Friday, August 08, 2003

Neil down

There's this obnoxious poster at HLAS, who goes by the screen name "Spam Scone" (what a stupid pseudonym), who likes to throw insults from the sidelines at insightful posters offering evidence of William's imposture. For instance, in my effort to introduce (Shakespeare's "graver labor) Rape of Lucrece into the discussion, ignoramusses in the group called it an inferior production of the bard's, while I insisted that those who are not qualified--by being poets themselves, or having read professional critics-- have no authority to dismiss the bard's tour de force (written at the age of 30) an inferior work of art, compared to the plays. I've insisted that people like "Spam" (Neil Brennen) should establish their own poetic authority -- or shut up on the quality of Shakespeare's. Of course, they can say they liked it or hated it, but can not assess its value because they are unqualified to do so. It's like someone who eats fast food being a food critic.

So Spam wrote

> If I say a rooster is not a hen, must I lay an egg to prove my
> "authority"?

Saying a rooster is not a hen is like saying a play is not a narrative poem; it doesn't take much special knowledge to know that, but knowing the kinds of roosters and hens--the many varieties of poetry, and recognizing their clucks and metrical variations, requires a little more expertise. So, although Neil's comment laid an egg here, it didn't make him cock of the walk.

But Neil got cocky:

> Prove William Shakespeare's name on the title page [of Rape of Lucrece] wrong. In a sensible, sane argument for once.

So I wrote:

>>Okay, Neil...I can PROVE IT beyond any shadow of a doubt.
>>But first, you've got to make a bet with me.... What will you do in return?
>>Will you write 14 lines of rime royal about how William wrote Lucrece if I prove it to you? Will you?

Unfortunately, Bob Grumman tipped him off: The name William Shakespeare does not appear on the title page of Rape of Lucrece.

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