Life has been a Misstory throughout Hisstory that keeps trying to build Consistory for Posterity, but the Story only changes its Costumery. Is this a Con, or a Test, or Con-Test to win a Golden Trickit to TROOTH?
Shakespeare was way ahead of his time. He rapped it all up for us four centuries ago as the woke-ist bloke of all times. See English teacher Kathryn Marham in 2005 connect the future (her students) to the past through Shakespeare (ultimate rapper of all time) in the evolving authentic language of today. And this was before the recent smash musical hit Hamilton was written and performed in rap style.
(I wrote to Ms Markham and told her that I wished I had teachers like her for every topic in school.)
This essay was inspired by a chance photo I took during labor-day weekend on Monday, September 2, about 10 am from the middle of a quarter mile long pier that sticks out into the Chesapeake Bay from Oyster Point. I am told it’s the longest pier on the bay and was the subject of a previous blog I posted in 2014 titled Jumping Off the Deep End.
I include this reference not because it had anything to do with Shakespeare and rap, but because it reminds me of the way recurring themes can grab your attention (at least mine) and not let go of you until you pay attention to them. Writing a rap tribute in rap style was like jumping off the deep end for me.
(Personal Reflection: A few recurring themes seem to surface for me unbidden in moments of quiet focus from deep within usually sparked by something small and unexpected, and not in mind at the time. Then the moment grows and nags me like an old friend I haven't seen for awhile; then, it appears over and over disguised in different costumes until I can see it clearly.) This has happened to me in thinking-work for clients and privately for myself, which is why I write or work to get what's in me out; when I do it well, a warm sense of balance and joy washes over me; I am a furry cat, eyes at half mast, purring half asleep near a warm fire on a winter night. Many people I have known shared similar experiences.
I stopped midway on the pier to watch a flock of geese fly out of the rising sun East to West in a straight-line formation right over my head from one inlet pond to another. I fumbled with my iPhone to get a clear shot of them but was too late; they were gone.
As I lowered my phone, still looking through its camera, what came into view was a shimmering string of light-sparkles dancing on wavelets across the bay like a superhighway of diamonds lighting a runway for the geese. I was stunned. I clicked a quick shot and scurried back to a packed car and left paradise to drive in beach-returning traffic.
I wasn’t able see the photo very well in the bright sunlight and did not check it until I got home. When did open it a very mysterious image emerged, one with an ethereal power that bugged me to do something with it right away; its demand for attention only heightened during the following week.
The next sunday evening I settled in to focus on this image and began to imagine the sparkles as the end-point of a cosmic feeding tube carrying light particles (photons) from our Sun through a 93 million-mile long umbilical cord attached to a new-born Earth to nourish it about every 8+ minutes traveling at the speed of light; also the speed of life?
I imagined the Sun as the parent of Earth, its child, which it literally replenishes, or “rebirths,” each and every day. The only other idea that kept bugging me to pay attention was Shakespeare’s famous line from the love-sick Romeo wooing Juliet on the balcony above him: “But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks?’
“Light,” “Birth,” and Shakespeare; this was what I had. How to make a meaningful rap from these scraps? I googled Shakespeare to look for inspiration from the master, and found it in Kathryn Markham’s insightful rap article on Shakespeare.
What appealed to me was the idea that art of different forms (literature in this case) have arguably always given us the best glimpse of the future we are creating before we can see and understand it.
Author William Gibson famously said in the early days of the Internet: The future is already here — It’s just not evenly distributed. This quote is prosaically true for the producers and early adopters of new technologies, to which it is usually applied; however, I believe that the deepest and most profound meaning of this quote should be reserved for the creation of untethered newness, original ART (epiphanies from all disciplines), which always comes before producing, early adopting, and finally, mass utilization.
Today, authenticity, an experiential form of “untethered newness,” is in very high demand because of its scarcity. We hear growing cries for it in our pubic and private discourse. A century before science grabbed center stage of authenticity with Isaac Newton’s creation of the mathematical art of mechanical physics to define “thing truths,” Shakespeare defined timeless “people truths.” He created Literature for the commoner by telling bawdy stories at the time to entertain and educate the general public using the King’s English in rhythm and rhyme. In the process, he immortalized history.
Both William Shakespeare and Tupac Shakur used rap rhymes and rhythms in the street style of their times to connect authentically to people in both private and public forums. Maybe that was something to build on, I thought.
Then this epiphany hit me as a question: Are we witnessing the emergence of a new rapid fire digital human language for the dawning AI quantum frictionless age, a communication style first previewed over 400 years ago by Shakespeare, and rediscovered by the rappers today like Shakur, and even used regularly on national news TV programs like Ari Melber’s The Beat? (Melber, a straitlaced lawyer, often surprises his guests with rap lyrics of wisdom, as well as rap guests he interviews, while discussing current legal/policy issues!) A new level of authenticity seemed to be evolving.
I decided then and there to leap off the deep end and create a rap tribute for the possible emergence of a new form of AUTHENTICITY, communication as a mash of past and present rap masters, Shakespeare and Shakur, framed in the untethered newness of a natural art image of Mama-Sun nurturing her baby Earth.