How to fix something broken

Random thoughts

Month: November, 2015

Universal and timeless?


Scottish actor David Tennant in a 2009 TV adaptation of William Shakespeare‘s Hamlet.

Shakespeare is neither universal nor timeless, stop repeating that.

Even if Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa adapted two of his classic works: Macbeth and King Lear (Throne of blood and Ran, respectively).

American anthropologist Laura Bohannan read Hamlet to an African society, the tiv, while she was doing fieldwork in Nigeria, to prove herself that the British playwright’s works had a universal scope. She failed.  (You can read about her experience here).

Not that I don’t find the idea of trying to bring classic stories to the modern era interesting. And it’s true that this man -just as Greek and Roman playwrights- wrote about life, death and love in a way that is still in force, since it has its roots in primal human feelings.

But please: let’s not forget context.

This reminds me of people claiming Anna Karenina, Madame Bovary or Jane Austen‘s novels are romantic (yes, Austen is a writer located in the romantic period, but I’m talking about the typical acceptation of the word ‘romantic’).

Anna Karenina criticizes the hipocrisy and morality of Russian upper classes in the nineteenth century -ironically, Tolstoy ends up being a moralist himself. And Karenina and Vronski’s love story is an essential vehicle for this purpose.
And if Jane Austen came back from the grave and saw her works turned into ‘chick flicks’, I think she would shudder.
Yes, OK, her works always end with her heroine’s marriage, even if -or maybe because- she never married in real life. It could also be some artistic and/or commercial license, I don’t know. But her literature is a realistic criticism of English society, their classism and sexism… whereas film adaptations -although I admit I love most of them- focus on the exquisite garments from the Regency era or the luxurious mansions.

So, summing up: no, the classics are neither universal nor timeless.


To idiots with ego… and to the ego of the idiots.

48 - Sam and Frodo capture Gollum

Frodo Baggins trying to defend his friend Samwise Gamgee from the creature Gollum, in an Alan Lee‘s illustration for a classic edition of The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien


Some people do not interact with other people: there are egos interacting with other people… or other egos. It’s all completely unreal.

Ego cannot love -it demands being loved though-. Ego does not trust –but it demands being trusted-. Ego talks whichever organism it parasitizes into believing that the world is a jungle in which you can only survive, not live. It will tell you about self-preservation, it will tell you to protect yourself. Ego tells you you’re better than them… and sometimes it tells you you’re worse, that no one loves you… or should love you. Not even yourself. It goes everywhere with you, but never keeps you company. And it makes you believe you’ve got nobody else.
Ego makes you beg without true repentance. It only dreads loneliness, since in the end, it feeds on self and others’ attention… and pity. And I myself could pity you, idiots with ego. But you’re not fooling me anymore. I won’t forgive you, because you’re not real. Not even that is an excuse. The decision to give up on your everlasting companion is yours to take. If I felt sorry for you, I would be falling in the trap of believing you’re weak and stupid, just us your ego makes you believe. I don’t care about hurting you, because your ego dominates you. Actually, I do want to hurt you. I want to destroy you, because then you’ll be free. Your ego can go fuck itself. You deserve all my despise, because to you I’m not real, either, and however you intend to make me believe I am. I’ve been fooled by your little companion too much, already, in times of extreme vulnerability. My idiot’s ego intended to make me believe I needed you. Now, not only I do not need you anymore, but I want you far, far away from me.

In your hands, I’d be in danger, since it’s fear that rules your actions and thoughts. You’re not trustworthy. I can “only” rely on my own humaneness to protect myself from you. And it is more powerful than your stupid instinct of self-preservation.

Die, you idiots. You were not meant to last, anyway.