Shakespeare In 5: The Taming Of The Shrew

When you mention a play by William Shakespeare about a merchant living in Italy, pretty much everyone thinks of the Merchant of Venice.  Most people forget that there were other merchants who piqued Will’s literary interest and more than one of them lived in Italy.  Today, Shakespeare In 5 gives you The Taming Of The Shrew for your reading pleasure thanks to our Literary Schrödinger Equation.

With each new Shakespeare In 5 entry, readers are encouraged to share these entries with their family and friends, colleagues and comrades, and strangers … a lot of strangers.  After all, literature is a serious business and seriously, literacy is big business.

Don’t forget to follow me on social media.  Here are the links.

Elyse Bruce
Facebook:  @ElyseBruceFanPage
Twitter:      @ElyseBruce

E.B. Taylor
Facebook:  @TaylorMadeTales

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Shakespeare In 5: Richard III

Nothing says Shakespeare quite like his plays dealing with English kings and the murder, mayhem, and mischief everyone seems to get into from start to finish.  Sometimes things happen in those plays that you don’t see coming until the very end, and even then, sometimes you miss the ending thanks to all the murder, mayhem, and mischief.  Today’s Shakespeare In 5 demonstrates that very quality as the series delves into Richard III by William Shakespeare.

Be sure to follow me on Facebook or Twitter because you never know when some other great idea is going to show up on my social media pages that’s worth knowing about before anyone else finds out.

Elyse Bruce
Facebook:  @ElyseBruceFanPage
Twitter:      @ElyseBruce

E.B. Taylor
Facebook:  @TaylorMadeTales

 

Shakespeare in 5: As You Like It

This week’s Literary Schrödinger Equation is William Shakespeare’s play “As You Like It.”  For those who are unfamiliar with the play, this edition of Shakespeare In 5 will highlight the basics of the play.  For those who are familiar with the play, you are certain to appreciate the brevity of the play in this presentation.  Enjoy and please, share this entry with others on social media and every Friday after that as every Friday over the next few months will be devoted to Shakespeare In 5.


Be sure to follow me on Facebook or Twitter because you never know when some other great idea is going to show up on my social media pages that’s worth knowing about before anyone else finds out.

Elyse Bruce
Facebook:  @ElyseBruceFanPage
Twitter:      @ElyseBruce

E.B. Taylor
Facebook:  @TaylorMadeTales

Shakespeare In 5: Hamlet

Yesterday, while scrolling through social media, I found a few tweets and posts and pins extolling the virtues of an app that “reads” books for people in under 5 minutes.  I found replies to these tweets and posts and pins decrying the app, declaring that if literature is reduced to sound bites and quick consumption options, society is apt to fall into a state of illiteracy.

It was then I realized I had discovered the Schrödinger’s cat of literature.

For those who don’t recognize the name Erwin Schrödinger (12 August 1887 – 4 January 1961), he was an Austrian theoretical physicist who added to the Wave Theory of Matter by devising a wave equation for electron movements. thereby revolutionizing quantum mechanics.

Now I’m not a scientist.  I don’t even play one on television.  But I do understand the concept of Schrödinger’s cat, so it stood to reason that I should create a series of literary Schrödinger’s cats.  Over the next few weeks, I will be presenting my new series titled, “Shakespeare In 5” wherein I will put one of William Shakespeare’s plays into  my newly found Literary Schrödinger Equation and sharing the results with all of you on my blog and on social media.

This weeks’ offering is “Hamlet” and in keeping with all new apps, there may or may not be some mistakes in the output.  That being said, if there are any mistakes, they are minor and easily overlooked because, well, you know … technology.  But mostly, the output is totally accurate except for those minor mistakes that may or may not happen as the text is crunched through the Literary Schrödinger Equation.


Please share this with your friends, fans, followers, and family but remember you heard it from me first so don’t be claiming the Literary Schrödinger Equation or any of its output as your own invention.  Karma has a way of catching up with people who do that but that’s a whole different story completely.

Elyse Bruce
Facebook:  @ElyseBruceFanPage

E.B. Taylor
Facebook:  @TaylorMadeTales

 

An Open Letter To Megan Dunn

Dear Megan Dunn who works for the Kentucky Family Preservation Program (according to scarymommy.com),

Congratulations on your recent Facebook post that went viral.  It’s not every day someone gets over 100,000 shares or nearly 50,000 Likes  It’s obvious you are passionate about Christmas and children (which is great).  For those who haven’t read your post yet, I’ve taken the liberty of grabbing a screenshot of it to include here on my blog.


You might want to take a look at the message you’re sending parents and children via your message.    I’ll break it down into simple steps.

  1.  Parents who are financially capable need to stop telling their ‘Santa age’ children the expensive gifts are from Santa.
  2.  Parents who are financially capable need to start telling their ‘Santa age’ children that gifts costing less than $200 are from Santa.
  3.  Parents who are financially disadvantaged need to start telling their ‘Santa age’ children that everybody gets similarly priced gifts from Santa to make it “fair.”

Here’s the problem with your message:  It teaches children of all ages that if they can’t have what or who they want, NOBODY should.

I’m guessing that you didn’t think your message through all the way before posting it to social media because I would hate to think that you are at ease with the concept of teaching children that if they can’t have what or who they want, NOBODY should.

You see, that kind of message is what leads children to make poor choices as children, as teens, and as adults.

It teaches a teen struggling through his or her first romantic break-up that there’s nothing wrong with making sure no one else gets involved with the boyfriend or girlfriend who dumped him or her.

It teaches a young adult dealing with his or her first pink slip at work that showing up for his or her next shift with a weapon and taking out his or her anger on former co-workers (sometimes fatally) is an acceptable reaction to his or her dismissal.

It teaches children to covet what others have, and if you know anything about coveting (the concept is older than the Bible), you know how that usually turns out.  In fact,  coveting usually has a pretty horrific ending.

Now maybe you’re going to say if I understood what it was like for families who are financially disadvantaged, I would think differently.  Well, Megan, I’ve been a financially disadvantaged single parent of a young child with multiple serious health conditions, and I can tell you without a moment’s hesitation that those years were lean and mean, and Christmas wasn’t the fancy affair it was at the homes of many of my son’s peers.

I knew many of his peers would be getting amazingly awesome expensive gifts from gaming systems that cost hundreds of dollars and more.  He wasn’t going to get any of that because, truth be told, it just wasn’t in the budget once rent, utilities, clothing, food, medication, and other necessities were paid.  In fact, there were times when the budget only stretched as far as my child and not as far as to cover my own needs.

It’s not easy explaining anything to a child with serious health conditions, especially when one of those conditions is an autism spectrum disorder.  But with enough short-term and long-term projection, coming up with an explanation that reinforces positive aspects can be found.

Would you like to know what I told my son when he was 4 years old and his peers from daycare were gearing up for fancy Christmas presents and all the trimmings that go with that kind of Christmas?

Maybe you don’t, but I’ll share anyway.

I told my son that Santa, like any good person taking care of others, had to take care of the elves and the reindeer.  He had to provide them with a roof over their heads and food in their bellies, and, of course, the elves needed clothes.  Santa also had to make sure that the supplies needed to make toys for children was paid for because those supplies cost money as well.  It wasn’t fair to expect to get all that for free from people who also had families of their own.

The best Santa could do, I told him, was to offer parents discounts of up to 50% at Christmas, and the harder a child worked at being good all year, the bigger the discount.  That meant parents still had to come up with at least half the cost of the presents Santa would bring Christmas Eve.

Here’s the message he got from that.

  1.  You always have to put in your best effort to get best results.
  2.  Just because someone else gets more than you do doesn’t mean others are more deserving.
  3.  If you want something, keep your eye on the long-term goal and keep working towards achieving it.
  4.  You’re not responsible for making everyone else happy.

AND HERE’S THE BIGGEST TAKE-AWAY HE GOT FROM THAT:

People are more important than things … always.

Life isn’t fair, Megan, and that’s a sad reality, but we aren’t making things any better when we send children the wrong messages about what matters in life or how to deal with disappointment.

I know you wrote your Facebook post from the heart, and I don’t doubt that you care deeply for all the families with whom you interact.  Sometimes, though, you have to think past the immediate situation and ask yourself, “What message do we want children with or without money to learn from the adults in their lives?”

Merry Christmas, Megan Dunn of Kentucky Family Preservation Program (according to scarymommy.com).

Elyse Bruce

 

Where Are Matt’s Women

Lately the media has reported on a number of men accused of sexual harassment and assault in the workplace.  Some of those high-profile men have been supported by female colleagues who have made it clear the accused was never sexually inappropriate with any of them.  In fact, recently 36 women associated with Saturday Night Live released such a statement with regards to Senator Al Franken who has admitted to some of the sexual harassment and assault of which he has been accused.

Yesterday, news broke that NBC superstar Matt Lauer has been accused of sexual harassment and assault.

Now, not all that long ago (as in 2 weeks ago), NBC News fired Matt Zimmerman, senior vice-president of booking, news and entertainment, who had been with the unit since at least 2004.  NBC said the firing was due to his “inappropriate conduct” towards female employees while working at NBC.   Interestingly enough, Matt Zimmerman handled guest bookings for “Today” as well as other NBC News programs.

And two weeks before that, NBC fired Mark Halperin for sexual harassment of female employees while working at NBC.  The media reported Mark Halperin’s exploits as sordid (a word that has not been used when describing Matt Lauer’s exploits).

It’s been a nasty stretch for NBC over the past four weeks, or so it would seem.  However, this graphic created by The New York Times shows that the behavior both Matts and Mark have been accused of seems to be par for the course in other parts of the same industry.


However, unlike Senator Al Franken who had a bevy of female colleagues from SNL willing to vouch for his good behavior when he wasn’t acting badly, it would seem that Matt Lauer and Matt Zimmerman and Mark Halperin and countless others who have been accused of and/or admitted to sexual impropriety don’t have the same star power as Al Franken.  I wonder why that might be?

And I also wonder why the accused thought their behavior was accepted and in some cases, welcome.  Where did they get this message when, for years, the media has stated clearly that sexually unwelcome behavior is inappropriate and, in many cases, criminal?

These are difficult times in which we live, but they need not be.  If people in general respected themselves and respected others, these scandals wouldn’t break because these scandals wouldn’t happen.

Still one has to ask, if Senator Al Franken has the Women of SNL vouching for how good he can be, should we be keeping an eye out for the Women of NBC who might be hiding in the wings, waiting to release a statement in support of Matt Lauer?  And if there are such women, should their word be taken over those of the victims who have come forward to date?

And what about those who knew what was going on and did nothing to stop the behavior?  How should we feel towards them, and how should they atone for their refusal to act on what they knew to be factual at the time they were made aware of what was going on?

For those who say it’s complicated, it really isn’t.  As the saying goes:  The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

It appears a lot of nothing has been done over the years, and this is how what happened was allowed to happen for so many years.

Elyse Bruce

ADDITIONAL SUGGESTED READING

ALLEGED SEXUAL MISCONDUCT BY GERALDO REVIERA RESURFACES AFTER HE DEFENDS MATT LAUER
https://nytlive.nytimes.com/womenintheworld/2017/11/30/
alleged-sexual-misconduct-by-geraldo-rivera-resurfaces-after-he-defends-matt-lauer/

CNN’S JEFF ZUCKER SAYS HE KNEW OF NO MISCONDUCT BY MATT LAUER
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/30/business/media/jeff-zucker-matt-lauer.html

MARK HALPERIN SCANDAL BECOMES MORE SORDID
https://nypost.com/2017/10/27/the-mark-halperin-scandal-becomes-more-sordid/

MATT LAUER ACCUSED OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT BY MULTIPLE WOMEN
http://variety.com/2017/biz/news/matt-lauer-accused-sexual-harassment-multiple-women-1202625959/

MATT LAUER APOLOGIZES AFTER FIRING OVER SEXUAL MISCONDUCT CLAIMS
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/30/business/media/matt-lauer-nbc-statement.html

MATT LAUER CAUGHT ON CAMERA TELLING MEREDITH VIEIRA TO KEEP BENDING OVER
https://globalnews.ca/news/3889485/matt-lauer-meredith-vieira-caught-on-camera

MATT LAUER EXPRESSES REGRET, APOLOGIZES TO THE PEOPLE I HAVE HURT IN STATEMENT
http://www.king5.com/news/nation-world/matt-lauer-responds-for-the-first-time-after-being-fired-from-nbc/495728805

MATT LAUER SOUL SEARCHING AFTER BEING FIRED FROM NBC
FOR INAPPROPRIATE SEXUAL BEHAVIOR IN WORKPLACE

https://globalnews.ca/news/3889088/matt-lauer-apologizes-fired-nbc-inappropriate-sexual-behaviour/

NBC FIRES MATT LAUER OVER INAPPROPRIATE SEXUAL BEHAVIOR
http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/matt-lauer-fired-1.4424269

NBC FIRES TODAY VETERAN MATT LAUER, CITING INAPPROPRIATE SEXUAL BEHAVIOR
http://variety.com/2017/tv/news/nbc-fires-matt-lauer-today-sexual-harassment-1202625608/

NBC NEWS FIRES TOP TALENT BOOKER FOR INAPPROPRIATE CONDUCT
https://pagesix.com/2017/11/14/nbc-news-fires-top-talent-booker-for-inappropriate-conduct/

NBC RECEIVES AT LEAST 2 NEW COMPLAINTS ABOUT MATT LAUER
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/29/business/media/nbc-matt-lauer.html

NBC TERMINATES MARK HALPERIN’S CONTRACT OVER HARASSMENT CLAIMS
https://nypost.com/2017/10/30/nbc-terminates-mark-halperins-contract-over-harassment-claims/

NEW ZEALAND EXAMINES MATT LAUER’S RANCH PURCHASE AFTER HIS FIRING
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/30/business/matt-lauer-new-zealand.html

SCARBOROUGH: MOST POWER PEOPLE IN MEDIA KNEW ABOUT LAUER’S SEXUAL PROCLIVITIES
https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/nov/30/joe-scarborough-most-powerful-people-in-media-knew/

Society’s Blessing of Mixed Messages

Over the past few weeks, the media has reported a flurry of incidents involving men in positions of power that range from inappropriate sexual comments down to sexual assault.  The attention saw the sudden rise of the #metoo hashtag campaign became the rallying cry on social media and women from around the world shared their personal experiences of alleged sexual harassment and sexual assault at the hands of men in positions of authority.

NOTE:  Referring to the comments of others as alleged sexual harassment and sexual assault in no way impugns the reality of sexual harassment and sexual assault victims endured.  An allegation is a claim that has not been proven meaning it may or may not have happened and/or it may or may not have happened as the involved parties recall the situation from each one’s recollection of what may or may not have happened.

We have heard celebrities such as actor Richard Dreyfuss claim he was “horrified and bewildered” to find out that his behavior towards Jessica Teich “wasn’t consensual.”  We have heard celebrities such as comedian Louis C.K. claim he thought he had permission to do what he did because he “asked the women first” before proceeding.  We have heard politicians and authors and others from all walks of life admit to various levels of sexual impropriety, harassment, and assaults, and the reaction from society has been consistent:  Such behavior is unacceptable, inappropriate, and unsavory.

Have you read any articles in the media claiming that using power of authority to victimize a target is acceptable? I haven’t. Have you heard any news reports claiming that subjecting a subordinate to harassment and assault is laudable? Me neither.

And this is where society’s hypocrisy is found because in the grand scheme of things, society gives its blessing to such behavior through mixed messages.  I know, I know.  Isn’t that surprising?  Shocking, even?  Confusing, without a doubt?

I realize some reading this will disagree so providing examples is the best way to show, not tell, what I mean.  While I could have chosen any number of movies or books, I am using “A Christmas Wish II” to highlight where society’s blessings to mixed messages may be found.  For those who are unfamiliar with the movie, I am sharing the story synopsis from four different websites with regards to this specific movie.

The first three versions provide what many would consider a wholesome story line, certain to appeal to the heartstrings of those who love romance — especially romance that could possibly result in a fairy tale ending where the young woman is swept off her feet by Prince Charming and taken to live in his palace somewhere in “happily ever after” land.  The last version implies a little impropriety on the part of the billionaire.

The scene involving the mistletoe kiss, however, isn’t the tame, innocent, consensual scene you might think.

Cooper Montgomery’s on-again off-again on-again girlfriend Brittany waits in the lobby of the building where the playboy billionaire’s sister works as Editor-In-Chief of Trend Fashions magazine.  Cooper Montgomery has dropped in to speak with his sister before returning to his girlfriend in the lobby  However, on his way back down in the elevator, after others in the elevator have stepped off on their respective floors, he finds himself in the elevator alone with his sister’s assistant, Jenna Kingston.

No problem there so far.

Cooper notices the mistletoe hanging in the elevator just above him and Jenna.  Cooper looks at Jenna in a way that can only be described as a look most women would be wary of, and perhaps a bit concerned over.  Suddenly, he grabs her and plants a great, big, sloppy kiss on Jenna who initially resists before succumbing to his charms.  The elevator doors swish open when the elevator reaches the lobby, and Cooper’s girlfriend, Brittany seems them locked in this passionate embrace which is quickly broken off.

So what’s the problem?

This kiss is what is the basis for this so-called “love story” where the girl eventually winds up with Prince Charming (sorry for that spoiler).

Jenna Kingston doesn’t file a police report against Cooper Montgomery for the sexual assault in the elevator.  She doesn’t even tell her boss about it when advised by her boss that she’ll be working closely with the man who sexually accosted her in the elevator.  To her credit, she does tell her male neighbor but based on the discussion that ensues between them, neither of them feels it’s anything bad.

Message in the movie regarding unwanted sexual attention from a complete stranger:  Everyone’s good to go, and you should be so lucky as to have that happen to you someday!

Message in real life regarding unwanted sexual attention from a complete stranger:  Call the police and have that person arrested, charged, found guilty of the crime, and locked away!

If society wants to put an end to the confusion, society needs to take a unified stand against behavior it deems unacceptable and inappropriate.  It can’t say that sexual assault is abhorrent under certain situations but encouraged — even welcome — under other certain situations.  In doing so, society is placing an unfair burden on men and women to figure out when sexual assault is all right when the fact of the matter is this:  Sexual assault is never all right.

Elyse Bruce

P.S.  For those who are wondering, the story didn’t need that sexual assault in the elevator scene for the movie to work.

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