Celebrity Smackdown: William Shakespeare
Love is a many splendored thing. Many artists have tried to capture the essence of love but few have succeeded. Even today, romantic films often fall into the morose category and leave love somewhere on the cutting room floor. Few artists have had the impact on this four letter word than one writer. So this weeks Celebrity Smackdown is a little different. It will be a posthumous smackdown in some part. I wonder if they have internet in heaven and if Shakespeare is on Facebook?
Lee says: I was a freshman in high school when I read ‘Romeo and Juliet’. I want you to picture a 13-14 year old girl reading this play. This should be like red meat to a lion, right? But no. I thought it was a ridiculous story. Even back then I had a healthy streak (or extremely cynical bent which is probably more likely). I found the play insipid and the ultimate angst fest of stupidity.
How do you explain to an adolescent that love shouldn’t work that way? Romeo had just been heart broken by Rosaline and now was madly in love with Juliet. What bullshit? What a fickle bitch! Then throw on top of the whole thing that the Capulet’s and Montague’s are enemies and that makes for some whacky drama. This notion has propagated the belief that opposites attract and 14 year old girls are hot. I knew even back then that Shakespeare was an irresponsible artist. How can you honestly put that crap out there?
I know, this is ridiculous but I am trying to make a point. We have mentioned before the effect that the media has on us but the place where we are most affected is in the area of love. We want our affairs to be fiery. We want love to be at first sight. We want our significant other to be willing to die for us. We find it hot that someone is willing to not take no for an answer and we think it’s love when we feel compelled to stalk someone. And all of this comes from the artistic interpretations of love from people like Shakespeare and Sting.
In my novel writing I take all of this into account. It is difficult to write about people in love without slipping into the dysfunction but regardless of my artistic integrity, I have my mental health to think of and I just can’t let that be the message I put out there. ‘Once a therapist, always a therapist.’
So I smacketh you down Bard of Avon. Thou hath wrought much dysfunction in our world with your verses. Was it your profane intention to create a world ignorant of the realities of love? A world where if people don’t feel that when they first lay eyes on someone that they had never seen true beauty until that moment, then it can’t be love. A world where the realities of the world are but staging and props for the drama and dance of an affair, where the curtain falls only after the massive break-up and minimum of three make-ups. A world where being ‘star-cross’d lovers’ is the ideal and not the exception.
Sure the stuff is well written and his way with words has never been seen again (unless you count old movies like ‘Philadelphia Story’ and ‘Stage Door’), but his message, on so many levels, has changed love and not for the good. Many a person has found themselves crying that their love wouldn’t take the poison. Many a person has found themselves married to a total stranger because they were hot the night before or because their parents didn’t approve of them. But I suppose 500 years after your death, smacking you down is a bit abusive. Consider this then a roast, you stiff collared, writing motherfucker. Next up, Lisa Lampanelli is going to talk about your little dick and whether you were a top or bottom.
Paul says: Had Bill Shakespeare know Darwin, Romeo and Juliet would have been an ode to the scientist; A story of two youths who, through their generationally passed down stupidity, remove themselves from the gene pool. It brings a tear to my eye.