The Coloured Shakespeare

July 30th, 2018 → 6:51 am

    “I spy entertainment in her:  she discourses, she carves, she gives the leer of invitation.” 
    – Merry Wives of Windsor

My third novel is at last complete.  It is even more controversial than my last one, but it was important for me to see it through.  I leave it as a legacy for my son, whose own remarkable life was the novel’s inspiration.

Filed under: Blog & Literature/Theatre/Art & Self/My Life

England – Part II

July 25th, 2018 → 5:21 am

    This nurse, this teeming womb of royal kings,
    Feared by their breed and famous for their birth,
    Renowned for their deeds as far from home
    For Christian service and true chivalry
    As is the sepulcher in stubborn Jewry
    Of the world’s ransom, blessed Mary’s son.
    This land of such dear souls, this dear, dear land,
    Dear for her reputation through the world,
    Is now leased out – I die pronouncing it –
    Like to a tenement or pelting farm.
    England, bound in with the triumphant sea,
    Whose rocky shore beats back the envious siege
    Of watery Neptune, is now bound in with shame,
    With inky blots and rotten parchment bonds.
    That England that was wont to conquer others
    Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.” – Richard II

This is the second half of the description of England in Richard II, and it is rank with anti-Semitism, disappointment, and contempt.  England is great and blessed, feared and exalted, but also, in hock, prejudiced, and shameful.  We all have two sides.  Good and bad, ying and yang.  England does too.  Heck, Shakespeare himself did.  We all do.  It behooves us to face this truth sometimes, and not be selective about it.

Filed under: Blog & Literature/Theatre/Art & Politics/Politicians

England – Part I

July 23rd, 2018 → 6:19 am

    This royal throne of kings, this sceptered isle,
    This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
    This other Eden, demi-paradise,
    This fortress built by Nature for her self
    Against infection and the hand of war.
    This happy breed of men, this little world,
    This precious stone set in a silver sea
    Which serves it in the office of a wall
    Or as a moat defensive to a house,
    Against the envy of less happier lands,
    This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England.” – Richard II

I just finished watching Season 2 of The Crown.  It ends with this famous quote describing England.  And most commentators that use the quote today end it there.  But the passage itself in Richard II does not end there.  It continues along a darker vein.  Presenting only the first half of this description is selective, inappropriate even, as it presents only a shining image of England.  But – like most things in life – there is another side.  I’ll quote that other side in my next post…


Filed under: Blog & Literature/Theatre/Art & Politics/Politicians


July 17th, 2018 → 5:44 am

“Whilst bloody treason flourished over us.” – Julius Caesar

I am still in shock from yesterday’s summit in Helsinki.  This is actually treason, and not just by the U.S. President, but also from the so-far muted response of Congressional Republicans.  When will we rid ourselves of this malevolent cancer?????

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


July 13th, 2018 → 6:11 am

    “Keep thy friend
    Under thy own life’s key.” – All’s Well That Ends Well

In this time of increasing transatlantic tensions, I thought I’d offer a quote that reminds us to value our friendships.

Filed under: Blog & Politics/Politicians

ShakeDic: bull pizzle

July 7th, 2018 → 7:39 am

    “Sblood, you starveling, you elf-skin, you dried neat’s tongue, you bull’s pizzle, you stock-fish!” – Henry IV, Part I

The first reviews are in of Tom Hanks as Falstaff, and apparently they are glowing!  Of particular note are his insults, including “bull’s pizzle” said with a mouthful of spit and invective.  Sure wish I could see this up on the stage for myself.

“bull’s pizzle,” by the way, is a 16th century flogging instrument made from a bull’s penis

Filed under: Blog & Literature/Theatre/Art

Keep Writing – Don’t Give Up!

July 1st, 2018 → 7:15 am

“Ware pencils, ho!” – Love’s Labour’s Lost

I just spent the past two hours struggling with but one paragraph of my current novel.  Damn the intro to chapter 7, curse the writing life, bugger this voracious hunger to write, write, write.  To all my fellow authors out there:  Never Give Up!!

Filed under: Blog & Literature/Theatre/Art

Absent Children

June 25th, 2018 → 6:38 am

    “Grief fills the room up of my absent child,
    Lies in his bed, walks up and down with me,
    Puts on his pretty looks, repeats his words,
    Remembers me of all his gracious parts,
    Stuffs out his vacant garments with his form.” – King John

My son has left for summer camp (a 2-week overnight camp), and it is just so unnatural without him.  His presence fills the house; his toys, his clothes, his smell…  his laughter, his smiles, his questions…  My son will return in two weeks, yet if his brief absence to this happy place is still so biting, I literally cannot imagine what the bereft parents at the U.S. border are going through right now.

Filed under: Blog & Other & Self/My Life

World Cup 2026

June 15th, 2018 → 6:06 am

    “Ourself will mingle with society,
    And play the humble host.” – Macbeth

Congratulations North America, for winning the bid to host the 2026 World Cup!

Filed under: Blog & Other

Kate Spade & Anthony Bourdain

June 10th, 2018 → 8:36 am

“Too famous to live long.” – Henry VI

Heartbreaking these suicides.  May they now, at last, rest in peace.

Filed under: Blog