Tuesday, April 28, 2009


'Goodnight and Good Luck'
Ed Murrow
'Shakespeare's Wife'
Germaine Greer


I read less often than I should; I don't watch much TV;
So the following recommendations are a personal rarity.
But  it so happens, yesterday, I read a certain book
And then I saw a certain film, well-worth a second look.
The film was old, the book not new, but both were new to me,
And I found both enthralling, linked by serendipity.
What was the link? It may seem odd, but they both shared a theme,
A 'take' on human nature, a universal meme.
Both film and book demand that we view life with open minds,
Not passively accepting those views one often finds
In news and articles and books from people 'in the know',
But delving deeper, finding out the truths that lie below.
Now Germaine Greer has written of a subject that's inviting;
The quotes and references alone are full of clever writing.
But it's an easy book to read because the language flows,
And her research is wonderful, engrossing, and it shows.
She never says she knows the truth about Will Shakespeare's wife,
But she gives a charming picture of Elizabethan life.
Where other critics paint poor Ann as someone rather graceless,
Aging and illiterate, homely, drab and faceless,
The author merely urges us to look into the facts
And quotes reliable sources and many ancient tracts.
She paints a picture of poor Ann that may be quite untrue,
But she also shows the damage that a buttoned-up mind can do.
Ed Murrow was American , and not well-known to me,
But the story of his downfall was presented vividly.
The McArthy years were dangerous as everybody knows,
But criticism was quite rare, and that's what Murrow chose.
As a smart TV presenter, his influence was great,
And he knew the comments that he made were bound to seal his fate.
Like Germaine Greer he said 'Hold on! Is this the truth we're hearing?'
For, sure enough, the citizens' rights were quickly disappearing.
He challenged the suppressor  to prove the things he claimed;
He sought to prove the innocence of people who'd been named.
He delved beneath the surface, he didn't once kow-tow,
And we can learn a lot from his reactions, even now
A pleasant evening's watching, a pleasant bedtime read,
Both excellent productions I can recommend, indeed.
And both taught me a lesson, (as The Bard might say 'Forsooth!'),
'Don't accept things blindly; keep searching for the truth.' 


J said...

Always a good reminder. I think 'Good Night and Good Luck' is a very underrated film.
I figure I'm lucky to be seeing these places!

Kat said...

I remember watching a tv interview of the wife of a very famous poet (but poor)...

he was known for his hospitality to guests who land up at home at odd hours suddenly and he would ask his wife to prepare food for them.

During the interview she remembered more the difficulties she faced in taking care of the guests.

My heart went to her..!!!