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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » OSC rewriting Hamlet? (Page 9)

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Author Topic: OSC rewriting Hamlet?
Orincoro
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I think that's why we call it social "change" and not a social "shift." The idea is that people change their attitudes over time, not that people with different attitudes gain more or less power. American conservatism is (especially right now) focusing on concentrating a diminishing base of political support amongst those who are more or less unwilling to change.


I find the next 20 years interesting to contemplate from this perspective. Many who are now incapable of change will die off, and many more who have completely adapted to new realities will enter the voting public. I mean, I can't *imagine* prop. 9 passing a vote amongst Californians under 30, and in 30 years, that is going to be the majority of voters- and a view like that seems unlikely to change in 30 years. Then we'll be dealing with a whole new basket of issues those people won't be prepared to accept and adapt to, and on it goes.

I will say, I am comforted to think that realistically, the anti-gay segment of our society stands about as much chance as pro-segregationists did in the 60's. In 20 years, it will be widely seen as an expression of profound ignorance to voice anti-gay ideals. Intolerance of anti-gay sentiment is like intolerance of flat-earth sentiment. It's inevitable.

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Samprimary
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quote:
I strongly doubt your making people uncomfortable will cause them to reevaluate their beliefs, but if changing their minds isn't as important to you personally as making sure that they know that you are judging them, then you are on the right track.
Things are a little different when we are talking about a campaign like the one that NOM runs. It's distressingly intent on maintaining discriminatory policy that, in the view of people who want to end these discriminations, actively harms those who are being discriminated against.

The advancement of rights of the oppressed party take precedence over the comfort level of its opposition when we are talking about real laws with no legitimate purpose that are actively discriminating against people and denying them rights that there's no reason they shouldn't have. This creates situations in which people should actively be judged for not changing their minds, and continuing to vote for these discriminations. I'm very intolerant towards anti-homosexuality laws and bigotry, and the many guises and wafer-thin excuses for legitimacy it makes. As in, I do not tolerate them. I call them out for what they are, and I fight them, and I fight the people who try to advance these prejudices and maintain discrimination via law, and I work to ensure that future generations abandon them and move forward. Everyone should be intolerant of things that they consider harmfully wrong. I'm also intolerant of slavery, in pretty much exactly the same way. I bet you are too, and you'd have a very, very hard time demonstrating how being pointedly intolerant in such a way is poor form in and of itself.

It is also strategically sound. It's working in pretty much the exact same way that the war was won against another almost identically unfair social and marriage discrimination: anti-miscegenation laws, where older generations dug in their heels and rallied against the Sinful and Society Destroying threat of allowing the races to intermarry. The same thing will happen here. The old view is uselessly discriminatory, and it has to be forcefully challenged on those grounds. You challenge it as being prejudicial, rooted in bigotry as well as old fears and hatreds (as was the case then, as is the case now), the product of an older generation that — bless their hearts, were raised to think that, and are mostly just a product of their times. You're not going to change most of their minds, but you can change the message of the times. And by doing that, and making the environment very rightfully judgmental of old prejudices and worthless discriminations, you ensure that those discriminations and the views that maintained them essentially die with that generation.

That's the way it worked then; and today it's a dead issue. It's over, they lost, and there's no more miscegenation debate. It goes from the public discourse to the history books, and we can read back about it and say it was an ignorant, hateful policy that we evolved out of, and we're all the better for it, despite the doomsayers who came up with all kinds of quaint rationalizations about why the institution of marriage NEEDED to have these discriminations enforced.

And I'm sure, if you're going to go back in time, the people who fought to maintain such a policy would object to being called out for being ignorant or hateful.

That's too bad.

And the same thing will happen here. The anti-homosexuality crusade will lose, and it will also go from the public discourse to the history books. We will be able to read back about it and say it was an ignorant, hateful policy that we evolved out of, and we're all the better for it, despite the doomsayers who still come up with all kinds of quaint rationalizations of the same desperate, angling-for-legitimacy-in-secular-policy arguments, about why the institution of marriage NEEDS to have these discriminations enforced.

And I'm sure, the people who fight to maintain these anti-gay policies quite fiercely object to being called out for being ignorant or hateful.

That's too bad.

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Samprimary
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As for the reading, It's pretty slow, because at least one part of the reviews has it dead-on — about the dryness of the writing, specifically.
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Mucus
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Hmmm, I'm not 100% sure, but in the amazon preview it only looked like 150 pages or so [Razz]
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Stone_Wolf_
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Samp: I agree with most everything you said. My point isn't be kind to the anti-gay movement, it is to be courteous to posters and individuals in meat space for the purposes of discussion. Rabbit's take on the matter is one I think other's who are currently deeply rooted in the anti-homosexuality movement can achieve, that is, the understanding that the religious belief that something is a "sin" is in itself acceptable as long as it is separate from the very discriminatory political movement to make laws which infringe on the civil rights of homosexuals.

I am intolerant of discrimination, but I still say the way to change the minds of individuals is with respect and logical argument and not disdain and condemnation.

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Samprimary
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for what its worth, I don't sling these terms about towards groups, or define people as such based solely on their support for marriage amendments, but rather save it for invididuals. I rarely even ever use terms approaching 'homophobe' or 'anti-homosexual extremist' unless someone has gone above and beyond the call of duty to provide a track record that clearly shows them as such. In this particular situation, we're not really dealing with a very ambiguous case.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
Hmmm, I'm not 100% sure, but in the amazon preview it only looked like 150 pages or so [Razz]

I've been 'working' at game of thrones for about three months now, and I'm still only about halfway through. My attention span for books has shot straight through the floor in favor of practically anything else (the internet! smartphone games! staring at wall next to bed!) and I'll be the first to tell you that it's a mildly distressing trend.
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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
Hmmm, I'm not 100% sure, but in the amazon preview it only looked like 150 pages or so [Razz]

I've been 'working' at game of thrones for about three months now, and I'm still only about halfway through. My attention span for books has shot straight through the floor in favor of practically anything else (the internet! smartphone games! staring at wall next to bed!) and I'll be the first to tell you that it's a mildly distressing trend.
Man. That sucks. [Frown]
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
Hmmm, I'm not 100% sure, but in the amazon preview it only looked like 150 pages or so [Razz]

I've been 'working' at game of thrones for about three months now, and I'm still only about halfway through. My attention span for books has shot straight through the floor in favor of practically anything else (the internet! smartphone games! staring at wall next to bed!) and I'll be the first to tell you that it's a mildly distressing trend.
You know what, I know what you're talking about. It's the strangest thing. I still read voraciously online, but it's all periodicals, meme sites, reviews, etc. No fiction, and when I sit down to read novels that just a year or so ago would have kept me glued to my seat, instead I read a few pages and think, "I don't want to read this."

I'm not sure what is going on with my brain.

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millernumber1
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I hear you - for me, it's that I have stuck myself with a book I have little interest in, but I refuse to give up on it. Not sure if that makes me stupid or stubborn. But tis very frustrating, since I know I can read much, much faster than this...
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Dan_Frank
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Wow! You guys are making me so sad.

I certainly have that experience when reading books that fail to grab me... for example, I've heard so many good things about Thomas Covenant that I'm finally trying to read it, and so far it feels like a slog. Keep hoping it will snag my interest. But that feels like an isolated incident. Plenty of other books still manage to seize me just fine.

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Destineer
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
Hmmm, I'm not 100% sure, but in the amazon preview it only looked like 150 pages or so [Razz]

I've been 'working' at game of thrones for about three months now, and I'm still only about halfway through. My attention span for books has shot straight through the floor in favor of practically anything else (the internet! smartphone games! staring at wall next to bed!) and I'll be the first to tell you that it's a mildly distressing trend.
You know what, I know what you're talking about. It's the strangest thing. I still read voraciously online, but it's all periodicals, meme sites, reviews, etc. No fiction, and when I sit down to read novels that just a year or so ago would have kept me glued to my seat, instead I read a few pages and think, "I don't want to read this."

I'm not sure what is going on with my brain.

Same thing here, lately. Except I just read a novel that blew me away and I finished in two days. Girl in Landscape (Lethem). But it's become so rare...
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Ginol_Enam
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I go through moods, personally. There will be a period of time (weeks or month, depends) where I will read constantly. New things. Old things. I'll go through a whole series or books or more in hardly any time at all.

Then, one day, I'll find I'm not interested. Instead I'll start watching some TV show or playing a game. Something else. I'll be fixated on that in the same way I was fixated on reading just a little while ago.

And then, eventually, I'll get back to reading. Its a cycle.

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Samprimary
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I have a theory on it, but I don't know how representative of other people it is, totally.
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Jake
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Is it a secret theory?
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Samprimary
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until typed out, yes!
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Jake
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Egads!
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Samprimary
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Ok, I finished Hamlet's father. For the crowd assuming I'm just going to read what I want to see, I also had another person read it as an unprimed and unsuggested 'control' — she's a perfect candidate for it, doesn't know or care a bit about OSC's politics or stance on homosexuality and molestation. For the most part, we came to the same conclusions: that the PW review was accurate, and the Raintaxi review makes some sweeping generalizations/assumptions about the work that makes it mostly disregardable. So it's odd that card responded in protest of the PW review as opposed to the Raintaxi article that uncorked all this.

But there's a noticeable association made; PW was right. OSC reads this as haters 'manufacturing evidence,' but it's really just from reading the text. It's difficult to read in a way which makes you not think this is the case. And dear old king hamlet is very much so lusting for his adult, male, son. Pedophilia has very much so caused confused sexualities. In light of his articles specifically providing his view on molestation and homosexuality, it's mighty difficult to claim that these associations are purely accidental.

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Scott R
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Thanks for reading through it, Samp, and posting your opinion here.
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Samprimary
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There is one particular series of passages which show beyond any reasonable doubt that a number of charges made by the critics are true, Raintaxi included. Homosexuality and homosexual urges are linked to pedophilia, and it's kind of the core of the drama. Hamlet sr.'s pederasty gives characters homosexual and/or pederastic desires. Part of OSC's response to the controversy is to say that there are no homosexual characters in the play, but that's indefensible. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern end up as gay lovers. Not bisexual or confused — Horatio explains that neither one could even look at women after their molestation, and that they have remained together as a gay couple. And the ghost of elder hamlet is engaging in an intentional plot to get at his adult male son for gay molestation in hell.

Since I think I'm probably not allowed to post whole sections of the text here, you can PM me if you want the relevant passages as evidence. I want to be able to show that none of this is ambiguous at all to the extent that it really, really calls into question the honesty of OSC's response.

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kacard
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I was never going to comment on this thread – but don’t think that means I haven’t been reading. I actually, for some insane reason, had high hopes that Sam would give the book a fair read. How silly of me.

Sam does not quote passages (I give him credit for thinking maybe it would not be allowed), but I will quote the passages that I believe he is referring to. His interpretation of them is completely incorrect – so I don’t think this thread should be left with only that. And I doubt anyone else will actually read the story after Sam’s lies about it.

Sam says that the text says Rosencrantz and Guildenstern end up as gay lovers. It says nothing of the kind. Here are the quotes from the text:

“Of all Hamlet’s companions, only Horatio sought him out when he returned. This was hardly surprising – while Hamlet was in Heidelberg, Guildenstern had inherited his father’s estates, and Rosencrantz had gone to live with him and help spend his money while waiting for his own father to die.”

So – Rosencrantz moves in with Guildenstern for financial reasons – and the fact, of course, that they are friends.

Later it says about them:

“Things changed in the four years you were gone. When the Companions were dissolved at your parting, they decided not to dissolve themselves. Living four years together on Guildenstern’s estates had made them as fusty and peculiar as an old married couple. I pity the woman who tries to wed her way into that house.”

OK – “as fusty and peculiar as an old married couple” does not say “gay lovers.” In fact it implies people who have lived together so long they are annoying each other and everyone around them and definitely NOT having sex. And the fact that Horatio thinks a woman might try to marry one of them, means he thinks it’s a possibility.

I guess, according to Sam, men can only live together for one reason – a sexual relationship (which Sam assumes, but is not in the text.) Neither financial need nor the fact that they were friends who understood each other’s painful past is good enough.

And were they all sexually affected? Duh – they were terribly sexually abused. In fact, none of the four who are discussed (and there were many more companions than four) had any relationships with anyone after their abuse. It was just too difficult to put behind them. Though Horatio does have hope, not only for Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, but for himself – he speaks of grandchildren. And he has this conversation with Hamlet.

“I have to see my mother,” said Hamlet.
“And I have to look for the mother of my children,” said Horatio.
“Do you have someone in mind?”
“As always, I ask for volunteers, and then choose the best.”

Another quote Sam refers to:

“It twisted us. I saw it in the others. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, they could never look at women. Laertes – he told me, even before he left for France, that his stick was broken and would never grown again. And me – I thought I was all right. I thought ...”

The “never look at women”, for the time period this was set in, meant no sex with anyone – sex was not interesting to them. Laertes, no sex with anybody. Horatio, who is speaking, also has no relationships – but later says he catches himself thinking maybe what Hamlet’s father did was actually how things should be, but he stopped himself, recognized the evil, and went out and killed Hamlet’s father instead.

Last quote – after Hamlet sees the souls of everyone else being taken to heaven:

“And finally to the dark shadowy corner where his father’s spirit stood, laughing, laughing, laughing. “Welcome to Hell, my beautiful son. At last we’ll be together as I always longed for us to be.”

Sam says that the ghost of Hamlet’s father is engaged in an intentional plot to get at his adult male son for gay molestation in hell. It says nothing of the kind. Hamlet’s father is unleashing his vengeance on everyone he hated, and making his son do the dirty work with his lies. And then laughs at him, makes fun of him, because Hamlet – who was protected by everyone – now has to have his soul rot in hell (not his youthful body – not even his adult body, which will rot in a grave). There will be no molestation – just an evil father’s final revenge.

So, I’m tired of the lies being told on this thread. It is now closed. I don’t have to host a thread on OSC’s website that continues to lie about him and his work. I’ll decide later if it will be deleted.

[ September 28, 2011, 10:25 PM: Message edited by: kacard ]

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