domingo, outubro 15, 2017

The Linux Server Encyclopaedia: "Anonymous" by Roland Emmerich



Sigh. 

Sorry to interrupt, but what is it about the nature of our species that is so attracted to conspiracy theories? We can trace this as far back as Homer and plenty of modern examples as well.

If I had a crystal ball I think it may well show a 2416 Ox/Cam luminary frothing at the bung as he expounded on the impossibility of an illiterate uneducated Lennon seen as the co-author and author of his celebrated works. I took an interest in the claims of the Earl Of Oxford after the film Anonymous made its preposterous contribution in 2011. I was particularly interested in the fact that the denialists draw so much confidence from their claims to have discovered hidden ciphers in epitaphs and ancillary texts. The Oxfordian method of unwinding these hidden messages (they are never ciphers) involves little more than separating all the letters and making words out of them as if they were a Scrabble bag with two dozen blank tiles. Oxfordians tend to stop as soon as they have found what they want. I was able to go a bit further, whilst sticking rigidly to their 'method'. As a result, I can offer a few new ideas about Shakespeare's favourite books which not even Professor Jonathan Bate may not have considered.

1. The Autobiography of Howard Kendall

By far the most distressing revelation for a lifelong Kopite is that Shakespeare was an Everton supporter. As a native of the Midlands, he would have been forced to look north for a credible team to support. How he came to to choose The Toffees is a source of amazement but a 6x48 grill made from the epitaph reveals the legend "Evrtn is grat".

2. The Linux Server Encyclopaedia

It's fairly safe to assume most playwrights of the period, like creatives today, were Mac users but Will obviously needed industrial strength servers for his prolific output and showed a strong preference for Japanese hardware. On a desert island, with no online access to help, a cautiously competent techie would surely have taken a manual. A 4x96 grill reveals "Sony btr thn HP".

3. The Brilliant Bumper Joke Book

Much has been written about Will's comic knowledge and his instinctive grasp of the science of timing. His tavern jokes and gag lines like "William the Conqueror was there first" are legendary. No one has explored the possibility that Will may have been an early comic stand-up artist, yet in his epitaph (12 x 9 grid this time), he clearly left us one of his most treasured punchlines "Jesus saves, Moses paies owt". I think he'd have liked this book to remind him of his audience.

So remember, whilst almost all of what Oxfordians have to say might look completely ridiculous to anyone with a knowledge of the work, there will still be a legacy after the few who are left have gone.

Of course, Oxfordians don't really seem to like the fact that plays are in fact plays, and they will tend
to ignore everything that is known about how plays were produced in the period. Paul Crowley believes that the "canonical plays" were "rarely if ever performed" while William talks of plays being "held back". The fact is, that prior to 1616, the year of Shakespeare's death and Jonson' First Folio, the idea of English drama as an authorial publishing venture was unknown. The quartos were published by printers as and when they could get hold of prompt copies, and playwrights did not enjoy the benefits of copyright legislation. Plays were written to be staged. For no other reason - certainly not just to send coded messages within an aristocratic coterie.

Clear internal evidence shows typecasting, and typecasting determined a deal of choices for Shakespeare. Hamlet, which is explained by Oxfordians as a kind of autobiographical fable, tells us much about the context of drama at the time. Hamlet and Polonius (or the actors playing them) joke about the one stabbing the other in Julius Caesar the previous season. Hamlet demands that clowns stick to the script, shortly after a popular ad-libbing clown has been replaced with a more sober actorly clown.

The fact that plays were a successful commercial form of entertainment is very bothersome to Oxfordians, which is why they try to refute or tone down the idea wherever possible.

Last night I watched the movie again. After having read all of the Shakespeare work since 2011, I said to myself: "Maybe the the movie will have some merit after all"...Nope. It's was belly-button fluff in 2011, it's still belly-button fluff in 2017.A word to the wise for any brilliant writers out there - you'd better make sure that when you die, you leave behind you a trail of debris in your personal life to rival that of any of your characters.

If you write great romances, leave ample proof of all those sordid affairs you had, all those hearts you broke! Swoon for all you're worth in front of the cameras, baby, and don't leave the house without your lipstick on. Keep a detailed record of all the illegitimate children you had, and who adopted them, so that DNA testing on your descendants in the 25th century will prove you to be the author of your bodice-ripping yarns. Do not, under any circumstances, die unmarried, undivorced, or worse yet a virgin - the people of the future will mock the very idea of you understanding romance, and will put you in the fraudsters hall of shame alongside Jane Austen (whose books, as we all know, were really written by her male editor).

If you write spy thrillers, you'd better put a copy of your MI5 file in the safe for future generations to find. Better still if you can leave a copy of your old Stasi file alongside it. Shhh! Don't keep anything more than this or it will make you seem careless... careless like a bad spy who could never have come up with that twist in the ending of that triple-agent novel you wrote, you know the one, only you don't, do you? Because you didn't write it, you liar, you were just the front, the patsy for that CIA operative who couldn't use their own name because they had to do the job of a real man, a job you can't begin understand. You disgust me.

If you write fantasy fiction and care about the integrity of your legacy you really need to leave proof of your pagan/wiccan/voodoo/Satanic/other* predelictions. This is quite difficult, as a few scrawls in the margins of a tattered copy of the Book of Shadows might not be enough to convince people in the 25th century. Try getting arrested for the ritual murder of a virgin, or at the very least, indecent exposure when dancing around Stonehenge at midnight. Laminate the subsequent newspaper reports to ensure they don't degrade over the centuries as future generations will consider electronic files too easily faked, and besides, most of them were lost forever in the great EMP war of 2323, which was all a bit convenient for you, wasn't it? Someone still covering up for you after all that time, hmm?

If you write science fiction, for goodness sake don't be an actual scientist! People in the 25th century will understand physics in a way we cannot hope to comprehend and will therefore find your faster-than-light drive hilarious, and refuse to believe that a scientist wrote such a thing, attributing it instead to your alcoholic second cousin who still lived with his mother, as that's what science fiction writers are supposed to do. Please don't tell me you've moved with your girlfriend. We really are beyond hope now, aren't we?

Follow these basic rules, and you too can die happy in the knowledge that centuries from now, your body of work will not be used as an anti-establishment sledgehammer by an irate cultish group seeking to "bring down the man" by reading fiction in strictly autobiographical terms and calling everyone "sheeple".


To paraphrase Bill Bryson:

"Oxford would certainly have had ample leisure to write the plays after 1604, assuming he was not too dead to work."

Shakespeare wrote some of his finest plays after the death of Oxford. That's how stupid these people are. Shakespeare belongs to us, not the inbred, narrow aristocracy and thick actors. To the tower with them.

NB: It always amazes me what some people get obsessed by. Engaging with most "Shakespeare didn't write Shakespeare" advocates is a bit like being button-holed by someone who thinks they can prove the Ark of the Covenant is really buried under Birmingham New Street Station, and prove it mathematically based only on the Book of Revelation and the paintings of Rembrandt.

4 comentários:

Book Stooge disse...

Just what do you have against belly button fluff anyway? This is the second, or third, post where you've used that description in a negative fashion. Next time you see the Pope, make sure to ask him to fix you of that problem. We don't need that kind of hate in the world anymore *wink*

As for conspiracy theorists, man, you nailed that description. I started reading one book, on numerology, where the author starts out by saying something like "if you turn the letter "S" on it's side, you can see how...." and then spins down through history about how his pet theory of whatever is correct. That book got me really frustrated because someone else at church had just read it and they were a new Christian and they were so worried and fearful. They didn't know their Bible well enough yet to be able to separate fact from speculation in non-Bible sources.

And this is why I write a journal on a daily or weekly basis. That much mundane, boring detail simply CAN'T be made up. You have to live it! Of course, I've never put any photos on in it, so maybe my words just won't be enough. So how are YOU going to ensure your legacy? Obviously you didn't write your books. Even if you have your picture on the back. If someone as simple as me can tell that, what will the demi-gods of the future be able to tell? Probably that the author of those books really LOVED belly button fluff. So it is obvious that you couldn't have written them.

My goodness, it's a conspiracy by the Pope to steal your intellectual property!!!!!!!

Manuel Antão disse...

You're mistaken... I'm all for the belly-button fluff, especially of the blue variety... That's the best kind. It means you ate truffles the day before, and that is most revealing... And no. The Pope is too busy with the stuff going down in the world. I wouldn't dream of asking him that.

As to the conspirancy theories and to paraphrase Bill Bryson:

‘Oxford would certainly have had ample leisure to write the plays after 1604, assuming he was not too dead to work.’

Shakespeare wrote some of his finest plays after the death of Oxford. That's how stupid these people are. Shakespeare belongs to us, not the inbred, narrow aristocracy and thick actors. To the tower with them.

Luís Filipe Franco disse...

Lol! Only after I see the movie will I be able to comment on that!... but regarding post mortem recognition I i would suggest that for the future memory try something like Hugh Hefner real life show... the girl next door:).

Manuel Antão disse...

Pornography is just a pictorial example of how the human race is even here to look at porn in the first place. To be offended by porn is to be embarrassed there's even a human race, because none of us got here without both a) fucking and b) the human desire to fuck.