February 02, 2010

Taking over

From an 1884 production.

It sometimes happens that a creative work takes on a life of its own and escapes the control of its creator. That was the plot in Frankenstein, but it happens sometimes in real life.

Moby-Dick is a classic example of this. Herman Melville may have begun with the intention of writing another popular travelogue but wound up trying to reel in a devilish metaphysical white whale of a novel that basically destroyed his career as a successful author. It was only in the devilish 20th century that it came to be appreciated.

Sometimes the plot itself runs away from the author; sometimes the characters do. El Cabrero was a big fan of the HBO series Deadwood before its demise. One of the things that made it interesting was that the characters seemed to take on a life of their own and run away with the show.

The same thing seems to have happened with a vengeance in Hamlet. At some early point in its composition, the Prince of Denmark seems to have rudely elbowed the Bard of Stratford out of the way and taken the wheel.

JOBS, JOBS, JOBS. Here's AFLCIO president Rich Trumka and Bill Moyers on the need for action to address unemployment.

BUDGET. Here's Robert Greenstein of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities on President Obama's proposed federal budget.

ONE WAY OUT of the foreclosure mess is the "right to rent" idea as proposed by economist Dean Baker.


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