this is a really difficult post for me to write. i’m hugely embarrassed and i wish to god i didn’t have to make this post but i don’t know what else to do.
i can’t get into specifics — and, i’m sorry, but i really don’t want to get into specifics either, it’s just really personal and i don’t feel comfortable sharing online — but i’m in sore need of money. i have about ten dollars to live off of for myself, josh, and our cat, indefinitely.
to top it off, our landlady’s requested partial rent early because she’s just found out someone’s defrauded her.
my rent this month is 600 dollars, and we have no food save a box of mashed potatoes and a couple of cans of vegetables. my laptop is also on the fritz, which means I can’t work on commissions well — i only need a few more parts for my desk top.
this situation was incredibly unexpected and i am already behind on commissions so i can’t do much more than what’s already on my plate.
i put up a donation button on my main page. or, you can just donate [here], in USD.
i don’t expect money for nothing, so if you do want to commission me and don’t mind waiting for a while then please feel free to do so. you can send me your commission info [here].
thanks for reading.
please signal boost this!
In the beginning there were days set aside for various tasks.
On the day He was to create justice
God got involved in making a dragonfly
and lost track of time.
It was about two inches long
with turquoise dots all down its back like Lauren Bacall.
God watched it bend its tiny wire elbows
as it set about cleaning the transparent case of its head.
The eye globes mounted on the case
rotated this way and that
as it polished every angle.
Inside the case
which was glassy black like the windows of a downtown bank
God could see the machinery humming
and He watched the hum
travel all the way down turquoise dots to the end of the tail
and breathe off as light.
Its black wings vibrated in and out.
A reminder for today that supporting the idea that Oxford or Sir Francis Bacon or whoever wrote Shakespeare’s works is inherently classist and undermines the very essence of what makes Shakespeare great: the universality of his writing.
Shakespeare didn’t write to impress academics or to become reknown in literary circles, he wrote because he loved it and he loved acting and the theater, because he liked showing people up and he liked getting paid.
Shakespeare wrote a lot of plays where the main characters are noble, yes, but he wrote actors too — and teenage kids and poor grad students and nurses. His nobles aren’t memorable because they are grand but because anyone can relate to them, Hamlet’s not special to us because he’s a prince but because many of us can see our struggles in his thoughts and actions.
Do not let Oxfordians or Baconians take away what is special about Shakespeare: that he was an ordinary man writing plays not just for nobles or kings, for landowners or the highly educated elite but for ordinary people — for apprentices and butchers and merchant’s wives and maids. His company performed at court, but they also performed at the Globe, where you could get in for a penny if you didn’t mind standing in a crowd.
The Authorship Question isn’t really about discovering “who really wrote Shakespeare,” it’s about elitists being upset and confused and angry because the greatest works in the English language were written by the son of a well-off tradesman who never went to college.
I would also like to add that a lot of the Authorship Question also arises from a fundamental misunderstanding of early modern English culture. A lot of the records that we have for Shakespeare are business-oriented because those were the sorts of documents that were considered important. It’s not a fundamental disconnect from the solitary genius baring his soul though poetry (an idea that emerged via 19th century Romantics— before Wordsworth, sonnets were not considered to be confessional in nature). It’s just a matter of what archives were important to early modern people.
There’s not an absence of evidence, there’s an absence of archive, based on what Shakespeare’s contemporaries thought was important to preserve. We know about as much about Shakespeare’s life as we know about other Elizabethan playwrights. (This podcast offers more proof of this. The lecturer wrote for the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography and mentions that only seven lost years for an early modern subject was considered remarkably good going.) It’s only because Shakespeare was glommed onto as a secular Jesus in the 18th and 19th century (and the rise of biography as a genre starting with I think Boswell’s The Life of Samuel Johnson) that knowing more about his life became an obsession, to the point where there were famous forgers and people began to think that an absence of evidence that they and their 18th/19th century contemporaries would have preserved was proof of a conspiracy.
As to the education argument— that’s a fundamental misunderstanding of what English grammar schools were like during the Elizabethan era. The references and allusions in Shakespeare’s plays are perfectly consistent with the curriculum of a typical grammar school graduate. And speaking of the plays, they are fundamentally of the theater and for the theater. They flatter patrons (o hai there Banquo’s successively handsomer and kinglier descendants *cough*James I*cough), they play with what could and could not be done on a stage. They retell stories popular at the time (The Merchant of Venice is often considered to be a reaction to Marlowe’s The Jew of Malta).
Shakespeare wrote for people like him— for people like us. Not people who preserved the same things we do, or who learned the same things we do, but people who felt the same as we do.
HEY HEY HEY HEYYYYYYYY MY FAVORITE QUEER DRUNK ASSHOLE POET TURNED 450 TODAY (and let me tell you, there is a lot of competition for the title “favorite queer drunk asshole poet”)
BUT as we all know, there is some controversy over who ACTUALLY wrote shakespeare’s plays!
so in order to mark this SERIOUS and LEGITIMATE issue, i have compiled the most likely theories in this comprehensive list:
- in julius caesar, cassius says, “this is my birthday; on this very day cassius was born.” on that same day, cassius DIES. guess who else was not only born on april 23, but died april 23?? that’s right, shakespeare. english playwright? or ancient roman ghost bent on revenge? YOU BE THE JUDGE.
- shakespeare married a woman called anne hathaway. BATMAN ALSO MARRIED ANNE HATHAWAY. have you ever seen shakespeare and batman in the same place at the same time??????
- lived in london? totally encountered prostitutes several times? probably spoke english? william shakespeare……. or JACK THE RIPPER
- uh, excuse me, an uneducated glovemaker’s son couldn’t possibly have written the 38 works of art attributed to shakespeare. please consider instead this picture of a cat pushing another cat in a shopping cart. you’re welcome.
- ””“”“”“”“”“president obama????”“”“”“”“” more like PRESIDENT WILLIAMSHAKESPOBAMA. wake UP, america
- ME I’M WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE I HAVE BEEN SHAKESPEARE ALL ALONG AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA YOU FOOLS YOU IGNORANT FOOLS
Anonymous asked: I read your Winter Soldier analysis, and I have a question : you say that "There’s a reason his code name is drawn from an investigation into one of the ugliest chapters of American history." Please help a non-American understand what you meant? I mean I obviously see the Cold War reference in the movie, but from what you've written it seems like something more subtle *within* the Cold War... shit, I mean just "Cold War" seems too evident and I can't find the deeper meaning?
Oh gosh, don’t feel bad, there are plenty of Americans who have never even heard of this.
The Winter Soldier Investigation was a 1971 veteran-organized media event intended to draw attention to the war crimes that had taken place in Vietnam. Directly inspired by the exposure of the My Lai Massacre (the mass murder of over five hundred unarmed civilians by American troops) in 1969, Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW) brought together discharged servicemen from every branch of the military to discuss the atrocities they had seen and committed during their time in the war. They hoped bring these tragedies before the public eye, and to prove that American military policies led directly to the death and torment of civilians. Eventually a transcript from this conference made its way before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during the Fullbright Hearings.
When Ed Brubaker, the author who wrote the original Winter Soldier arc, chose the name, he wanted something that would call up both cold Siberian winters and the atrocities of war. This fit the bill.
But the term itself, the idea of “winter soldiers”, was coined by VVAW as a response to the writings of Thomas Paine, who described the men who deserted at Valley Forge during the American Revolution:
These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country, but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.
A winter soldier is someone who will warm their hands over a meager fire and weather the cold. Someone who refuses to abandon their country and its potential, no matter what the personal cost.
So how’s that for a weird little twist? According to Thomas Paine—activist, political philosopher, and revolutionary—the real winter soldier is Captain America.
Anonymous asked: You want people like Cameron, Clegg or Miliband running the country? You want an elitist self-involved minority standing as the sole controllers of Britain? Are you crazy? The Royal family acts as a barrier between the politicians and certain dictatorial laws. Plus the money they rake back in tourism far outweighs the money lost in tax payers money. I'd rather have someone like Harry or William standing for us then any amount of Politicians. Seriously.
out of courtesy i’ve recorded my response to this message in voice clip form
okay, but really:
- "You want people like Cameron, Clegg or Miliband running the country?" … wait, okay, but who … who do you think runs the country. because. i mean. those people run the country. they already run the country. that’s… that’s what is currently happening. david cameron is currently the prime minister of the united kingdom. i’m not happy about it but that’s what’s going on. here is a handy link explaining what ‘prime minister’ means. i hope it is useful for you. i’ll wait while you read it. take your time.
- "You want an elitist self-involved minority standing as the sole controllers of Britain?" I DON’T KNOW WHAT BRITAIN YOU’RE LIVING IN, ANON, BUT [TAKES PHOTOGRAPH OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS, PUSHES IT SLOWLY ACROSS THE TABLE TO YOU, POINTS SIGNIFICANTLY AT IT]
- "The Royal family acts as a barrier between the politicians and certain dictatorial laws." aw shit i forgot that every country without a monarchy is a dictatorship. guess you showed me lol (the monarch is politically neutral + practically politically impotent, the structure and legislation of government contains checks and balances on parliamentary power which are unrelated to whether or not there’s a monarchy, you need to read— well i was going to say "a book" but honestly "anything other than the daily mail" pretty much covers it)
- "Plus the money they rake back in tourism far outweighs the money lost in tax payers money." cite your fucking sources. the ‘facts’ trotted out most often about the monarchy being ~great for tourism~ come from a tourist authority group called visitbritain who calculated the amount spent by tourists on "culture and heritage" and then calculated that 1 in 8 heritage/culture sites is "related to the monarchy" — but in the case of their study that means anything from ‘anne boleyn lived in this national trust castle for a week’ to ‘this museum used to be a royal-owned stately home’. so that’s bullshit in and of itself AND THEN there’s the fact that, like — tourists are not going to stop going to the tower of london if there is no longer a monarchy in place in the united kingdom. tourists are not going to stop visiting buckingham palace if no one lives there any more. it’s not like people have stopped going to versailles because france doesn’t have a monarchy any more. most of the ~monarchy-related tourism attractions~ are based around the historic monarchy. unless you think sales of teatowels with the windsor crest or chintzy teacups with prince william’s face on are single-handedly going to save the british economy?
- " I’d rather have someone like Harry … standing for us"
I am still pretty buried in work, but dropping in to comment on a trope I’ve seen popping up again and again in CA: TWS fic, which is: the horror and totality of Bucky’s deconstruction as a person is shown through the revelation that he doesn’t know what [food, clothes, music, coffee, etc] he likes, and a significant part of his reconstruction involves correcting this.
This is very attractive trope. I enjoy reading it! But I want to turn a critical eye on it, and on my own enjoyment of it. This will surprise no one who’s been reading my blog for a long time, since I’m persistently and heavily critical of the selfist/consumerist ideology that underlies Western capitalist society. And that’s what’s going on here, really, I think: this trope is an expression of our understanding of what it means to be a person, and our anxieties about person-ness.
An old man was struggling to open his plastic bag at Tescos so I opened it for him. He said ‘you make it look so easy!’ and I replied ‘I used to work at a super market so I’ve had lots of practice’ to which he replied ‘I used to work at the Royal Marines, I’ve killed lots of people.’ He smiled, he said ‘thanks sweetie’ then walked away.