Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Shakespeare World

Lisa: Anyway, a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.
Bart: Not if you call it stinkweeed.
Marge: I'd feel very differently if someone gave me a bunch of stinkweed.

- The Simpsons, I can't remember which one.

There's something unseemly about the whole tourist industry. It hit me yesterday as I wandered around the various Shakespeare sites in Stratford. They've bought up a couple of tenuously related houses (his grand-daughter's two houses) and dressed them up as genuine Shakespearean temples of worship. They've shoved a tacky gift shop right by his birthplace (admittedly, with an amusing coffee mug full of Shakespearean insults). And they're charging admittance fees to see his grave.

I'm not sure what to make of it. On one hand, the Bard would probably have encouraged it - he was a businessman himself. On the other, there's something distasteful about profiting from a guy's grave. Maybe I'm just imposing my sensiblities onto the situation (he did part with quite a bit of money to be buried there), but it seems tacky.

I guess I want to be a tourist without seeming too touristy. It's a fine, and rather hypocritical line to take.

Went to Warwick Castle today. Yep, when they were thinking up names to call this castle, someone decided that "Warwick" was fearsome enough to deter enemies. Then again, it was once owned by a guy named Neville. It makes for a deflating experience.

What's in a name, you say? Quite a bit, especially if it's stinkweed.

Meanwhile, Appiah is trying to decide between West Ham and Arsenal. Seriously. Fuck me down and slap me silly. Have we sunkne so low that Appiah can't tell us apart from West Ham?

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