Tuesday 8 October 2019

Much Ado About Nothing

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


  1. Exactly! Reading and (patronizing) theatre should be about pleasure.
    Given the alarming increase in Alzheimer's and dementia, why risk over-working one's brain? :)

    1. What concerns me is that these so called experts put their own interpretations on what the old time writers meant when they wrote what they wrote. How do they know? They were not there at the time.

      I did not like Shakespeare at school. He was always full of pride and looked down at people. I liked Chaucer though. Very humble. Do you know Chaucer?

      God bless, Mevely.

  2. Absolutely! We do tend to complicate things much more than is necessary. I like Mel's philosophy!
    Blessings, Victor!

    1. In the Olden Dayes life was simple. It was all in black and white. Something was either this or that. No 57 varieties of shades or whatever the phrase is. Now everything is complicated. Too much choice. Do you realise how many different styles of men's undewear there are?

      God bless you, Martha.

  3. No, didn't realize the different styles of men's underwear. Go with Duluth's products. Simple, lasts a long time.

    When someone asks if I have read certain one of William's works, I briefly nod my head. I lie, but I think God is all right with that.

    1. Too many styles, sizes, materials, and manoeuvrability Susan. That's the problem.

      God bless you always.

  4. I have to agree with Mel. We do tend to over-complicate things. Have some fun and enjoy whatever you're doing. Simple not complicated.

    1. This modern world is getting too complicated, Bill. Too many people and they all have an opinion.

      God bless you my friend.

  5. I couldn't agree more, so many of us tend to over-complicate things instead of making life more simple. Simple can so often be better.

    Enjoy your week Victor.

    All the best Jan

    1. Simple is all I can manage, Jan.

      Best wishes. God bless.

  6. Someone once spent an hour telling my wife and I about how the "Wizard of Oz" was an allegory about the benefits of Communism. Everything had some symbolism from the witches to the flying monkeys all pointing to why we should all be communists. I had no idea what he was babbling about. My wife, a real big fan of the WOZ later told me, "I'm pretty sure it was just a dream about getting back home to Kansas and getting her dog back from the mean lady on the bike." I said it is actually an allegory about wives needing to make their husbands breakfast in bed.

    That did not work.

    I'm with you about making more out of a story that the dang story. Also about a Fosters.

    1. I am sure all films and plays are allegories for something or other. I always believed that The Lady and the Tramp is an allegory on how to eat spaghetti.

      I prefer Fosters or Guinness. God bless you, JoeH.

  7. How i loved studying Shakespeare! But it can be overdone. After all, art is a conversation between the artist and the person observing/listening to the art or music in question.
    The artist gets an idea and creates something to express that idea (painting, play, book, music, sculpture, whatever) and the person appreciating it interprets what the artist's idea says to him/her.

    1. I wonder if in future times people will study my writings. What will they say?

      God bless, Mimi.



God bless you.