John Stuart Mill’s famous dictum that the only antidote to bad speech is more speech also applies to humor. This Kim Warp cartoon works as a concise antidote to Seth MacFarlane’s performance at the Oscars.
In this case, I thought it would be interesting to let the cartoonist speak for…
Sasha Weiss considers why people find Anne Hathaway, Hollywood’s “happy girl,” to be so annoying: “Little girls learn very quickly to modulate their excitement if they want to be acceptable… Anne has somehow managed to retain that bright look, and many people would like to wipe it off her face.”
The only medical fact known about Shakespeare with certainty is that his final signatures show a marked tremor. Compared to other Elizabethans, Shakespeare had an unhealthy obsession with syphilis. D. H. Lawrence wrote, “I am convinced that some of Shakespeare’s horror and despair, in his tragedies, arose from the shock of his consciousness of syphilis.”
According to contemporary gossip, Shakespeare was not only notoriously promiscuous, but was also part of a love triangle in which all three parties contracted venereal disease. The standard Elizabethan treatment for syphilis was mercury; as the saying goes, “a night with Venus, a lifetime with Mercury.” Mercury’s more alarming adverse effects include drooling, gum disease, personality changes, and tremor. (In the eighteenth century, mercury was used in the manufacture of felt hats, leading to the expressions “hatter’s shakes” and “mad as a hatter”). Did Shakespeare’s writing career end prematurely due to side effects of mercury treatment?
“It’s not evidence of superficiality to take an interest in clothes or shoes or make-up. Girls can care about fashion while also caring about books, about sports, about nature, about making a difference in the world.” -Let’s Talk to Girls about Beauty, Too