Shakespeare, Unpleasant Company & the Presidential Debate

mend my company, take away thyselfTIMON … mend my company, take away thyself.
APEMANTUS. So I shall mend mine own, by the lack of thine.

(Timon Of Athens, act 4, sc. 3)

Comments.  Timon’s and Apemanutus’ exchange about each other’s company mirrors the feeling that many will have towards the ‘company’ presented by the protagonists of the imminent presidential debate. Stage-managed as the other one, nothing serious will be discussed. The real policies prepared for the aftermath of the elections, irrespective of the winner, will not be discussed. There will be the usual diversions and trivialities of politics followed by the performance of the commentators and of the talking heads in the service of the 1%. They will, no doubt, claim that there is a real difference between the two candidates and their so called respective “visions” for America.
Defining the “winner” and the “loser” carries no more weight than a disquisition about the differences between Tweedledum and Tweedledee.  Endlessly proven and documented, policy decisions affecting the populace have nothing to do with the elections. They have been taken well in advance or, in any event, independently of electoral results.
Masochists who wish to watch are no doubt ready to listen to both candidates proclaiming their devotion to the American “middle class,” while being silent on the documentable erosion of the living standards of the 99%. Accompanied by, what is worse, the absence of realistic hopes, replaced by the usual volley of meaningless platitudes.

Tips for Use. Dismiss a very unpleasant company.

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In the Play.  Apemantus pays a visit to the disgraced Timon, who lives in the wood. They do exchange a series of insults in rapid succession.

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