Get Off the Grass
[Re: Opinion, “Systemic Risk?,” Nov. 10-16] First of all, Goldman Sachs is not a bank—it is an investment firm. Like a bank, but not quite. Second, I find it beyond ironic that you hold nobody in the White House responsible for all of this. In fact, you never mention the president or his crony capitalist thugs at all. You never mention Goldman Sachs lobbyist Mark Patterson, who oversaw the implementation of TARP under Obama's Department of Treasury—$10 billion of which went to GS. You call yourself a taxpayer: What kind of taxes do you pay? Sales? I believe it. Property? Directly or indirectly, sure. Income? Doubt it, unless you’re rich.
Look Andrew, TARP was wrong. Many of my fellow conservatives agree with you. But not Your Savior Obama—he voted for it and implemented it, with help of course from his predecessor-in-cronyism, the hated Bush. Ultimately, I think its time to pull that “hopeandchange” bumper sticker off your Prius or bicycle or whatever you drive and face the ugly truth, sir. Occupying Yale park, a place with NO CONNECTION to Wall Street, will not solve this problem! The occupying needs to be at the White House, or the Round House—where the cronies are, where the Federal Reserve is, where the true power lies—but you won't!
And finally, my thought for you: Stop wasting your energy getting arrested for NOTHING and get off the grass (park grass—I’m not an old hippie) and do something about it. Pool your resources to convince others to join credit unions, to only deal with community banks (the ones still around), volunteer at a homeless shelter, or just spread awareness wherever you go, but make it constructive! Sleeping in a park and holding a sign all day is probably the laziest form of protest I've ever heard of, not to mention completely unoriginal and boring. But more power to you, I guess.
Occupy the One You’re With
[Re: Opinion, “Systemic Risk?,” Nov. 10-16] Maybe you missed it, outofmehead, but banks aren't banks anymore. In the late ‘90s, the law that required banks to be safe with your money (Glass-Steagall Act) was repealed. Since then, investment firms like Goldman-Sachs have been able to put on banks' clothing, and likewise, banks have been able to play Hedge Fund Mania with your deposits.
I find it odd that anyone would blame the New Depression on the occupant of the White House. There was perfect continuity of economic policy from Bush to Obama. This early 21st century period of American history will probably come to be known as the Bush-Obama administration. If we could go from a know-nothing Texas Republican to a multicultural law professor Democrat with perfect continuity of policy, isn't it clear that who is president is is irrelevant to this discussion?
Shakespeare Was Illiterate
[Re: Film, Anonymous, Nov. 3-9] The reviewer trumpets how completely ignorant he is of this entirely legitimate controversy by his dripping contempt for the very idea.
Personally I don't believe the author was de Vere but I am sure it wasn't Shakespeare either— that's a no-brainer. Yes, kudos to the film for daring to stand up to the mythology and portraying the petty criminal Shakespeare more likely as he was (although I think he could write his name—even his illiterate daughter could write hers, although barely).
Um, maybe the queen spared Southampton because he was her son and not because of any plays, which had been presented on an ongoing basis anyway? What was to stop him publishing them after her death? The plays were anti-Stuart? Not really. The Merchant of Venice and King Lear were (heavily veiled) anti-Puritan, more like, and James 1 was no Puritan supporter (compromising with them even less than Elizabeth, despite their increased popularity).
Sadly, de Vere died in 1604 while King Lear was first presented in late 1608 and The Tempest (based upon a 1609 shipwreck on Bermuda) around 1611.
Oxfordian Crap Theory
I'm showing my ignorance by rejecting a suddenly trendy, fringe conspiracy theory that flies in the face of 500 years' worth of academia? [Film, Anonymous, Nov. 3-9] The Oxfordian theory is a patently classist argument that says Shakespeare was poor and never attended Cambridge, therefore he could not have been born a genius or a literary savant. Clearly, no one of the lower classes could have produced such a body of work, therefore someone of royal and therefore superior blood must have written it all. That's a totally unsupported and frankly crap theory. It's virtually the same as Erich von Daniken's blatantly racist argument that stupid ancient Egyptians couldn't have built the pyramids—only highly advanced space aliens could have done it. (Interesting to note that director Roland Emmerich buys into both of these conspiracies.)
Did you know that fully 10 percent of all the words Shakespeare used (approximately 1,700 of them) were made up? Does that sound like the work of a classically educated master of the Queen's English, or a fast-thinking writer adept at winging it? Shakespeare's friend, contemporary and literary compiler Ben Jonson, said the author knew “small Latin and less Greek”—a statement borne out by Shakespeare's body of work. Again, does this sound like the work of a highly educated English nobleman?
At this point, Oxfordians attacking critics who dared to dislike Anonymous are starting to sound an awful lot like fundamentalist Catholics who fired off angry letters to every film reviewer who didn't love Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ. Disliking the film is tantamount to challenging their tightly held belief system. Trust me, it's not. Go ahead: Believe that Shakespeare's plays were written by Edward de Vere or Christopher Marlowe or Sir William Withey Gull (oh, wait, that was Jack the Ripper) or Francis Bacon or those little green aliens who built the pyramids. Doesn't change the fact that Anonymous isn't all that good a movie. But there's no arguing with a True Believer.
The funny thing is, I don't even have a pony in this race. I don't really care who wrote Shakespeare's plays. They are what they are, and they are brilliant. Some five centuries after the fact, nobody's going to “prove” anything—which was kind of the point of my review. Once people are dead, you can make up all kinds of crazy crap about them. Can't wait to see what people say about me after I'm dead.
[Re: Blog, “Scavenger Hunt 2011 Slideshow,” Nov. 7] Wow, we thought we were going to have world domination this year (would have been our third win), but someone beat our 1630 points and 89 items! Congrats.
Well, of course, our sighting of the mayor was sketchy since we just loitered at the marathon until everyone yelled, There's the mayor, there’s ... , and I wildly starting shooting photos with the edge of Zuri's face.
Just waiting for next year ...
CORRECTION: In the news story "Muddy Waters" [Nov. 10-16, 2011], we inaccurately reported the amount of surface water provided to the city by the San Juan-Chama Diversion Project. In fiscal year 2010, the objective was 50 percent and the project provided 38 percent. In fiscal year 2011, the objective was 75 percent and the project provided 47 percent. The error was made in reporting.
CORRECTION: The URL for the bee nests in last week’s Gift Guide [“Local Makers,” Nov. 17-23, 2011] was wrong. It should be: etsy.com/shop/BotanicArts.
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