Today is the accepted date, or best guess, of William Shakespeare's birthday, in 1564. This may seem far removed from the grueling work of IT professionals.
Yet you are men, and women, of parts -- with talents in multiple areas of life. And one of those areas is poetry and prose. Even geeks, especially geeks, speak.
The test of Shakespeare's genius is whether his poetry and prose speaks to IT today. And the answer is a resounding "yes."
BIRTHDAY GAMES WITH THE BARD: If William Shakespeare wrote an Apple rumor blog
Here's the Network World Shakespeare Development Kit (SDK) to get you through today.
When the network crashes again ...
When, in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes, I all alone beweep my outcast state And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries And look upon myself and curse my fate, Wishing me like to one more rich in hope, Featured like him, like him with friends possess'd, Desiring this man's art and that man's scope, With what I most enjoy contented least; Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising, Haply I think on thee, and then my state, Like to the lark at break of day arising From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven's gate; For thy sweet love remember'd such wealth brings That then I scorn to change my state with kings.
When someone on your staff, a person whose "heartis cramm'd with arrogancy, spleen, and pride" ("Henry VIII," Act 2, Scene 4), is trying to impress you today with Shakespearean factoids that he googled ... Counter-impress with your grasp of what else was happening in 1564.
"Did you know Shakespeare was baptized three months to day after the Council of Trent's decrees were confirmed by Pope Pius IV in the Bull 'Benedictus Deus,' spelling out the doctrines of the Church in answer to the heresies of the Protestants?"
"By an amazing coincidence, Shakespeare's poet-dramatist influencer and rival, Christopher Marlowe, was born in February of that same year. And actually so was Galileo, the mathematician and astronomer."
"Tragically, the world lost another artistic genius just before it gained one. Michelangelo, painter of the Sistine Chapel, died in Rome at the age of 88, earlier that year. His body was brought back from Rome for interment at the Basilica of Santa Croce, fulfilling the artist's last request to be buried in his beloved Tuscany."
When you're waiting for vendor tech support to call you back and time "creeps in this petty pace from day to day" ("Macbeth," Act 5, Scene 5) ...
Check out Readle's Shakespeare Pro iPad app: the complete works, optimized for iPad, with integrated glossary, scene breakdowns, even a gallery of Shakespeare portraits. $9.99. And don't complain: Shakespeare got paid for his plays. Macworld's review from March 2012.
Conversely, when another router blows up, and "True is it that we have seen better days" ("As You Like It," Act 2, Scene 7), and time is short ...
When you're tired of reading one more lame, flaming, barking mad Apple rumor blog and you think, "You cram these words into mine ears against the stomach of my sense" ("The Tempest," Act 2, Scene 1) ...
Consider "If William Shakespeare wrote an Apple rumor blog." iOS rumors the way they were meant to be written.
Go a little crazy, on the grounds that "Foolery, sir, does walk about the orb, like the sun; it shines everywhere." ("Twelfth Night," Act 3, Scene 1) ...
Getteth the IT department to talketh like Shakespeare for a day. There are handy online tips.
When you're yawning your way through another Windows patch update, and "life is as tedious as a twice-told tale vexing the dull ear of a drowsy man" ("King John," Act 3, Scene 4) ...
Remember the sheer drama of tech, as the squalid Gizmodo affair of the lost-or-stolen iPhone prototype, retold as the thrilling "Love's Labor Lost (or Stolen). A felony in three acts."
There's nothing quite like the richness Shakespeare brought to Elizabethan English, and it's nowhere more evident than in the rich contumely that can be heaped upon those who so richly deserve it ...
And their number is legion.
One selection of the many insults with which his works are replete, including "I do desire we may be better strangers." ("As You Like It," Act 3, Scene 2)
And create your own with "The Shakespeare Insult Kit." Start with "Thou" and add one each from Column 1, 2 and 3. An example: "Thou gleeking, boil-brained joithead." What's not to love?
Shakespeare of Hollywood ...
For your viewing and listening pleasure, Rotten Tomatoes lists the top 30 Shakespeare movies.
John Cox covers wireless networking and mobile computing for Network World. Twitter: http://twitter.com/johnwcoxnww Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Blog RSS feed: http://www.networkworld.com/community/blog/2989/feed
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