Archive | August 8, 2019

Middelboe Chronicles, Part 29: Richard III

If yesterday’s Shepherd Boy Tumur illustrated Plato’s dictum that the best ruler is one who doesn’t want the job, today’s Richard III (“Shakespeare: The Animated Tales,” 1994) illustrates the corollary: that the worst ruler is one who wants the job very, very badly.

It’s a bit surprising that we don’t get to see Clarence’s famous butt:

GLOUCESTER: Simple, plain Clarence! I do love thee so,
That I will shortly send thy soul to heaven ….
But, soft! here come my executioners. …

FIRST MURDERER: Take him over the costard with the hilts of thy sword, and then we will chop him in the malmsey-butt in the next room. …

CLARENCE: Where art thou, keeper? give me a cup of wine.

SECOND MURDERER: You shall have wine enough, my lord, anon. …

FIRST MURDERER: I’ll drown you in the malmsey-butt within. …

DUCHESS OF YORK: Was never mother had so dear a loss! …
These babes for Clarence weep and so do I …

GLOUCESTER: That is the butt-end of a mother’s blessing.

I can’t resist appending a clip of my favourite version of Richard III – Ian McKellen, of course:

SciFi SongFest, Songs 79-80

Two songs of attempts at alien contact:

79. David Bowie, “Baby Universal” (1991):

In “Baby Universal,” the titular baby – who may be an echo of the Star Child who arrives in the skies of Earth at the end of 2001: A Space Odyssey – attempts to address the human race, apparently via telepathy: “Hallo humans, can you feel me thinking? / I assume you’re seeing everything I’m thinking”:

80. Klaatu, “Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft” (1976):

On the other hand, Klaatu – a band taking its name from the extraterrestrial visitor in The Day the Earth Stood Still – attempts telepathic contact in the other direction:

For better or worse, the Carpenters’ cover version is better known:

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