Oh My God! You Mean Hamlet Dies?!

On the Stratford Festival Theatre Website:

“This production contains references to death and dying that some people may find distressing”.

You have got to be kidding.

You mean the theatre company that has regularly presented “Hamlet” and “Macbeth” and “Richard II” and “Henry IV” etc., for more than 50 years, has suddenly decided that audiences need to be warned that some characters in the play they are watching might get killed?

Is there a risk that some people might spend $130 on tickets and travel all the way to Stratford and then accidentally stumble into Macbeth offing King Duncan, or Hamlet offing Polonius, or Ophelia offing herself?

“Some” people? But not “all” people. Me, for example: I think I might enjoy seeing Othello or Lear bite the dust.

I would prefer not to be warned.

But seriously: have the promotional team at Stratford Festival Theatre lost their minds?  Do they imagine some theatre-goer rushing out of the theatre weeping and traumatized because they didn’t know Banquo was going to get killed and are shocked that a play at a Shakespearean festival theatre would have death in it?

Look, folks, Stratford itself has the solution:  it now offers a multitude of anodyne confections for every taste!  Check it out,






Spinoza Would be Appalled

I read this today in the letters section of the New York Times in response to this article on Spinoza.

If one were adhere to the worldview of Spinoza as defined here, you would be very saddened by the way democracy is practiced in this country today. The founders viewed liberty and freedom as the bedrock of a self-governing country. We have become over the last century or more a country whereby unelected unknown individuals working for the government have taken control of aspects of our lives for our supposed own good. Spinoza would be appalled as would the founders over how we have lost much of our liberty to think and run our lives.

I responded thusly:

@bill walker Your comment stopped me. Really? So you wanted to read a controversial book and couldn’t find it? You wanted to go to any church at all and someone prevented you? You wanted to see a movie, attend a lecture, take part in a political rally, and were held back? You couldn’t choose a doctor or go to a private or public school or drink from a public fountain or change your gender or post a letter to the editor because “unelected unknown individuals working for the government” were out to limit your freedoms? Spinoza, if he were here today, would be plainly astonished at the amount of freedom we have. Objectively, no people have ever been more free to express their wishes as we are today. It’s not those unelected unknown people who want to limit your freedom: is those elected MAGA stooges who forced libraries to remove dictionaries because they define words that describe bodily functions. In other words, they are us, if we let them.