A few mornings ago, as I was listening to my daily BBC News radio show, I have noticed that the World Shakespeare Festival was heavily advertised. I started thinking if 2012 were his quadricentennial anniversary of death, or perhaps birth. Although not to far off, I was mistaken. On April 26, 448 years ago, William Shakespeare lived; on April 23, 396 years ago, William Shakespeare died.

Well, at first glance, the month of April is a liaison, not only associated with spring romance, but also, at least for this year, with Shakespeare. Thus, Shakespeare’s Spring, which I decided to emphasize by the following love quotes:

If music be the food of love, play on.” – Twelfth Night (Act 1, Scene 1)

The course of true love never did run smooth” – A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Act 1, Scene 2)

Love is a smoke and is made with the fume of sighs” – Romeo & Juliet (Act 1, Scene 1)

I love you more than words can wield the matter, Dearer than eyesight, space and liberty” – King Lear (Act 1, Scene 1)

Love is begun by time, and time qualifies the spark and fire of it” – Hamlet (Act 4, Scene 7)

Oh how romantic are thou William, my dear. And romantic he was. In his testament, he did make a point, however, of leaving his wife his “second best bed”, which has led to much speculation.

In reminiscent of Charles Dickens, regardless on the education received, classical or not, Shakespeare has always been drilled into our minds and introduced as on of the greatest English bard/ poet and play writer, celebrated then and now.

But unlike Dickens, this Bard of Avon’s work has sold more than a million tickets to attend productions and festivities held in his honor, which spread from April 21 until September 2012.

Only Shakespeare, the Institution, is grand and coveted enough to compete against the 2012 Olympics, in London, which will take place from July 7th until August 12th. But why compete when you can unite? And along came a union. No, I am not implying that Dickens and Shakespeare will be this year’s mascots. We will leave the parading and merchandising to Wenlock and Mandeville. Okay well just the parading now that I think of it.

The Olympic ceremonies, created by Danny Boyle, are inspired from Caliban’s speech in The Tempest: “Be not afeard; the isle is full of noises.”

Who could have brought up these magnificent, perfectly marriage events this summer? You would never guess.

The Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development?

No.

The Department of Tourism?

No.

An eccentric billionaire philanthropist?

No.

Well, it is none other than BP. Yes as in oil spill British Petroleum and oil sand BP: this year’s official founding presenting partner.

Okay Okay, I will step down (for now) and go no further in my synchronicity and sarcasm as I will allow culture to shine, without being overshadowed by the clouds of corporate opportunism.

On this subject, see you in September, when everything is said and done! I will surely pick it up then where I am leaving it now. But something tells me that I will probably have new wars, coups and uprisings to write about.

Enjoy the Olympics!

Okay Okay I’ll stop. Enjoy the Olympics. I mean it this time.

Brought to you by BP … World Domination through British World Pollution and British World Exploitation.

I can’t help it.

Thus Always …

🙂

Copyright © 2012 Thus Always To Genius. All Rights Reserved.

A Tale of Two …

February 7, 2012

As I initiated my morning routine today, the BBC World Service informed me that today is Charles Dickens’ 200th anniversary. Later on, as I googled a technical term at the office, Google informed me of that as well by altering their home page into cute Dickens-themed characters embedded and merged around their logo.

Okay, I enjoy Dickens as much as the next Anglo but these days; I am more anxious to see how the uprisings in Syria will transition into a full blown certified civil war and from there, who knows how it will proliferate. I am already outraged that, unlike his fellow dictators, Al-Assad, has not been forced to step down, was not heavily sanctioned and was obviously not murdered.

Chuck D. will have an anniversary next year, and if by then Iran is in the midst of nuking you know who, then he will have another one the following year….and the following year…

Bref, although the Holidays were long gone, I realized that I was being somewhat of a Scrooge. I could still enjoy a light subject even in these times of crisis and unrest without feeling guilty. After giving it some thoughts, I understood that Dickens did not represent anything trivial. He was extremely socially involved, especially for the Victorian times he lived in. Dickens, a political journalist, understood the lower classes, despised greed for money and promoted social reform.

Wait, isn’t that a reflection on the situation in Syria? No coincidences after all – Synchronicities (yes it is one of the categories of my blog…lol).

Could Dickens have been reincarnated as a non-Alawite Syrian, leading the uprising?

After researching more about his “power to the people and justice for all” stance, I shockingly discovered that his views were only to be applied to certain nations. Actually only to two nations: the British and their American cousins.

He was so full of hate that some of his writings clearly display anti-Italian, anti-Irish, anti-Zulu and anti-Amerindian views. But he was most notorious for his anti-Indian rants. He left no room for misunderstandings or excuses as he went as far as calling for the extermination of the Indian race and applauded the mutilation of Hindus who were punished by being blown from English guns.

And I quote: “I wish I were commander-in-chief in India … I should proclaim to them that I considered my holding that appointment by the leave of God, to mean that I should do my utmost to exterminate the race.”

I wonder why his work has not been banned in many countries. Not only it has not but also, he is admired (or conditioned to be admired) all over the world; proclaimed as a legend and a genius. I guess talent and good century old marketing teams can change things around.

If I were more informed in high school, I would have not chosen “A Tale of Two Cities” (which is over 500 pages damn it!) for my essay at the time.

Dickens doesn’t sound so trivial after all. What would Bashar Al-Assad say to that? Not so different after all.

“I wore black because I liked it. I still do, and wearing it still means something to me. It’s still my symbol of rebellion – against a stagnant status quo, against our hypocritical houses of God, against people whose minds are closed to others’ ideas.

I wear black for the poor and the beaten down, the prisoner who has long paid for his crime, for those who never read or listened to the words that Jesus said. For the sick and lonely, in mournin’ for the lives that could have been. For the thousands who have died, believen’ that the Lord was on their side.

I’d love to wear a rainbow every day, and tell the world that everything’s OK, but I’ll try to carry off a little darkness on my back, until things are brighter, I’m the Man in Black.

– Johnny Cash

The above picture was taken at the Folsom State Prison, in 1966, following the success of “Folsom Prison Blues”, which is one of my favorite Johnny Cash songs.

Copyright © 2012 Thus Always To Genius. All Rights Reserved.