I have an Australian friend called Mel who told me once “We humans always over-complicate things. Life is made for Fosters and surfing! Simple as that.”
I agreed with the former sentiment as I sipped my amber nectar but I doubt you’ll ever find me out at sea standing on an old wooden board that came from a kitchen door.
I asked him on one occasion whether he was named after the Australian city of Melbourne.
“Nah mate,” he replied, “… Sydney. My name is Sydney. But there was another fella in my class at school named Sydney. There was also one called Ade … we called him Adelaide for short. Then they called me Mel.”
“After the city?” I repeated, raising an eyebrow.
“Nah … just Mel. Pure and simple. Just Mel.”
It makes sense I suppose; which by some circuitous route brings us to Shakespeare.
I had to attend a Shakespeare recital the other evening. Not a play as such, but some tedious professor of sorts standing on a stage and spouting for ages about the old bard. The audience consisted mainly of female Shakespeare enthusiasts accompanied by their bored husbands who had been dragged there under duress or some other enticement – like watching the football on TV!
Anyway, this tedious man went on explaining how and why Shakespeare started writing and became famous.
Personally, I don’t hold with the theory that Shakespeare wrote all these plays and sonnets. I think it was Francis Bacon. And I base my theory on the fact that I fancied a bacon sandwich at the time instead of listening to this tedious professor.
He went on to explain what Shakespeare meant when he said certain things in his plays, and what do various characters represent.
I mean … what does it matter? Why not just enjoy the plays instead of guessing what the author had in mind when he wrote it? He was probably just writing to earn a living, very much as authors, playwrights and film-makers do these days.
At one point the tedious professor asked his audience why Cleopatra in the play of that name put an asp to her bosoms.
I leant sideways and whispered “I didn’t know she put a donkey to her breast. Why did she do this?”
I got one of those stares that meant “I’ll sort you out later!”
The evening went on thus without even a break for a pint or three. I tried my best not to nod off and was rewarded at the end with tea and biscuits.
What a let down … not a Fosters in sight!
Which brings me back again to Mel. He was right … we humans tend to over-complicate things instead of making life pure and simple.
“Love one another. As I have loved you.” John 13:34