Archive | January, 2010

A Wonder How His Grace Should Glean It

There’s long been debate as to whether Shakespeare, a small-town commoner with “small Latin and less Greek” could have had the experience and erudition necessary to write the plays that are attributed to him.

I don’t find the “anti-Stratfordian” arguments terribly persuasive, but I’m not proposing to thrash all that out here. Rather, I was just struck by the fact that the Archbishop of Canterbury’s speech about the king in Shakespeare’s Henry V reads like an anticipatory comment on the authorship controversy:

William ShakespeareHear him but reason in divinity,
and, all-admiring, with an inward wish
you would desire the King were made a prelate;
hear him debate of commonwealth affairs,
you would say it hath been all in all his study;
list his discourse of war, and you shall hear
a fearful battle rend’red you in music;
turn him to any cause of policy,
the Gordian knot of it he will unloose,
familiar as his garter; that, when he speaks,
the air, a charter’d libertine, is still,
and the mute wonder lurketh in men’s ears,
to steal his sweet and honey’d sentences;
so that the art and practice’d part of life
must be the mistress to this theoric:
which is a wonder how his Grace should glean it,
since his addiction was to courses vain,
his companies unletter’d, rude, and shallow,
his hours fill’d up with riots, banquets, sports,
and never noted in him any study,
any retirement, any sequestration
from open haunts and popularity.

Dimness at Noon

Today’s “Dear Abby” contains the following question:

DEAR ABBY: I’m having a dispute with my husband. He thinks that you screw in a lightbulb clockwise. I disagree. I say counter-clockwise. Which of us is correct? – ERIKA IN PELHAM, ALA.

Here’s a more puzzling question: why would someone write to Dear Abby to answer a question that could be answered in a few seconds by performing a not very complicated experiment?


I’ll be in San Diego next week. I’m glad it’s not this week! The mall where I saw the first Star Wars movie in 1977 is likely to flood tonight.

Libertopia Is Coming

Golden Gate BridgeNext July in San Francisco I’m planning to speak at Libertopia, an event organised by Sky Conway (about whom I’ve blogged previously), and not to be confused with any of the various other things out there already called “Libertopia.”

I believe the list of speakers on the website is only tentative, but it gives some idea of the ways in which it’s wide-ranging (both Brad Spangler and Hans Hoppe!) and the ways in which it isn’t (almost everyone on the list is an anarchist and is pursuing a primarily non-electoral form of activism; I have reason to think that’s by design).

A pity it’s so pricey (I’m with Starchild on that issue – high convention fees clash with inclusiveness), though if one skips the banquet and cruise and stays at a cheaper hotel (I like the Powell) it’s not as bad.

(The event hasn’t been widely promoted yet, but I’m spreading the word because there are, alas, deadline-triggered price hikes.)

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