Anonymous (Film About Shakespeare)

I recently watched "Anonymous," the controversial film that claims Shakespeare was an illiterate buffoon and the Earl of Oxford was the true author of works like Hamlet and Macbeth. Everyone loves conspiracy theories. It's a completely preposterous notion for a number of reasons, but I must say the film itself is fun to watch for the many CGI scenes of Elizabethan England, as well as the staging of the plays and seeing historical figures of the day, such as Marlowe and Ben Johnson. I got a little bored with the politics they wanted to drum into the plot, but cinematic time capsules from the past -- even if mostly fiction -- are still kind of fun. 

Has anyone seen it? I believe Yarbro got Shakespeare as a mature scholar. 

Best,
Dave

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Greetings Dave! Funny that you brought up Shakespeare, as I just read the
following about him over the weekend. I'm pasting on the quote. This is
from "The Gateway Stuff",

It is channeling by Sarah Chambers, Victoria Marina, and Derelle Smith.
Copyright 2004 by Victoria Marina for Flight of the Hawk.]

I'd like to ask about Shakespeare. He had easy access to the Higher
Intellectual Center. What enabled him to do that?

Well, he did have access to higher centers because he spent a great deal
of time in dream-time and in meditation. His mode of operation was to spend
time meditating and dreaming, then come out of this and write a prodigious
amount of text in an absolute flurry of activity. This fragment was what
you could call a "recreational sleeper," and many of the plots for his works
came from dream-time activities. But then he also had some direct experience
with some of the fragments he wrote about in previous lives.

Incidentally, some of you knew this fragment as Thais, who was Ptolemy's favorite
prostitute. He installed her in splendor in Alexandria, and for those of you
who followed this fragment there, she was a favorite, at least to feast your
eyes on. This fragment (William) is a member of entity number four, cadre
four, greater cadre 22, pod/node 229, and she is currently an archaeologist,
working at the present time in Bolivia. She first thought of making
English literature her field, but has adventure as her primary need and that
overrode her love of literature. She does greatly appreciate the plays of her
former self.

Happy Day! 

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Just out of curiosity, I googled "Bolivia" and "archaeologist" and came up with this YouTube video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=21jJulm41xU

I wonder if this female ex-Shakespeare archaeologist worked there. :-)

> I don't think our current society supports and encourages this level of genius. On the other hand, maybe it never did. Keats lived most of his life as a pauper and Melville (the American heir to Shakespeare) only sold around 3000 copies of Moby Dick in his entire lifetime. But somehow things seem worse now. This digital age of ours favors youth over substance. If something monumental can't be conveyed within the length of a sound-byte, then forget about it.

I think art in general has been devalued to the point where most people would prefer to pay $5 for a latte that takes 3 minutes to make instead of paying for art in any form that takes weeks and even years to create. These days, I see a lot of people demand art for free and expect the artist to create it purely "for love of art." Which ignores the fact that there is a real human being behind the art who has to put food on the table and find some kind of decent shelter under which to create the art.

Most serious artists I know have to work a 40-hour job and then spend at least another 20 hours a week--with no pay upfront and very little later--creating their art. That's what my son is doing now as an indie musician. He works at Google (as a temp, alas, no benefits, since nobody is hiring for a permanent job) 40 hours a week, commutes 15 to 20 hours a week, and then works another 15 to 20 hours a week composing, playing, recording, and mixing music. So, in total, he works 60 hours a week, part of that unpaid....especially when people want to download his music for free. And many of them are pissed off when he suggests that he might want to be paid some day for his music. And no, he doesn't make a boatload of money from his temp job, only enough to make ends meet and pay his student loan--barely. My elderly mother makes more in social security and a widow's pension than he does. And she gets medical benefits.

Which ticks me off, really, because here's a guy who is working his butt off at a day job, no benefits, works his butt off after work--no pay AND no benefits there either--and people don't think he deserves to be paid for the work he does on his music, music they say they like and want more of. They're okay with him barely making ends meet, in constant danger of being out on the street if he is so unfortunate as to incur some accident, just as long as the get their free music. How is that even right? If I'm not mistaken, demanding that someone work without pay to produce something you benefit from is called slavery. I'm not talking about some producer or music company, I'm talking about every day people who go on the web, wanting to download free music.

Used to be that for you to have any art around you, you had to create it yourself, or be rich enough to pay an artist to make it for you. So you could have someone like Rembrandt or Rubens, for example, become quite well-off (well, Rembrandt was for a while, then made some bad business decisions). I visited Rembrandt's house a couple of years ago, and it's quite substantial, even for these days. So he definitely made a living from his art and dealing in art. Same with Bach: yes, he had patrons, but he also had a position as choirmaster that paid enough of a wage to support himself, his wife, and his 20 kids. People were willing to pay a substantial amount for artists' and musicians' works, possibly because they knew from experience how much effort it was to create it, and even more effort to create what people really wanted to hear and see.

I know of a local guy--amazing trumpet player and all around nice guy. He can literally play two trumpets at once, perfectly, one hand each--I've seen him do it. He once was part of the audience at the Johnny Carson show (now Jay Leno's show), and after Doc Severinsen got done playing a tune, Doc invited anyone in the audience who thought they could beat him to give it a try. So Al boldly raises his hand, then goes up and starts playing and improvising. Doc is so blown away, he gives his trumpet to Al right on the spot.

So where's Al now? No record contract, that's for sure. Last I heard, he was working at a stereo store. I bet there are hundreds more with as much talent doing the same. You talk to any artist, musician, or writer, and you will find he or she knows of an unknown genius of their own profession, often ground down by the sheer work and thanklessness of the job.

Objectively, I think because music is so easily transmitted these days, the vast majority of people don't ever have to try to create it themselves unless they really feel a true calling. So first, they don't know the work that goes into creating it. It's kind of like food. Most people don't know how hard it is to grow and raise food, so they have trouble with the idea that farm workers should be paid more than a bare subsistence wage. Second, because it's so easily available via radio and other inexpensive forms of transmission, people have come to expect music and other forms of art to be very inexpensive. Free, in fact. Art has become very, very inexpensive.

It's a double-edged sword. On one hand, the ease with which it's possible to transmit art is a boon to an artist because there's the potential to make money at it--even as an indie artist--if you're popular enough. On the other hand, people increasingly expect the artist to work for free, and really don't care if that artist is kicked to the curb because as far as they're concerned--it seems to me--one artist is pretty much interchangeable with another.

I'm even seeing this with mobile apps. I'll go to buy an app that has 4 or 4 1/2 stars, and see comments like, "It's a great app, and I use it all the time, but I'm giving it 4 stars because it should be free." What the hell? Like there isn't a software engineer behind that app working 40 hours a week to produce something that makes your life
easier? I bet if that buyer had a boss who said he or she was to work 40 hours a week for free, they'd have a major hissy-fit for sure.

And people wonder why there isn't another Shakespeare or another Bach. Duh! Because they don't want to pay for one to exist on more than scraps from the garbage can!

You pay garbage wages, sooner or later you get garbage results even from the most talented and hard-working people. Or they just stop working. It's that simple.

--Karen H. (admittedly ranting)
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