Insane Clown Posse Pwns Us

Screw the physics. This is magic.

[via Kottke]

Hey Nojo, I hear that you and Ped met up with the lovely SFL last night. I’m sure that a good time was had by all.

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

Fucking internet memes. How do they work?

@Dodgerblue: Pedo had a last-minute date with a plumber, so SFL and I watched some dudes watching Sport at an Irish-ish bar.

(Which explains the filler-ish morning post — two pints of Guinness, and my mind was shot.)


But come!
Here, as before, never, so help you mercy,
How strange or odd soe’er I bear myself—
As I perchance hereafter shall think meet
To put an antic disposition on—
That you, at such times seeing me, never shall,
With arms encumber’d thus, or this head-shake,
Or by pronouncing of some doubtful phrase,
As “Well, well, we know,” or “We could, an if we would,”
Or “If we list to speak” or “There be, an if they might,”
Or such ambiguous giving out, to note
That you know aught of me; this is not to do,
So grace and mercy at your most need help you,

@Nojo: two pints of Guinness would be breakfast for my Scots-Irish grandfather. Admit it, you were haunted by the short-short skirt worn by the waitress and the guys in red tshirts (which I associate with Notenos but apparently goes with one of those ice teams)..


The last line of that speech is better written than entire films I have been to in the last five years. I mean, how could you find a better way to ask somebody to make a promise? When I was a teaching assistant in grad school, students would come to me for a gloss of a certain line from a certain Shakespeare play, and doing that would always befuddle me. A lot of the time there was just no way to express what Shakespeare was saying in a better or simpler fashion.

One of the worst crimes that the educational system perpetrated on the young is that they present Shakespeare as something difficult and lofty. Kids need to realize that Shakespeare belongs to them, not scholars or English teachers. They way we teach him is a disgrace.

@Tommmcat Still Gets Carly Confused With Meg: It’s twoo. His verse, in particular, is packed so tight it’s almost impossible to express its meaning more directly or using fewer words.

One of my favorite moments on account of its all-around brilliance is when Costard excuses Sir Nathaneal who has just run away from the snark of the gentry and he says:

A marvelous neighbor, faith, and a very good bowler. But, for Sir Alisander, you see how ’tis. A little o’erparted.

I think the best way to teach him is to try to act him. I made my debut as Cordelia and god knows that stood me in good stead.

Doesn’t Roland Emmerich have a movie coming out soon about how Will didn’t write the plays? I for one can hardly wait.

@SanFranLefty: One of the benefits of seldom drinking is low tolerance. Back in the day, I could drown a 40 of Green Death (Rainier Ale for the uninitiated) and barely notice.

@SanFranLefty: Best line of the night:

“Kaiser Soze with a ponytail.”

I don’t know if I’m permitted to say what it refers to.

@Tommmcat Still Gets Carly Confused With Meg: It seems to boil down to class. He didn’t have a title so he couldn’t have written so well. The latest fashion is Marlowe. This is being boosted by people who really should know better like Mark Rylance and Derek Jacobi.

@nojo: This is a shocking admission. Clearly you need to drink more.


How could it be Marlowe? What, he wrote plays to compete with himself, after he died? How does that even make sense?

@Benedick: I haven’t paid close attention to the Fake Shakes Debate, but whenever it turns up, that seems to be the argument: Will was demographically incapable of churning that stuff out, so it must have been someone else.

Until they do a better job of kicking him off the pedestal, alternatives will not be considered.

@Tommmcat Still Gets Carly Confused With Meg: Well, exactly. I mean, it’s a massive output. As the actress said to the bishop. I think for us to believe it was Marlowe we have to also believe that he didn’t die when it’s said he did and that the whole was like a conspiracy!! The only startling thing about this is that Mark Rylance, who’s a smart man, a fine actor, and ran the newly reconstructed Globe theatre, seems to believe it. Maybe he’s in the movie. I don’t know.

@nojo: That’s what I mean by class. Will couldn’t have been anything so common as an actor.

BTW. Big news in the News today is how much mayor moneybags loves his iPad. He takes it everywhere! He does shit and stuff with it. Wootah!

@Benedick: @Tommmcat Still Gets Carly Confused With Meg: There is no “debate.” There is a debate, in the same way there is a debate about global warming. Just because there are crackpots and contrarians spouting nonsense, does not make a “debate.”

@nojo: Its pure snobbery, not any kind of scientific study of the language as spoken by actual people at the time. Why would anyone expect the titled to have a larger vocabulary or use more sophisticated usages? The nobility didn’t go to university at the time, that was for clerks (clerics).

I have worked with lawyers, and with carpenters. The carpenters were more innovative and playful with language, more truly verbal creatures, than the lawyers. Lawyers, and other pedants, have storehouses of stock phrases that they trot out (things like “trot out” ) and they are generally stick-up-the-ass types. The carpenters I worked with were always keen on the latest slang, they would invent words for their own amusement, they played. They were also all movie addicts, went to every movie that came out, and were very sophisticated in their reviews, to my surprise.

I have known to may inarticulate, highly educated dolts.

But anyway, Shakespeare wrote Shakespeare, period, the end.

On the other hand, no doubt he was a Papist.

(Exit, pursued by a bear.)


My point is “Why even discuss it?”. It’s not like his work is terribly informed by a specific political or religious viewpoint other than the sort of vague royalist sympathies and general sucking-up one might expect from the recipient of the Queen’s patronage. I’m not sure that if we found definitive proof that it was Marlowe or de Vere it would really have much bearing on our understanding of the texts. They plays and poems really are so good that they obscure the presence of the author completely- unlike, say, a great playwright of this century like Odets or Shaw where an understanding of the life of the playwright helps to illuminate their work.

People must masturbate their intellects, though, I suppose. Myself included.

@Prommie: There’s a very good new book about the history of the anti-Shakespeares. Seems like an American started it. I find it hard to believe the plays weren’t written by an actor. They’re so stuffed with fab parts. He’s just so actable. That isn’t true of many of his rivals. Including Marlowe.

@Tommmcat Still Gets Carly Confused With Meg: mens sano in corpore sano? A masturbated mind in a masturbated body, is the ideal, I suppose. But only if the masturbation brings release and calm, not if it merely excites to frenzy.

@Benedick: I recently read the review, though I forgot the name of the book and author immediately. What was fun was that the progenitor of the balderdash was a serial mythmaker, and authored several other longstanding crackpot theories.

@nojo: I’m not convinced. But I don’t get the impression that he was all that religious. Too busy with re-writes.

@Tommmcat Still Gets Carly Confused With Meg: My point is “Why even discuss it?”

Because after 400 years, all the easy angles have been taken.

My college Shakespeare instructor, who ruined me for life on fancy writing shit (between her and Kubrick, my fate was cast), was working up a dissertation on feasts in the plays. I attended her defense, and the committee declared it “interesting” or some such thing.

Cool, I thought. Until I saw her distressed in the hallway.

Apparently being interesting wasn’t sufficient. It didn’t meet the bar for a fresh critical angle.

I learned that lesson years later, during my own ill-fated dissertation. My supervisor kept warning me against following a well-furrowed field. After a year or two of resisting the command to narrow the fucker down, I gave up and cut out with a fig-leaf master’s.

And I lived happily ever after.

@nojo: What I love about him is that he offers such scope for disaster.

@Benedick: This is a shocking admission. Clearly you need to drink more.

Here’s the problem: Once you round 30, your cravings change from depressants to stimulants.

@nojo: Or you’re not drinking the right booze in the right amount. And that’s just plain wrong.

@Benedick: I agree with you. Now that I am almost 50, I crave everything, depressants, stimulants, halucinogens, and euphorics. My hobby is creating new combinations of effects.

Re Shakespeare:
About thirty years ago I read an article in Harvard magazine by Charlton Ogburn about the idea that Edward de Vere, 17th earl of Oxford, was the man who actually wrote the plays and poetry. Ogburn provided a bibliography of various books on that theme, starting with a man named Loney who first advanced the idea sometime in the 1920s, I think it was. At that time I looked for and found most of those books in the IU Library and read them. When the earliest books were written, not much was known about Oxford. Since then lots of people have been ferreting around and discovered a very great deal about him. I went away from the topic then agreeing with Promnight that Shakespeare was who wrote Shakespeare all right, but that the name seemed a likely pseudonym for de Vere. In the meantime there have been a number of other books about Oxford that I didn’t bother to read, only glanced through when I saw them on the New Books shelf at the local county library. Then in 2005 Gotham Books, part of the Penguin Group, published “Shakespeare” by Another Name. The subtitle is The Life of Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford, the Man Who Was Shakespeare. In 598 close-packed pages Mark Anderson presents the well-documented fruits of more than a decade of research on Oxford. Even if one utterly repudiates the idea that Oxford may have written Shakespeare’s body of work, the book is fascinating. The foreword is by Derek Jacobi, and yes, Benedick, Anderson is an American. In his Author’s Note, pp. 411-413, he tells about first learning (in summer of 1993) that the controversy even existed just after finishing his master’s degree in astrophysics (BA in physics) and when he was starting out to make “a career as a freelance investigative journalist, creative writer, and arts (particularly music) critic. The Shake-speare question enabled me to engage all of these interests.”

So many biographical data and events in de Vere’s life parallel dramatic situations in the plays that I find it hard to believe that anyone else wrote them. When I first read those books thirty years ago, one of the authors, maybe Loney, cited a line from one of the sonnets as a possible pointer to the identity of Shakespeare. “Every word doth almost tell my name.” I read that then to my husband, a fellow English major, who said at once, “That one convinces me.”

Whether Anderson has it right or not about Shakespeare’s identity, his book provides a splendid and richly detailed picture of life in Elizabeth’s court and time.

ADD: I’ve done a lot of field work and research on drinking too, but the less said about that in this forum at this time, the better. I tend to veer off into “euphoric recall” and forget about how embarrassing it can be to learn what I said or did while in a blackout and how godawful withdrawal is.

Haha! I don’t know what thrills me the most. Probably the old-school matchbox.

TJ/ Oh, an institution of higher learning thinks I should be teaching some English classes this fall as an adjunct. Silly people.

::happy dance::

@JNOV: “‘Ainglish 101: I Fought the DJ.’ In addition to regular class work, participation and exams, students will be graded on comments to various blogs, i.e., stinque, jezebel, Danger Room or such other blog as mutually agreed to by Instructor and the student. Students will be permitted to drink and smoke in class and may text, email, post, surf, watch pron or play video games so long as others are not bothered. 3.0 hrs.”


Haha. My thesis committee consisted of the doting elderly aunt of a singing coach, the podgy, absent-minded, nap-prone voice and speech instructor, and an acting teacher known to be more interested in directing semi-pro productions of Peter Pan and the like off-campus than in any actual professorial duty.

Strategy is my life. I have a feeling two of them approved it without actually reading it.


Hm. Interesting, but I still can’t work up much enthusiasm for the debate.

@lynnlightfoot: No one alive in his day ever suggested that he didn’t write them. And I can’t think his colleagues were any kinder than they would be today. This idea didn’t begin to be floated till much later. De Vere, Oxford, Elizabeth, and Liza Minelli have all been put forward. I’ve worked with people who are passionate about it. I don’t hold with the idea that writers write about their own lives in code and pass that off on their characters. I was never more thrilled than when I read The Metamorphoses for the first time and discovered (I had no idea that everybody knows this) Shakespeare pinching whole speeches. I think that’s how writers work. And he was collaborating with others throughout his working life. A new play just about every 6 months. I always find class snobbery behind these theories. The new book is Contested Will by James Shapiro. Just recently published and is a complete run-down of all the authorship theories.

@JNOV: Good for you!

noje needs an intervention. I might be out there later this year.

@lynnlightfoot: An interesting book I read recently is Will in the World. Nothing groundbreaking, but a very approachable pseudo-biography of the forces in Elizabethan England that likely shaped Shakespeare. It doesn’t have a lot of bearing on the “did he or didn’t he” debate that I recall, but I remember it being an interesting read. I’m gonna have to seek out “Shakespeare” by Another Name, that sounds like a good read, too.

I don’t find myself caring very much who wrote the plays. They’re good plays, and worthy of study. That’s good enough for me. Let the people who care debate authorship.

TJ/ Oh! Just got Although of COURSE You End Up BECOMING YOURSELF: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace. I’m teaching expository writing, and I have to use the school’s texts. Which should I read first? You’re not going to believe who wrote one of the essays we’ll be reading. John Yoo. Trufax.

@Benedick: <3

Wow – I suddenly feel downright silly for filling my head with trivia about some lads from Liverpool while simply enjoying, but mostly forgetting, every sonnet I ever read. Youse guys are like totally smart and stuff.

@JNOV: Teacher! <3

@nojo: Donald Fagen was there as well?


Hm. I think the lads from Liverpool qualify as Shakespeare-level talent.


Congrats on the awesome new job, hunnie!

@Tommmcat Still Gets Carly Confused With Meg: Wait, are you patronizing me? Because if so, well, that’s cool – I take whatever attention I get. I fill my days with Billy Bragg lyrics and thoughts about Joe Strummer…
@Original Andrew: I’m gonna see if I can audit the course wearing my “Hawt 4 Teacher” t-shirt.

@Nabisco: <3

@Original Andrew: <3

Life is good sometimes. I have to keep that in mind.

Groping for trout in a peculiar stream. Thats what I am going to name my band.

@Nabisco: There was a lot of classic rock, I think Steely Dan did come on the jukebox at one point.

Weird thing — I met a guitar teacher on the bus yesterday. He was putting his bike on the bike rack (I’ve never seen any Philly folk do that before), so I started talking to him. Not like I need an excuse to speak to strangers, but whatever.

So, we were chatting, and it turns out he lives down the street from me and teaches the Git-tar. I am very resistant to any sort of instruction, but he convinced me that I’m just making my life harder by not mastering some basics. And he told me he could teach me Back in Black in a heartbeat. So, yeah. He’s going to hate me.

Oh, and the name of my band will be You End Up Becoming Yourself.

How about “The Dribbling Dart of Love?”

@Prommie: Sounds too much like an STD. You’d get no groupies.

@Prommie: Well, you need groupies. It’s non-negotiable.

@JNOV: Was he overly sincere, a sensitive type? I’m feeling big brotherly, and guessing he may want to do more than teach you some gi-tar.
@JNOV: Heh!

How about “Pin the Tail on the Don Keys”, or just the “Don Keys”?

/what-occupies-my-Shakespeare-lobe-digression/ The Mar-Keys were one of the first permutations of what became Booker T and the MGs. I have a CD full of Stax singles and Jr. loves that stacked Stax sound.

@Nabisco: Oh, he most definitely wants to teach me a little sumptin sumptin, and I really appreciate the big brotherly affection. I could have used a big brother when I was growing up. Guitar dude teaches at our local music store, and I know the guy who owns it. Apparently they have some kick ass parties, so I might end up in that circuit. So, yeah. Your instinct is spot on, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing.

The “Don Alan Keyes”?

@Nabisco: Which came first: The Mar-Keys or The Bar-Kays?

@Nabisco: He prolly just wants to show her his etchings.

@JNOV: Do we need to have The Talk, sis? <3

The Don Allan Keyes, I likee…

@mellbell: Hmm, same label, slightly different era I think – Mar Keys first, prolly. Otis Redding fronted the Bar Kays, 60ish.

But “Mar Keys” (Marquis) is an awesome band name, plus they were entirely instrumental, with the baddestass honking horn sound, every tune sounds basically like the other, I was sure Jr would opt for the saxophone this year he liked it so much, but he did just fine on the viola which is just eventually a guitar up to his chin so he can “give lessons” to the future JNOVs in his life…

@SanFranLefty: Mind you, it was decent classic rock. Not your FM Shit-I’m-Getting-Old crap.

@nojo: “Tombstone Shadow” instead of “Bad Moon Rising” decent?

@Nabisco: Full disclosure: We walked in on the Who, which I mistook for Elton John.

@nojo: You are KILLING ME! First the meh on the baseball travesty. And the swipe at the Flyers. And now THIS? You’re giving me agita.

@JNOV: The Flyers? Oh, right. The wannabe hooligans.

Not that I have anything against Your Fair City. Eugene was the AAA club for the Phillies in the Seventies.

@JNOV: And hey, I also liked the A’s back then, but of course they had long since escaped.

@nojo: You remember when the A’s where in Philly? Dude! Oh, and My Fair City will riot, win or lose. I can’t wait to get back to ocean breezes. I suppose BP’s lost profits will have reached the MidAtlantic by the time I move.

@JNOV: No, I remember reading about when the A’s were in Philly. I didn’t start paying attention until Vida Blue and Rollie Fingers showed up in my baseball cards.

@Nabisco: Did you know you can get, on youtube, an audio recording of The Castiles, playing, of all things, Suzanne, the Leonard Cohen song.

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