I don't want to write this blogpost. I wish I could have started with a better headline - Facebook doesn't need another critic.
You see, the thing I rely on Facebook for is reminding me about birthdays. Of all the 2,437 features of Facebook, the one I value most (for me) is the daily birthday reminder. It keeps me in touch with friends, extended family & people I like in business.
Facebook is so good at this I take it for granted. I feel protected from the vicissitudes of my faulty memory.
Today Wednesday 23 April 2014
- Facebook let me down bigtime. It took this unexpected email to save me from disaster.
Hey Paul, today is Shakespeare's 450th birthday!
I know you were involved in HappyBirthdayShakespeare.com last year so I thought I would send you a quick note to say we are at it again this year and would love to have you involved.
This year it is even easier to talk about how Shakespeare has influenced or inspired you.
- Share a photo on Instagram with the hashtag #HappyBirthdayShakespeare
- Send a tweet with the hashtag #HappyBirthdayShakespeare
- Write a blog post
No matter what you want to do please go here www.HappyBirthdayShakespeare.com and take two minutes to submit your name, photo, 140 character bio and your birthday blog post, Instagram or tweet.
Thanks for making this a special Shakespeare anniversary =)
Isn't that great?
If I hadn't got that email, I'd have missed the 450th Birthday of the Bard - my old English teacher Eoin O'Moore would have turned in his grave.
All those years
of "The Tempest" "Julius Caesar" "As You Like It" "Macbeth" - all those operas "Otello", "Macbeth" "Falstaff" - those love poems (sonnets) - those wars "Henry 4,5 & 6" - that blasted heath "King Lear" - all those grave-diggers "Hamlet" - fools - assassins - cross-dressers - mistresses - demented women "Ophelia" "Witches" - all those Seven Ages with all the parts I've played...
I'd have been undone.
And the qualities of mercy - not to mention lute music - and sleep-walking - would have been severely strained.
Every bloody brilliant turn of phrase
- every iambic pentameter worth utterance - every hour spend soliloquizing (yes Shakespeare told me it was ok to talk to myself) - and all those horses for which kingdoms have been swapped - not to mention "be kind to hunchbacks "Richard 3" (first lesson in disability awareness) - taming female beasts of burden (remember Burton & Taylor?)...
What a stinking turd, septic thankless moron I'd have been - if I had but ventured through this day with ne'er a fart for Shakespeare.
These putrid words - castigating limbs of frailest imaginatings - I owe to him. If it weren't for Shakespeare, I would not be here. You'd have had my palest imitation to puncture with your wit.
You can't write copy for business without Shakespeare in your ink.
You can't make love to your heart's desire without that man's musings. You can't be meaningful in the vacuum of his shadow.
Shakespeare made me a man
(oblique reference to Man and Superman by one who would have been a nobody without the travelling rogue born 450 years ago today).
No one made obscurity so arresting. No English wordsmith shoed so many horses for courses.
I'd never have succeeded with women if it was not for the example of Anne's husband.
The problem I find with Shakespeare is this:
how can I bring this petty tribute to its close? How can I drink up these words and let strewn dregs display their sagacity?
Shakespeare stands for growth
- business growth & flower power. Shakespeare was the King of the Marketplace - when he was pricked he loosed his tears in blood & brimstone. From his ashes there is charcoal made fit for more meaningful marketing than the shysters make.
I claim Shakespeare.
He lives today - and from the bones of his language we can filet the flesh that will keep us ticking along - for another 450 years.
Facebook better cop itself on - eh?