Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Polonius Effect

Reciting words of wisdom can be influential, but they are only as good as the person who is saying them. If a person says an astounding piece of advice, it means nothing if they themselves do not follow what they preach. And we all know someone who is guilty of this.

I am dubbing this the "Polonius Effect." There are two components in my theoretical, observational effect.

Polonius, a character in Hamlet, is the reason for my creation of the "Polonius Effect." Polonius repeatedly has great quotes, but they have no substance because he does not heed them himself. Hamlet sees right through his workings and has no value of trust for the man. Polonius is somewhat of a hypocrite. He believes himself to be a man of high stature, however, I feel as though he does not know that he is not as grand as he sees himself. 

The other component is a sense of narcissism. In my opinion, I believe Polonius is narcissistic. Because of his narcissistic tendencies, he can preach his wise words without feeling like a hypocrite, even though he is. His enlarged sense of self causes him to almost condescend his wise words to Hamlet and the others in the play.

I do not know about most people, but at times I feel like I am a culprit of the "Polonius Effect." But at times, it is necessary to be this way so others do not follow in your path. But if you are being a Polonius for the majority of your day, you might need to reconsider some things. Help me to spread awareness of the "Polonius Effect" and help to better society with the suppression of Polonius's all over the world. To help, hashtag #stopPolonius so others can question your tweet.

As always, thank you for sitting with me on my pier. This is what I saw on my pier, what will you see on yours?

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Where Luke Bryan and Hamlet Collide

After seeing the title of my post, you are probably wondering what I am talking about. First off, you probably have never heard of Luke Bryan or Hamlet. Second off, you probably don't understand how they are even remotely alike. But surprisingly enough, they are alike. At least in my mind.

Last Wednesday, the Country Music Awards aired and presented the faces of country music with awards to honor their contributions to the art. Many vocalists were asked to perform on this special night. On this night, Luke Bryan commemorated his siblings that passed away with his song "Drink a Beer." (The references to alcohol in his song are no worse than the references to wine in mythology books which we read in class).

I had heard this song probably a hundred times before because I have his album and I love that song. But until last Wednesday, I hadn't HEARD it before. The lyrics were brought to the foreground with his emotions bringing their true meaning forward. It was beautiful and sad and touching and I couldn't help but tear up. Like had lost both of his siblings and had found a venue where his love for them could be shared and remembered. His love for them lives on through the melodies that escape his heart. 

Hamlet also lost someone he loved; his father, the king of Denmark. After Claudius had married Hamlet's mother, Hamlet was obviously upset. His father's body wasn't even cold and the wedding bells had already rang. No wonder Hamlet was a moody man at the opening of the play! Hamlet was unable to grieve his father before he was replaced by his uncle. Claudius then went on to insult the poor boy when he was already down and hurt. 

I promise Luke and Hamlet have more in common than a death in their family. I'm getting there.

Luke and Hamlet both have a ledge where they go. In Luke's case, he is sitting in the edge of a pier drinking a beer, according to the lyrics. He doesn't know what else to do with himself after learning the catastrophic news, so he walks and finds himself at the edge of a pier. On his pier, he can reminisce, curse, and pray while trying to comprehend what has just happened to him. Hamlet finds himself on the edge of the castle walls with Horatio. There he finds a ghost of his deceased father. Luke found his brother at the pier while Hamlet found his father on a wall that overlooks the water. They are both able to communicate their feelings and are able to get a grasp on their lives in some way. Even though Hamlet plots revenge after meeting with his father's ghost, he found a way to cope with what is happening in his life like Luke does in his song.

I have not lost a loved one in my lifetime, so I cannot understand the pain that either of them are going through. I do know that everyone has their own way of handling death. Grieving is unique to the person. Whether it be watching the sun set or plotting revenge, it helps to overcome the loss that you have experienced. Hamlet and Luke both experienced tragic losses and are worlds apart, but they both felt a deep pang that drove them to looking out to the ocean'a horizon.

So if you are ever needing a bizarre pairing, think about Luke and Hamlet. It can surprise you how much they are alike in certain lights. Then again, I haven't finished Hamlet. So maybe they aren't alike in the end. But you can say that Hamlet and Luke share some similarities that would surprise you. Today, Hamlet, Luke Bryan, and I shared a pier. What did you see on your pier?