Monday, April 14, 2014

Twitter 5000

Hi Everyone!

As you all know, Shakespeare Day is coming. My favorite holiday!  I spent the day tweeting and blogging, and try to have as many special events planned as I can.

I've noticed that I've got 4943 followers on Twitter, which is awfully close to that nice round 5000 number. If you've enjoyed the Shakespeare Geek blog over the years and you're not yet a follower on Twitter, is there something I can do to convince you?  Everything that gets blogged gets tweeted - but not everything that gets tweeted gets blogged! There are many spontaneous games that we play, links that are RT'd, etc etc etc that you never get to see if you're only hanging out on the blog.

If you are already a follower (and, thank you for that) how about introducing me to some of your friends? Share a few stories around. Let me know what you like, I'll do more of that.

Can't wait for Shakespeare Day!  Let's make a 5000 Follower announcement one of my posts!


Friday, April 11, 2014

The 2048 Faces of Shakespeare Game

First there was Angry Birds, then there was Flappy Bird.  Then came 2048. If you've managed to escape the latest internet addiction, consider yourself lucky!  The game is a very innovative spin on a combination of "slide puzzles" and match game.  Every time you match a tile, it changes to a new tile. Keep going until you hit the top tile.  Easy? Try it.

It didn't take long for somebody to realize that this game has nothing to do with numbers and everythig to do with having a custom set of images representing the tiles.  Thus, "Make your own 2048 game" was born.

Thus was "The 2048 Faces of Shakespeare" born as well!

I had to get creative to come up with enough images of Shakespeare to fill the requirement :).  See if you can find them all!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Now That's A Silly Question

Jaguar's lastest television commercial asks, "Will you watch a 2.5 minute car commercial to hear Tom Hiddleston recite Shakespeare?"

What a silly question.

Does anybody recognize who the actor is in the first Shakespeare part?

What's Up With Gonzalo?

My deep dive into The Tempest continues.

I always thought of Prospero's friend Gonzalo in some sort of Polonius-esque "advisor to the king" role.  He's supposedly friendly to Prospero, yet he's in charge of the plot to kick Prospero out:

By Providence divine.
Some food we had and some fresh water that
A noble Neapolitan, Gonzalo,
Out of his charity, being then appointed
Master of this design
, did give us, with
Rich garments, linens, stuffs and necessaries,
Which since have steaded much; so, of his gentleness,
Knowing I loved my books, he furnish'd me
From mine own library with volumes that
I prize above my dukedom.
So, he apparently didn't like the idea of stranding a father and his daughter out on the open sea without food, water and supplies ... but it's not like he actually attempted to stop the plan.

Next we see Gonzalo returning from Alonso's daughter's wedding, so at the very least he's still friendly with the king, if not actually in his service.

We don't get much insight into Gonzalo's inner  monologue (* except for one line, see below), so it's difficult to tell how much deeper he goes than just the "talkative, ignorant old fool" he's made out to be.

I'm thinking maybe it's a case where he's always been friendly with Alonso, and has helped the king out on occasion. So one day this guy Antonio shows up from Milan with a plot to get rid of his brother the duke. Alonso isn't a fan of Prospero, and sees this as an opportunity to gain an alliance (in the "you'll owe me a favor" sense of the word) in Antonio/Milan. Gonzalo has no real feelings for Prospero one way or the other, and doesn't feel strongly enough to go against Alonso, so he lets it happen but uses what influence he can to ease his conscience and keep it from being a death sentence.

(*) One of my favorite "minor character moments" comes from Gonzalo. He's asleep. Antonio and Sebastian, unbeknownst to him, are plotting to kill both him and Alonso. Ariel wakes him, and his first words are not "huh?" or "why did I fall asleep?" or "Why are you holding that sword over my head?"  His first words are, "Now, good angels/Preserve the king." I love that. Not really sure who he's talking to, and he's probably too old and frail to do it himself, but it's still the first thing he thinks of. That's the kind of guy you want watching your back.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

RIP Mickey Rooney

Mickey Rooney holds an honor that not many actors will ever accomplish. Having started his career in 1926 and worked his entire life, until his passing in 2014 at the age of 93, he worked in *10* different decades. That's insane. He started working when he was 6 years old and never stopped.

Cruising through page after page of his IMDB profile I noticed that he did the voice for both "Year Without a Santa Claus" as well as "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town."  Seems about right! He actually voiced or played Santa it looks like 6 different times.

But this blog isn't about Santa Claus, or Rankin and Bass. How about some Mickey as Huck Finn, doing Shakespeare?

I'll leave you with his very fitting final words from A Midsummer Night's Dream.  Flights of angels sing thee to thy rest, Mr. Rooney. Thanks for the memories.