Thursday, December 23, 2010

Poem for Thursday and Lion Cubs

From Macbeth Act I Scene VII
By William Shakespeare

If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well
It were done quickly: if the assassination
Could trammel up the consequence, and catch
With his surcease success; that but this blow
Might be the be-all and the end-all here,
But here, upon this bank and shoal of time,
We'ld jump the life to come. But in these cases
We still have judgment here; that we but teach
Bloody instructions, which, being taught, return
To plague the inventor: this even-handed justice
Commends the ingredients of our poison'd chalice
To our own lips. He's here in double trust;
First, as I am his kinsman and his subject,
Strong both against the deed; then, as his host,
Who should against his murderer shut the door,
Not bear the knife myself. Besides, this Duncan
Hath borne his faculties so meek, hath been
So clear in his great office, that his virtues
Will plead like angels, trumpet-tongued, against
The deep damnation of his taking-off;
And pity, like a naked new-born babe,
Striding the blast, or heaven's cherubim, horsed
Upon the sightless couriers of the air,
Shall blow the horrid deed in every eye,
That tears shall drown the wind. I have no spur
To prick the sides of my intent, but only
Vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself
And falls on the other.


The above because we've been watching Teller and Posner's Macbeth recorded at the Folger Theatre in 2008, which has lots of swordplay, stage magic, and a very entertaining Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, who are convincingly hot for each other and not afraid to scream. There are some completely awesome effects -- a witch disappearing right off the stage (without a trap door) as Macbeth stabs her, the dagger appearing in a mirror then moving differently than the one it's supposed to be echoing, and dead!Banquo managing to switch places with one of the guests at the feast so that the audience as well as Macbeth thinks he's struggling with a bloody ghost, only to see that it's one of his nobles. It's not as subtle as Stewart's or McKellen's Macbeths but it's very fast-moving (some scenes played right over one another) yet the big emotional scenes keep the proper resonance. If you have teenagers who think they don't like Shakespeare, show them this production.

Most of the rest of my day was spent working on my 2011 calendar, which isn't as perfect as I wanted it to be because after spending hours futzing with the photo layouts and backgrounds, I discovered that now Shutterfly lets people drop photos and graphics into the squares on the calendar itself. Now that I know this, I will make sure I have recent photos of my cousins' spouses and cute graphics for the solstices and equinoxes; I didn't have a single printable photo of my middle cousin's younger son and the penguin "Happy New Year" free clip art graphic is really too low resolution, but it'll do. We finally picked up the minivan, which has a new tire and a new rear passenger seatbelt that cost more than all my birthday and Chanukah money combined, but it's not like we could decide not to fix that. I was going to write a long rant about net and wireless neutrality legislation, but I think I will save that and post more adorable National Zoo lion cubs instead (sorry about the uneven contrast and saturation, Adam had my exposure compensation set way too high and I'm still correcting):

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