Shakespeare and Depp are in Trouble, Pauline Hanson is an Idiot

Shakespeare and Depp are in Trouble, Pauline Hanson is an Idiot

This Week, Human Stupidity Made Several Advances on the Left and Right, Both At Home and Abroad


This is a sentence I can’t even believe I have to write, but here we go: William Shakespeare does not want you to kill Donald Trump or his followers. That’s a pretty basic notion, yeah, but it certainly seems to have eluded much of the right-wing populace in the U.S. over the past week.

Subtlety was also assassinated that night. (Sara Krulwich/The New York Times)

As you might have heard, there was recently a conservative uproar over the decision made by the New York theatre company Shakespeare in the Park to stage Julius Caesar, casting a Trump-like figure in the titular role. Many right-leaning pundits and media outlets interpreted this as an endorsement of presidential assassinations and an attempt to incite violence against Republicans, linking it to the shooting of Congressman Steve Scalise on June 14th by a disgruntled Democrat. There were even protests mounted during the play itself, with one woman rushing the stage mid-performance to yell, “Stop the normalisation of political violence against the right!

So, I’m just gonna say it, and as simply as possible to avoid being misconstrued: what a tribe of dumb, angry dickheads. Seriously, has not one person at Fox News or Breitbart actually read the fucking play?! ‘Cause I have, I had to in Grade 8 with the rest of my class and, for anyone that’s interested, I still have that same edition I can lend you, with all the tough Shakespeare speak on one page and the basic English translation on the other.

In essence, the play is about loyalty, and specifically about the choices made within a political realm when two loyalties come into conflict. The men who assassinate Caesar agonise over the decision because, not only is he their dear friend, but he is a man beloved by the people (which is kind of a compliment for Trump, right?). Brutus then later expresses deep regret at having killed his beloved Caesar, which haunts him deeply. Also, it was a pointless enterprise, as all the conspirators are dead by the end and the Roman republic they sought to preserve is, ultimately, dismantled due their actions. Holy flaming shitballs, it can’t get more direct than that: political violence is irrational, futile and will achieve the opposite of your intention.

“I just… I can’t even, with you people.” (History Things)

Still, I’ll be honest here and say that, yeah, maybe staging this play with a Trump lookalike playing Caesar – complete with coiffed blonde hair and a long-arse red tie – wasn’t a great move. Not necessarily because it’s offensive (as no one seemed to mind the casting of an obvious Obama stand-in for the same play in New York five years ago), but it is kinda cheap, y’know? At best, it’s an easy, fairly shallow gag to go for, especially as the play has such a firm reputation for dissecting the politics of any given age that it just seems redundant. Anyone who wants to can draw the obvious parallels between Caesar and the current political climate and arrive at separate conclusions, each of their own merit. Except that a play written more than 400 years ago wants you to kill the president. I can’t stress this enough: that’s fucking stupid.

Moving on, Johnny Depp is a drunken, abusive wheeze bag, a sentient mass of tatty scarves, receding hairlines and shitty fedoras who has, in the last three or four years, retroactively tarnished what was once an illustrious film career. I wish I could leave it at that, but I should mention that the comments he made about the current president (specifically, “When was the last time an actor assassinated a president?“) are in bad taste and should not be seen as the mentality of everyone who opposes Donald Trump. Once again, this is one of those weeks where I’m writing sentences I dearly wish I didn’t have to, but there we are.

Jesus, he’s like a human taco fart inside a duffle bag. (Anita Russo/Rex/Shutterstock)

Regardless of how many similar statements or actions you could cite of conservative citizens and celebrities threatening Obama, it’s all besides the point because we’re meant to be above this kind of shit. Call it a harmless joke or a throwaway, but the current state of things is such that we can’t afford a misstep like this. The point of #TheResistance is to maintain a composure that repudiates what we’re fighting against, the culture of bully tactics and thoughtless outrage that typifies America (and the world) under Trump.

Lazy jokes about killing the dude severely damages that effort. People who oppose the president, like Kathy Griffin or Snoop Dogg, need to stop giving Republicans so much material with which to paint the left as violent, hysterical and desperate. It’s a distraction, and one that we can ill-afford. And, honestly, if you wanna be pissed off at Depp, how about the fact that he beat the shit out of his wife on the regular? Seems a little more worthy of our ire, yeah?

Finally, Pauline Hanson (ugh, this week has suuucked). Here’s a quote, in context, of how she said autistic children should be treated in a classroom environment: “So our education is important, and I just feel that it needs to be handled correctly, and we need to get rid of these people because you want everyone to feel good about themselves.” Wow, that is just a steaming, rancid pancake dripping with compassionless ignorance. But enough about Hanson’s appearance, let’s talk about what she said…


Setting aside the fact that there is zero evidence that separating autistic children from a standard classroom environment improves their scholastic performance, what in the fuck is the logic behind this kind of statement? It’s almost as if she wants to apply a blanket ban on an entire group of people based on no real-world experience or understanding of their… Oh. Oooh, I see what she’s doing here. No, no, that’s actually quite clever! She’s just cut and pasted her awkward, prejudiced immigration policies and crammed them into her educational ones, much the same way she removes the skins of her victims and wears them Leatherface style to hide the sunken void where her soul should be.

Of course, the idea of segregating children due to disabilities is a shameful position, one that Hanson expressed with the squawking surety of the nearly senile. The strangest part of this, however, is that according to a lot of teachers nationwide and Education Minister Simon Birmingham, Hanson has accidentally stumbled upon something of a reasonable issue. “I don’t agree with the way Pauline put her comments at all”, said Birmingham, before adding, “I do accept that there is a need for additional support for schools and teachers and classrooms to be able to support all students with disabilities.”

Indeed, though no one seems to favour the Hanson approach of “fuck ’em”, many agree that there is not enough funding in many schools to provide the care required for autistic children. It’s kind of like if a redneck, with a shotgun in one hand and a rope in the other, yelled “We need to do something ’bout these black sum bitches!”, and the crowd nodded thoughtfully and said, “Yes, there should be more welfare given to disadvantaged minorities.”

“Dammit, that’s not what I meant.” (Global Flight)

So, that’s the week that was in a nutshell: Shakespeare spun around in his grave so fast that he almost reversed the Earth’s rotation, Johnny Depp continued his long and winding descent into a fabric-leaden puddle of piss and whiskey and Pauline fucking Hanson accidentally made a decent point about education, if you just ignore virtually everything she said.

Only in 2017.

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