“KING LEAR” ON REWIND

Joseph Marcell, as King Lear on London stage. (Formerly of THE FRESH PRINCE of BEL AIR)

Oligarchy. What is it? From the internet: “Oligarchy is a form of power structure in which power rests with a small number of people. These people may be distinguished by nobility, wealth, education, corporate, religious, political, or military control”. 

Have we seen it here in Baltimore Maryland? Yes, we have, especially in the political arena, even among African American families. 

From a Biblical perspective, Eli was the high priest of Shiloh (Book of Judges, Holy Bible). He looked the “other way” while his sons Hophni and Phineas, engaged in abuses of power; their end was tragic. 

400 years ago, William Shakespeare penned King Lear, and opined Lear’s intent to split the English kingdom among his three daughters and their husbands, as he aged. (Dementia?) Shakespeare who hobnobbed among the elite had an insight to this oligarchy. Later Great Britain created a parliamentary system, with a House of Lords, equivalent to the United States Senate, and a House of Commons, the American answer being, Congress. 

Throughout the years of human existence, the oligarchy, A.K.A “the one percent” according to United States Senator Bernie Sanders, has found ways of repeating the mistakes of King Lear, even to the point where heads of these oligarchies tried to maneuver the political landscape, to keep their families as heads of the spheres of influence. 

Fidel Castro of Cuba, did not give the rulership to the people, but installed his brother Raul. Alberto Fujimori of Peru, from public records, escaped to Japan, after embezzling the country, and using death squads to silence his enemies. 

African leaders do not read Shakespeare. It is a continent rife with oligarchs. Teodorin Obiang, is an oil rich family from Equatorial Guinea. The Obiangs, is black Africa’s answer to the Saudis, of Saudi Arabia. 

Why is this my focus today. Theatre of War, invited me along with many others to watch King Lear, and comment on its relevance to us today. I have already established Lear’s oligarchy behavior. He ended up in filth and animals, living in the wild. Most oligarchs look like skeletons as they arrive at the end of their lives. Modern day LEAR’s engage in Ponzi schemes, bribe to get their dimwitted children into private schools; and discriminate profusely against people of color. Many are dying from the figurative COVID-19 virus (their losses on the stock market). Unlike the Pharaohs of EGYPT, they do not want to take their ill-gained riches with them to the AFTER LIFE

BE LEERY (Leary) of Oligarchs!