The journalistic cowardice of peppy, preening, self-absorbed muppets is not a sign of a coming apocalypse. It is, however, a symptom of national decline. If you can't face the future with open eyes, you're probably afraid of where you're going.
Life is a series of deaths and rebirths. Death happens to our bodies every minute of every day yet; this process goes unnoticed because we are busy living life. Cells die. Skin dies. But the thought of the ultimate death stops us dead in our tracks.
Many have attempted to bring Shakespeare forward to the present-day by banishing all sense of antiquity. Few are able to retain all sense of the original, while illustrating how timeless the story can be. The cast and crew of Much Ado have achieved it.
If a would-be writer is serious about his intention to become a fine writer, he would do well to get his head out of the vampire/zombie dreck that somehow passes for literature and discover the masters.
One fixed poetic form clearly stands the test of time: the sonnet. Even if you don't read poetry regularly, you probably know the basics: the average sonnet contains only 14 lines, and each line should be written in the same meter.
How high was Shakespeare? Research published in 2001 revealed residues of cocaine, marijuana and myristic acid, a nutmeg-derived hallucinogen, in 17th-century clay-pipe fragments dug up from the garden of his home.
How can any of us find the words to wish a happy 450th birthday to the single most significant, elegant, funny, wise and human writer ever to use the English language? That's what I, and countless others, have thought and think of Shakespeare.