Shakespeare – To Be or Not to Be

417px-Cobbe_portrait_of_Shakespeare

Shakespeare turns 450, the media tells us (although he doesn’t look a day over 225), and the Globe Theatre is planning on performing Hamlet in every country on earth.

Well!

In the spirit of modern journalism, I submit the following issues to remove the happiness from these tidings and replace them with appropriate 21st century doom and gloom.

What if it isn’t really his birthday? According to Time magazine, he was baptized on the 26th, which usually followed the birth by three days. But we can’t be sure. What if there was a blizzard?

If the Royal Shakespeare Company starts performing in various countries, what if new countries are formed or several countries merge. This might mean that some new counties get skipped, RIGHT WHEN THEY NEED A LITTLE HELP, THANK YOU! And if two countries that merge already had their Hamlet performance it means that they got more than all the other countries.

Besides, there’s always been doubt about whether William Shakespeare REALLY was the one who wrote these works. Some claim they were actually written by Sir Francis Bacon, Christopher Marlowe, Sir Walter Raleigh, John Donne or Queen Elizabeth. Could have been any one of them – or even all of them in a giant conspiracy!

Then, of course, there’s the infinite number of monkeys hammering away at an infinite number of typewriters. (Can’t use computers because of the spell checker.)

Or, maybe it was Al Gore.

Leaked Operating System Memo

From: MicroHard Executive Suite

To: Software Engineers, Designers and Other Assorted and Sundry Geeks

We keep hearing about features in our 8.x operating system that customers actually like. We cannot allow this to continue. Our Operating System 7 was far too popular with customers. Why in the world would people spend hundreds of dollars every other year for a new OS if they’re happy with what they’ve got? We’ve successfully discontinued support for our successful Expee system. Its successor “Scenic” was a phenomenal success in that every user couldn’t wait to replace it. However, Seven continues to haunt us with users who refuse to upgrade because they’re happy.

Our founder and guiding light, “Willie” would not approve. Just because he’s helping people in Africa doesn’t mean that we are to stop, shall we say, “having conjugal knowledge” of our customers.

Let me make this perfectly clear – if you don’t make it so that everyone (and I do mean EVERYONE) is happy to drop a couple of hundred bucks on our next operating system, the following steps will be taken IMMEDIATELY!

  1. All software employees will work from 8:00 AM until 5:00 PM with an hour for lunch. No eating at your desk, so you’ll have to leave the building and mingle with other people!
  2. There will be NO telecommuting, so kiss your bunny slippers goodbye.
  3. Daily baths/showers will be mandatory; the company nurse will conduct inspections as appropriate.
  4. A new dress code will be implemented requiring pressed and starched white shirts, dark dress trousers for males and dark skirts (1″ below the knee) for females with practical black leather POLISHED shoes.

In other words, make our customers seek happiness in our NEXT software release.

Got it?

Good

An Easter Thought for All

SONY DSC

Easter is a time of hope, optimism and looking forward. Because of its ties to Passover it occurs in the spring, with its focus on life. I propose that we take this time to harness our creative energies as we look ahead.

The prolific Thomas Alva Edison was self-educated, and, before some of you protest, let me remind you that Facebook wasn’t invented by a large corporation, and Apple started out with two guys experimenting in a garage.

So, now to the challenge – What is frequently in the news because we have too much?

Carbon and heat.

Someone is going to figure out what makes carbon – or more specifically carbon dioxide – valuable. When they do, I’m sure that the rest of us will bemoan how obvious the answer was and that we all should have thought of it. As near as I can tell, carbon in many other configurations is preferable to carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Likewise, we’re always looking for new sources of energy, particularly renewable energy. W commonly measure energy in terms of heat (calories, and BTU – British Thermal Units). Somehow it must be possible to efficiently capture the extra heat in the atmosphere and store it for use elsewhere.

It’s a time of beginnings, worldly as well as other-worldly, beginnings and possibilities.

Thy Will Be Done

“Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

As Jesus prayed in the garden, we see Him as bowing to the Father’s will as the “Suffering Servant.”

I suspect that just as Jesus was both divine and human at the same time, many of His messages have meaning with regard to both worlds. Yes, he was obedient to the Father, and gives us the perfect example to follow. On the other hand, I think He’s also teaching us that God’s will is inevitable.

The most evil person who works tirelessly against God is not going to change the ultimate outcome. God’s just too powerful.

We can follow Christ’s example, and be an active participant in God’s plan, or not. The end result will be the same.

 


Misnamed Religious Days?

Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane  1746   Pinacoteca, Vatican City, Vatican

Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane 1746
Pinacoteca, Vatican City, Vatican

It seems odd that we call this Holy Week. After all, it’s a week when everything seems to have fallen apart.

“Holy Thursday” – Jesus asks for Peter, James and John to pray with him, but they fall asleep. He’s betrayed by one of his closest followers. Those charged with representing His Father are the ones orchestrating His demise. His trusted right-hand man denies Him.

“Good Friday” – Jesus is tortured, humiliated, abandoned and condemned to a death reserved for slaves who threaten the emperor. His own people don’t so much choose Barabbas to live as condemn Jesus to die.

“Holy Saturday” – The hope for the world lays cold and dead in a sepulchure.

But, as God told Samuel as he looked at each of Jesse’s sons, and as Jesus told Peter – God sees things differently than we do and His thoughts are not like ours. The week is Holy because it unfolded according to God’s plan – not ours.

Why a Dove?

HS

None of us understands God or the Trinity, and perhaps most of all, the Holy Spirit – the part of the Trinity that represents the very power of God.

When Jesus allowed Himself to be baptized by John, the Spirit of God descended on Him like a dove.

After Jesus left them by ascending to heaven, the apostles did what any normal men would do– they gathered, locked the door and basically asked, “Now what do we do?” The Holy Spirit arrived, their doubts were erased, and they went out and faced the world, and even death, fearlessly.

So why would such a great power (actually the Greatest power) appear as a dove? Even more profound, is that some biologists tell us that the dove in the New Testament was the rock dove, or what we today call the common pigeon.

Why?

I can’t answer for God, but I remember that when Elijah was told to prepare for God to pass by, He wasn’t in the earthquake, or the fire or the wind. He was in a whisper.

I remember that Jesus the Messiah came not as a king or a warrior, but as the “Lamb of God.” Instead of taking the role of the high priest, He offered Himself as the sacrifice.

So, at least in my heart, the Power of the Holy Spirit comes as a dove because God in whichever way He discloses Himself, Father, Son or Holy Spirit, He comes to us peacefully to invite us even though He has the power and the right to command us.

The next step is up to us.

Jesus’ Timing

Superstar

If you have followed my blog for a while, you may remember that during Lent I listen to “Jesus Christ Superstar.” Although it’s an artistic musing, it does cause me to think of my scripture reading from a different perspective. In the recording, Judas asks why Jesus came, “in such a backward time in such a strange land.” He goes on to say, “If you’d come today, you’d have reached a whole nation. Israel in 4 BC had no mass communication.”

It’s a fair question, and I pondered it for a while and arrived at an answer that at least makes sense to me.

I think that Jesus’ aim was to inspire, teach, challenge, and demand that we take things into our own hands and do God’s work. It is up to us to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick, and perform such works in His name and to give glory to the Father.

But what if He had chosen today? I suspect for a while He would be the top story on the news and a meme on the internet. But would we take Him any more seriously? Personally I doubt it. Besides, in a few days some other story would have pushed him out of the limelight.

It was within His power to solve all our problems – disease; poverty; everything. Instead, He solved the biggest problem – our separation from God.

The rest is up to us, but don’t worry. He taught us how.