Hamlet: 36 ways to respond to the Hamster

Get thee to a nunnery: why wouldst thou be a
breeder of sinners? I am myself indifferent honest;
but yet I could accuse me of such things that it
were better my mother had not borne me: I am very
proud, revengeful, ambitious, with more offences at
my beck than I have thoughts to put them in,
imagination to give them shape, or time to act them
in. What should such fellows as I do crawling
between earth and heaven? We are arrant knaves,
all; believe none of us. Go thy ways to a nunnery.
Hamlet Act 3 Scene 1.

For Hamlet’s plot till now, see Hamlet So Far.

Act 3 Scene 1 (continued). Last week we read that Hamlet told Ophelia, “Get thee to a nunnery.” That is a downright dirty thing to say to Ophelia. She is not Gertrude. She is Ophelia. It’s not her fault for the dastardliness going on in Castle Elsinore.

Oh, sure. She broke a date with him. Because her daddy and her big bro didn’t want her to date a prince. She broke the date in a nice way and she let the star of our show know she still cared for him. Hamlet went over the top. The things he said to her were not nice. Not nice at all.

Well, Uncle Bardie has a list of suggestions for an Ophelia response. Then maybe the Hamster would have calmed down and played nice.

1.    Get thee to an aviary. What you’re saying is for the birds.

2.    Get thee to a brewery. You need a drink.

3.    Get thee to a chum-mery. You could really use some friends.

4.    Get thee to a confectionery. Then you can eat your cake and have it too.

5.    Get thee to a creamery. Ice cream can work miracles on a bad day.

6.    Get thee to a debauchery. You’ve been sheltered way too long.

7.    Get thee to a dysentery. You’re way too backed up.

8.    Get thee to an eggery. You are laying a big one.

9.    Get thee to a fan-nery. You really need to cool down.

10. Get thee to a greenery. You are in such a black mood.

11. Get thee some hosiery. Then you will be fashionable.

12. Get thee to a hug-gery. You need a hug bad, and I’m not in a hugging mood.

13. Get thee to a humbuggery. You’ll fit right in.

14. Get thee some imagery. Then you can be Shakespearey.

15. Get thee to see Mick Jaggery. ‘Cause you ain’t got no satisfaction.

16. Get thee to a Larry. Or a Moe or a Curly.

17. Get thee to a laboratory. Frankenstein needs a new monster.

18. Get thee to a mopery. You’ll have some companionship.

19. Get thee to a notary. Maybe they’ll give you a seal of approval for bad behavior.

20. Get thee to a nincompoopery. You belong there.

21. Get thee to an owlery. You could use some wisdom.

22. Get thee to a perfumery. You’re starting to smell.

23. Get thee to a pharmacy. You need valium bad.

24. Ophelia: “Get thee to an office of psychiatry.”

Hamlet: “I suppose you’re going to bring up that Freudian slip thing, aren’t you? As you can see, I am not wearing a dress.”

Ophelia: “Or a hat.”

25. Get thee to a punnery and stop pun-ishing me.

26. Get thee to a quizzery. You’re asking too many questions.

27. Get thee to a revelry and have some fun.

28. Get thee to a summary. You talk too too much, saying the same thing over and over.

29. Get thee to a topiary. Edward Scissorhands is a real cut up.

30. Get thee to an umbery. You could use some color in your clothes.

31. Get thee some upholstery. Your apartment needs some dressing up.

32. Get thee to a villagery. You’ve been inside the castle too long.

33. Get thee to a winery. It doesn’t matter whether it’s red or white.

34. Get thee to xystery. Nothing like a scraping of the bones to cheer one up.

35. Get thee to a yadda-yadda-yaddary. They’ll appreciate your speechifying.

36. Get thee to a zootsuitery so you can look mahvelous. Simply mahvelous.

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Uncle Bardie’s Movie of the Week: A Favorite Rock ‘n’ Roller

Once a week on Monday, Uncle Bardie shares a movie with his Readers he gives a big two thumbs up. It will simply be a short excerpt or a trailer. From time to time, a reflection on the movie will appear below the video. So pop some popcorn and give yourself a treat. This week’s movie is “Streets of Fire” (1984).

If you are looking for a great rock ‘n’ roll movie, “Streets of Fire” (1984) is that movie. Directed by Walter Hill, it’s a “Rock & Roll Fable” set in “another time, another place”.  It really kicks butt. It’s got motorcycles, guns, a sexy singer and a guy who has a real thing for the singer. And it takes place in a post-apocalyptic world. What more can you ask? Oh, yeah. Some great music, scored by the great Ry Cooder, that includes the Blasters and “One Bad Stud”.

Ellen Aim (Diane Lane) is doing a return-to-her-roots concert for her hometown. The choppers arrive, carrying the Bombers.  They brazenly snatch Ellen right off the stage. Not even the cops can stop the gang. Before you can say “Blue Suede Shoes”, Ellen disappears into the night on the back of a chopper.

That’s when Tom Cody (Michael Paré) shows in the neighborhood. He’s a real badass. We know he’s a badass because he clears his sister’s joint of six wannabees who think they’re bad. Against his better judgment, Tom takes off after Ellen in his new set of wheels. It’s stolen. He’s joined by an ex-soldier, McCoy (Amy Madigan), and Ellen’s wimpy manager, Billy Fish (Rick Moranis). Soon they’re in enemy territory and after Ellen held at Torchees, the Bombers’ headquarters.

There’s nothing like a few exploding motorcycles to heat up the action and provide a distraction. Then it’s Tom and McCoy to the rescue, then it’s back to the Hometown. It would be a real easy ride, except for one thing. Raven Shaddock (Willem Dafore). He don’t take kindly to someone stealing what he stole.

Do you have a favorite rock ‘n’ roll movie?

The Beast that Ate America

Seems that these days should be called the Time of the Selfie. Now we can all be Donald Trump. I recently heard that Selfies have killed more people than shark bites. So I thought it was time for Uncle Bardie to pass along some directives from the CDC, concerning these beasties.

1.A baby Selfie may appear to be cute and cuddly. But remember the lesson of the Gremlins. Do not water a Selfie. They will turn on you before you know it. Pretty soon they are eating you out of house and home.

2.A Selfie is a wild animal. They are not meant to be held in captivity. They do not civilize well.

3.Selfies do not make great pets. Just when you think you’ve gotten them trained to use the litter box, they disappoint you.

4.Selfies don’t mix well with other animals. Like bears. Please keep them away from your dogs. And cats are especially vicious in the presence of a Selfie. They just don’t like the things.

5.If you run across a Selfie in the wild, stand very still. Selfies can only see moving objects.

6.If you are bitten by a Selfie, get to a Selfie Trauma Center pronto. You have less than an hour before the Selfie poison takes hold. The CDC is opening up special trauma centers in every major city in the United States. Personnel are being trained to deal with this deadly outbreak of Selfie bites.

7.If you have a friend or relative who has been bitten by a Selfie and has not received special care from a trained professional, avoid them. That foaming of the mouth is extremely contagious. Call the emergency number 555-555-5555 to get them compassionate care. They will be put to sleep and it will be painless.

8.There have been efforts to eradicate Selfies. Thus far the efforts have not worked. It has even led to people coming with a dance called the Selfie Split.

9.There are rumors that Selfies were created by the Government for population control. There is no truth to this conspiracy theory. Otherwise Texas would be taken over by Selfies. And that just ain’t so. Ted Cruz is not President of Texas. Yet.

10.If you are one of those thinking of joining one of the local Selfie cults springing up around the United States, please don’t. It is a scam. You won’t be able to get a genuine purebred Selfe, and you will find your bank accounts emptied.

11.Do not get close to a Selfie on the night of a full moon. You think werewolves go crazy that night. You ain’t seen nothing until you see a Selfie on a full moon night.

So remember, to be forewarned is to be forearmed.

Hamlet: Get thee to a nunnery

Take him and cut him in little stars, and he will make the face of heaven so fine that all the world will be in love with night and pay no worship to the garish sun. (Romeo and Juliet Act 3 Scene 2.)

For Hamlet’s plot till now, see Hamlet So Far.

Act 3 Scene 1 (continued). It’s enough to think the Hamster was a misogynist. This scene sure makes us wonder. No matter how you look at it Hamlet is not treating Ophelia nicely. Why Hamlet’s bad treatment of Ophelia? Could it be that Ophelia is a stand-in for Mom?

For the first time in the play, Hamlet lets loose. We see real emotion from our protagonist. He is no longer thinking. He is feeling. What he is feeling is anger. On top of everything, he knows he is being spied upon and that makes him even madder. How dare his mother, and Ophelia too, act as foils for that villain Claudius. How dare them?

Ophelia smiles and asks, “How are things going?”

Like she doesn’t know. How can she not know that his father is dead? Maybe murdered? How can she not know that the king may be the murderer? It would be like Bathsheba did not know that King David sent Uriah, her husband, off to be killed. Bathsheba knew. So does Ophelia. Women. You just can’t trust them.

“My lord,” Ophelia says, “I have some things of yours. Since we broke up, I need to return them.”

He is thinking, “I didn’t break up with you. Remember you came to me and said, ‘Daddy wouldn’t let you date me.’” Instead he says, “I don’t want them back.”

Ophelia says, “But they are not mine to keep. Please take them. They only cause me pain.”

Well, I’ll show this daughter of Eve. This tool of Satan. “Ha. Are you good or what?”

“What in the name of all that is holy,” Ophelia asks, “are you talking about?”

Our Hamlet is not about to let his mother off the hook. Sure, the words are thrown at Ophelia, but it is Mom that he means to hit. “Get thee to a nunnery,” he throws at Ophelia/Gertrude.

“I am innocent,” Ophelia says. “How can you treat me so evilly? Me whom you professed to love so deeply.”

“Get thee to a nunnery.” Hamlet slams his once-Juliet against the wall. Then he releases her. “Get thee to a nunnery.” At that, he is done with Ophelia. He is done with women. His mother married his uncle within minutes of her husband, his father’s death. Ophelia spies on him for her father and for that Richard III who is king.

This scene also makes us ask if Shakespeare was a misogynist? After all, Hamlet may not be Hamlet in this scene. He may be William Shakespeare. Me, I think not. If we looked at many of his female characters in other plays, we see a variety and sensibility not found in any other writer of that time. And not very often of a male writer since.

Just look at “Romeo and Juliet”. Juliet, not Romeo, is the hero of that play. Then there is Rosalind in “As You Like It”, Beatrice in “Much Ado About Nothing”, Portia in “The Merchant of Venice”, and Viola in “Twelfth Night”. These are amazing women, fully formed.

No, I think Shakespeare was exhibiting a portion of his grief for his lost son, Hamnet, who died in 1596. He may very well have blamed his wife, Anne Hathaway, for the death. With this play, the anger came to surface and exhibited itself in a way even he had not expected. We will never know. We do know that he will go on to create some of his most memorable women: Rosalind, Cordelia, Lady Macbeth, Cleopatra, Imogen in “Cymbeline”, and Paulina and Hermione in “A Winter’s Tale”.

With this in mind, I would nix the whole idea that Shakespeare, and Hamlet, were misogynists. They were just human beings. Like most human beings, they were searching for a way to deal with their grief.

***********

Standing in the hall, alone, Ophelia remembers the man she once loved:

Oh, what a noble mind is here o’erthrown!
The courtier’s, soldier’s, scholar’s, eye, tongue, sword,
Th’ expectancy and rose of the fair state,
The glass of fashion and the mould of form,
Th’ observed of all observers, quite, quite down!
And I, of ladies most dejected and wretched,
That sucked the honey of his music vows,
Now see that noble and most solemn reason
Like sweet bells jangled, out of tune and harsh;
That unmatched form and feature of blown youth
Blasted with ecstasy. Oh, woe is me,
T’ have seen what I have seen, see what I see!

Ophelia is not sure how things came to be the way things have come to be. But she deeply feels the loss of her prince. The man that was her Romeo.

Before she can absorb her loss, her father and the king pop out from behind the wall. They have heard everything.

Claudius is the first to speak. “He doesn’t sound crazy. He’s up to something. Something dangerous.”

You’d think Polonius would concern himself with his daughter’s distress. Yet he does not. Instead he responds to the king’s speculation.

Polonius is not convinced “That is indeed someone who is mad with love. For Ophelia. He has been deeply hurt by her rejection. He wants to strike out at her. Maybe we should have the queen examine him. Discover his motives. If she cannot, then send him off to England.”

To England? Why England? The English know what to do with royals that misbehave. They chop off their heads. Just look at Mary, Queen of Scots.

***********

Only Ophelia is left in the hall as the lights dim. Her head bowed with tears. Her arms at her side. She slowly sinks to the floor. The obedient daughter, the loyal girlfriend, realizes her future is looking dimmer and dimmer. It is looking more and more like Ophelia is truly the great tragic figure of “Hamlet”.

She is alone.

Post # 300 Uncle Bardie’s Movie of the Week: A two-fer

Once a week on Monday, Uncle Bardie shares a movie with his Readers he gives a big two thumbs up. It will simply be a short excerpt or a trailer. Uncle Bardie might even throw in a reflection on the movie. If so, it will make an appearance below the video. So pop some popcorn and give yourself a treat. This week’s movie is “Jean de Florette” (1986) & “Manon of the Spring” (1986):

A good movie is like a good novel. It tells a story well; with characters we deeply care about. Sometimes it takes more than one novel/film to complete the story. This is the case of the three novels/movies: “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”, “The Girl Who Played With Fire” and “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest”. And this is the case of “Jean de Florette” and “Manon of the Spring”.

“Jean de Florette” is the story of an undiscovered crime; “Manon of the Spring” follows with the revenge. One film does not make sense without the other. “Jean de Florette” opens with a man returning to his village after serving his time in the army. Ugolin (Daniel Auteuil) is young and ambitious. He has returned to grow carnations, feeling that this is a way for him to do well financially. There is only problem. He doesn’t have enough water.

His uncle, Papet (Yves Montaud), knows where there is a hidden spring on a neighbor’s property. Unfortunately the two of them offer the neighbor a price and he refuses. Papet gets in a fight with the neighbor and accidentally kills him. The neighbor’s sister’s son inherits the property.

Jean de Florette (Gerard Depardieu) is a city fellow who decides he wants to farm. Ugolin and Papet scheme to prevent the farm from prospering. Like the good neighbors they are, they do not reveal the location of the spring. Jean de Florette does not give up trying to make a go of the farm. Ugolin and Papet “help” Jean de Florette out with lots of false information.

It is the clash of two obsessions. Ugolin and Papet’s obsession to buy the farm, Jean de Florette’s obsession to be a prosperous farmer. It is a terrible thing to watch an honest man’s dreams die. Eventually the hard work hauling water from miles away and the struggle farming kills him, thanks to Ugolin and Papet’s schemes. Resigned, Jean’s wife, Aimee (Gerard Depardieu’s wife, Elisabeth), sells the farm to Ugolin. Just as the mother and daughter are leaving, Manon, Jean and Aimee’s daughter, sees Ugolin and Papet loosen the rocks from the hidden spring. Their greed has got the best of them.

“Manon of the Spring” picks up some years later. Manon (Emmanuelle Béart), Jean and Aimee’s daughter, is now a woman. She returns to the village to avenge her father. But it is more than a drama of revenge. It is about obsession and how it can destroy. It is about lost love. It is about discovery. And it is about family.

Based on the novels by Marcel Pagnol, Claude Berri’s epic masterpiece introduced audiences to Provence. For me, I was so impressed with these two films I went on to see the films based on Pagnol’s memoirs, “My Mother’s Castle” and “My Father’s Glory”. I have seen all four movies several times and they remain some of my favorite French films.

Not many films move me to say, “Wow.” Marcel Pagnol and Claude Berri have done that with “Jean de Florette” and “Manon of the Spring”. And please remember, the two should be seen together. If you can see them in one evening,  please do. You won’t regret it.