Dogs rule the world, from essential worker to best friend and now master of their domain

Dogs began their descent from wolves some 130,000 years ago when an enterprising pack discovered a new source of food and warmth ripe for exploitation.  Today, there is little doubt who is in charge in most households, as canines have transitioned from essential workers for hunters and farmers to loveable, furry, spoiled parasites, doted over… Continue reading Dogs rule the world, from essential worker to best friend and now master of their domain

“To be or not to be” is the most famous speech in the English language, but what does it really mean?

On the surface, Hamlet ponders life and fear of death, but the subtext veers far beyond that into morality and conscience, reflecting the themes of the play and the broader range of the human condition. Not bad for a speech that seems almost accidentally stuck into the final product, as if Shakespeare wrote it for… Continue reading “To be or not to be” is the most famous speech in the English language, but what does it really mean?

Shakespeare’s Othello, the Turing Test for Artificial Intelligence, and the indeterminacy of radical translation

It took close to 350 years for mathematics and philosophy to catch up with the ideas about the human mind explored in Shakespeare’s classic tragedy.  From computer science to the study of language, the opacity of other minds remains at the forefront of our understanding of each other and at the center of Iago’s scheming… Continue reading Shakespeare’s Othello, the Turing Test for Artificial Intelligence, and the indeterminacy of radical translation

Shakespeare’s Henry V and the timeless politics of power

King Henry V is a nationalist hero to the English, a villain to the French, and likely something in between to modern audiences.  Part heroic warrior, part self-serving, calculating politician, Henry’s rise prompts timeless questions about the nature of power in general. Shakespeare’s Henry V is a subtly yet at times disturbingly contradictory character, a… Continue reading Shakespeare’s Henry V and the timeless politics of power

The Tragedy of Macbeth and the Immortal Genius of William Shakespeare

An excellent new film adaptation combines a stark abstraction with rich performances and stunning moments to illuminate the complexities underlying a simple plot, but no single version can ever capture the impenetrable duality of man that serves as Shakespeare’s true subject matter.  Free will or foreordained?  We are a product of both, and this play… Continue reading The Tragedy of Macbeth and the Immortal Genius of William Shakespeare

Shakespeare: Is there at least one dead white dude worthy of redemption?

Despite calls to cancel the Bard, NPR reports that black theater actors and directors are adapting Shakespeare’s plays in innovative new productions and interpretations, taking their place in a long, storied history of performances and a worldwide legacy that embraces all ethnicities.   Earlier this year, a movement was afoot to cancel, or at least greatly… Continue reading Shakespeare: Is there at least one dead white dude worthy of redemption?

Cancel William Shakespeare?

Woke culture will not rest until all evidence of Western culture is erased, and not even the greatest writer in the known universe is safe.  A new movement aims to eliminate Shakespeare from classrooms to focus on diverse voices, completely upending the nature of genius in favor of identity politics, but what else is new?… Continue reading Cancel William Shakespeare?

Negative space: How the things left unsaid connect the diverse genius of Shakespeare, Kubrick, and Springsteen

Three very different masters of their craft, three unique mediums, one connecting concept that illuminates what makes their work timeless and yet somehow outside our reach at the same time Like William Shakespeare, Stanley Kubrick can be something of an acquired taste.  People are vaguely aware of the reputed genius, but prefer to appreciate it… Continue reading Negative space: How the things left unsaid connect the diverse genius of Shakespeare, Kubrick, and Springsteen