Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Shakespeare & Charlie Rose

A must-see Charlie Rose segment, November 10, 2011:

TV's increasing din...sitcoms, reality shows, dramas, and round-the-clock news and commentary...enlightenment, entertainment, or escape? How might distant history evaluate our era, using this medium as a measure? What might the Bard have to say about our viewing choices and habits?

Thank goodness for the vast array from which to choose when I press "Guide" on my remote. Busy person that I am, I have chosen just a few to record and watch when I finally land on my sofa: "Person of Interest," "American Horror Story" (a gruesome guilty pleasure), "So Cal Connected," "Holmes Inspection" (for my practical nature), and "Sister Wives."

And then, there's Charlie! Whatever did I do before I was turned on to his show, minimalist in set-up, but so rich in content? "Did my heart love till now?" Sorry, Will, for the pilfer.

I will do whatever I must to make time for this new "Why Shakespeare?" series, which began last Thursday. There was an impressive line-up of scholars and artists on the first segment, most prominently Oskar Eustis, artistic director of The Public Theatre (

As a break from the cacophony of 2011 media culture, it would do us good to look through the lens of this series. Not only will we be examining the unequaled genius of Shakespeare (of whose writings many in my field mine for quotes and insights), but we may come away with some fresh ideas about ourselves.
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