They ran the DNA, and it appears actor Benedict Cumberbatch is related to England’s King Richard III. He’s his second cousin sixteen times removed. Not exactly a close relation, but a relation nonetheless, in a nation where a lot of people are distant relatives of the King, who, it seems, really got around. This news about the latest and one of the best (I think) actors ever to portray Sherlock Holmes, isn’t earth shattering, but it’s more interesting than most of what’s out there this morning, what with the debatable personage of Ted Cruz taking up so much space and airtime.
“Out, out, brief candle!” Please!
I know King Richard pre-dated Shakespeare by more than one-hundred years, but the Bard did write a play about the King, and the Macbeth quote worked, so I dropped it in. There is also the possibility, considering Richard’s sexual proclivity, with as many as three illegitimate kids and maybe more, that Bill Shakespeare and Benedict Cumberbatch might just be related. Fifteen or sixteen times removed, but related. Come to think of it, any of us with British heritage might be related to the late, great, Richard.
The other missive I found to be of interest in the morning papers has to do with Robert Durst, who once lived in Middlebury Vermont, where he owned a health food store not far from my sister’s farm. Middlebury, was also the location for the real Inn on the “Newhart” show. Durst, who is a suspect in the murder of a woman here in Los Angeles in 2000 and is being investigated in connection with the disappearance of his wife , is also now under investigation in connection with another missing person, a Vermont college student in 1971 . None of which has anything to do with Benedict Cumberbatch, except that the great Sherlock Holmes, might be of some assistance in the ongoing case of Robert Durst, which only seems to expand with time.
I began this rambling, rickety train of thought with Cumberbatch, and his distant relationship to Richard III, because it triggered an idea. That being, the thought of how far we’ve come and how far we have to go. The thought of the Dark Ages and the Middle Ages and then finally, thank God, being dragged screaming from our slimy ignorance into the Reformation, by a relative few thinking people who dared challenge the established power structures, not the least of which were the church and the various governments, like the one led by Cumberbatch’s distant kin, King Richard.
The crux of the idea, has to do with our view of how backward and unnecessarily cruel humanity was four or five hundred years ago, and how backward and unnecessarily cruel our contemporary society will appear to those who succeed us, four or five hundred years in the future.
If we can look back, tracking history and all the same mistakes we continue to repeat ad nauseam, and if we can look forward, imagining the future, why then do we have to wait for it to develop through analogue time? Why can’t we get beyond our current mindset of letting things develop as they will, and speed up the process? Can’t we do that? Can’t we put concept cars on the production line now?
No we can’t. Too many really stupid people are in the way. Fear and ignorance continues to throw up roadblocks to progress now, just as the blindness of the church and the lust for power of the established order blocked Leonardo, and other great thinkers of the past.
Cutting public education is not the least of the many boneheaded moves currently being undertaken by fear possessed and power mad politicians on the far right.
Since education has clearly benefited our species to such a large degree, why is it being made more difficult to obtain here in the U.S.? When did being progressive, become a bad thing? Why are some afraid of progress? Would they have us moving backwards, all the way to the ignorant, disease-ridden days of Richard III?
Imagine life without antibiotics, safe drinking water and exit polls.
There are those who are attempting to get beyond our silly 7/24 cycle of immediate gratification. Our inability to take a longer view of things. There is, for example, “The Long Now Foundation,” up in San Francisco. According to their website, the foundation was established in 1996, “to creatively foster long-term thinking and responsibility in the framework of the next 10,000 years.”
Pretty heavy, huh? It’s also a sane alternative for contemporary humanoids who grow weary of our species current childish desires in comparison to the glorious possibilities of the future.
It’s limitless, probably, until eventually we meet ourselves trying to find us, moving back in the opposite direction, after conquering time and space, causing a kind of H.G. Wells time machine regression to the 14-hundreds forcing us to start all over again with Richard III.
Which might explain Ted Cruz.