different ways of performing Shakespeare

My mind works in weird ways. Our recent trip to the globe got me thinking about different ways of performing Shakespeare, which brought me to wonder weather anyone had actually performed it in klingon. To my surprise, I found a performance of the Klingon hamlet was recently put on by the Washington Shakespeare company. I took this as proof that humanity had definitely gone mad.

But I then found something even stranger: the first entire opera in Klingon premiered in The Hague on 10 September. It is the tale of how Kahless struggles against his enemy, a tyrant called Molor, and makes an epic journey to the underworld. It’s all good fun, of course, but I guess it goes to show how culturally significant star trek has become.

Seing the globe

Seldom have I felt so happy before; only once or twice have I felt the combination of happiness, achievement and exhilaration that I do now. Today, we went to the globe; we saw The Merry Wives of Windsor’. Ideally I would like to see one of the great tragedies, but I think it served as a nice introduction to the iambic pentameter to Lyn, Andrez and Natalia. It’s a very funny play, full of vengeance and just comeuppances, performed exquisitely by an excellent cast.

I had wanted to see the globe since I first encountered Shakespeare at school. Back then, I was amazed at the sheer beauty of the language. The sense of wonder I felt then returned today as for the first time I saw that famous stage. It felt like a religious experience – like nothing I’d ever felt before: this was where some of the greatest texts ever written were performed, and some of the most mind-bogglingly beautiful sentences were spoken. I have always been fascinated by writing and language, so today was very special for me indeed. It was the first time I’d seen the inside of that building, and I honestly think what they have done ranks alongside I.M Pei’s Louve in terms of the great modern buildings of the world. Moreover, the space added something to the text, making it fresher somehow, giving it an extra dimension. The entire experience was simply incredible, and something I whish to remember for the rest of my life.

What more can I say? I go to bed a very happy fellow indeed, having rekindled a love that was starting to fade.

ed miliband

The Tories are probably smirking with glee over the way ed Miliband was elected leader of the labour party;; they probably also think he’ll be a pushover compared to his brother. Yet the fact remains that he has more goddamn integrity in his little finger than the entire Tory party. He seems honest and sincere, which is more than you can say for CaMoron.

With any luck he’ll soon be prime minister. After all it should have been the Tories who had to elect a new leader: they should not be in power in the first place, and it is only through the treachery of Nick clegg that they are. This joke of a government will soon fall apart and we’ll have fresh elections. Hopefully then Mr. Miliband will stop these selfish, unnecessary cuts and we can all get on with our lives.

football

I think I rather like football matches. Yesterday saw me attending my second ever live game: the local side, Charlton, against Dagenham and Redbridge. Andrzej suggested it might be interesting to go see a game, and, since the ground is only five minutes walk away, I thought it high time I go see Charlton play. Lyn, however, stayed at home – she had better things to do.

We had great fun. I felt very proletarian, sitting and listening to thee crowed. In fact I got carried away and began to gesticulate at the opposition when they equalised. There were some young men sitting behind us saying sum very vulgar things, but I suppose its all part of the fun. I think I needed to let my masculine side out for a bit.

It ended two all; to be honest I think Charlton were hard done by. Dagenham got a penalty late in the first half, making it one all, and scored in the dying moments of the unwarranted four minutes extra time in the second. I couldn’t feel disappointed for too long: I’d had a great time, and I definitely think I’ll go again.

Catch 23

As with most young couples these days, money seems to be getting tighter. Lyn and I were talking it over this morning: she proposed that we should get some cash by selling a few things. I suggested I try to get some kind of job. The problem then is, I’d have to come off benefits and my care would stop. There’s no way I could get a high-enough paid job to earn enough to pay for my care. So, in a way, we are stuck: it’s like Catch 22, only without the planes. Perhaps that makes it catch 23. either way, it’s a problem – one that many people with disabilities face.

ffree steven Neary

I realise I enjoy a staggering amount if freedom: I can go anywhere I please, eat and drink what I like, wear what I like. This is just as it should be: I have no less freedom than anyone else. But last night I was made aware of this. it’s about a twenty year old guy who has had his liberty stripped from him. He has perpetrated no crime save being himself. He has autism, and is said to have ‘challenging behaviour’; but his family want him to come home, and his behaviour is only challenging when he is placed in stressful situations which he does not understand. In other words, all this man has done is act in the only way he knows, for which he has lost his freedom. I find myself wondering what I’d do if placed in his position – it isn’t outside the realm of possibility. The short-sightedness of the council horrifies me. I’m not sure exactly what a ‘deprivation of liberty’ order is, but the inhumanity it’s name implies is chilling.

Is Protest not enough?

Perhaps others don’t share my zeal for complete revolution, but I am, of course, not the only one deeply opposed to what CaMoron is doing or intends to do. There are talk of protests at the Tory party conference – protests that will hopefully rival in size the million-strong march against the Iraq war. Lib dem backbenchers are becoming increasingly vocal in their opposition to the proposed cuts. But will it make a difference?

Just as a million people marched against the war but we still invaded Iraq, I think these protests will come to nothing. Dave CaMoron will still be in power – an office to which he was not democratically elected; the Tories will still implement their ideologically-inspired cuts – cuts which, with the coming of winter, will kill. This march, however big, will achieve nothing save to demonstrate our opposition. But since when has any Tory cared about any opinion other than their own?

Indeed, the other day I encountered a Tory with the curious opinion that the left were hypocrites for not denouncing terry Jones’ plans to burn the Koran and yet protesting against the Pope’s visit. I was taken aback by the simplicity of this argument. The point was that, while terry Jones had every right to air his insane views, it is wrong to spend millions of tax payers money just so the pope can air his. The situation is very complex (and I daresay rather intriguing when you think about it), but frankly those on the right don’t seem to be able to handle that level of intellectual complexity. The reason why one level of religious intolerance must be tolerated while the other criticised is to do with the power structures involved. Moreover, it is also a matter of freedom of speech: how could I exercise my right to criticise the pope if I had not defended another’s right to criticise Islam?

These are the type of people currently in power: people who, I fear, see thins so simply. They see things in terms of black and white, moral and immoral; these are not the type of people to steer us out of recession without massive hardships and increasing inequalities. Given that they were not properly elected, and they will not listen to simple protests,; we as citizens have a right, even a duty, to oppose them by whatever means necessary.

Lyn’s Ipad blog entry

Lyn does not blog very often, but I think this entry of hers is worth linking to. It’s about her Ipad, her reaction to it and how she uses it. It’s fascinating to see how something so small can be so revolutionary. Anyway, I think I’ll let Lyn speak for herself. Go read.

‘Fuck you and fuck your ramps’

It has been quite an awesome couple of days. Friday night saw my first proper night out in ages. I don’t think I’ll go into too much detail, save to say I’m really pleased with how things went and that it boosted my confidence about a thousand fold.

Yesterday, however, was a slightly more cultural day. Our Pas, andrezj and Natalia, are very keen on the arts, and a few weeks ago they suggested we go to a ballet sometime, Lyn and I agreed; I thought it would be a good experience. For all my fascination with tutus and leotards, I’d never seen a ballet before. So, yesterday, rather too early for my liking given my activities the night before, they came. We got up, had breakfast, and on our way.

Yesterday was also noteworthy for the fact I was in my manual wheelchair for the first time all year. This turned out to be a rather good thing. We were using the surface train, first to London bridge, and then to Wimbledon. We’d booked assistance, but when the train came, nobody arrived with the ramps. However, we decided to get on anyway – we might be waiting for ever. Lyn and I are only light. So, A and N quickly hoisted us on to the train, and with Andrejz exclaiming ‘fuck you and fuck your ramps’, we were soon on our way. Perhaps there is some way to go before we crips achieve true freedom and equality, but with the right PA, we can achieve anything.

We got to Wimbledon in plenty of time. We drank coffee outside a cafe, and then it was time for the theatre. Ballet, it occurs to me, is quite a strange art form: highly aesthetic, very beautiful, but with plots which are hard to discern. We were at a modern adaptation of swan lake, which is a tale of love, adultery and a prince with a thing for swans. To my uneducated eyes, it was all quite weird. On the other hand, I could see how cinematic grammar could owe something to the ballet: they have similar ways of showing things.

After the show, we ate at a very nice cocktail bar, then headed back to the station. I was exhausted. I’ve had quite a weekend so far, but I think today will be quieter,

three things which piss me off

I am very angry about what is going on in the world right now. Every time I turn on the news I want to throw something at the TV. Three things particularly got my goat yesterday.

Firstly, David CaMoron wants to freeze the license fee, thereby cutting funding to the BBC. It’s no secret that the Tories, and CaMoron in particular, hate the beeb. This is probably because it has a nasty habit of telling the truth. It is the finest broadcaster and probably the most objective news source on earth, yet because it does not portray things from their twisted viewpoint, the Tories accuse the bbc of being left wing. I love the bbc – how dare they trample on it? I firmly believe that, given most Libdem voters have views more akin to Labour, it would have been more respectful to the views of the majority of people if the Libdem had formed a coalition with labour, albeit with a third party. What we have now is therefore illegitimate, and the Tories have no right to impose their unwarranted cuts.

Secondly, why is some stupid old guy with a crappy hat and outdated ideas being a state visit? I hate the way the pope comes over here and starts trying to tell us that we have become too secular. We’re secular for a reason: GOD DOES NOT EXIST! I find the accusation of ‘aggressive secularism’ quite rich too, coming from an organisation which hunted down non-believers and burned them at the steak until not long ago. It really gets my goat how this old man can come over here and tell us what to do, claiming to be the representative of god on earth. Religion, particularly his kind of religion, is repressive. And then we have that stupid bitch Warsi coming on Newsnight last night and telling us that religion is good and makes us more likely to do charitable works. This I find condescending and preposterous, but she claimed to have evidence on her side. A conservative defending religion claiming to have evidence to back up her arguments? What a joke! Anyway, I hope the stupid old man with the hat buggers off back to Italy soon.

The third thing which is really pissing me off is in France. how the hell can sarkozi have the gall to stand up at the EU and accuse it of being ‘disgusting and shameful’ for being straight with France over its persecution of the Roma? This is the biggest case of the pot calling the Kettle black since CaMoron accused brown of deceiving the country over Tory cuts. What is disgusting and shameful as France’s persecution of roma people: destroying their homes and deporting them. How can this be happening in Europe today? Has France not learned the lessons of the past? And how can the French president have the gall to act like he is the victim? I am disgusted and ashamed.

These three things make me very angry indeed. They all stem from forms of conservatism and intolerance: Tory intolerance of the bbc, the Pope’s intolerance of secularism and new ideas, and France’s intolerance of ethnic minorities and other ways off living. All three sicken me.