Ambitious Sarcasm

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;
I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.
The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones;
So let it be with Caesar. The noble Brutus
Hath told you Caesar was ambitious:
If it were so, it was a grievous fault,
And grievously hath Caesar answer’d it.
Here, under leave of Brutus and the rest–
For Brutus is an honourable man;
So are they all, all honourable men–
Come I to speak in Caesar’s funeral.
He was my friend, faithful and just to me:
But Brutus says he was ambitious;
And Brutus is an honourable man.
He hath brought many captives home to Rome
Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill:
Did this in Caesar seem ambitious?
When that the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept:
Ambition should be made of sterner stuff:
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
And Brutus is an honourable man.
You all did see that on the Lupercal
I thrice presented him a kingly crown,
Which he did thrice refuse: was this ambition?
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
And, sure, he is an honourable man.
I speak not to disprove what Brutus spoke,
But here I am to speak what I do know.
You all did love him once, not without cause:
What cause withholds you then, to mourn for him?
O judgment! thou art fled to brutish beasts,
And men have lost their reason. Bear with me;
My heart is in the coffin there with Caesar,
And I must pause till it come back to me.

-Marc Antony, Julius Caesar, William Shakespeare

Yes, dear worst-reader, these are the moments where things read cause a thought or three while cleaning my weber über-grill this morn. Oh how it needed a cleaning, don’t you know. So much oily stuff accumulating underneath the flames after month upon month of use–since our oven is broke. It only takes a piece of fatty steak to drip at the right moment to ignite the oily undergrowth. So it was a few days back. The whole grill and the steaks bellowed a black smoke as the grime lit up into dull, orange flames. And as I age, admiring the gluttony of the couch during these days waiting for the clock to strike “it’s drink time”, I gathered myself and said: Clean the fcuking grill you lazy biatch of man, earn your afternoon drink. And so I did. But then. While my power washer was acting up, I got to thinking about Marc Antony’s speech from Julius Caesar. Oh, how I’ve battled with this speech, perhaps not unlike I’m battling with my power washer. Even though I’ve only directed this play twice in my dream-mind, both times I fought with this speech the most. You know, what does it mean? Where is it going. Where has it been? Heaven forbid you’re stuck with an actor who thinks this play is about power. Hence the varied right-wing bend this speech can take, as though it were a crowd pleaser or crowd controller. Being the liberal I am, of course, means I can only allow Marc Antony to be the sarcastic prick that too few know he really is. And so, while power washing the grill plates and flame diffusers and heat deflectors of my grill, the parts that catch all the flammable grime waiting to light if not properly cared for–not unlike California these days, eh–I allowed my dream-mind to imagine, even for a brief amount of time, that I would play Marc Antony in my third directorial attempt at Shakespeare. And I would give the speech as I see fit, don’t you know.

There is a hint of sarcasm in there, or?

Rant on.


PS After my grill caught fire the other day, indicating it was time for a cleaning, the steaks that caused the fire weren’t all that bad. Indeed. They were tasty.