Shakespeare and Useless Expectations on Education and Everything Else

shakespeare The raven cannot hatch the lark“…the raven doth not hatch a lark”

(Titus Andronicus, act 2, sc.3)

Comment. Comes a point when whatever is said (on the current national-international conditions) terribly sounds as deja-vu, or to be more accurate, deja-dit, not only by the  redactor of this site but by just about everyone else.
Take the case of the so-called “Ivy-League” universities – or for that matter of the countless universities famous for their high costs and automatic conferment of prestige to their frequenters. One would conclude that American industries should be flush with genial scientists and intellectuals. Scientists and intellectuals capable of tackling the obvious contradictions that will, inevitably, destroy not only what we call our way-of-life but the earth as we know it. And yet, when I have occasion to see or visit any of the large technology firms they are awash with employees that, by speech and appearance, sound or look nothing like Americans.
On this very issue, here is an extract shared by Robert Reich, once secretary of labor in government and now a lecturer at a University.
Here is an excerpt of what he wrote just this week,
On the return flight from my dad’s 99th I met an executive from a big high-tech firm based in northern California. I asked him if his company was concerned about the sorry state of America’s schools. He said his company didn’t really care because it could get all the talent it needed from anywhere around the world. I then asked him if he considered his firm to be “American.” He paused and said, “Not really. We’re global.” Had his firm contributed money in the 2012 presidential elections? He said he didn’t know but it probably had. “We’re very well connected in Washington.”
Exactly. How do we build the skills of Americans when our most politically-connected firms no longer care about the skills of Americans? Who’s “we” anyway?”

Which prompts the question, “What were the qualifications of the “executive” and what “talent” did he contribute to his employer, if he comes from the same school system which he despises?”
And as for the “… well connected in Washington…” the quote is dedicated to all those (and regrettably there are many) who still believe that Obama is better than Bush or that the republicans are different from the democrats. The raven cannot hatch the lark, irrespective of who is in power.
In partial connection with the content of a previous post, the situation resembles the Roman Empire at its end, when the so-called barbarians had totally subverted whatever was ‘Roman’ but there was still a senate in Rome acting as if nothing had changed. Read Gibbon for details.

Suggestion for use.  Can apply to useless, corrupt, ignorant (or all the above) next of kin or to equally useless, corrupt, ignorant political protégé.

In the poem.  Lavinia cannot ask for pity of Tamora’s sons. The equally evil Tamora is the raven who cannot hatch the lark.

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2 Responses to Shakespeare and Useless Expectations on Education and Everything Else

  1. cyn1020 says:

    I just wish people could leave politics out of these posts. This is the second one I’ve read this morning in this vein. I understand and appreciate what you are saying, but I get so riled, it throws me off balance all day. It is sooooo hard not to pitch in. I know, maybe we’re swirling down the toilet, but I don’t believe both hands pushed the handle. There is a difference.

  2. jimmie says:

    Cyn1020. Your point is completely understandable. However, historically, arts have had an enormous influence on life and society – and poetry is but one of the means by which arts have exerted their influence. In this website, art (namely Shakespearean lines) are both the starting point of a kind of criticism, and an occasion for reflection on the mood and tone of contemporary life. In other words, art, since Homer, Plato, Aristotle etc. is part of the fabric of society. I completely agree that often what is brought to the attention of the reader – in this site – is the tragic aspect of society. And I also agree with you that, in some ways, it would be better not to know. Furthermore, it is equally tragic that no one seems able to do anything about it, other than bringing it to the attention of the occasional reader. And yet, even this minor effort (minor in the context of its effect), is better than nothing. In particular for the international readers (there are many) who do not even know what happens in the US of A ,as the corporate media controls practically all the world outlets. Finally, since Aristotle was mentioned, let me conclude with what he said of tragedy, “Tragedy is an imitation of an action… effecting through Pity and Terror the correction and refinement of such passions.” (Poetics VI). It is neither your fault nor mine that we live in times that are tragic (or deemed so by those endowed with the gift of thought).

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