The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1700 Thursday, 5 July 2001
Date: Wednesday, 04 Jul 2001 12:30:29 -0700
Subject: In Honor of the Day 4/7/1776
I must confess to a sentimental lapse. This morning our local paper had
a fascinating article about the Declaration of Independence as sound and
music, saying that it is meant to be read aloud and heard as opposed to
being merely the visual and ideological icon that it has become. On
another page they reprinted the Declaration, and just for fun read it
aloud to a robin who was hanging around maybe hoping for a scrap of my
breakfast. The robin was unmoved, but I was immensely moved by the
recital and broke into tears when I came to "our lives, our fortunes,
and our sacred honor."
Now I don't recall when I last read beyond the first clause of Thomas
Jefferson's first swelling period, or heard much beyond self-evident
truths and unalienable rights, so it was like coming to it fresh. What
was not fresh was the actual background that lay behind the particular
abuses in Jefferson's summary, and I thought I would go on the Net and
see what I could find, the library being closed.
All this is prelude-perhaps unnecessary-to a discovery that I thought
would be of interest to SHAKSPERians: a new play by Tim Ryan titled The
History of George II, part one. Subtitled, just so you're sure to get
it, A Shakespearian Parody of the Bush Administration. This is
available as a PDF download from:
A teaser on the web page is an excerpt from George II's coronation
This day doth mark a new bipartisan era,
Where, just as does the fish co-exist amid
The human being, so too shall we all.
This was good for a laugh, very welcome after the page I had read from
Salon.com just prior to doing the search, a review of Vincent Bugliosi,
The Betrayal of America, an analysis of the Supreme Court decision that
awarded the Florida vote to Bush. Bugliosi concludes that it was
treason. Here, perhaps might be matter for a tragedy a century or so
down the road, if our civilization is still here and our language hasn't
degenerated into a vocabulary and term-starved SpanFranSinChinglish.
Oh--the George II parody has Alan of Greenspan cast as a soothsayer!
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