From the Bunny Droppings files:
Unfortunately younger audiences today, do not have the time or patience to sit through an entire Shakespeare play. To add to the dissonance of Shakespeare from youth, dudes in tights whining about lost love are definitely uncool. Many attempts have been made to reinvent Shakespeare as cool, like Michael Almereyda’s Hamlet or Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet for example. However, they fail to realize the most important concept of being cool. “Hip” is a state being rather than a prepackaged hand me down from an older generation.
Uncool to simply imply that the brand of gun is a sword whereas definitely cool to blaze guns around Equilibrium style and kill fifty henchman in the process. Coolness is not contemplating suicide in front of you computer monitor. That’s what livejournal is for. Being hip is an arbitrary distinction for a contemporary point in time. While I enjoy watching the wash of images from a modern day Hamlet, I know Neo’s awakening from the Matrix is much cooler than Hamlet’s slow thoughtful revenge.
That’s why, as a humor writer, I am going to rewrite Shakespeare’s life to make it more cool with the younger audience. The first thing Shakespeare needs to make him cool is a name change. Shakespeare is a long boring name. Look at Puff Daddy, he’s twenty times more trendy now that he goes by P. Diddy. How can a guy whose name sounds more like a sneeze than an actual name be uncool? Shakespeare’s new name will be Shakez, spelled with a z because it’s close to the streetz.
Another important part of Shakez new fashionable look will be to loose the frilly collar and dress in tight black leathers with shades. This way we know Shakez is a man ready for action. Shakez don’t take shit from nobody and is ready to go Kung Fu crazy anytime. What’s cooler than a black leather ninja that will whoop your cracker ass then write you a sonnet?
Shakez also needs a posse. Stylish present day hipsters always need a modern day rat pack with people that abbreviate their name to meaningless catchy letters. Allow me to introduce Shakez’ posse, Mar Lo the Admiral of Funk, Ben J slapping his east side hoes, and Kyd Rock who bom diggy do something or other incomprehensible. And what posse would be complete without the hot Latina chick? The most important member of the posse, Rosaline, or Rosa as called by her contemporaries, will be the muse of the men and inspire the ladies. Like Queen Elizabeth, she is a strong woman trying to get by in a man’s world.
Like today’s modern celebrities their lives will be fraught with peril when Mar Lo is gunned down like Tupac. I smell a made for TV movie. Let’s see what happens:
Scene I: Bar
Shakez: What’s up G Funks! How goes thy bumpin’ rhymes?
Ben J: Word.
Kyd Rock: We bust mad fat wack beats yo. Is thy rock
Guitar tuned to a minor key? Cry forth w’ great
Chords of mindless fury. We shalt henceforth be
Called Pimp Bitchnizt. With rock rap we shalt angst
About ex-girlfriends and cover George Michael.
Ben J: Word.
Shakez: Thy heart is not in thy mind. I think thoughts
About fairest Rosa. She afflicts me.
Kyd Rock: Thy speaketh in riddles. Is not Rosa the
Girlfriend of Mar Lo?
Shakez: Aye that she is…
Kyd Rock: Then release thy pain. You pursue a lost
Cause; that doth hold no bounty. Seek not Rosa.
There are plenty of fish in the London sea.
Ben J: Word.
Shakez: The mind is willing but the heart is weak.
Scene II: Park
Mar Lo and Rosa enter.
Mar Lo: Hell hath no fury like a woman shorn.
Rosa: Does thee not likest my gutter punk look?
Mar Lo: I likest thee regardless of thy baldness.
Though methinks that thy shaved head is not
Because thee thinks that punk rock is thy look;
More because thy hast read thou self help book.
Rosa: Does thy take quarrel with Detach the Penis
From The Man, by Dr. Laura Schlessinger?
Mar Lo: No quarrel milady.
Assassin: Message for Mar Lo.
Mar Lo: What treachery is this? You think that
I shall confuse thee for a messenger when thy
Character is clearly labeled Assassin?
Assassin: I would not think thy is so dumb so I
Will just kill you now. Due to lacking guns;
In sixteenth century England. I shalt use;
A giant trebuchet. Have a nice day.
Trebuchet kills Mar Lo. Assassin exits.
Rosa: Mar lo, my life, my love, I shalt not rest;
Until thy conspirators are brought to justice.
But first I shall watch new Sex In The City.
Scene III: Bar
Enter Shakez and Ben J.
Shakez: And that is the last time I’ll trust a hobbit.
Ben J: Word.
Shakez: Doth thy tongue speak other syllables then word?
Ben J: Budapest.
Shakez: Forget about it, thy knavish speak, rouge.
Shakez: Rosa the fairest maiden in all the world!
How fairs thee?
Rosa: Stuff it Shakez. Draw thy sword!
Shakez: What vexes thee?
Rosa: Mar Lo is slain. Kyd Rock was imprisoned.
Through Kyd’s tortured breath we learn of a plot;
To steal my heart from a cuckold mad man,
Jealous with love. I shall slay thee Shakespeare.
Shakez: How dare thee use my given name vile wench!
Does thou speak Prince when his name is symbol?
Does thou call Gene Simmons: Chaim Witz? Filthy,
Are those that speak in such vile manners…
Rosa stabs Shakez.
Rosa: Save thy soliloquy for death young Shakespeare.
Shakez: Grave are the days when goths scream Brain Warner!
Thou slanders all that is decent and just.
Rosa stabs Shakez a couple of more times.
Shakez: The desperate throws of pop culture’s death.
When real names are uttered on the fans breath.
Rosa cuts his head off. She cuts her pinky in the process.
Rosa: Finally. Oh crap I am dying.now.
For no good reason than everyone is dead;
At the end of a Shakespearian tragedy.
Ben J looks around.
Ben J: Word.