rebness: (IT Crowd: Moss)
[personal profile] rebness

I've been fawning over Ben Goldacre of late. He's the British scientist who forced Gillian McKeith to stop calling herself Dr. as it was false. He's the one who has taken on homeopathy and big pharma and I adore him. He constantly presses the reader -- look at the study, read it properly. Are the people presenting you with 'facts' full of bias?

This fucking woman. She drives me up the wall, and not merely for splintering my dearest fandom, not merely for dragging canon over the coals of crap. She comes out with the most stupid, simplistic shit that I get so angry. There was the time someone asked her why she came out with anti-abortion rhetoric in one of her later novels when she's all for womens' rights and she was all, 'but the facts I stated were true.' There was the idiotic 'the French don't respect freedom the way Americans do' (what?) and now this.

I dislike anti-Stratfordians, and probably not for the reasons you think. It's the inherent class bias -- that's always the thought behind it! A working-class man couldn't possibly have written such imaginative, beautiful, moving things. How could he have ever known these places without travelling? (Because he didn't make any geographic mistakes like canals in Verona, and none of us have ever written about cities we haven't yet visited, have we?) It had to have been a royal figure! It had to have been a rich man, for imagination is the sole domain of the rich and powerful. Obviously, he was some bumpkin picked by De Vere to capitalise on the plays and become a very, very rich, very revered man in his own lifetime. I await Vincent Van Gogh's unmasking as Emperor Franz Josef.

But it's more than that. It's this woman. Look at the arrogance of what she says! She has studied it 'in depth', which as we all know can mean anything from Rice truly doing a great bit of research for 18th-century Lestat or making hideous, ridiculous mistakes about modern British people and our culture. She maintains throughout her Facebook page that she has taken the time to study all this, and dissenters are really stupid, and Kenneth Branagh will totally make a film about how Shakespeare was a fraud and we're all wrong, because studying literature and loving literature, much less studying authorship can never grant us the same authority as being a published fiction writer.

A pox on her!

I read a really interesting article and debate in the Guardian  a few days ago where several academics who have studied Shakespeare and the issue of whom he truly was for years argued about this. Here I will demonstrate bias myself (Ben Goldacre is side-eyeing me right now) but the academics convinced me more than ever that he was the author of the plays. As one pointed out, we have less evidence that Marlowe was the author of his own work, yet we don't dispute his authorship really, do we?

But Queen Anne has made her increasingly annoying, pig-headed mind up. IShe has pronounced herself expert, as she always, always does on issues she obviously knows very little about. She has a secret door right into sixteenth-century England and her many dorky fans are following, as if she's some tacky jewellery-clad Prophet. Ugh! How did I ever fanworship this clown?

Date: 2011-10-29 08:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Now I wouldn't dare get into this debate as I know sweet f-all about Shakespeare. But wasn't the genius behind his plays the fact that they were pretty much stories people knew already, just with his slant on them?
Or perhaps I'm not explaining that right. It's just something that I heard. It's not that Shakespeare plagiarised someone else's story, he just took well known tales and re-worked them. (kinda like Bram Stoker took the legend of vampires, and created Dracula. Still his creation, but he just took inspiration from mythology)

Date: 2011-10-29 08:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Mmm-hmm. And I don't understand why all these people can't believe that a man who ended up putting on performances for royalty (and slanting Macbeth to flatter royalty) could never, ever know anything about court life. It's absurd!

I think it's very easy to rework a myth or to twist history (again, a la Macbeth into something else). So what's their argument? That a working-class man couldn't possibly dream up all the world's a stage?

You make a really good point in that his stories are hardly anything new, even for that time. But the genius was in his words and God forbid a normal man ever demonstrate anything like that.

Date: 2011-10-29 08:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh we all know working class people don't have more than two brain cells working at any given time. We null the rest with alcohol and fighting. *anger*

Date: 2011-10-29 08:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
We don't talk about love/we only want to get drunk.

Sometimes I think the elite take those lyrics at face value.

Date: 2011-10-29 08:55 pm (UTC)
ext_41315: Rose/SJS/Martha (Default)
From: [identity profile]
I adore Ben Goldacre! And I agree, the whole attitude that Shakespeare couldn't have written the plays because he wasn't of noble birth, gets so on my tits. I'm not averse to the debate, I've heard some people who argue that Christohper Marlowe wrote them raise some interesting points, but from what I've heard about Anonymous, the crux of their argument seems to be 'Hurrr, look at this chump'.

Date: 2011-10-29 08:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
He's the greatest! I love his dry style and how he just nerds out on all these fake people and destroys them with simple research.

That's exactly my problem. I honestly -- honestly! -- keep trying to read it from their side, but nine times out of ten the crux of it is, 'he couldn't possibly have done it. He was too poor.'

And screw them, because that tells me all I need to know about the people desperate to say he was fake.

If you read the Guardian interview with the idiot producer of that film, you'll be spitting feathers!

Date: 2011-10-29 09:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Also I love Ben Goldacre!

I had no idea that was what Anonymous was about, either. I'm so out of the loop.

Date: 2011-10-29 09:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
We need a Ben Goldacre fanclub right here, I tell you.

It's annoying this stupid film is getting so much attention in the same week as We Need to Talk About Kevin (infinitely more interesting) was released.

Date: 2011-10-30 11:49 am (UTC)
ext_41315: Rose/SJS/Martha (Default)
From: [identity profile]
I don't think my patience could stand it. ;)

Date: 2011-10-29 09:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I thought they recently proved William Shakespeare was, in fact, William Shakespeare.

Also Anne is ridiculous. Not just as a writer but as a person.

We worshipped her when were young and she, at times, at least the times we knew of, mostly made sense. Now she has a forum and an audience so her soapbox is easier for her to access. Gah.

Date: 2011-10-29 09:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Here's the thing: I used to believe that he couldn't possibly be so smart as to write all that. And then, you know... now I see them say he couldn't because he describes places. You know what I'd do if I wanted to write about S___? I'd ask you for tips on it. I'd ask you where my characters would eat, the names of local places. OH MY GOD I MUST BE AMERICAN.

Why would a man working with a company of actors from around the country not think to do that?

The more I read about it, the more I think he just was himself. [ profile] saffronlie and I (I bet unlike Anne Rice) visited Stratford and he's just so ingrained into the culture there, his history literally in the buildings and churches of that area. He was a rich man living off his writing when he was alive. As even a cursory glance at Wiki will tell us, nobody even questioned his authorship until the 19th century, when the man was long dead.

As for Anne, she's just so ridiculous I cannot. She's absurd. She actually has some really vile opinions and acts like your embarrassing aunt. But unlike the aunt, she has an audience of clowns hanging on her every word.

I need to stop reading her craziness! It's like crack!

Date: 2011-10-29 09:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I remember hearing about the debate in high school and watching a documentary about it, but I'm inclined to believe it was probably all him. Then again, I don't know the facts as well as someone who's done tons of research might.

And exactly. If I want to write about something, I ask people who know about it or are from there or visit the place myself. Even in the distant past, he could have asked traveling people about Verona, say.

Anne doesn't know shit. She reads one thing and decides "YES, that is fact." Like you said about abortions. They don't make a woman's womb weak - she was misinformed and probably read it in a pro-life pamphlet.

I really couldn't take having her in my FB feed because it would raise my blood pressure too much, but I'm sort of glad someone checks her page once in a while so we can find out stuff liek the "Louie" debacle. Did even one person say, "I thought it was Louis?" Geez. Her FB Fans are such suck ups.

Date: 2011-10-29 09:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I keep wanting to engage in a debate with her and tell her she's crazy, but I see what happens: someone steps in and attempts to disagree, and then several fans harass them. She won't respond, but will post some PA rhetoric later on that evening (hence the Shakespeare silliness).

The abortion thing sickened me. Truly sickened me. That her vile stupidity will be republished and republished for generations to come is horrible.

Do you know that not one person did take her to task about the names? Man, if I had a brother with a troll account on Facebook, I'd totally ask him to post right now-- oh, dear.

Date: 2011-10-30 09:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

I can't spell. But I refuse to use an editor. What the holy hell is with this woman???

Also Grey might be my hero but of course Anne misses the point

Date: 2011-10-30 09:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Any kind of snark goes right over her head. Editors, who needs 'em?


Date: 2011-10-29 09:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Of course, she knows. She knows it all. Her vampires don't sparkle, but I am sure she glows in the dark from her all knowing radiance.

Silly old cow. This just makes her look even more senile than usual.

Date: 2011-10-29 09:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
You know, I can't say anything more to this than WORD and I kind of love you right now. :D

I'd love you to meet her in the middle of a supermarket one day and have words.

Date: 2011-10-29 09:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Your whole post is compelling and well-written but its truly the last line that gave me a real chuckle. I love Shakespeare and I admit to while knowing about these debates, I dont know much about who they say he was or couldnt be. But it sticks in my craw that they argue he couldnt be a regular, working-class guy because the plays were simply too good.

How dare they? That's to say every writer who ever wrote something good or beautiful or truly creative, or even something remotely interesting or beloved, must have been from the monied classes because the 'regular folk' know nothing and have never been anywhere. Ugh, this is why I wanna throw rocks at people.

And Anne Rice, seriously, did she bump her head and forget that she used to be imaginative and cool and creative? She's like some kind of bot now, who says the most inane and ridiculous things out of her mouth.

Date: 2011-10-29 09:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I love your reply. You say my post is well-written, but you get exactly what I'm saying and crystallise it. I think it's something the landed gentry will never, ever understand and why it sticks in our throats.

She used to be kind of fun. Now she's just someone who really needs a slap, to be honest.

Date: 2011-10-29 09:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Just looking at the trailer for this film now - I'll be avoiding this one like the plague. I think I'd rather sit through a double screening of Twi-shite rather than this.

Date: 2011-10-29 09:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Hahahaa. My work here is done. :D

Date: 2011-10-29 09:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
If we took her word on everything that she has supposedly 'studied in depth' she most certainly would be a vampire hersef because such a vast amount of scholarship would surely have taken severla lifetimes.

The film itself (I heard it discussed on NPR yesterday) has many gaping historic holes in it so how on earth can it be taken seriously when there are actual scholars who really have studied the premise in depth and come to the conclusion that OMG, a commoner could actually have the imagination to write the Works. Go back to writing your cruddy Jesus fic , Mater, and leave studying to those who know what it means.

Date: 2011-10-29 09:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It's hilarious. Her version of 'in depth' is obviously at odds with the rest of the world.

She needs to stop trying to opine on history and Things of Which She Knows Little but proclaiming her view as the Word of God. Sometimes I wonder if it was a Freudian slip when she talked of writing Jesus' autobiography.

As for the film, what a load of pants.

Date: 2011-10-30 02:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
God god god. GOD. What? His autobiography?? I mean, I thought it was bad enough when she decided to do bb!Jesus in the 1st person, because let's face it, that's going to seem hella arrogant all on its own. But autobiography? I can't even. And I'm an atheist!

Date: 2011-10-30 10:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I know, I know! It's insane!

Date: 2011-10-29 10:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
She has a secret door right into sixteenth-century England and her many dorky fans are following, as if she's some tacky jewellery-clad Prophet. Ugh! How did I ever fanworship this clown?

OMG, secret door into the 16th century---that made me LOL because that's just exactly how much authoritative weight her words have. As for the fan-worship---I expect it had more to do with the the fandom and your tender age and less about Mater herself, no? I remember first finding the online fandom and at first thinking she was pretty cool for interacting with fans so much---that is until I realized she did it for the ego-stroking sycophants more than any real desire to associate with the rabble.

(Also - load of pants FTW!)
Edited Date: 2011-10-29 10:15 pm (UTC)

Date: 2011-10-30 10:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
As for the fan-worship---I expect it had more to do with the the fandom and your tender age and less about Mater herself, no?

I hope so!

I remember back in 2000 I was gushing over Rice to my flatmate (and fellow literature undergraduate) and how accessible she was, with her website and her phone line. She pulled a face. 'Doesn't that sound a bit narcissistic to you?'

Oh, Gemma. You were right on the money.

Date: 2011-10-29 10:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Does she really want comments from Anonymous? Does she know what she's asking?

Oh wait, the film is called 'Anonymous'. Okay, I get it now!

Oh. I wish I didn't get it. :(

Date: 2011-10-30 10:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I wish so fervently that she had wanted to talk with Anonymous. Oh, God. It would have been the most amazing thing ever.

Yeah. She's annoying.

Date: 2011-10-30 07:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm kind of sad it has never happened, I think they'd be worthy adversaries. We could dub it the "self-righteousness wars."

She's probably not quite famous enough for them anymore though.

Date: 2011-10-30 07:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It's a real pity. We should attempt to bait her into criticising Anonymous one day and see what goes down.

Date: 2011-10-30 07:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh, God. Oh, God! XD

Date: 2011-10-30 07:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Meme generators! I haven't actually accepted the challenge though - I have already decided to send her a print copy of Gulfport next year which is... quite enough trolling for me, really.

Date: 2011-10-30 07:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I guarantee explosions from her. Good job!

Date: 2011-10-30 07:35 pm (UTC)
cloudsinvenice: woman resting her head on her hand, thinking (Default)
From: [personal profile] cloudsinvenice
So in a way it's like that Vampire vs. Talamasca war that never panned out...

Date: 2011-10-30 07:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yes, quite. I'm still a bit sad that never happened.

Date: 2011-10-30 10:39 am (UTC)
cloudsinvenice: woman resting her head on her hand, thinking (Default)
From: [personal profile] cloudsinvenice
YES! I thought at first, OMG, this will get interesting, and then I realised that the internet literati wank I have feared ever since I heard that stupid film was coming had finally descended. Le sigh.

I felt incredibly tempted to argue with her (and it doesn't take much; De Vere's fricking birth/death dates don't even match the times when some of Shakespeare's plays were written; HOW ARE SO MANY SUPPOSEDLY SENSIBLE PEOPLE MISSING THIS HUGELY IMPORTANT FACT?) but I knew that way lies madness, so I just directed her to James Shapiro's "Contested Will" and went away to take deep breaths.

Date: 2011-10-30 11:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh, man! I kind of wished you'd taken her to task because I'd like to see you deconstruct her silly argument, but then you'd have been jumped on by the fans.

My favourite bit is her repetition about her wanting Kenneth Branagh - whom she insists is an Oxfordian - to make a film about de Vere because he'll prove it.

1. Being an actor who played Hamlet does not make you an expert.
2. Don't you feel she fetishises British people in a weird way with this stuff?

An authoritative source [for Branagh confirms that he has always believed, and still does, that "the plays of Shakespeare were written by the man from Stratford, of the same name." Mr. Branagh is fascinated by the alternative theories, but he is "a Stratfordian through and through and expects to remain so."

That's the very first result if you Google 'Kenneth Branagh Shakespeare authorship.' So much for Anne's ~intensive research.

Date: 2011-10-30 02:42 pm (UTC)
cloudsinvenice: woman resting her head on her hand, thinking (Default)
From: [personal profile] cloudsinvenice
1. Branagh's an Oxfordian? Lord, I hope she's wrong. We've already lost Derek Jacobi to the forces of illogic.

2. Good point. There's a definite emotional thing where "A Brit I admire and who has strong cultural links to Shakespeare" has sway. It's one of the reasons I find Jacobi's position so frustrating; he's (amongst others) Lear to theatregoers and that sadly does have more pull with some people than simple fact.

3. Excellent. We're a skeptical lot, you know... :P Of course this is partisan nonsense on my part. The difference is, I can see it for what it is. For all I know, Liam Neeson or Stephen Rea or somebody will come out as an Oxfordian and then I'll be able to rail about the stubborn illogic of my countrymen. So we're back to "let's all try to think properly".

Date: 2011-10-30 03:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
She's just so daft. He was quoted as saying the theories were interesting, but as in what I linked above, he doesn't believe it. Did you know that they portray Shakespeare as wicked and cowardly and stupid? Because he's poor. FFS.

Agreed on Jacobi. It's insane. Look, playing a character fantastically is brilliant. Well done. But it does not make you a historian, or a Shakespeare scholar. I really enjoyed playing the town crier in our school play. It doesn't make me an expert on campology.

So, so agreed on point 3. You know, I am a French Revolution geek. I can go on and on about it for hours (I have) but I can't even pretend to be anywhere near an expert on what happened, and why, and the far-reaching consequences. I can't even make my mind up about Robespierre! I'm always sceptical of self-proclaimed experts when they're just amateur admirers with an agenda.

Date: 2011-10-30 07:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Ooo, are you FB friends with her? How's that working out for you?

Date: 2011-10-30 07:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh dear God, no! I don't even follow her. I'm just something of a masochistic hypocrite and will click on over to her fanpage every so often to see what tripe she's spewing.

Date: 2011-10-30 07:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Not gonna judge, I totally do that too. Masochistic hypocrites UNITE!

Date: 2011-10-30 07:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Wait, that was for [ profile] cloudsinvenice. I think she follows her crazy fanpage but tries not to get too involved. XD

Date: 2011-10-30 07:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It was originally, but I'm grateful for all knowledge.

Date: 2011-10-30 07:34 pm (UTC)
cloudsinvenice: woman resting her head on her hand, thinking (Default)
From: [personal profile] cloudsinvenice
Well, I almost never read the discussion threads, so I don't get the frequent strangling urge regarding her fans. And honestly, there's very few of her posts that I side-eye. But then I don't side-eye half the stuff that most of the fandom does... the Anonymous thing, though? Instant GRRRRR!

Date: 2011-10-31 07:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I really don't know a lot about Anne Rice. Before reading your post, i didn't realize she was such a conceited woman. But i do know this much, i am upset with her for more or less blaming her atheism for the cause of her writing the Vampire Chronicles. I think it's great that she has her religion now and seems very happy with it, but it's almost like she's trying to justify her reasons for writing the Vampire Chronicles, like it's something she's ashamed of? I don't know...just her attitude is such a disappointment to me.


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