Archive for the ‘Geography’ 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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OUZO

The US National Debt stands at 57.000 USD per citizen.
The Greek National Debt stands at 43.000 USD per citizen.
So what’s the big deal?
To who is this money owed?
Who is asking for it?
This stuff never gets paid back, it just melts under the sun.
When in need, just print more of it, create some inflation.
The only places without inflation, skid row and our cemeteries!

NOTHING CHANGES IN RUSSIA

The Russian has never done it, making sure he is always wronged.

(brutal, complex ridden, waving ICBMs, naturally)

So huge military parades an absolute must.

Putin, owner of primitive impulses, is addicted to pride, in fact he has it for sale,

a dealer, getting everyone at home hooked on it. Too bad he’s un-addicted to truth,

for on one end national pride is a convenient weapon, but on the other a tool of

manipulated tyranny over its own people, with disavowal often considered treason

and punishable by liquidation.

By the way, Mr Putin, Russia is not under any threat, NATO not there to attack

anyone, but invited in to protect small nations that for 60 years were forced to live

in your hell, and saying ‘Never Again’.

Is that so hard to understand? What would you do, had you been born in Warsaw or Prague?

Anyway, we all know that exaggerated patriotism is the expression of a fundamental lack of individual self-esteem.

And of course the last refuge of the scoundrel.

Puzzle

 

1 Iguazu

 

2 Iquitos

 

3 Ichituat

 

4 Ipanema

 

 

 

 

One of these names is not a geographical reference!

 

 

 

Which one is it?

 

 

 

1     2     3     4

 

 

 

Knock, Knock, Who’s There?

When Hitler was woken up in Berlin the middle of the night

of June 6th, 1944, to be informed of the Allied D-Day invasion

of Normandy, he said Good, that brings the enemy closer, a

stupid answer by a stupid, stupid man, an answer of Saddam Hussein

proportion, still unaware apparently that who was the enemy…

but him!?

 

 

La Preuve: 10 months later he was dead….

 

 

Black Sea

Russians are crude operators, with a firm 19th century mind-set in everything, and going about it in their predictable way. Ukrainians aren’t much better though and their claim on Crimea is just as tenuous. Still, revising Ukraine’s borders and, given its ethnic make-up, turning the Crimea into a semi-independent type of crown colony whose existence is guaranteed by both regional masters, would be the best compromise.

 

For peace, for business, for native Tatars, for the Russian fleet, for saving everyone’s face and the Ukraine suddenly having less of a domestic problem eventually joining the EU.

 

I think Ukraine should cede first, pacifying big, ugly brother, and guaranteeing its own and their cherished EU’s natural gas supply at decent rates.

 

 

So that despite the uncertainties in Kiev, it’s where the solution lies or what’ll be?

 

Astute pragmatism or self-defeating pride?

 

 

Flying low

The saddest of all ironies is that we can teach a 12th century primitive to pilot a Boeing 787, but not for him not to execute his sister after she walks home alone.

 

 

Insults!

Does it not occur to those Taliban who ordered the assassination of a 14 year old girl for having insulted Islam, that the greatest insult to Islam… is them!?

 

 

La Concha

I live below a cubistic looking mountain, about the size of Mont Sainte-Victoire, Cézanne’s redoubt.

 

It wasn’t painted by Braque or Picasso, but in the ever changing light of day appears that way, delineated against the endless sky, an anchor, seemingly altering its appearance every hour, its sharp yet subtle angles stacked upon each other, reaching up towards its own Matterhorn-shaped top.

 

Flat planets are dead planets. There would be no life on earth without constant volcanic action added to solar heat: humanity following flora and fauna in their footsteps, the last one to join the biological fray, and why I cannot live without my mountain, my life, itself child of tectonic might, tenderly watching over me.

 

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

Of Moustaches

It was always a mystery to me where Hitler got all the money to arm himself to the teeth. At this point he hadn’t invaded anybody, or got cheap slave labour from the countries that he would later attack. The Weimar Republic was on its arse, inflation running at 100 000%, the entire outside world sunk into a deep depression, and the reason our boy got elected to Reich’s Chancellor in the first place: yes he was democratically elected by a desperate and defeated people.

 

Germany doesn’t have much in the way of natural resources, so where did he get the inital materials and loot to pull Germany out of its rut with public works and feverish arms production? How did he pay? Who gave him credit? You tell me!

 

But then I read this, as a follow up, written by P.G.Wodehouse, while in Berlin, where he had been kept in detention:

 

The situation in Germany had come up for discussion, and it was generally agreed that Hitler was standing at the crossroads and would soon be compelled to do something definite. His present policy, said a Whisky and Splash, was mere shilly-shallying. “He’ll have to let it grow or shave it off. He can’t go on sitting on the fence like this. Either a man has a moustache, or he has not. There can be no middle course.”

 

And then it hit me. I had stumbled upon a magnificent metaphor for his later foreign policy, somehow beefing up his armed forces with absolutely nothing for them do or to look forward to, plus sporting a horrendous debt: He had to do something or the whole damn thing would have collapsed like a Ponzi scheme. Refusing to ‘Shave them off’, he chose to attack. And attack. And attack.

 

And the rest is bloody history!

 

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

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