Monday, 21 April 2008

Enough levity for a fortnight: The Bard on Fark

Today I stumbled across a pearl in the midst of swine. No offense to other Fark regulars, but iambic pentameter is not among the average Farker's skills (and don't get me started on those knaves over on 4chan).

But some well-above-average Farkers stepped up to wax eloquent on a particular theme: what if the Bard himself wrote the screenplay for Pulp Fiction?

So, I had the great fortune to combine several of my favourite things over coffee this morning: fun with language, Shakespeare, and Pulp Fiction.

Here are the links: first, the Fark thread itself
http://forums.fark.com/cgi/fark/comments.pl?IDLink=3552350
then the sources for the epic banter:
http://community.livejournal.com/metaquotes/6644038.html
http://www.metafilter.com/70997/Pulp-Shakespeare

Here I will reproduce a few of the better verses ... and as a treat for those who read the whole post, a rendition of "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Aire" done in early Norman-English on a faux Bayeux Tapestry.

Honestly, this, dear readers, is the pinnacle of internet culture!

First: Jules addresses Ringo in the coffee shop.
I have for years recited thus. If thou didst but hear,
It was as clear a sign of your demise
As found in any witches' scry.
Yet never had I ponder'd its intent;
T'was simply fiendish sounds I could thus speak
Before I dealt my foes the final stroke
That sent them on to God's Own Realm.
But just this morrow hence, I saw such things
That lead me to reflect upon my words
And divine what the meaning was therein.
Perchance, I guessed, you are the evil man,
And I the righteous man. As for the shepherd,
Methought it could have then stood for my blade.
Anon, perhaps the righteous man is you;
I then may be the shepherd, and the evil and the selfish
Is all that stands about us in this world.
Such is a pleasing thought. But such is also false.
In truth, you are the weak.
And I, the tyranny of evil men.
Yet, henceforth, I assure you, I shall try
In all my ways to now become the shepherd.



Next, Jules and Brett have an erudite discussion on language and semiotics over a Big Kahuna burger.
J: My pardon; did I break thy concentration?
Continue! Ah, but now thy tongue is still.
Allow me then to offer a response.
Describe Marsellus Wallace to me, pray.
B: What?
J: What country dost thou hail from?
B: What?
J: How passing strange, for I have traveled far,
And never have I heard tell of this What.
What language speak they in the land of What?
B: What?
J: The Queen's own English, base knave, dost thou speak it?
B: Aye!
J: Then hearken to my words and answer them!
Describe to me Marsellus Wallace!
B: What?
JULES presses his knife to BRETT's throat
J: Speak 'What' again! Thou cur, cry 'What' again!
I dare thee utter 'What' again but once!
I dare thee twice and spit upon thy name!
Now, paint for me a portraiture in words,
If thou hast any in thy head but 'What',
Of Marsellus Wallace!
B: He is dark.
J: Aye, and what more?
B: His head is shaven bald.
J: Has he the semblance of a harlot?
B: What?
JULES strikes and BRETT cries out
J: Has he the semblance of a harlot?
B: Nay!
J: Then why didst thou attempt to bed him thus?
B: I did not!
J: Aye, thou didst! O, aye, thou didst!
Thou hoped to rape him like a chattel whore,
And sooth, Lord Wallace is displeased to bed
With anyone but she to whom he wed.



And finally, as promised, the Fresh Prince's own story told anew. (N.b.: I haven't gone through and checked the text for accuracy. Get back to me, say, oh, next week.)

1 comment:

Edward Pearse, Earl of Primbroke said...

Oh bravo! I would love to see this done completely, but I'm sure the copyright logistics would be a nightmare.