Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 580. Friday, 24 Sept. 1993.
Date: Thursday, 23 Sep 1993 09:13:03 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Shakespeare, Politics, etc. (Next to the Last Words)
On the Simpsons last night, Marge starts a protest about tv
cartoon violence. Itchy and Scratchy become loving friends.
Everybody stops watching tv & starts playing creatively. Then
the coalition of concerned parents mounts a protest because
Michelangelo's David is coming to Springfield, with full frontal
nudity. Marge is perplexed. She drops her protest. People go
back to watching mindless violence on tv. The show ends with
Marge and Homer looking at David. Marge is sad. Don't worry,
says Homer, with his jerky grin. All the schoolkids will come
see the statue anyway, because the school will make them. (This
is what's called an open ending.)
I blather on about the Simpsons by way of registering a protest
about Hardy's intervention. How can we be sure the politics
discussion has run its limits? Sure, it's repetitive, and there
have been longeurs, but to my mind it's nothing compared with the
endless expense of sensibility on Branagh's Much Ado (I can't
even figure why that one got started, let alone won't end). I
keep getting things out it that I find interesting and useful.
For instance, that the same issues look so different from Britain
& N America we probably shouldn't even be calling them the same
issues. (I remember John Lavagnino [sic?] as having been the
person who made that point the most clearly, but others have
implied it as well.) That seems to me an interesting point, even
a Theoretically Interesting Point (what are the implications for
the Lear texts, say, or for how we create meaning by Shakespeare,
say?). But would we have gotten there if the discussion hadn't
been allowed to keep going? You never know enough until you know
too much--something like that. Ditto on "flaming."
Well, I'm going back to lurking in my tent now and reading John
Stuart Mill and John Locke & all those other nasty bourgeois