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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: April ::
Re: The Real Beale
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.0631  Tuesday, 1 April 2003

[1]     From:   Thomas Larque <
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        Date:   Monday, 31 Mar 2003 23:35:31 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0612 Re: The Real Beale

[2]     From:   Ted Dykstra <
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        Date:   Monday, 31 Mar 2003 11:03:26 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0612 Re: The Real Beale

[3]     From:   Brian Willis <
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        Date:   Monday, 31 Mar 2003 17:37:27 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0612 Re: The Real Beale


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Thomas Larque <
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Date:           Monday, 31 Mar 2003 23:35:31 +0100
Subject: 14.0612 Re: The Real Beale
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0612 Re: The Real Beale

I'm quite happy to take my discussion with Charles Weinstein off the
list, but since Weinstein has attacked me for being a mature student, in
an apparently offensive fashion, I hope Hardy will allow me to respond
publicly on my own behalf.

Being a mature student, under any circumstances, is not something to be
ashamed of.  Charles Weinstein may (or may not) have been lucky enough
to get a degree in the normal age range, but plenty of people don't for
reasons that vary from lack of money, or simple lack of opportunity, to
major personal crises.  For me, the reason that I don't yet have a
degree is purely related to health problems.  I am registered disabled
and although I don't feel like discussing my health problems in detail
on this list, have had repeated interruptions in my education from the
age of 12 onwards due to unavoidable and extremely unpleasant health
problems.  Despite this, it looks like I have now passed a Certificate
(the equivalent of the First year of a Full-Time degree course) and my
marks have all, with one exception, been Firsts.  Some of my tutors have
used words like "exceptional" to describe my performance.  I have also
found time to spend six years working as an Administrator/Researcher/TIE
actor in a theatre company, where I was extremely successful.  I have
been the most prolific reviewer for "Shakespeare Bulletin" in the last
couple of International issues, and have been invited - apparently on
the basis of those reviews - to review for yet another academic journal,
despite the fact that my reviews are competing for space with the work
of Professors and full-time academics.

I am fairly sure that many people with the difficulties that I have
experienced due to health problems would have given up on education, and
work, a long time ago.  I suspect that if Charles Weinstein had suffered
similar problems, he would be in a position either very similar to mine,
or considerably worse.  I don't think it is reasonable for Weinstein to
effectively attack me for being disabled in this way.

As for whether my "minor" academic status affects my right to express my
views about other individuals (and I have never pretended to have any
status as an academic, beyond having published a few reviews), naturally
it doesn't.  The difference between myself and Weinstein, however, is
that I have not based any of my claims on my academic status, nor have I
attacked the academic status of others more qualified than myself using
standards that I would fail to match.  If I had claimed that all
academics know more about theatre than theatre people, and then
suggested that I knew more about theatre than theatre people (with the
implicit suggestion that this is because I am an academic), then it
would be perfectly reasonable for people to examine my academic status.
If I were to attack other people for not having received degrees until
an advanced age, or for not doing well on tests that I had sometimes
failed myself, then it would be reasonable for people to expose me as a
mature student who had sometimes failed those tests.  I have never
suggested that people should ignore or look down on mature students, or
that I as an academic (which I don't really consider myself at this
stage) am better than another group of people.  Weinstein has suggested
that theatre people are better than academics, and that people should
ignore "minor" productions (such as those in which Weinstein performs?),
and has attacked actors on the basis of a couple of bad reviews (with
the reviews as his only argument) while telling us that his own bad
reviews somehow don't count.

As for everything else that Weinstein has to say in his most recent
E-Mail, I will simply point to my many previous comments.  Having an
opinion is allowed to anybody, even Charles Weinstein (and me), but
Weinstein's postings repeatedly tell us that other people are not
allowed to have opinions that differ from his.  If Weinstein doesn't
like a production, nobody should study it; if Weinstein doesn't like
Shakespeare on Film, then academic study of it is worthless, irrelevant,
and Mickey Mouse.  Weinstein doesn't tell us that he personally dislikes
the "Shakespeare at Stratford" series, but that it is worthless and
should never have been published.  If Weinstein really believes that
people are entitled to their opinions then he should practice what he
preaches, which would disallow the vast majority of his postings.  If
Weinstein were to say only "I believe that ..., but other people are
entitled to their views" rather than trying to speak with the voice of
God (insulting the work of other SHAKSPER members and academics left,
right, and centre, as he does so) then I would still find most of his
views ridiculous, but would not find them quite so offensive.

I hope that this will be the last comment on this matter that has to
trouble SHAKSPER readers, but I am afraid that Weinstein will almost
certainly wait a few days and then attempt to provoke exactly the same
dispute all over again, as he has done so many times in the past.

Thomas Larque.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ted Dykstra <
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Date:           Monday, 31 Mar 2003 11:03:26 EST
Subject: 14.0612 Re: The Real Beale
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0612 Re: The Real Beale

Though I sense (maybe it's hope) that this thread will be terminated
soon, please allow me to say this: Persons like Mr W's only joy in life
is in reading their name here, and in infuriating what seem to me to be
very intelligent people. In responding carefully and intelligently to
his silly, bitter rantings, you only give him credibility. The moment
his posts come and go and are, as they pretty much always should be,
dismissed, he will cease to be. It's very simple!

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Brian Willis <
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Date:           Monday, 31 Mar 2003 17:37:27 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 14.0612 Re: The Real Beale
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0612 Re: The Real Beale

What a second. What does a Renaissance prince look like? I'm not sure
that there is a standard. Isn't this a perpetuated myth that those of
noble birth are necessarily beautiful? I dare say that Henry VIII cannot
be considered universally attractive. It is without argument that he was
much overweight. Why don't we just say that that the best of nobility
could only be male? Of course, Elizabeth recognized this, repeatedly
referenced it, and contradicted it at every turn. Why is there a beauty
myth about these people?  They rarely bathed and had bad teeth. These
people were not the glorified portraits that we think they were. Nor
should our actors be the same.

Brian Willis

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