Why not Ice and Brimstone?

November 10th, 2010

So... Opinions.
I bought a book in Italy, because there are a lot of used book vendors in Rome.
I found a Copy of 'Timon of Athens' in English, and figured I'd give it a spin, like I had originally intended to do before this summer, but never got around to.
So I start reading the script, ignoring the footnotes and the 'translations into modern English' bits, I want to enjoy my first go with it, and form my own thoughts.
Then I notice something off.
Stage Directions.
There's a metric shit-ton of them.
'Weird,' I think 'These are really specific. Maybe the rumors about the Bard being five different people are supported by the fact that this stage-directions is nothing like his other stuff that I've read.'
You see I love Shakespeare's simplicity of stage directions, you get most all you need from the text.
Some of the great Stage directions of Shakespeare are as follows


When I cam across a page of stage directions I started to get more than curious, I was confused.
The suspicion came when the words didn't seem hard enough to follow.
Too easy.
So I flip to the front of the book.
'Timon of Athens' in Large fancy print.
'Edited by Some Jackass*' in small print.

You don't edit Shakespeare like that.
'Uhmmmm...,'you are most likely currently thinking 'Kishpike...weren't you a rabid were-weasel male witch in a version of Macbeth that was known for cutting the most famous line of the play?... Actually weren't you also Fleance the young lover of Prince(ss) Malcom? Since when have you ever been a purist.'
You're very clever, and savvy to my past, I must say, perhaps someone has been doing some matrimonial research? Hmmm?
Anyhow, yes.
Yes I have, and its true, I have less than the standard reverence for the words as staged.
As written?
As written, you really think you have improved on Shakespeare's original works well enough to pass it off as the original script. To sell the script to random blokes and blokettes?
This isn't changes to service on performance, these are changes to service 'The Way it Should be.'
You don't edit Shakespeare's work and try and pass it off as Shakespeare's work.
You edit Shakespeare's work and pass it off as you own interpretation of the work.
*H. J. Oliver you are on my bad list.

If you ever find yourself in a teaching position, (Don't do it) you may find yourself wishing your pupils would speak.
Communicate with you, so you can share ideas, and expand your teaching offerings to hungry minds.
I know it's frustrating to try and teach to a dead audience from my laughable work at the Nature H.Q. at Camp Grizzly, 'teaching' merit badges. I think I was teaching Weather. Or Clouds. Or something like that. Something else too, I think.
I digress.
A terrible way to encourage active participation of your students is to defensively-lecture them when then propose an opinion that is contrary to your view of the world. (A good thing to do here is open up the Socratic Method. Questions change ignorance into curiosity.)
In my 'Art History' Class, which would have been better named 'Architecture History' Class, (I'm sorry, I don't follow the more complicated art and design of architecture, I've been going to school for theatre for the past four years and havn't put much thought into Architecture, a sin I suppose, but a lesser one, I mean I did pretty well in Set-Design, but set-design has a lot more room for... emotional interpretation and non-structurally sound things. I can't keep my interest in something I really don't understand. I try, but I swear if we look at one more pillar I might explode like Lynnette. (( heh. ATF reference.)) Haven't even gotten to Grotesques and Gargoyles. Sculpture is my favorite non-theatre art I've found, while in Rome.)
Digress much?
Where was I?
Ah, yes, In my 'Art History' Class we just finished Rome.
Which was extra difficult to pay attention to, because I've been there.
And the little slides just don't compare.
The Teacher at the end of the section asked her usual question 'Os gustan los Romanos?' (Do y'all [formal style] like the Romans?)
I began to respond, and then realized I wasn't certain if I could full express my ire in Spanish (I couldn't), but having already started speaking, I wasn't going to get off the hook.
'I like the Romans, I don't like Rome.'
You'd think I had told Kelly that I thought Stanislavsky was full of shit. (Which I don't, but I do think his writing is sloppy and in need of some heavy editing.)
'Porque?' (Why?)
I knew that question was coming.
I dreaded both syllables.
It haunts me still.
I could explain myself in English, but the Class is Castellano only. (Well I suppose if you could speak Basque you could throw that in as well, the two are pretty mixed around here.)
So I tried to explain that I wish less of the art had been robbed by the Vatican.
I should have made the Earthquake of 1314 joke.
Robbed and Vatican in the same sentence was my downfall.
See... "The government can't rob from its own country, and really the Vatican was saving all the art." (A: A government can damn well rob it's own country, B: Well that's open to debate.)
A lecture on what stealing is and isn't followed, with little room for discussion.
I wasn't very encouraged to talk in class after that.
Yeah, accusing the Vatican of anything in a Catholic country wasn't a great choice, but I thought this was an Art class.
My mistake.

Truth be told I don't have enough information to back up my opinions on Rome, and it deserves another chance. Maybe when I'm not a traveling touring student. Maybe when I'm traveling on my own, and have done more research.
It is something, like all opinions should be, open to debate, even if I can be heavy handed with my opinions.
However, I don't understand the self-sabotage of not being an open minded teacher.
I miss artists damnit.

Sorry, Koll, no Pictures.
But I've been eating some freaking odd foods lately.
Here are some recent discoveries.
The Heladria (Ice Cream Shop) near my house has a Orangish-Brownish Ice Cream named Mañaga or something like that.
I figured it might be some sort of fruit flavor, because it had little chunks of more brownish-orangish things in it that could have easily been fruit.
They were.
At some point.
This was Rum 'Flavored' Ice-cream.
I'm not certain how they made Rum into Ice-cream, and I don't pretend to understand the miracles of science, but days like these that give me Sagan like Confidence in human-kind.

They have little trains, and booths, all around.
They sell chestnuts, roasted until they pop, like... well like street food vendors.
These chestnuts are supposed to be delicious, but I find them less than so.
However they are filling and cheap.

With a berry topping of some sort.
About the size of my fist.
Say it with me. Cheesecakes.
The word alone is seductive enough to make my mouth water.
I don't know what the word is for them yet, except Riquisimo.

I was eating lunch, and Carmén busted out this Sausage looking thing.
She told me to peel off the skin and eat the inerds.
It tasted kind of bland, but meatyish.
She told me it was made with blood and rice.
'Cool' I thought. 'I like my steak as rare as a good american Chekhov performance.'
So I was eating my Blood-rice thing, perfectly content.
Until she told me it was pigs blood.
Suddenly it wasn't so cool.
My fortitude wavered, and my Bravado shrunk.
Then she began explaining how Spain uses, every. part. of. the. pig.
Except the eyes of course.
She was showing me by gesturing on her own body what parts of the pig made what things.
Watching a human, show me where what comes from, knowing that humans and pigs taste relatively similar (Why do you think they call it 'long pork.') with the taste of pig's blood in my mouth?
I got sick.
I love me some jamon, but I love me my jamon cooked and dry.
Just the phrase 'pig's blood' echoing around in my head.
Would of been better off thinking it was blood in general.
Bled out of a general beast.
Cow by default.
Because I'm from the States, where cows grow on trees.
Here it's pigs.
She tells me its very common around winter.

Well my stomach's turning.



  1. Haha, some girls in my program got fed cow face by their host mom today, because one of them told her they didn't like fat. And apparently the face of the cow is the only part without fat.
    Oh spain.

  2. Black pudding (which is my favorite of the names for blood sausage) is common in Europe, from what I've heard. I'm sure the "human pointing at body parts" was what made you sick, but I mean... blood is the tasty part. It's the juice in a nice juicy steak! I couldn't eat it straight, but with rice and handily wrapped, that sounds pretty tempting.