The Silence Of The Williamsons (13): The Shakespeare Comparison

I see no evidence of David’s promised Williamson Scholarship or Williamson Foundation financed by the millions he made by displacing better playwrights from their rightful place in Australian theatre. He promised in January we would see it in mid-year but it seems he has other priorities, always, than a reasonable level of gratitude to a nation that has with its tax dollars so over-rewarded and absurdly acclaimed him.

As to the vexed question, raised in these columns by Kristin, of whether I am a third-rate playwright compared with him, I ask those interested to see Shakespeare In Italy after August 9. Already said to be better than most of Shakespeare, it cannot of course compare with Dog’s Head Bay or David’s colloquialised King Lear.

But it may be in the league.

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  1. Ahh, Dogs Head Bay. Who could forget that TV series?

    David Williamson could.

    At least it has provoked some of his critics to write colourfully in assessing it’s merits.

    Found this review on Google:

    “It is badly written, badly produced, and with appalling production values. The tapes of the series, if not already consigned to some other hades, should be put into a container, towed out to sea and used as target practice by the Navy.”

    Clearly not better than Shakespeare.

  2. Some shows are undermined by poor scripting, or cack-handed direction. One or two elements let down everybody else’s good work.

    The wonderful thing about Dog’s Head Bay was that it sucked comprehensively in every department. A true confederacy of dunces.

  3. You should write a play about contemporary nightlife in Sydney amongst our youth and how the evil politians and hotels association have let down our kids.The brown paper bag is still going Bob around and I don’t think another major city in the world can be worse.

    • Paul Kelly- every ducking city…I do contend, every nook and cranny of this wide brown land should not be excluded.

      Bullshit media hype about Sydney, crime rates in Melbourne are far worse, crime rates in Alice….well. There is about as much worth in a story of Sydney’s nightlife as there is in say Underbelly.

      Who wants to see a play about drugged up brainless “sorority girls” performing meaningless consumer rituals?

      How about Damascus? Not brown paper bags shad. Bags with long man sized zips.

      • Dear Mr Ellis.
        I’m sure I’ll regret these words but the chances are they are of little consequence.

        Would you please arrange for the deletion of my recent comments as far as your reach may extend?

        I am, in your debt and to those who have humoured me, I extend a similar sentiment.

        I can only apologize humbly and deeply for my behaviour.

        I will continue to read, but will remain silent.

    • You must be joking! Sydney is one of the cleanest and best crime-free cities of its size anywhere in the world.

      You obviously haven’t done much travelling to hold this opinion.

  4. Is this man channelling Elvis Presley? A note to David Williamson on the topic of power and charisma -

    • Bill Clinton is a loveable character and he was right about one thing: Obama should have been the one bringing the political A-Graders their coffee.

      Attack is the best form of defence for some people and I don’t blame him for being super-sensitive about his continued failures on stopping Bin Laden. And the useless FBI director he had. Or even his silly choice as Deputy A-G Jamie Gorelick who enforced even more separation between intelligence and criminal branches of the government – fatally come home to roost with 911 and which only the Patriot Act swept away for good. He should get credited for starting the whole rendition process, but that might also be down the political memory-hole I suppose.

      Luckily for Bill, Obama has continued the total Clinton Presidency anti-terrorism policy of throwing a few missiles at it/them as being enough - drones for Obama. As for Vast Right Wing Conspiracies which the Clintons are wont to have nightmares about, throwing to “a conspiracy” always goes down well.

    • Thanks for that clip Reader1, it is a good one, and although I’ve seen it before it’s worth revisiting.

  5. Poor Bill He should have kicked ass and ignored the cia and fbi. Anyway another democrat got bin laden. The neo cons would like to have kept there target alive to keep the war machine going at the highest level I am sure

  6. Bill did just fine, thank you. Only the bullshit Lewinski affair did anything to dent his record as President. One of the best 10, certainly.

  7. He has the gift of making everyone he meets is an important human being. Thanks Bill

    • It’s a scary gift though. Also found in extremely manipulative people and sociopaths.

      If anyone’s interested hopefully this will pick up a radio interview I heard recently at the point where the topic is raised.

      • What do you do with an extremely manipulative people and sociopaths?

        I love laughter. Please remove this comment, and all others, as I have politely requested. Do you not have memories? Cut and paste?

        You can erase the ramblings of the banned but not the ramblings a a comrade, why?

      • It all started with an executive decision to read a copious amount of books.

        Deep breath. Continue reading.

        No one can see my face. Not now I sit alone and I have for quite some time.

        I have boots in my boot, steel caps. I don’t know why I think of them.

        I don’t know why I would continue to stare, at this point.

        My face is bloated, I haven’t slept. I am Elvis, fat. Fat.

        What is this madness? I don’t want to die but I have no life.

        My treason drips, I am naked, bare, strewn.

        I am nothing, and in between I am nothing.

        My inner ant mentality demands an end, a sacrifice.

        The world morphs, as my brain twists it
        and I mistrust my DNA
        and I seem to have lost all control

        I stood on the cliffs of the great southern ocean
        in the midst of winter she did bathe me
        in such a glourious blue, it took me whole
        In a frequency so dispelling, I may not depend on my ability to abstain
        from its depths, how it does haunt me.
        How cold it is, how far.
        That southern land lost to ice that once was a mountain range, just there
        it seemed such an apt way to go,
        into the depth
        it seemed a home.

        What good is an aspiration to write and to be read when leaving the house is a nightmare waiting to unfold, each touch of eyes and social contract signed a potential anxiety attack. Each moment is a battle with delusion and contempt for my own being, habits repeating, cycles repeating and reducing in frequency
        and length,

        Jesus. I was Sixteen once.

        What the fuck happened. I was so naive I whooped as Saddam Hussein was captured. They got him! They got him!

        Just a small shack somewhere, away from people, away from everything. A farm? A ranch? I can drive.
        I can drive. Not here, not in the city. Driving in the city is for mugs. Virginia Woolf, do you wait down there? Waiting for another Septimus?
        What kind of a home would it be to be trapped under the spell of some watery upper class tart?

        I hate laughter. I hate it. The best comedy now makes me sick and the rest…
        I am so tired.

        There is fight in me. But I am very tired.

        It has very little to do with anyone but Bill, you get caught in delusions just so you can find an image of yourself that proved your own banality.

        Answer me Mr Ellis, grant my request. I implore you.

  8. Ps. The conversation regarding myself started in terms of social intelligence, which is not the same as empathy.

    I was prompted to read on Chomsky, which I did, and I found a theory that links the innateness of language with social theory, a link which all disciplines may draw from.

    Academic papers giving evidence on morality as an innate faculty.
    Papers showing the emotional intelligence of pre-service teachers was markedly low.

    This isn’t about fearing the fibro monster. The depravity is much greater than that.

    Anyone with access to an academic database will tell you, this is the cutting edge of socialism.
    It is not anarchy. It is science and an idea of such beauty!

    It will be left though to the knights of the marketing department to comprehend. Tony Abbott, PM. Heil . Heil. Heil.
    Mitt Romney the Prez, Heil, Heil, HEIL !!

    • social=emotional* error.

      • “In so far as morality condemns as morality and not with regard to the aims and objects of life, it is a specific error with which one should show no sympathy, an idiosyncrasy of the degenerate which has caused an unspeakable amount of harm! … We others, we immoralists, have on the contrary opened wide our hearts to every kind of understanding, comprehension, approval. We do not readily deny, we seek our honour in affirming. We have come more and more to appreciate that economy which needs and knows how to use all that which the holy lunacy of the priest, the diseased reason of the priest rejects; that economy in the law of life which derives advantage even from the repellent species of the bigot, the priest, the virtuous man - what advantage? - But we ourselves, we immoralists, are the answer to that…”

          • I am both eerily repelled and feeling like an icy cold can of Coke.

          • hudsongodfrey

            Does this make you a data whisperer and therefore an new messiah?

            • If George Pell was to fall in the woods, wood - he maketh a sound!

              Jesus was full of rage was he not, when he walked into the temple and tore it up?

              You tell me. If I was to sit on a toilet, with no walls and call it a church, would you follow me hudsongodfrey?

              Arm in arm with the moon into the day ? :roll:

              Dear reader my brain is mushhhh (Thank you for the above passage). What is a quantum computer and how does this relate to metaphor?

              I will not be parlayed in my quest for knowledge. I would prefer to trust in this idea as a path to wisdom and knowledge, as a route by which I will ascend from mental illness, a route by which I cannot claim to have crafted by my hand and my hand alone. So in that sense, I have my faith of sorts in that idea but why wouldn’t I?

              The study of linguistics seems rather out of fashion at first glance in Australia’s tertiary institutions. Coincidence?

              I have seen a study that measured the height of trees, their thickness and dispersion in a natural undisturbed habitat and somehow this had a relationship with a fractal, a predetermined set of rules.

              I am very much in love with the analogy of the tree and the forest and the fractal. I find it multifariously, hallucinogenically fascinating.

              So sue me, for stewing on the unspeakable beauty of the natural world. If you do not like this idea, you only have to empathize in order to feel what it would be like, at least in some portion to enlimb that branch.

              Grow a branch, cut it off. Grow a branch, cut it off. Grow a branch. Cut it off. Stumpy. Stumpy stumpy. Sappy. Stumpy. Cut me down. Plant me.

              • (say nothing to do with a couple of thousand years of eastern Asian culture, mind you, or the double slit experiment, spiders, figure 8′s, webs, weaving, or any other such absurdities)

              • If George Pell were to defecate in the woods would it make him a bear? And the woods a church by your account.

                I would follow neither of you.

                Joyce Klimer was wrong. He didn’t know about fractals.

            • The More Loving One (Auden)

              Looking up at the stars, I know quite well
              That, for all they care, I can go to hell,
              But on earth indifference is the least
              We have to dread from man or beast.

              How should we like it were stars to burn
              With a passion for us we could not return?
              If equal affection cannot be,
              Let the more loving one be me.
              Admirer as I think I am
              Of stars that do not give a damn,
              I cannot, now I see them, say
              I missed one terribly all day.
              Were all stars to disappear or die,
              I should learn to look at an empty sky
              And feel its total darkness sublime,
              Though this might take me a little time.

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