it did ask us to believe the blockbuster of historical fiction that the queen’s lover was her own son! The blockbuster continues to bust when we are told that their son was no other than the Earl of Southampton, who is now no longer possibly Shakespeare’s lover, but the “secret son” to whom DeVere  dedicates those sonnets of “his”. How’s that for movie making!
    I read that the movie makers are distributing a “study guide” to distribute in high schools, the better for our children to understand the Shakespeare phenomenon.
   Socrates was made to drink the hemlock for talking sense to the youth of Athens. Today big money is made talking pure bosh to students.