February 26, 2006


It took some doing, but Goat Rope was able to secure an interview with King Lear, lead character from the eponymous play by William Shakespeare. The pre-Christian British king graciously agreed to be interviewed about economic justice issues despite some serious family setbacks. (Note: possibly due to stress from his family problems, Lear tends to speak in stanzas of iambic pentameter.)


GR: Thanks for the chance to talk, your majesty. Since your situation has changed, I understand you have a better sense of what poverty is like. Do you have any comments?

LEAR: O, I have ta'en too little care of this!

GR: Well, at least you understand the issue better now. Do you think poverty is especially rough in winter time with the rising cost of fuel?

LEAR: Poor naked wretches, wheresoe'er you are,
That bide the pelting of this pitiless storm,
How shall your houseless heads and unfed sides,
Your loop'd and window'd raggedness, defend you
From seasons such as these?

GR: Since you've now been in and out of power, have you noticed that people with a lot of wealth and power can literally get away with murder while poor people are severely punished for trivial offenses?

LEAR: Through tatter'd clothes small vices do appear;
Robes and furr'd gowns hide all. Plate sin with gold,
And the strong lance of justice hurtless breaks;
Arm it in rags, a pigmy's straw does pierce it.

GR: You sure talk pretty. No wonder you were--I mean are--a king. Do you have any words of advice for the privileged people of our time?

LEAR: Take physic, pomp;
Expose thyself to feel what wretches feel,
That thou mayest shake down thy superflux to them,
And show the heavens more just.

GR: Thanks again for joining us. Sorry about the whole daughter thing. Talk about a goat rope...

There you have it, Gentle Reader. One question remains. If a largely fictional mad king can figure this stuff out, why can't the rulers of today?



gazz editor said...

Love the scene, King, where you cry 'Blow winds, crack my cheeks!' Now THAT's entertainment. Whatever happened to that old fool, by the way?

Douglas I.

Anonymous said...

I think those people are doing pretty well for themselves.

Barbara Bush