Friday, March 25, 2016

Repeating Is Not Reporting

I hadn't intended to write about this again, so soon and I don't know if it's part of the Stratford industry propaganda push which seems to be trotting stuff out on a weekly basis, these days, but NPR is just telling us that one of the Brit TV stations are pushing a story that the skull of the Stratford businessman is missing. Apparently they used some kind of sound imaging to determine this.   The archaeologist, Kevin Colls, suspects that the skull was stolen for sale or, apparently, on commission by a collector in the late 18th century.   It's no surprise to anyone who read Mark Twain's entertaining essay, Is Shakespeare Dead?   He said that Shakespeare of Stratford on Avon was.  "a Brontosaur: nine bones and six hundred barrels of plaster of paris."

The archaeologist  mentioned the famous curse that's carved on the stone, of which, Mark Twain also said:

So far as anybody actually knows and can prove, Shakespeare of Stratford-on-Avon never wrote a play in his life.

So far as anybody knows and can prove, he never wrote a letter to anybody in his life.

So far as any one knows, he received only one letter during his life.

So far as any one knows and can prove, Shakespeare of Stratford wrote only one poem during his life.  This one is authentic.  He did write that one—a fact which stands undisputed; he wrote the whole of it; he wrote the whole of it out of his own head.  He commanded that this work of art be engraved upon his tomb, and he was obeyed.  There it abides to this day.  This is it:

Good friend for Iesus sake forbeare
To digg the dust encloased heare:
Blest be ye man yt spares thes stones
And curst be he yt moves my bones.

In the list as above set down, will be found every positively known fact of Shakespeare’s life, lean and meagre as the invoice is.  Beyond these details we know not a thing about him.  All the rest of his vast history, as furnished by the biographers, is built up, course upon course, of guesses, inferences, theories, conjectures—an Eiffel Tower of artificialities rising sky-high from a very flat and very thin foundation of inconsequential facts.

f anything that is truer today than it was more than a century ago when Twain wrote his essay. I find it quite entertaining and rather telling that in 2016 that tower is still being maintained by some of the most expensively educated people in history and peddled through allegedly high-standard journalism, such as a place like NPR is alleged to practice.  It's just another example of how they don't really report, they repeat an approved narrative without question.

Update:  The belief that Jesus rose from the dead is called "belief" given the documentary record from the entire classical era, the virtual nonexistence of physical originals, the fact that so much of the documentation of even the most universally accepted, entirely secular events and personalities is, actually, more scarce, Jesus is very well documented in terms of his time.   That is an unfortunate consequence of the fact of what the documentary record of that period consists of, that's why the belief in the Resurrection of Jesus is what it's called, a belief.

The fact is, despite more than seventy records of William Shaksper(e) of Stratford upon Avon still in existence, including a relatively large number of those associated with his business dealings, that not a single one of those points to him having had a literary career.  Not a single one.  That not a single person known to have known him talks about him having been a writer despite much of their relevant writing still exists.  Because of that a belief that Shaksper(e) was the greatest writer in the English language, from a period which is relatively massively documented, means that there is far less reason to regard his literary career as a fact.   The chances of him having written all of what is attributed to him without a single, contemporary document pointing to that is, as pointed out earlier this week, unique in prominent writers of the Elizabethan-Jacobian period.

If you want to believe that William Shaksper(e) wrote the plays and poems, that is a belief, not that much different from a religious belief, though one which, in the context of contemporaneous physical and other documentation is, actually, more problematical.   It is your religious belief, you should admit that.  Go ahead, admit it.

Update 2:  I don't think of Steve Simels as a writer so much as the focus of a profiler in one of Val McDermid's novels.

Update 3:  I have a whole stream of angry, enraged comments in moderation from the pathetic, silly stalker.   I should send Val a thank you letter, I didn't put those two things together till this afternoon.   Now that I know him for what he is, I think it's my moral obligation to ignore him.   I'll let him stalk en camera, what he's been doing since at least the period when NTodd exposed him and his sockpuppets.  

Well, Duncan, he's all yours now.


  1. "despite more than seventy records of William Shaksper(e) of Stratford upon Avon still in existence, including a relatively large number of those associated with his business dealings, that not a single one of those points to him having had a literary career"

    That's because most people think that actors make up their own lines.

    1. You obviously don't know much about Elizabethan an Jacobian theater, there was improvisation in it and if the Stratford man was an actor - and the evidence is rather ambiguous on that point - he could have been one of the illiterate one of the illiterate comedians who mixed lines learned by rote with inserted gags.

      That's a url, not my opinion of your idiocy.

  2. I see Tlaz, Gummo and the rest of your fellow tots are as stupid as ever.

    That would be Tlaz who mistook a sourced, cited quote from Richard Feynman as my own commentary, though the citation was there on the page if the dumb dolly had read to the end of it.