Sham’st thou to show thy dangerous brow by night,
When evils are most free? O, then by day
Where wilt thou find a cavern dark enough
To mask thy monstrous visage? Seek none, Conspiracy;
Hide it in smiles and affability:
For if thou have thy native semblance on,
Not Erebus itself were dim enough
To hide thee from prevention.”
(Julius Caesar, act 2, sc. 1)
Comments. With very minor changes Brutus’ question and comments apply wholesale to the foreign policy of the US of A. Here are the superficial differences. Brutus conceives that conspiracy may be ashamed of itself – to the point of seeking to hide even at night. In this Brutus was over-optimistic. The CIA and umpteen costly mercenary outfits have no shame whatsoever in carrying out their crimes including torture (even in the face of the related XVIII century reforms). They kill and are paid to kill for freedom and democracy after all. And they (or their appointed lobbyists, controlled-media scriveners, TV commentators etc.) say so in all sorts of “smiles and affability”. In the instance, why bother to find a “cavern dark enough to mask their monstrous visage?” The only requirement is to control the corporate media and all will be well. The proof is self evident or the evidence is palpable. Suffice to notice what interests the masses at large – consult in the top menu the ‘Index of Masses’ Unintelligence’ for verification. Not only, but in a perfectly Orwellian reversal of meaning, when whistle-blowers and voices of integrity (attempt to) disturb the indifference to crime they are branded as ‘conspirators’ and treated accordingly. Meaning either ignoring them (Dennis Kucinich, Ralph Nader etc.) or arresting and threatening to kill them (Bradley Manning, Julian Assange).
Tips for Use. Use extracts to address your enemy, ‘Where wilt thou find a cavern dark enough to mask thy monstrous visage?’ For more uses and cross –references refer to the book “Your Daily Shakespeare” – see menu item.
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In the Play. Brutus is drawn into the conspiracy against Caesar and meditates on its horrors.