Archive for the ‘aesthetics’ Category

Method Madness

Hamlet is not a very Danish name. Maurits, King or Prince of Denmark, would be more like it.

Anyway with Claudius, Polonius, Ophelia, and Horatio Shakespeare really fucked up his linguistic geography. This is Denmark, old boy! Not Verona!

And a guy named after a tiny village, doesn’t make much sense either.

Might as well have called him Boardwalk. Bo, for short.

Shakespeare borrowed a lot from the Greeks Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides and their treatment of the Oresteia, but Hamlet was no Orestes. Just like in a different context the Wizard’s Dorothy is no Alice in Wonderland, any more than Dan Quayle was John F. Kennedy by Senator Lloyd Bentsen’s stern yardstick.

And I know this is blasphemy but as story lines go Hamlet is a terrible play, neither head nor tail, for a normal spectator at least to follow, or else an endlessly convoluted plot with the dark Danish Prince stricken with grief, going mad, suicidal or simply cunningly paranoid. If not clarity, beauty only in its exquisite language. But even something that is said beautifully must make sense to someone like me.

Here’s the thing as Directors go, it’s dramatically very hard to demonstrate someone apparently normal, slowly going potty. It’s easier to show someone normal conniving his revenge, by faking he’s going potty. But what then is totally incongruous is his doubt about what he should do, commit suicide or not, murder or not, how and when, staging one thing, then the other, with whose help etc etc. For if there’s one thing true in this world or any other, highly motivated and morally ‘just’ counter-conspirators by temperament cannot and will never be pussy-footers or procrastinators. And that’s exactly what Hamlet’s made out to be.

And even Laurence Olivier’s steeply abbreviated cinematic version unable to cut all the fat or for that matter pass any muster. A terrible movie that refuses to fascinate and hypnotise, delivered around a dozen classic one-liners everyone knows by now. But no number of grave diggers, hip friends and ghosts, ooh, aah, woe, the fleet, the fleet…ah yes the completely redundant fleet, making this thing work.

A psychological play avant-la-lettre, dealing with moral and mental illness at the same time? Don’t you believe it, this is theatre for theatricality’s sake, sustained by overly reverent Shakespeare worship.

Growing prematurely bald himself, Hamlet could easily have looked up at the sky, sunk on one knee, stroke an even balder skull, and sigh: Toupée or no Toupée, that is the question! And be just as credible.

  1. And what’s this Laurence bit, Larry? It’s Laurent old boy, if you want to go French all the way, and with your Norman Olivier, instead of Oliver. Laurence’s a girl’s name, so be a good sod and from eternity…  change it back to Lawrence, old man. I mean, we did win at Agincourt, didn’t we? And don’t you remember the Hank Cinq you did?  (Henry V)

 

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OZ

So these two friends of Dorothy’s came across one Caitlyn Jenner, and one said to the other ” Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore!”

TEARS

Most of us get tears in our eyes when we listen to Rachmaninoff.

Putin, the poor, impoverished sop, gets tears in his eyes when a motorcycle gang drives by, with a large Russian flag on board.

Brain Disease

Kim Kardashian's Unbelievable Butt Explained: Just Oil and Great ...

 

It’s a modern affliction. When the cerebellum protrudes from the asshole and thinks of itself as beautiful. Identical to shamelessness, apparently there’s no cure but others walking away from it.

Only on Earth

 

We shouldn’t cry

when someone dear and near

passes away,

if we believe in heaven

and eternal sanctity

 

 

 

We should cry

when losing the lot,

our crust, our roof, our breath,

in the process

gaining cruel pain and terror,

 ‘heaven’, despite its hopeful beckoning,

deciding to come crashing down on us

 

 

We shouldn’t cry

when a total stranger

extends a  sudden, loving act

of helpfulness

to us

 

 

 

But we do!

Don’t we?

Not only because of its extreme beauty,

but because of its ridiculous,

its utter

 

 

rarity

 

 

 

Wiener

 

Here in Europe a guy with long hair and a beard, a cross between Jesus Christ

 and Rita Hayworth, attired in a dated, gold plaque long dress, won the festival

of songs of bad taste.

His name Conchita, to no one’s surprise, Conchita Sausage to be exact, or Wurst

in his native tongue. The background noise, Schubert, Mozart, Mahler and Strauss

 rolling in their graves. Because no orchestra is ever shown on the ‘live’ TV broadcast

of this yearly event, and so we must conclude that what passes for actual music

of whatever dubious quality is mostly electronic gimmickry and the voice of

 Rita Conchita in fact lip-synched.

But what the hell, the great nation of Austria is ‘proud’, and that is wonderful. Not to

 speak of Father and Mother Sausage and all the other bearded little knack-wursts.

STORAGE

When, after the French Revolution, Robespierre was asked why he cut the heads of the Ancien Régime by Guillotine, his simple answer was I didn’t know where to hang them.

 

Download Anthony Steyning’s E-Novel: A Kiss by the Clowns

The Dread of Reign

Watching this polished circus on TV this morning, I don’t know who the folks at St Paul’s Cathedral are singing to, but it isn’t God.  He may best be found out in the open. I think what’s been sung to here is order and station. Man singing his own praises, the pyramid of him, this small, old gal residing in the penthouse, both holding off and protecting a pack of pious but ambitious actors, below.

 

Bettter download Anthony Steyning’s new E-Novel: A Kiss by the Clowns

Get a Life

The Monarchy is for nostalgiques and parasites, to the impartial observer Royalty a bit like mobile, talking furniture.

 

If by some miracle its members not already stupid, they’re so corrupted by their own uselessness that by the time they’re forty, they’ll have turned this way.

 

The stultifying round of meaningless duties does this to people so positioned: accepting it a pathetic addiction to suffocating, stylized mediocrity.

 

Download Anthony Steyning’s amazing E-Novel: A Kiss by the Clowns

Town Life

In the small town where I live, a 34 year old exhibitionist who had masturbated in front of a ladies volleyball team was arrested for indecency, later having been recognised in the street!

 

His mother probably giving him hell, saying: ‘You fool! I told you to be careful!.

 

‘But Mom, an exhibitionist can’t be careful! There’s no such thing as a careful exhibitionist! I mean, what’s the point!?’, him forcibly answering.

 

But perhaps the better career tip would have been: Don’t be an exhibitionist in a very small town!

 

Download Anthony Steyning’s amazing new E-Novel: A Kiss by the Clowns

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