Posted by Jack on 09.24.2008 at 11:46 am
I figured in talking about Shakespeare on the previous post I would delve a little deeper. New coworker, Eddie, passed this on to me, which captures my Junior year of high school (a semester studying Hamlet and writing a huge and (and hugely tiresome) research paper) and the Junior year of the average student today (using Facebook).
FACEBOOK NEWS FEED EDITION
- – - -
Horatio thinks he saw a ghost.
Hamlet thinks it’s annoying when your uncle marries your mother right after your dad dies.
The king thinks Hamlet’s annoying.
Laertes thinks Ophelia can do better.
Hamlet’s father is now a zombie.
- – - -
The king poked the queen.
The queen poked the king back.
Hamlet and the queen are no longer friends.
Marcellus is pretty sure something’s rotten around here.
Hamlet became a fan of daggers.
- – - -
Polonius says Hamlet’s crazy … crazy in love!
Rosencrantz, Guildenstern, and Hamlet are now friends.
Hamlet wonders if he should continue to exist. Or not.
Hamlet thinks Ophelia might be happier in a convent.
Ophelia removed “moody princes” from her interests.
Hamlet posted an event: A Play That’s Totally Fictional and In No Way About My Family
The king commented on Hamlet’s play: “What is wrong with you?”
Polonius thinks this curtain looks like a good thing to hide behind.
Polonius is no longer online.
- – - -
Hamlet added England to the Places I’ve Been application.
The queen is worried about Ophelia.
Ophelia loves flowers. Flowers flowers flowers flowers flowers. Oh, look, a river.
Ophelia joined the group Maidens Who Don’t Float.
Laertes wonders what the hell happened while he was gone.
- – - -
The king sent Hamlet a goblet of wine.
The queen likes wine!
The king likes … oh crap.
The queen, the king, Laertes, and Hamlet are now zombies.
Horatio says well that was tragic.
Fortinbras, Prince of Norway, says yes, tragic. We’ll take it from here.
Denmark is now Norwegian.
- – - -
Have your say » | Tagged Uncategorized, facebook, Hamlet, humor, McSweeney's, Shakespeare
Posted by admin on 04.02.2008 at 11:02 am
I came across a pretty interesting article by Rachel Donadio in the New York Times this Sunday. Check out a bit of it:
Some years ago, I was awakened early one morning by a phone call from a friend. She had just broken up with a boyfriend she still loved and was desperate to justify her decision. “Can you believe it!” she shouted into the phone. “He hadn’t even heard of Pushkin!”
We’ve all been there. Or some of us have. Anyone who cares about books has at some point confronted the Pushkin problem: when a missed — or misguided — literary reference makes it chillingly clear that a romance is going nowhere fast. At least since Dante’s Paolo and Francesca fell in love over tales of Lancelot, literary taste has been a good shorthand for gauging compatibility.
Reading this, (despite the overt and somewhat heavy handed Pushkin reference that flies in the face of Donadio’s later quip a la Burroghs about the guy holding Beckett’s “Proust”) I was intrigued. We’ve all had relationships that went one way or the other and education and taste in books (and movies) has definitely been an issue in the early stages. I remember a girl I dated who was rather offended when I referred to Grisham as “beach worthy kitsch” and another who could never understand my lack of appreciation of the perfection of Austen’s complete works.
Fundamentally though, it’s the boring, hipster-esque snarkiness that creeps into the article that begins to take over any agreement, mocking men’s reading as middlebrow should they briefly embrace Ayn Rand, John Irving or Virginia Woolf (heaven forbid we read something with feminist tones that is actually well written! Stupid guys…).
The two quotes that really do it for me are “…Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance,” beloved of searching young men. “When a guy tells me it changed his life, I wish he’d saved us both the embarrassment,” Heiblum said, adding that “life-changing experiences” are a “tedious conversational topic at best.” The next time a girl is telling me about a life changing experience or a book she likes I’ll make sure to act like a total jerk, talking about how painfully quotidian her experiences are. Geez. If you can’t talk to me about the latest installation at MoMa (which is way overrated, I liked ______ better when people didn’t know his work as well) then you may as well embrace gender as social construct and pay your own bill and leave.
Then Donadio paints an altogether different picture, of someone not bored to tears, but actually amused by the banal baseness of a would be beau: “I did have to break up with one guy because he was very keen on Ayn Rand,” said Laura Miller, a book critic for Salon. “He was sweet and incredibly decent despite all the grandiosely heartless ‘philosophy’ he espoused, but it wasn’t even the ideology that did it. I just thought Rand was a hilariously bad writer, and past a certain point I couldn’t hide my amusement.” I will give Donadio this, can’t you just see this woman sitting across the table from a guy tittering about the clunky language of someone undertaking the task of 400+ pages of philosophic bildungsroman written in her non-native tongue? Clearly Rand should’ve taken cues from Solzhenitisyn’s “First Circle!”
Donadio notes “Naming a favorite book or author can be fraught. Go too low, and you risk looking dumb. Go too high, and you risk looking like a bore — or a phony.” Trouble is, in this article she can’t navigate her own advice, at once sounding disingenuous and flippantly certain. I like the concept of the article but trying to wade through all the Big Apple affectations of over-education is as rewarding as wading through the garbage in the East River (people wonder why I couldn’t swim until I was 12 even though I grew up in the Bronx…)
Luckily I remembered it was a fluff piece just in time… “If that person slept with the novelist in question, that would probably be a deal breaker — more than, ‘I don’t like Don DeLillo, therefore we’re not dating anymore.”
(that would be a deal breaker…)
Have your say » | Tagged Uncategorized, books, dating, humor, new york times, snarkiness
Posted by Jack on 02.14.2008 at 6:04 pm
Hope you’re all getting cozy with your loved ones, but if you’re like me then hopefully you’re getting all cozy with a book and a cup of tea. For the old school take on love try some Jane Austen or the (soon to be movie!) Love in the Time of Cholera (yes guys, it’s an excellent book. Seriously).
Do yourself a favor and read one less Hallmark card that sounds like it was written either by a 7 year old or by someone your age (but in 1950 maybe) and try on some actual literature. You won’t be disappointed. After all, what girl wouldn’t wilt as you leave her on the balcony and say:
“‘Good night, good night! Parting is such sweet sorrow,
That I shall say good night till it be morrow.’
Oh wait, I left my keys, can you throw those down?” (we can’t all be perfect!)
Have your say » | Tagged Uncategorized, books, christopher moore, humor, valentines day
Posted by admin on 02.13.2008 at 8:46 am
Literacy is a precious thing, and sometimes it would have really helped…
Have your say » | Tagged Uncategorized, fail, humor, illiteracy, literacy
Posted by Jack on 12.31.2007 at 9:06 am
Everybody’s got their party hats and soundmakers and getting ready for the infamous ball drop this evening. No doubt many of you have your New Year’s resolutions as well, such as “read this blog more” or for some of those working here “post on this blog more” or some similar sentiment.
This year, however, think about last year and what you made happen. Maybe this year you forget about buying the gym membership that you used 3 times all year and perhaps recreating that “Pete & Pete” episode in which Pete ”travels through time” by crossing the time zone boundary after midnight is somewhat misguided–if fun. Maybe you want to consider something else, go green with your cleaners, dip your toe into solar (or just read about it first), learn a language (Swahili anyone?), get some hiking gear and get out there, learn to ski, adopt a penguin, or maybe just read a little more. If you want it enough you can do it, and if you look, you’ll see we can help.
2007 is just a memory, we look forward to seeing you in the future!
Have your say » | Tagged Uncategorized, books, humor, new years
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