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 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

Trump’s Trade War

June 3rd, 2018 → 5:46 am

“Heat not a furnace for your foe so hot
That it do singe yourself.”  – Henry VIII

Europe (and Canada and Mexico and all our allies) must be asking themselves right now, with friends like the U.S., who needs enemies?  Trump is so wrong on so many things it makes my soul cry.  And I’m afraid the worst burn to the U.S. is yet to come.

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

Windrush Generation

April 25th, 2018 → 6:47 am

“England, that was wont to conquer others,
Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.”  – Richard II

All countries make mistakes.  Treatment of the Windrush generation is definitely one of the UK’s.

Filed under: Blog & Politics/Politicians

March for Our Lives

March 25th, 2018 → 6:24 am

“Prevent it, resist it, let it not be so.” – Richard II

I am so proud of our youth today.  They are strong, they are intelligent, and they are not giving up.  They are exactly what this country needs.

Filed under: Blog & Politics/Politicians

Stoneman Douglas Student Activists

February 28th, 2018 → 5:40 am

King Lear:  “So young and so untender?”

Cordelia:  “So young, my lord, and true.”  – King Lear

A year into the Trump presidency I still find it hard to read the newspaper and follow the latest political shenanigans.  But the recent activism of the Stoneman Douglas surviving students is giving me hope.  Untender, in your face, and speaking the truth.  That’s exactly what this country needs.

Filed under: Blog & Politics/Politicians

What Proof Words?

January 19th, 2018 → 6:54 am

“Words are grown so false I am loath to prove reason with them.” – Twelfth Night

You can’t trust what anyone (politicians especially) says anymore.

I mourn the loss of honest words…

Filed under: Blog & Politics/Politicians

Internal Divisions

October 4th, 2017 → 6:34 am

“Noble friends,
That which combined us was most great, and let not
A leaner action rend us.  What’s amiss,
May it be gently heard.  When we debate
Our trivial difference loud, we do commit
Murder in healing wounds.”  – Antony and Cleopatra

First, yes, I am reading Antony and Cleopatra right now, which is why all my quotes lately are coming from this one play.  Second, this quote could apply to Democrats and the fight between moderates and more left-leaning liberals.  Or, this quote could apply to Republicans and the internal divisions therein.  Come to think of it, this quote could apply to Spain and the Catalonia referendum. Wherever one looks, there is division and in-fighting at the moment!

Filed under: Blog & Politics/Politicians

Corrupt Trump

August 5th, 2017 → 6:32 am

“But this top-proud fellow,
Whom from the flow of gall I name not, but
From sincere motions, by intelligence
And proofs as clear as founts in July, when
We see each grain of gravel, I do know
To be corrupt and treasonous.”  
– Henry VIII

As clear as spring-water in July (before the recent defenestration of the EPA), corruption runs rampant through the Trump family and their cabal of crazies.

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