Up For Appeal – First Quiz!

Posted By on October 12, 2014

Chris Pannell, Ann Zakelj and Justin Borrow at the Stratford “Debate.” Photo kindness the Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship and Linda Theil.

Lester Grinspoon, speaking on another topic, says that “you can’t sustain a lie forever.” As I reflect on the recent Stratford, Ontario, Moot Court infotainment extravaganza on the authorship question I wonder if this is really true. I mean, it sounds nice to idealists. Actually, lies can go on and on and on, just as long as there is no one able to point out that they are lies.  To be sure, the Stratford Moot, despite the good intentions of Mr. Pratte, who carried out a difficult job with great dignity and presence in serving as pro bono counsel to the earl, and Professor Don Rubin (among others), who briefed and worked with Pratte to prepare for the event, the whole thing turned into a bit of Stratfordian tomfoolery replete with the Stratford Festival’s artistic director Antoni Cimolino playing a rather prim and huffy Mr. Shakspere easily spooked by his own shadow — the entire argument, as it were, in propria persona.

But the most disappointing part of the event has to have been the generally uninspired character of the Stratfordian judges, some of whom seemed to have closer watch on perceptions of advantage in the local community than to be engaging a seriously literate inquiry into the truth of the matter. The judges, in short, — pardon if I overgeneralize to make a point — seemed over-prepared to deliver speeches and under-prepared to learn anything they thought they didn’t already know.

They appeared like a brilliant but short-lived constellation in the history of the authorship question, then melted back into individuals, each of whom knew he or she couldn’t actually sustain the lie forever, but all of whom were alike tempted by the thought that they would go down fighting over it anyway!  Not Stratford, pshaww! I live and work in Stratford, so of course its Stratford. There will be no-anti-Stratfordians in Stratford! Neine! Stop all ex parte communications at the border. We are a just “say ‘no!”” neighborhood, and very proud of it we…..

All in all, the event was a charming display of theatrics — but as a courtroom it left something to be desired in the way of subtlety of reasoning or smack of judicial wisdom. As one California gentleman I know has pointed out, analogy is the weakest form of evidence, and this is one of the first rules of a sound legal training, which seemed to be missing  on, or at least distracted from, the bench.

So, the conclusion is this:   Stratford is on notice of intent to appeal.   The first brief  is the relatively simple proposition that the court at Stratford can no longer continue to hide behind an appeal to the doctrine of a “statute of limitations” to justify continued ignorance: truthquizlet.

Ponder well, and answer at your peril.


About the author

Roger Stritmatter is a native liberal humorist who lives in Baltimore, Maryland. Contrary to rumor, he does not live on North Avenue. He does, however, work on North Avenue. A pacifist by inclination, one of his heroes is John Brown. But he thinks that Fredrick Douglass, another of his heroes, made the right decision. Stritmatter's primary areas of interest include the nature of paradigm shifts, the history of ideas, forensic literary studies, MS studies, renaissance literature, and the history of the Shakespearean question, the latter a field in which he has published extensively.


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