Shakespeare on Murder as a Game

as if the tragedy Were play'd in jest by counterfeiting actors“… And look upon, as if the tragedy
Were play’d in jest by counterfeiting actors”

(King Henry VI, part 3, act 2, sc. 3)

Comment.  As they say and as the picture shows, the wheel has come full circle – killing virtual people with a video game has turned into killing real people with a video game.
drone victimsDrone strike operators are killing hundreds of children in Pakistan, Yemen, and other middle-eastern nations. On average they are killing 50 non intended targets (civilians) per 1 intended target (terrorist). Even discounting the stupidest idea that he who tries to get foreigners out of his own land – foreigners armed with unthinkable weapons, safe and secure in their video-game armchair – is a “terrorist”.
It is easy  to press a button from 8,000 miles away shooting a deadly missile into a village that kills hundreds of people. Someone said that the desensitization of our (US) youth is partially to blame. Nonsense. The chasm between the rulers (or those who think they rule or hope they will) and the ruled has never been greater – greater even than in the Middle Ages or later, when sporadic and occasionally successful rebellions could take place.
For example, when the capitalists of the 16th century abolished the common pastures (a term, by the way, “commons” that remained in the English language to identify land owned by all) there was the Kett’s rebellion which kept in check the city of Norwich for a while. Meaning that, by and large, there were leaders who dared to challenge the system.
Today the structure enabling to oppose the criminal monstrosities (of which the drone business is but one very dramatic evidence) is gone.
The categories of “left” and “right” have been Americanized. They are but nuances of the capitalist management. Everyone talks about “democracy’ (better named “capital-parliamentarism” as per French philosopher Alain Badiou), as the only acceptable political system. The fashionable so-called intellectuals have become parrots of the so-called democracy and preach to the globe a moral which is but a thinly disguised imperialism. Intellectuals of the “left” approve bombing of “Islamist” lands to “liberate” Muslim women. Talking of “Islamists” why do we not hear of “Christianists”?
Truth is that political categories are a farce and the public intellectual of old is a caricature, whose words smell more rotten than the rotten exhalations of his own intestine. And yes, for them even tragedy is a videogame as long as their wallet is kept safe by kissing the ass of their paymasters.

Suggestion for use.  The habit (as above)  is so widespread amongst the so called “intellighentia” that they would not even understand the meaning of the quote.

In the play. Warwick upbraids his allies during a setback in the battle of Towton between the forces of Henry VI and those of the Yorkists.

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4 Responses to Shakespeare on Murder as a Game

  1. docdvr says:

    Weak and silly argument. If youre just going to throw up politics, go to a political blog and dont drag old Will into it. Join a chat room concerning drone warfare and the problems attached to it both globally and how it affects us as Americans.
    You just display a lot of arrogant posing Jimmie.

  2. jimmie says:

    Vietnam 1968-1972 (approximately). Vietnam War protesters -> “Bums” (per Richard Nixon) – Country Song, “It’s America, love it or leave it”
    Drone Warfare 2013 -> “arrogant posing”
    Song without music -> “go to a political blog” more or less semantically equivalent to “love it or leave it”

  3. dama-de-pica says:

    As I myself have “great” times in defending Chomsky (as if he needs my supports!!), I vainly imagine that I can understand your point of view, but also the point of the America’s stand(ards) unconditionally defenders. You have right (from an essential humanitarian perspective – oh, so easy to pervert in an unwanted ideology!), but they have a very solid argument, almost impossible to contest: USA really is the most “liveable” country in the world, now, in spite of all the flaws (sometimes conscious and assumed flaws). So it seems unfair to criticize what you love the most. Is not a question of “love it or leave it” (fanatics-extremists-xenophobes-haters), but usually when man tries to castigat morens the result is the perfect opposite reaction. As for the war in foreign countries, the question is not the good you might bring to some others by doing it, but the evil you allow when you refuse to be involved. Or as I say: when your house catches fire and the firemen arrive, do not expect that your dearest heirlooms to be saved – still, do open that damned door for them!

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