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Oh Great, Another Woman Who Only Loves Me For My Complete Collection Of ‘Rurouni Kenshin’ Manga

Well isn’t that great—just great. Here I am, thinking I’ve finally met someone who’s perfect for me—she’s caring, smart, beautiful, and most of all, it seemed like she really got me. But I should have known better. Turns out she’s just like the rest of them, just another in a long line of women who only love me for my complete collection of the classic wandering samurai manga Rurouni Kenshin.

Disappointing Buffalo Wild Wings Not Living Up To Ridicule

LOS ANGELES—Describing the experience as a significant letdown, local diner Eric Tidwell told reporters that the disappointing Buffalo Wild Wings franchise he visited Thursday night failed to live up to the scorn he had long heard about the restaurant.

Louvre Curators Hurry To Display Ugly Van Gogh Donor Gave Them Before Surprise Visit

PARIS—After retrieving the eyesore from amid a clutter of unused display cases and movable stanchions in the back of the facility’s basement where it had been stowed ever since the museum received it, curators at the Louvre hurried to display an ugly Vincent van Gogh painting before the artwork’s donor made a surprise visit to the museum Friday.

Area Dad Needs More Time With Museum Plaque

NEW YORK—Leaning in close to the paragraph of text as his family continued on to the museum’s other exhibits, area dad and Frick Collection visitor Phillip Schermeier, 58, reportedly needed more time with the plaque beside Rembrandt’s 1626 painting Palamedes In Front Of Agamemnon Thursday.

Lost Jack London Manuscript, ‘The Doggy,’ Found

RYE, NY—Workers inventorying the estate of a recently deceased Westchester County art dealer earlier this month reportedly stumbled upon a draft of a previously unknown Jack London novel titled The Doggy, and the work is already being hailed by many within the literary world as a masterpiece.

‘Our Town’ Cast Party Going Off The Rails

PEEKSKILL, NY—Describing a wild scene in which performers and stagehands were loudly conversing, laughing, and occasionally breaking back into their characters from the play, sources confirmed Sunday night that the cast party for the local production of Our Town is currently going off the rails.

Thieves Make Off With Museum’s Most Valuable Docents

CHICAGO—In what is being described as a sophisticated and well-executed heist, thieves stole nine of the Art Institute of Chicago’s most valuable docents in broad daylight this morning, according to museum and law enforcement officials.
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Shakespeare Was, Like, The Ultimate Rapper

As an English teacher, I have to make The Bard resonate with today's youth. I get the same questions every year: "Shakespeare? What does this dead white guy have to do with me? He doesn't know where I come from, what I'm all about. He's not from the streets."

Well, what's totally fresh about Shakespeare is that he wrote for ordinary people. His homies. My students say, "Then why did he write in this snooty poetry that no one can understand?" Well, that's just it. His poetry was the best street rhyming of his time. And Shakespeare was the best "player" of them all! Even today, 400 years later, Shakespeare is the world's ultimate rapper!

Shakespeare had the tightest flow in the history of the English language. His iambic pentameter couldn't be touched by the other MCs, although player-haters think he sampled heavily from Ben Jonson. In fact, were he alive today, I'm convinced he would be a rapper. Well, I guess he could be a playwright, too.

You see, Shakespeare never intended for his works to be read in some dusty old study! They were performed before a rowdy audience of ne'er-do-wells, servants, and charboys who interacted with the players and even threw things on stage. Sounds a lot like a rap show, doesn't it? The Globe truly was the Apollo Theater of the day.

Rap resonates because it talks about our lives, and tells stories of love, violence, sex—the things that get our blood racing. Well, word to your mother: Shakespeare may have worn tights and big lace collars, but he addressed the same questions as 50 Cent or Tupac Shakur. Are you feeling me? Try this: I'll list a plot point, and you try to guess if I'm describing an R. Kelly song or a Shakespeare play.

A daddy asks three homegirls to tell him why he's so fly.

A black gentleman suspects the white girl he's dating is playing him.

A crew of noblemen gets together and murders their homeboy.

Ready for a surprise? Those are all plot points from Shakespeare's tragedies! Compared to Shakespeare, R. Kelly is a choirboy. Why, Romeo And Juliet begins with bawdy jokes that would make 2 Live Crew blush! Shakespeare definitely knew a thing or two about "groping for trout in a peculiar river!" That's from Measure For Measure. We won't be reading that, though.

Big Willie Shakes rapped in his Big Willie style about everyday life, too. He rapped about friendship: consider Prince Hal and Falstaff, Hamlet and Horatio, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. He rapped about race issues: Othello, anyone? He even rapped about slammin' phat beats!

Back when Papa Tony's Pizza had those rapping TV commercials 10 years ago, I would recite a soliloquy from Hamlet in the exact same cadence, and it never failed to crack up the class! One year, there was even a student who accompanied me with the mouth-drumming noises, and we actually sounded very impressive together. I haven't done it in a while, so I'm a bit rusty, but I'll give it a shot anyhow:

'Tis now the very witching time of night,
When churchyards yawn and hell itself breathes out
Contagion to this world: now could I drink hot blood,
And do such bitter business...

Well, uh, it goes on a bit more, but you get the idea, right? Yeah, I guess I'm a little rusty on the rapping. I'll practice tonight and try again tomorrow.

I've been teaching English for nearly 18 years, and even today, I'm still amazed at how fresh and current Shakespeare remains. Back when I was in college, I found so many parallels between Shakespeare and James Taylor. Then when I started teaching, I was struck at how Shakespeare explored the same themes as R.E.M. And boy, how my students from the '90s perked up when I played Kurt Cobain during the Hamlet unit!

Well, I hope that I've demystified the Bard Of Avon a little. I mean, trust me, I'm not some old fuddy dud who sits around watching PBS! I was down with Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet as much as you were! In fact, it happens to be in my personal DVD library, right in between Boyz N The Hood and Colors. How do you like those apples?

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Louvre Curators Hurry To Display Ugly Van Gogh Donor Gave Them Before Surprise Visit

PARIS—After retrieving the eyesore from amid a clutter of unused display cases and movable stanchions in the back of the facility’s basement where it had been stowed ever since the museum received it, curators at the Louvre hurried to display an ugly Vincent van Gogh painting before the artwork’s donor made a surprise visit to the museum Friday.

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