14.3.06

The Sooth, the Whole Sooth and Nothing but the Sooth.


Over 2000 years ago, Julius Caesar found himself at the wrong end of a deluxe set of Italian cutlery. It's a historical event that matters very little nowadays to anyone but scholars of Roman history or fans of William Shakespeare. It was, of course, Shakespeare who immortalized the event for us laymen in his appropriately entitled play Julius Caesar. These days only a minute segment of the populace gives a flying rat's ass about either.

Sure, people will still pay lip service to Wild Bill and his oeuvre. This is either to convince themselves or convince others that their level of intellect has not waned much after numerous viewings of Survivor, American Idol or Dr. Phil. Men nowadays are more likely to fall asleep next to their wives at Rent or Phantom than Much Ado About Nothing or The Taming of the Shrew

Classical Roman History also gets the glad-hand. Other than purchasing the collector's edition of Gladiator, I don't think anybody outside of academia cares for anything but the rise and fall of Jessica Simpson's funbags in a Pizza Hut commercial. The average Joe has a better understanding of a (yawn) March Madness bracket than of Spurinna's warning to Julius Caesar.

Personally, I don't think it's a crisis. Eurocentric high-brow culture had a long and illustrious run. It's legacy? PBS, Olive Garden restaurants, a successful and continual run of Mamma Mia! and a richer-than-ever Martha Stewart.

Perhaps it's why I was so jazzed about my student Tomaine's answer, when I queried:

"Does anybody know what Caesar's words to Brutus were after they stabbed him repeatedly?"

"I thought we wuz niggas..."

"Yes, Tomaine. That's exactly what he said."

I'll argue that Caesar himself couldn't agree more.

Beware the Ides of March... at least until the Skanks in the City re-run comes on.

9 comments:

~A~ said...

My comment for today....

Please write a book called "History according to Prego". Maybe some people will actually learn something. Even if it's only half true.

Then again, if they learn something then who will I mock on Jaywalking?

Prego said...

Ain't that the 'sooth'...

If I do write such a book, it'd have to have big pictures in it.

~A~ said...

Colored with big fat crayons?

Dave said...

It's sad that one of the greatest men in history is so forgotten, if what you are saying is true. There again it probably is as history in my children's school has been reduced to the 20th century.
Romans, what Romans?
Tudors, who?

Maryanne said...

I actually felt a tear form. Great bust by the way. Rome was always a little too over rated to me.

Plumkrazzee said...

WHATEVER. GO BACK and read my post again. I have updated it just for you, my sweet. Bring a napkin, I forgot mine.

jfh said...

Et tu, prego? I know I keep saying this but you really are too funny. And tell me you really don't have a student named Tomaine. (at least spell it right, ptomaine, no?) I'm one of those who loves Shakespeare. I don't know if my kids love him as I do, but they always enjoyed the Shakespeare Santa Cruz (CA) productions I forced them to watch with me. You could make that History according to Prego book a series of sonnets! ha ha, i know how you feel about poetry. But historical sonnets with big, crayon pictures in it sounds like a winner to me.:)

surcie said...

I *heart* prego. Speaking of Miz Simpson. . .The big news today is that she "snubbed" the Prez. The fact that THIS is news slays me. Pretty much sums up American culture.

Plain Jane said...

*giggle* I suppose it's all in the translation when you get right down to it - eh?