Dante, Shakespeare & T.S. Elliot

T.S. Elliot, expatriate American poet living in Britain between the great wars of the 20’th century, states that Dante Alighieri, Italian poet of the 1300’s, and William Shakespeare of Elizabethan England during the 1500’s, dominate Europe’s modern literary traditions; as such their writings appear as examples to be imitated by poets in the centuries that followed. His discussion of their works, however, warns of the difficulty of trying to emulate Shakespeare’s style. Elliot ‘s own poems contain specific allusions to Dante’s Divine Comedy conveyed in a kind of other worldly tone so unlike the more everyday manner of Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets.

The most vivid stylistic difference between these writers is seen in their comparisons. Shakespeare ‘s metaphoric paralleling creates a compact balancing of thoughts expressing emotions and insights. Dante’s extended similes describe meetings in ethereal visions of hell and purgatory by comparisons with individuals he’s known and experiences his readers might have had in the real world. Despite the immediacy of his subjects, Shakespeare’s metaphoric style requires intricate perception of terms and their sometimes unforeseen dual meanings that seem to jump from thought to thought. Dante’s images though other worldly are explained as sights one might find in a travelogue.

Shakespeare writes about everyday life and the conflict between time and beauty, justice and injustice. In the Divine Comedy, Dante writes about a visionary religious realm understandable only through earthly recollections

Protectionism expired to birth the income tax in 1842 UK & 1914 US

…The budget of 1842 reduced the tariff on some 750 articles, and three years later Peel reduced tariffs still more. Duties on raw materials were mostly abolished and those on manufactured articles were consolidated at a general level of 10 per cent. In these ways the burden of revenue was moved from trade to ordinary citizen, and the motive of protection was virtually abandoned…

And Jason Orestes  of the Washington Examiner reminds us on January 29, 2020

Tariffs were once a mainstay in U.S. trade policy. Constituting the main source of federal revenue from 1790-1914, and at one point providing over 90% of government income, they were a pivotal component of U.S. fiscal and foreign policy. Their main motivation in those times: protect U.S. industry from foreign opposition. It wasn’t until colossal industrial growth coupled with the introduction of the income tax rendered them less critical to the government balance sheet, and their use declined.

Thomson, 19th Century History of England, p.79


System is a newer term denoting something like a social compact that obstructs freedom, perhaps the freedom to be a member of the system. It is neither black, white nor any other colour. Its members, though individually not wanting to be seen, act in unison by silent, perhaps, fearful submission. Its most visible public groupings, the face the system likes to show, too often appears to be unlike the population of schools and other public places that we know.

Rescheduling Doomsday

I remember when I had a disagreement with a neighbour about a doomsday prediction several years back, probably December. When I told him I hadn’t heard about it he wondered whether I’d been listening to the news. I was reminded of that incident last week when I saw online articles about September 23, 2017 that included even ambiguous references to N.A.S.A as though there might be a scientific basis for that prediction. And this morning I was able to keep on top of this doom scenario by reading that Saturday’s events had been postponed until October of this year 2017. I wonder if anyone was keeping everyone up to date with doomsday predictions in the age of the plagues in Europe back in the years 1300-1400?

“Doomsday Rescheduled: ‘Researcher’ Moves End Of The World To October

Les Changeant/Prenant la route du haut

The boss, “the man”,  knows the language of descent. Anger thrown at the Godless is now directed at the “far right”-“white supremicists” ,”racists”, “sexists” socialist – proletariat enemies of the virtuous, bourgeois – middle class.


“The idea is to take the high road — avoiding any direct reference to Trump — by airing an inspirational message.” The NFL courtesy of CNN

Korea and the Han Dynasty

Here is an interesting excerpt of an article from Japan about President Trump’s saying that Korea was once part of China:

…That Xi had Trump’s ear must have given Seoul pause. Later, during a press conference, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman was called on to clarify Xi’s statements. The spokesman neither confirmed nor denied that the president said the Korean Peninsula “actually used to be a part of China.” Instead, he simply said, “There is nothing for South Koreans to worry about.”…

“No computer is safe.”

they may want to rule the world via cyber-space.

There’s all kinds of  stuff online and on Canada’s public and private 24hr TV sports, weather and traffic channels about Russians cordial relations with President Trump associates as though those associates, presumably all Republicans, have become the doorway to the U.S. government, but in all this Russia-dreading and Russia-sanctioning stuff there’s nothing about sanctioning Russia in the International Space Station; in fact considering the deluge of commentary dreading Russian contaminants infecting U.S. politics,  Russia-U.S. contacts in space and  the ISS itself seem to no longer exist.

Today Russian hacking of the U.S. presidential election, in keeping with Ms Clinton’s new book, has heightened concern over Russian meddling in U.S. elections as though until Clinton’s book no one knew that the greatest computer hackers on earth seem to have originated in Russia and the Ukraine at least that’s been my experience over the past two years. Considering the vast array of IP addresses of visitors  based in the Ukraine and Russia I’ve sometimes thought that the only way to explain this invasion  is that these visitors simply want attention, or maybe as their president Putin implied, they may want to rule the world via cyber-space.

What else do they export?

“Britain brushes off Trump on Iran with $967 million solar deal”

Yesterday I saw President Trump giving it to North Korea and Iran, calling North Korea’s leader “Rocket Man” and vowing to wipe that rocketeering nation off the map if it should harm the U.S. or its  allies, and accusing Iran of exporting terror as its main item of export. But today my CP 24 television channel said that Iran would be exporting material for solar energy to Great Britain as a result of a $967 million, nearly a billion dollar contract.

“Britain brushes off Trump on Iran with $967 million solar deal”