Sometime between 13:25 and 16:32 on March 30th, I thought this stuff was interesting. You might think so too!

  • The Male Power Fantasy (and why Mad Max and Captain Kirk don’t fit): This relates to a theory I have, which is that the archetypal Western Male Hero is James Bond, to the degree that people (Mainly straight white men) start to see every Western Male Hero as James Bond. Which is to say an aggressively masculine, quip-spitting, hyper violent womanizer. The ultimate Male Power Fantasy. A new supermodel love interest (or two) every film, a gun in his hand, and no consequences for his actions.
  • So many biological genders: If anyone tells you that there are 2-3 sexes in the world I want you to just go ahead and slap them.
  • Fight Club and toxic masculinity (with a side of Mad Max: Fury Road): Hold up – you mean there are people who watch Fight Club and don’t realise that Tyler Durden is meant to be full of shit?
  • Geisha FAQ: Please do not spread misconceptions about these hard-working women artists. They deserve respect and have persevered for centuries with women at the forefront of these professions.
  • Earth is dangerous: I really want a science fiction story where aliens come to invade earth and effortlessly wipe out humanity, only to be fought off by the wildlife.
  • Of privilege and nostalgia: The reality is, there was never a time when everyone could just enjoy things. To be able to say you had that time is to admit the privilege you had at not having to think about problematic behavior because it didn’t negatively affect your life.
  • To everyone else in the galaxy, all humans are basically Doc Brown.: Random Headcanon: That Federation vessels in Star Trek seem to experience bizarre malfunctions with such overwhelming frequency isn’t just an artefact of the television serial format. Rather, it’s because the Federation as a culture are a bunch of deranged hyper-neophiles, tooling around in ships packed full of beyond-cutting-edge tech they don’t really understand.
  • Snarky but amusing and thorough Romeo and Juliet analysis: SUMMARY: Romeo and Juliet is a stunningly rich play that is mostly about how feuds fuck people over badly and how if you have to wait until YOUR KIDS OFF THEMSELVES to figure that out you deserve to lose your children. Romeo and Juliet are victims of the feud and its mindless death-lust, not perpetrators of death on others. They’re not supposed to be figures of ridicule OR representatives of True Love: they’re supposed to make the audience go “oh BABIES, no, you’re going to end so badly” and then be sad when they do.
  • The singular “they”: Next time someone complains about singular “they” I’ll point them to this 17th century rant against singular “you”.

This makes me cringe just thinking about it…Shakespeare re-written in modern prose, as today’s kids can’t seem to comprehend it as it was originally written.

“Et tu, Brute?”

Not anymore.

“And you too, Brutus?” is what students read in a new genre of study guides that modernize the Elizabethan English found in “Julius Caesar” and other plays by William Shakespeare.

These guides move beyond the plot summaries found in other study aides by providing line-by-line translations in modern-day English.

Once barred from school, the new translations now are being used in classes across metro Atlanta.

Ugh.

Ugh, ugh, ugh.

Or, more appropriately, in the words of Isabella in Measure for Measure — “Thy sin’s not accidental, but a trade.”

Or even better, Falstaff, in Henry the Fourth, Part II — “You scullion! You rampallian! You fustilarian! I’ll tickle your catastrophe!”

Admittedly, I may be an odd case — after reading the abridged version of Les Misérables in high school, I fell so in love with the story that I went out and bought the full, unabridged version, and it’s remained one of my favorites ever since. So for me, hacking something up is bad enough…but re-writing it like this?

Truly a travesty.

The one possible good point I can see is if the kids are captivated enough by the stories that they may someday go out and find the original versions — but I don’t think I’ll be holding my breath on that count.

(via Ben Hammersley, with help from the Shakespearean Insult Generator)

iTunes: “I Hold a Prince” by Poems for Laila from the album La Fillette Triste (1991, 3:07).