January 12, 2010

A friend for life

I first became a Shakespeare fan in high school when we read Macbeth. What more could you ask for? Witches, murder, ghosts, not to mention cool plot devices like Birnam Wood and Macduff not being of woman born. I think I might have done Julius Caesar at about the same time.

It was also around then that I first read Hamlet. This was the beginning of my tragic existentialist phase, from which I have not entirely emerged, and I especially liked the "to be or not to be," "oh that this too too solid flesh would melt," and "now could I drink hot blood" parts.

I was probably hooked from the beginning, but I really only came to know his works years later as a way of coping with the recession that smacked down West Virginia in the 1980s. Actually, depression would be the better word, with massive unemployment (17 percent in 1983) and plenty of misery to go around.

One way I coped with poverty, hopelessness and struggling to feed my kids was by reading classics. It was cheaper than drugs, less risky than crime and less harmful to my health than suicide. I'd recommend the same to everyone.

THE BIG ISSUE OF 2010, at least domestically, is unemployment.

YOU KNOW YOU'VE BEEN WONDERING what kind of tattoos scholars get. Click here to find out.

MONKEY TALK? Kind of sort of but not really.


No comments: