Tuesday, 7 April 2015


Right. Um, Easter Rant. Her Royal Popelyness speaks to the Nation. Largely the Nation ignores me, so I will just carry on and say whatever I like. There1.

Today is Easter Saturday (or it was when I began writing), as that Great British Authority, the 'Radio Times' calls it, or, to the rest of us, Saturday.
I'm going to try not to get all ranty about things I've seen lately on social media. Anyone would think I didn't have a life, if I were to carry on about sexist babygros or the colour of dresses. Both of those, incidentally, I will choose to file under ''Things About Which I Literally Can't Even''.
Really. I just can't. 
 Maybe I ought to rant about Religion. It's just the time of year, of course. The trouble with that is that there are plenty of other pithy bloggers out there, any of whom will destroy Christianity for the mythology-stealing cult-that-got-lucky that it is. You know, according to some. It's easy enough to take it apart piece by piece: nothing that illogical can survive the application of - well, of Logic.
The problem is that People have to Believe In Something. This is true for most, though not for all of us. I don't believe in anything. Why should I? If something is real, I don't need to believe in it, because it will exist whether I believe in it or not.  And if something is not real, why, what sort of blinking idiot believes in things that aren't real?
I don't believe in anything. But some people need to. So I propose this. If one cannot take away a belief system in case it leaves a hollow, empty void into which anything may be poured (and think how unsuitable that could be, I mean they might discover they like Art, or Music, or Theatre, or Sex, or other horribly imaginative and/or unsuitable activities) - replace it with another belief system. Replace it with Shakespeare.
Okay. I was wrong. I do believe in something.  I believe that William Shakespeare wrote the plays of William Shakespeare.  This is a good thing to believe - ticking, as it does, all the necessary boxes for Belief, being as there is sufficient doubt surrounding the idea for some quite scholarly people to refute it.  Narcolepsy. I do not know why I wrote that. I fell asleep and when I woke up, I saw I'd written 'Nar' and I'd forgotten why. I fell asleep, mid-word. That's well funny, that is.
Also, many people don't like Shakespeare, and think he's boring, probably without ever having read or seen any, but having been forced to do it at school. So you see, my idea has that in common with Religion, too.
The crucial difference is this. No-one ever killed anyone in the name of Shakespeare. Okay, I'm sure someone has done so, somewhere, some time, in a fit of theatrical passion. But no nation ever went to war over Hamlet. No despot ever tortured a minority group because William said it was meet and right so to do. No-one ever claimed that Titus Andronicus was carrying out God's work.
From an article originally in the Times

All of humanity is in Shakespeare: Good, Evil, Love, Hate, Passion, Murder, Virtue, Sin, Beauty, Horror, Wisdom, Folly. And language - oh, Language. Wild and whirling words. Like the Bible, Shakespeare may be interpreted in myriad ways. Unlike the Bible, that's absolutely fine. How refreshing.
So if you must ask for guidance in time of need; if you seek succour in your melancholy; relief from your pain; balm for a wounded heart; strength when in doubt; by all means, turn to The Good Book. Just make sure it's the Complete Works of Shakespeare.

And what of Worship? Worship. What a singularly odd thing to do. I can remember going to church as a very small child, and hearing the liturgy - blah blah blah, "we are not worthy so much as to pick up the crumbs beneath your table..." - and thinking, with eight-year-old child-logic, "well, I am."

No need to worship The Bard. Though, you could, if you liked; if by 'worship' you meant 'go to the theatre'. Or 'go to the theatre and see something besides the Phantom of the fucking Opera3, for fuck's sake4'.

The Globe would become my Church, and I would go every Sunday. Religiously.

1I take that back.  Someone did ask for a 'hot cross bun' on Friday - but I had to disappoint him2. Sunday is my Ass-Selfie day.
2Who am I kidding? Of course I didn't. It's on Instagram.
3I had to Google top London musicals because I didn't know any.
4Look at that. I almost made it to the end without letting one slip. Or two.