(Helena: All’s Well That Ends Well, Act IV)
What the hell is going on?
This started as commentary on the furore surrounding the staging of Julius Caesar featuring a Trump-alike, but based in England, I can’t help reflecting the fact that things have been overtaken here by the insane events near Finsbury Park Mosque in London …
At what stage does it become acceptable for people to use the kind of methods they vilify – demonise, actually – in others to advance their own agendas? No, really – when is this OK?
It’s hard to believe that, as reported almost everywhere, there are people out there targeting US theaters and other organisations with death threats simply because their organisation names contain the word ‘Shakespeare‘. Ooh, you subversive bastards, you …
All in response to a Public Theatre performance which updated Julius Caesar to figure JC as a Trump-like figure. I read reports that it’s not that long since a performance quite obviously placed Barack Obama as JC. But that wasn’t a problem? Don’t remember any gung-ho redneck reaction to that one …
Yup, I said rednecks and I meant it. The rust hasn’t just got to your ‘belts‘, my friends … you support a man who spawns a ‘birther myth’ and then complains about ‘fake news’ and relies on ‘alternative facts’ as a justification for his lies?
It’s the wilful ignorance that gets me, as well as the desire to limit free speech, which last time I checked, was the First Amendment in the US? Which means not pressuring corporate sponsors to abandon a project you don’t like. Or, worse (because I’m not utterly naive and realise that pressuring sponsors probably happens all the time), inciting your supporters to attempt to prevent a legitimate piece of art, over 400 years old, from being performed. One of the main purposes of art is to challenge our perceptions, people – in censoring things we don’t like, we are simply demonstrating a lack of understanding, a fear of the message.
On to that message. Because actually, you are demonstrating a lack of intelligence or rationality. Who, of those who have sent death threats, has bothered to read the play, or even a synopsis? Who has got to the end and understood that getting rid of JC proved to be a costly mistake, and actually changed very little? Who, amongst those intolerant assholes, has realised that Brutus and Cassius (IF they even know that those are characters in the play) are condemned by the Christian world (via Dante) to spend eternity in the mouths of Satan, along with Judas Iscariot, doing penance for what are perceived to be the greatest betrayals in history? Despite the fact that Judas betrayed God, and our two Romans weren’t even Christians?
The play is, in many ways, a cautionary tale to deter disloyalty or rebellion.
Hello? Hello? Anybody home? Huh? Think, McFly, think!
One of the things that the populace was remarkable for in Julius Caesar was their overall ‘malleability’. At the beginning Marullus and Flavius, and later, Antony, were able to sway their emotions so very easily. Just saying …
Maybe Shakespeare himself would have understood better, or shrugged – after all, he lived in a climate where he had to tread a fine line and where censorship was rife. But I can’t accept it.
Which sort of leads me on to Finsbury Park Mosque.
So, let me get this straight – because stupidity is absolutely not restricted to one country, or one race, or one religion. You despise the actions of Islamic radical terrorists, so you are going to drive your vehicle into a load of Muslims, near their place of worship, reportedly shouting ‘I’m going to kill all Muslims.’ You’re going to use the exact same methods that seem utterly evil when someone who doesn’t agree with your worldview performs them? And in the ultimate irony, the only reason why your attack wasn’t a suicidal one is because an Iman had the presence of mind to ensure you weren’t ripped apart by the mob? And this is OK?
I bet YOU haven’t done your homework either. To establish that actually, the God of Islam is a merciful one, in fact in the tradition of Abraham, etc. Do your homework, you absolute idiot, and you’ll realise that Jews, Muslims and Christians appear to worship different flavours of the same God! I mean, Muslims recognise Jesus, as well as Adam, Moses and Abraham. I only needed to search Wiki to check my facts. Less than two minutes. Why couldn’t you? If people thought all Christians, or all white people, were like you, then where would we be?
You’re not off the hook, Trump, by the way. How many degrees of separation are there between your attempts to ban Muslims from entering the US and the fucking idiot who drove from Cardiff to London to attack innocent people?
Less than you and your supporters might admit to.