There is a bit of disagreement about a line from Henry VI, Part 2. Specifically in Act IV, Scene 2, when Dick the Butcher yells, "The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers!" Some think it's a lawyer joke. And probably was. But in more recent years, there's a school of thought--probably first proposed by a lawyer--that the line is really a compliment of sorts to the legal profession. You see, in order for Shakespeare's rebels to overthrow the government, first thing they needed to do was kill all the lawyers. Then the system would be disrupted, chaos would spread, and the rebels could crown their own king.
Without lawyers, the bad guys take advantage.
It's an interesting theory. And not without some merit. How you take the line might depend on your leanings, or your profession.
We were reminded of Dick the Butcher last week when Wal-Mart made the news, and not in a good way. The Arkansas-based behemoth had to do some quick PR work when a T-shirt on its website caused it grief. It's one of those T-shirts that has a message on it. Which T-shirts shouldn't have. (A gentleman always wears a forgettable tie.)
The message: "Rope. Tree. Journalist. Some assembly required."
Bom-dum-bump! We'll be here all week. Try the veal and tip the waitresses.
Get it? String up reporters! Call out the lynch mob! They oughta take a rope and hang me. Because the MSM isn't fair. It's anti-American. Biased. Liberal. And editorial pages get their marching orders from DNC headquarters every Wednesday morning. Which is wrong. We don't get ours till Thursday.
In short, first, kill all the journalists!
(It should be noted that none of this is Wal-Mart's fault. A third party was selling the shirt on its website. The suits at Wal-Mart removed it immediately after it came to their attention.)
Look, we love talking about us. Any excuse will do, and always has. If there's anything the media likes to shine its spotlight on, it's the media. But all the kidding would be a little more funny if this very same T-shirt hadn't been worn, and claimed its fame, at a rally for the sitting president of the United States last year, days before his election. Also, if said president didn't have a habit of calling certain media outfits enemies of the American people. With a habit of calling any negative press Fake News.
Kill all the journalists? To what end? Have you read the papers lately? Kickbacks, bribery, misuse of funds, abuse at juvee hall, overpayments, overspending, political conflicts of interest . . . . Which would Gentle Reader not want to know about?
We get the jokes. We love the jokes. ("Can we film the operation? Is the head dead yet? You know the boys in the newsroom have a running bet. Get the widow on the set!")
But for the record, as with lawyers, if journalists are removed from the picture, the bad guys would take advantage.
Now then, back to the wisecracks . . . .
Editorial on 12/04/2017
Print Headline: Alas the times