Woke Shakespeare

In keeping with the need to woke the world. I give you, Woke Shakespeare. Stripped of all those now unacceptable terms which so terrorize, diminish, and traumatize us. I should add a trigger warning, but wouldn’t the word “trigger” also cause a “trigger” response to the idea of violence?

It is a conundrum. How to woke the world without sending it into convulsions.  

Sonnet 118 by William Shakespeare

Shall I compare thee  she/he/they to a summer’s day?
Thou They art more lovely and more
temperate: (in a non-threatening non-sexual connotation unless there is a free, articulable, and willful acceptance of such an overture)
Rough winds do shake the darling buds  Strong winds do move the emerging flowers of
And summer’s   the warm seasonal lease hath all too short a date;
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven   warm the sun shines,
And often is his  their gold complexion dimm’d;
And every fair from fair sometime declines  chronological, but meaningless, age finds us all
By chance or nature’s changing course untrimm’d;
But thy  he/she/they eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair  pleasant and non-judgmental appearance thou ow’st;
Nor shall deaththe end brag thou wander’st in his shade, come unpleasant
When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st
So long as men people can breathe or eyes can seeand perceive the world regardless of any disabilities,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee she/he/they.

This rush to ameliorate reality by masking it does us no good and serves to diminish us all. That words can hurt is not in doubt, but only if we give them the power to do so.  Where will such nonsense lead us?

And by proclaiming I am now a We, does it truly alter the reality. Like our friend Shakespeare also (kind of) wrote, “What’s in a name? That which we call a  rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” (Historical note, while the quote is accurate, it is only part of the full speech by Juliet to Romeo. She was referring to him as a Montague and, Romeo responds, if he were not a Montague she could marry him with any hinderances. So I may be guilty of cherry picking a quote. Nothing is ever simple.)

Antigonish by William Hughes Mearns

Yesterday, upon the stair,
I met a man who wasn’t there!
He wasn’t there again today,
Oh how I wish he’d go away!

Whenever someone declares he or she is a we or they, I think they are meeting the man on the stairs…and running away in terror.

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Hidden in Plain Sight

In a classic case of the “we differ from everyone else” mentality of some elected political figures, another gem of a bill has made it to a committee in the Rhode Island State House.

House Bill H-7203

Introduced by Williams, Lombardi, Vella-Wilkinson, Cassar, and Almeida

The act would allow an exemption for certain state officials, elected representatives, and other municipal and state employees from the law restricting tinted windows on motor vehicles.

It adds a new section to the law on tinted windows with the following language;

(9) Any privately owned motor vehicle which is owned by an individual employed as a municipal or state police officer, firefighter, judge of a state court, or any elected member of the Rhode Island general assembly

Williams is quoted in several news articles defending the proposed legislation.

“Better safe than sorry,” Williams said. “When we are in our cars and on our private time, we should still be able to have that feeling of, ‘I am OK, because that person that is following me may not know it is me.’”

“We have a lot of disgruntled individuals,” Williams said. “In the court system, law enforcement, and the General Assembly, we get a bum rap, and we can face retaliation when we least expect it. When folks are on personal time, we are targeted.”

Where do I begin?

Once again a political figure sees themselves as requiring special treatment because of the demands of the position. A position they sought and accepted when elected.

Now no individual should face physical threats for acting in their official capacity. We already have laws in place to protect against such behavior. What this legislation does is nothing more than attempt to add another shield between the public and the representatives they elected to office.

Setting aside for the moment the self-aggrandizing implications of such attitudes, let’s look at this from a practical perspective.

If only legislators or certain public officials can have vehicles with these tinted windows, finding them out of the thousands of other vehicles on the road just became easier.

If Representative Anastasia Williams and her co-sponsors have concerns with their safety, and fear being identified while driving their vehicles, removing the special license plates they display from their cars might help. Perhaps this didn’t occur to her but the plates would not benefit from this legislative exemption.

Why do they need special plates in the first place? What might be the motivation behind that, never mind that it mitigates the tinted window shield effect.

No, Representative Williams, tinted windows will not protect you from those who might take exception to your politics or position. When one is in the public service, it goes with the territory.

If someone follows you, or you feel threatened, call the police or drive to a police station. I do not expect you to tolerate physical intimidation, but there’s a difference between threats and the public’s right to express their displeasure with your actions as a representative.

You work for us. We didn’t hire you to insulate yourself from us.

A Guide to Writing an Inoffensive Letter to the Editor

Considering the Yoga Pants War (see link here) recently fought on the fashion-trend insensitive and dangerous streets of Barrington, Rhode Island, I will attempt to write a letter that offends no one*.

Dear Editor,


(these lines intentionally left blank but are in no way meant to offend blank or empty spaces anywhere in this universe)



Joe Broadmeadow

Lincoln, RI


*(this letter is in no way, intentionally or unintentionally, meant to offend the LGBT community, Sheep farmers, vegetarians, meat-eaters, Yoga pants wearing mothers (single or otherwise), Native Americans, Mexicans, Canadians, Red Sox Fans, Republicans, Democrats, Jews, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Jainists (look it up), Rap fans, Ted Cruz, Star Trek Fans (cellar dwelling or otherwise), the blind, the deaf, the physically disadvantaged, Vladimir Putin (you never know), any human being on this planet, any extraterrestrials in secret government black sites, and/or anything, animal, vegetable, or mineral, not included in this disclaimer.)

That should cover it. 

Now I hope I get a parade….