Guest Post – Political Ideologies

December 30th, 2012 → 5:52 am

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

or, as New York Times op-ed columnist Ross Douthat put it regarding the poltical ideologies dominating Washington these days:

    “…more things are possible in heaven and earth than are dreamed of by John Boehner and Harry Reid.”

If only those other possibilities could make their way to Congress, and quickly!

Filed under: Blog & Politics/Politicians

The Puck of Economics

December 23rd, 2012 → 6:03 am

“Lord, what fools these mortals be!” – A Midsummer Night’s Dream

I’m reading Grand Pursuit by Sylvia Nasar right now.  It’s not nearly as good as A Beautiful Mind, but that isn’t actually the point.  The point is that I just read the passage (p. 245) where the British Prime Minister Lloyd George called the famous economist John Maynard Keynes “the Puck of economics” for being such a mischief maker during the Peace Conference in Paris after WWI.  If only PM George had listened to Keynes, more than mocked him, history might have been so different!

Filed under: Blog & Economics/Money & Politics/Politicians

Happiness

December 19th, 2012 → 8:46 am

It’s taken me over a year of writing these posts, of regularly reading Shakespeare and scanning his works for good images and descriptions, to realize that I think maybe Shakespeare had depressive tendencies.  I’m not a psychologist so I don’t know exactly how to describe it, whether Shakespeare was indeed depressed, bipolar, or simply an introvert, but he was definitely not a naturally happy man.  Every time I want to find a quote about happiness, joy, or goodness I find it rather difficult to find one!  Meanwhile, there are entire websites devoted to Shakespeare’s insults and negative descriptions.  I have a few books of quotes of Shakespeare and when I look under headings like “Love” and “Happiness” there are a few entries, but they are generally about how illusive love is, or how fleeting is the feeling of happiness.  Not exactly an optimistic perspective.  In truth, I’m amazed it’s taken me this long to notice how inherently pessimistic Shakespeare is, but that is probably because my nature runs along the same lines… 

There is an alternative interpretation, of course:  that Shakespeare may have been a happy man but his literature was negative because, well, it was entertainment and what’s more gripping than a good tragedy?!  Let’s hope that’s it.  And on the happiest note I could find this morning, here’s a quote about trying to stop and enjoy life for a bit:

    “Sit by my side
    And let the world slip.  We shall ne’er be younger.” – The Taming of the Shrew

Filed under: Blog & Literature/Theatre/Art & Other

Gun Control

December 17th, 2012 → 8:29 am

“Patch grief with proverbs.” – Much Ado About Nothing

or platitudes, or song lyrics, or other stupid sayings that many people think are helpful but that tend to just grate on my nerves.  Wouldn’t it help to stop the grief of mass shootings if we implemented stricter gun control laws, for example on assault weapons?  My husband thinks such laws would be useless in stopping gun violence, but just because we can’t stop something totally, does that mean we don’t even try to limit it marginally?

Filed under: Blog & Politics/Politicians & Stupid/Evil People

Sandy Hook Elementary School Massacre

December 15th, 2012 → 6:33 am

    “O horror, horror, horror!  Tongue nor heart
    Cannot conceive nor name thee.” – Macbeth

I came across a timeline on the web of mass shootings in the U.S. since 1999.  It was chilling.  I had somehow assumed mass shootings like the one yesterday at Sandy Hook Elementary (only) happened every few years.  No, it appears they happen every few months.  What is going on??

Filed under: Blog & Stupid/Evil People

Holiday Joy

December 13th, 2012 → 7:54 am

“Joy delights in joy.” – Sonnet 8

My son is really getting into Hanukkah this year.  Every day now he wakes up and asks for the candles, by afternoon he’s wondering when it is time to light fire, and when we open presents the look of joy on his face brings joy into my own heart.  Joy clearly begets joy.

Filed under: Blog & Other & Self/My Life

Group Harmony

December 11th, 2012 → 6:32 am

“I had rather be a canker in a hedge than a rose in his grace.” – Much Ado About Nothing

One of my personal failings is that I have a hard time letting things go.  How do other people do it?  Just forget about and gloss over the abuse and obnoxious behavior other people commit?  I know that religion and psychotherapy both tell me to let things go already because, in the end, I’m mostly hurting myself by agonizing over them.  But I find it so hard!  Sometimes I just can’t help being an honest, straightforward canker, rather than a superficial, syncophantic rose, in an idiot colleague’s presence.  Will things ever get better?

Filed under: Blog & Self/My Life & Stupid/Evil People

Hanukkah

December 8th, 2012 → 10:34 am

“These blessed candles of the night.” – Merchant of Venice

Happy first night of Hanukkah!  You know how hard it was to find a Hanukkah-appropriate quote in Shakespeare?  Let me just say, not as hard as I imagine fighting with the Maccabees was, but harder than lighting a limited supply of oil and just watching it burn.  Either way, let the celebrations begin!

Filed under: Blog & Other

Gift Giving

December 6th, 2012 → 8:36 am

“…the very soul of bounty.” – Timon of Athens

The gifts have started to pour in for the holiday season.  Packages from Grandma, UPS shipments from Montana, so much colorful wrapping paper!  I have got to get my own gifts in order this weekend…

Filed under: Blog & Other & Self/My Life

Pregnancy

December 4th, 2012 → 8:26 am

“The pleasing punishment that women bear.” – The Comedy of Errors

I hear Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, is pregnant.  Congratulations!  Though it’s also reported that she’s violently ill.  Bummer.  Here’s hoping she gets the rest and care that she needs.

Filed under: Blog & Other