William Shakespeare is the English language’s greatest writer, in part, because he was our greatest psychologist. No one understood and used irony as did Shakespeare. Hamlet, with Shakespeare’s tongue firmly planted in his cheek, laments, “Frailty thy name is woman”. Hamlet who is the unquestioned definition of vacillation, “To be or not to be,” is casting shade upon his mother, Gertrude. Gertrude was complicit and conspired in the murder of her husband, Hamlet’s father also named Hamlet, the King of Denmark, so she could marry his younger brother, Claudius. Gertrude also helped Claudius defeat her son’s rightful claim to inherit the crown. Hamlet, Act 1, scene ii.
But the first woman to conspire to lead mankind down the primrose path to destruction was Eve, Genesis, Chapter III, vs 1-24. Thanks to Eve’s perfidy with the serpent, Adam and Eve were cast out of the Garden of Eden, women were assigned the pain of childbirth and we all lost eternal life. However, there are many who agree with Mark Twain who wrote in his book Pudd’nhead Wilson:
“Whoever has lived long enough to find out what life is, knows how deep a debt of gratitude we owe to Adam, the first great benefactor of our race. He brought death into the world.”
Then we have nefarious Delilah, Book of Judges, Chapter 16, vs 4-31, who as an agent of the Philistines in Gaza, wheedled out from Samson the secret to his great strength then set him up to be weakened and blinded. In World War I the Germans used Margaretha Geertruida Zelle (Mata Hari) to spy on the Allies. She was executed in 1917. Also, Tokyo Rose (Iva Ikuko Toguri D’Aquino) and Axis Sally (Mildred Sisk) sought to dispirit the Allied soldiers in the Pacific and Europe in World War II.
Perhaps the most famous conspirator against her country was Helen of Troy. According to Homer in the Iliad, Helen betrayed her husband, King Menelaus of Sparta, by eloping with Paris, a son of King Priam of Troy. Helen’s misguided loss of control, “Launched a thousand ships” and led to a long war between Greece and Troy.
By now, Gentle Reader, you have noticed a pattern of female conspirators who used their womanly wiles to bring about disasters. What my wife, Peg, and my sister, Jane, who proofed this column pointed out was the author of Gavel Gamut and all those who “documented” the sins of the distaff conspirators were male. My rejoinder to Peg and Janie is, “The facts are the facts and pointing them out does not, in and of itself, show evidence of misogyny”.
Therefore, when that paragon of cable news, Jesse Watters, claims Taylor Swift is in league with the Biden government to affect the 2024 presidential election and that Taylor Swift along with Travis Kelce are conspiring to steal Super Bowl LVIII for the Kansas City Chiefs, I say, “So?”
I know there may be a couple of people who could be influenced by Taylor and Travis but would Shakespeare deign to write a plot as convoluted as the Rolling Stone magazine credits right-winger Rogan O’Handley with:
“Far right influencer Rogan O’Handley went so far as to suggest that if the (Kansas City) Chiefs won the Super Bowl, Swift and Kelce would trigger an apocalyptic chain of events that would kill millions. ‘You MUST defeat the Chiefs’, O’Handley wrote in an X post addressed to the San Francisco 49ers. ‘If you don’t, Mr. Pfizer (Travis Kelce) and his girlfriend (Taylor Swift) are going to tour the country as world champions helping elect Joe Biden. WW3 will likely follow in a 2nd Biden term and millions will die. The fate of the free world rests upon your shoulders.’”
Of course, Mr. O’Handley was probably just writing from the perspective of a 49er fanatic in the same ironic/sarcastic vein as most who are having fun with the Taylor and Travis phenomenon. Unfortunately, in today’s America we often do not afford our cultural adversaries a sense of humor. Therefore, some of the cable news pundits see doomsday via public voyeurism of a private relationship. However, Mr. O’Handley and the rest of the 49er faithful, let me remind you that Joe Montana and Jerry Rice will not be in the San Francisco lineup for this Super Bowl, but Patrick Mahomes and Rashee Rice will be. So, good luck to you.
Now, the fate of the free world may hang in the balance if Taylor and Travis are not prevented from their alleged coup. But there are plenty of other threats to our democracy. So, I say to Travis, GO CHIEFS, and to Taylor, YOU GO GIRL!