In the fine tradition of theatre excellence a New York City troupe of Shakespearian actors is regaling audiences this Summer with an old dramatic chestnut: Julius Caesar.
Now, now. Don’t get upset. The theatre has always been about wish fulfillment. And those people who think that violence on stage begets the same thing in reality. They’re nothing but Christianist morons. Oh, wait….
Soon after Kathy Griffin “beheaded Trump” and we got the anti-Trump Julius Caesar a man opened up on a bunch of GOP Senators and COngressmen who were practicing to play in a charity baseball game. For those who appreciate Rep. Scalize, he is currently alive, but prayers would be appropriate. So did the deranged shooter actually idolize Kathy Griffin or the budding Hugo Weavings slicing and dicing “Donald Trump” in the park? It will be hard to find out. The killer died during his assassination attempt.
Art has always been political. Polemics against the people in charge have been a theatrical or cinematic staple since Aristophenes risked the hemlock cocktail by mocking the philosophers of ancient Athens with his play Clouds. Shakespeare, himself, frequently found himself carefully toeing the line. MacBeth dealt with regicide and political ambition. Hamlet dealt with what happened to the kingdom when the royal family went trailer park. Given this mornings terrible events, Hamlet’s
Hamlet is a very famous early example of meta-theater because it contains a play-within-a-play. The Murder of Gonzago is how Hamlet plans to affect the mind of Claudius, and bring him face-to-face with what he has done. In Shakespeare’s play, art is taken from the past and it’s meant to change the future. Hamlet sees theater as didactic: he uses it to teach a lesson to his usurping Uncle, and he’s not very subtle.
Shakespeare knew drama could impact reality. He was understanding of the fact that political patronage fueled his career. The play-within-a-play motif was his oblique way of discussing the potential impact of fiction on reality in a manner that wouldn’t get him beheaded by the English Monarchy. Sadly, the modern play-actor has eschewed all subtlety. “Comedy” means waving around the bloody head of your political opponent. “Tragedy” involves rewriting a classic play to have your ideological opposition get stabbed twenty times. When the VP-Elect goes to take in a showing of Hamilton, he gets harangued by the dramatis personae.
These “comedians”, “actors” and “entertainers” all know exactly what they are doing. They want the violence. They want to see anybody associate with any part of the Right get shot and get killed. They only seek to deplatform you so that they can reach your neck with the hatchet. These “artists” absolutely mean every bit of the malice they project. This morning, at the GOP Congressional Baseball Practice, they have their reward. I hope they are all truly proud.