Category Archives: Philosophical, Psychological & Historical Considerations

Bertrand Russell complained about one of his grandmother’s preferred puns, “What is mind? Doesn’s matter. What is matter? Never mind.” And yet we, as a species, continuously attempt to fathom the mystery of the mind, with the help of philosophy, psychology and history. Shakespeare has given us much food for thought on all three, as well as music for those who love the music of words.

Chicago Burning

“…a man’s life’s no more than to say ‘One.’ ” Hamlet, act V, sc. 1 During the recent Memorial Day week-end in Chicago, eight people were killed, and at least 57 more wounded. For somewhat  folkloristically funereal reasons, it is … Continue reading

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Spectacle, Ornaments and Marionettes

“Thus ornament is but the guiled shore To a most dangerous sea; the beauteous scarf Veiling an Indian beauty; in a word, The seeming truth which cunning times put on To entrap the wisest.” (Merchant of Venice, act 3, sc. … Continue reading

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Victory Day Memories

…memory, the warder of the brain, shall be a fume… Macbeth, act 1, sc. 7 Seventy-one years ago, May 9, 1945, was Victory Day. Nazi Germany officially signed the unconditional surrender to the Soviet Union. For Russia, WWII became the … Continue reading

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Methinks I am a prophet…

No prophet will I trust, if she prove false. (King Henry VI, part 1, act 1, sc. 2)   It’s not even a question of reading “the book of fate and seeing the revolutions of the times…” (1), or of … Continue reading

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The Bay of Pigs

What seest thou else in the dark backward and abysm of time? The Tempest, act 1. During this April 2016, an anniversary escaped the notice of most – 55 years have run their course since the Bay of Pigs invasion … Continue reading

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Stalin, Opinions & the Video Series

Good my Lord, be cured Of this diseased opinion, and betimes, For it is most dangerous.” (1)   The recent video production in the series “Historical Sketches” had to do with five episodes covering the life of Stalin. The very … Continue reading

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What’s in a name? Nagorno-Karabakh

… that which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet… On this point I would disagree with Juliet. If, rather than ‘rose’ the flower were called, say, ‘globularia’, the perfume would be the same, but … Continue reading

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Parallel Departures

… After life’s fitful fever he sleeps well. (Macbeth, act 3, sc. 2) Sometimes during the first century AD, the Greek biographer Plutarch decided to compare in tandem the lives of famous men, and to highlight their virtues or vices. … Continue reading

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Arab Winters

“Now is the winter of our discontent Made glorious summer by this sun of York…” King Richard III, act 1, sc. 1 Five years elapsed since the first of the widely acclaimed “Arab Springs”, though it does not seem that … Continue reading

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Sex, War and Patriarchy

“… All this the world well knows, yet none knows well To shun the heaven, that leads men to this hell” (SON 129) In the Sinai desert and Paris, we have just witnessed the triumph of horror, the summit of … Continue reading

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