Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Neil down to size

There's this guy who looks like this, who posts to the HLAS newsgroup, "Spam Scone" (Neil Brennen) who is always making demeaning remarks about people, but doesn't offer any evidence or information himself (that I have noticed). He's been on Greg Reynolds case for a long time, and Greg has been putting up Quality posts there for years! This morning I wrote Neil the following e-mail message:

Friendly suggestion: why don't you stop making snide comments from the sidelines and contribute something positive and productive to the group? Reynolds has contributed so much more than you over the years, it ain't even funny. Knave and Grumman used to be like you, but they learned the value of evidence over sarcastic insults. Hopefully you will too. To be honest with you, I keep reading your posts in hopes that you will contribute something positive or help advance our [knowledge of] Shakespeare and his times, but have been disappointed. But since I'm an optimist, i'm sending you this message, in case it helps. I hope so. As I said, i'm an optimist. And *Hero & Leander* is a fine example of CM's craftsmanship.
Okay, that was that... You've read this far, stay with me ...The night before I posted some verses in the "Rime Royal" newsgroup thread (HLAS) to Lorenzo, a poet from California with whom I've had friendly e-mail exchanges:

Yo, yo, Lorenzo, my new friend,
Won't you compose new verses for this thread
About old Ned--or better, Kit? Pretend
You read the news of Marley first instead,
And learned the muses' darling wasn't dead!
For if that's so, you've got a richer story
About a broken bough, and fallen glory.

So Neil Brennen, from Pennsylvania writes:

Cut is the branch that might have grown full straight,
And burned is Apollo`s laurel bough,
When pseudo-poets think "yo, yo" can rate
With Marlowe's mighty line. Oh God, and how
Lowercase does go on, and on, and now
And again shows that doggerel is king!
Truly, it seems, that dumb birds may now sing.

If the first two lines seem familiar, it's because they are actually MARLOWE'S! (from Doctor Faustus).

Neil's own words continue (notice the drop in quality and sentiment).

They are actually self-referential...because, although the lines don't scan very well, they're the best thing Brennen has written--so far.

I think my own verses DO scan well (of course), and that I succeeded in communicating to Lorenzo (the best poet in the HLAS group, as far as I know) to write some verses about the 17th Earl of Oxford--or better yet, Marley.

Although (judging from his photo) he's a large man, in Shakespeare studies he's a lightweight, because he hasn't read enough....and he would do well to follow the example of his Stratfordian betters: David Webb, Peter Groves, Terry Ross, David Kathman, and others who know their stuff, but never resort to cheap shots, except for maybe Kathman and Groves, and Webb occasionally. ;-)

For Brennen, the HLAS newsgroup is a place for his personal amusement at the expense of others. He has succeeded in pissing off the usually unflappable Peter Farey, the unusually testy Greg Reynolds, and even me.
If this were Survivor, he'd have been voted off months ago, I'm sure. Right after me.

Still, his versifying shows a bit of promise, if he would just write about William or Edward or Francis or Kit or and not about me, or Reynolds, or Elizabeth Weir or anyone else with ill intent. It's simply bad form. As Reynolds said, it's not a chatroom.

The good news is Lorenzo DID write some rime royal -- not about the topic I suggested, but they were good anyway.

I'll add links later. Enough for now.

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