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Cunningham: Seeking Hamlet's wisdom
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Cunningham: Seeking Hamlet's wisdom



To mask or not to mask?

To school or not to school?

To Republican (Democrat) or not to Republican (Democrat)?

These are today’s questions, Hamlet. We seek your medieval wisdom. That’s right, today’s audience comes to you, a make-believe 17th century looney, for counsel.

To football or not to football?

To seed or not to seed?

To vote by mail or not to vote by mail?

Ham-bro, where are you when we need you? We need your timeless, yet admittedly off-beat vision. We need reassurance that, unlike you, we aren’t going nuts.

Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slants and angles of outrageous media fortune…

To be accurate or not to be accurate?

That’s everyone’s question.

Where did you go for solid intel, Ham-pal? BBC? Reuters? Bromley’s Livery Stable and Pub? How did you make tough decisions back then? Cobblestone/parchment/shears?

You see, Ham-buddy, when that better-than-average-writer, Shakespeare, put those immortal words in your mouth, he was seeing 2020.

Employing his English Renaissance laced, pin-point clairvoyance, Shakespeare foretold today’s events.

Not convinced? Just read your next line, Ham-baby.

“To take arms against a sea of troubles and by opposing end them.”

Confounding statement that one, as during my exhaustive research, I found no evidence that Shakespeare had ever visited Portland.

Oh. Yeah. Sure. Maybe he was writing about climate change.

Or perhaps referring to January’s impeachment proceedings?

It’s true, Shakespeare was always up for a farce.

Face it, America, the Bard of Avon had us pegged centuries ago.

Now, Ham-bone, you go too far with this next phrase…”To die-to sleep”.

Put up a fight, would ya? We are. Don’t just stand there and eloquently compare dying to sleeping. Not manly.

Now in your defense, the Bard possibly put you on hydroxychloroquine. I was a unaware English mosquitoes carried malaria, but it could also be true that you were simply ahead of your time.

I must give credit where it is due. Later in your over-sharing, you make an admission:

“But that the dread of something after death, the undiscovered country, from whose bourn no traveller returns, puzzles the will, and makes us rather bear the ills we have than fly to others that we know not of?”

So let me get this straight, Ham-hocks. You are suggesting people in the year 2020 would rather endure two or three weeks facing downward on a gurney, in a coma, in an attempt to beat this virus than to experience what death’s “undiscovered country” offers?

To die or not to die?

That is the question.

Gotta hand it to ya, Shakespeare. Nailed it. You should write a self-help book.

So, Ham-prince, would you hang around for the next act? We need to hear more from you. Can you summon hope from times before to stir our souls and allow us…perchance to dream?

(Apologies to Will.)

Don Cunningham of Fremont is a freelance columnist.


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