Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Shakespeare vs. Sir Francis Bacon, and why @Holterbarbour is a Twitter Genius

@HolterBarbour and I have been trading barbs, wisecracks and puns for a while now on twitter: he's one of my favorite twitterheads/tweeps/whatever they're called these days.

Recently, he's been asking some of his twitter pals for topics, and writing limericks about them. And they're hilarious. I asked him for a topic, and gave him "having snow fights with dirty snow in the city."

He wrote this:
Before you start tossing 'round snow,
The levels of that which you throw
should at least be commensurate
to the layer of expectorate
horked up by old men on the go

And gave me a hella hard topic (especially for an old humanities major): "The relationship between capacitance and capacitive resistance as represented in a sine curve"

I sent him this:
In capacitors of parallel plates
as we search for resistance in rates, 
capacitive reactance
goes up with more distance 
while capacitance drops with more space

And figured I'd earned the right to toss him a tough topic, too. He got this: "Prove that Sir Francis Bacon was not the author of Shakespeare's oeuvre in a limerick". Here's what he sent me:

On the Authorship of The Works of William Shakespeare (in Limerick)

Baconian Theorists propose
That Shakespeare's poems and prose
Were Sir Bacon's works
And their telltale quirks
Prove by whom they had been composed

The first to submit this conjecture
Was a teacher, who, when not in lecture
Would bend every ear
(Whether it wanted to hear)
And soon, her folly had wrecked her

(Incidentally, her name too was "Bacon",
But his family she had no stake in
Not heir to his fame
Nor his praise, nor acclaim
Nor a penny of what he had raked in.)

In others this notion took root
And in droves they soon followed suit:
With Smith, Bruce and Spedding,
Pott and Wigston getting
Nietzsche's attention, to boot!

One idea the Theorists prefer
Is the use of bi-literal cipher
In Bacon's known pieces
Alas, such caprices
In Shakespeare's named works don't occur

It's thought that since he was selected
As an Attorney General respected
To be known as a bard
Would have harmed his regard
And he wished such attention deflected

When Bacon began that profession
So started the Shakespeare recession
In which output decreased
To the point where it ceased
Law trumping artistic digression

Also, the Theorists conclude,
Is that Henry VIII may allude
To his dishonorable discharge
But that text was at large
Near five years before that ensued

Analyses of both of their styles
And Bacon's intellect and wiles
Hint that a real William S.
Would be a dumb rube at best
And was a creation of Francis B.'s guiles

But who wrote the Shakespearean oeuvre?
And if patent or pseudonymous maneuver?
My role as appraiser
Is to use Occam's Razor
And insist that a Theorist be prover.

So... try and top that, humorous poem-writers!

And for posterity:
Here are some others we've exchanged:
I asked him for one about the average Korean's dislike of cilantro:

The average Korean's aversion
And proclivity for casting aspersions
Against herbs like cilantro
is not something he'll outgrow...
since it's a 한요리 규칙 perversion

He asked me to write a limerick [a five line poem] with this topic: "Writing a haiku [a three line poem] about writing a clerihew [a four-line, usually humorous poem]"

I sent him:
The limerick, clarihew, and the haiku
Have five lines, four lines, three, and now two.

and then:
As briefer poems comically come off the shelf
soon a zero-line zinger will swallow itself.

He wrote (I can't find it now: twitter error?) something like this:
As length reaches zero singularity
The humor approaches infinite hilarity.

I answered,
as smaller thug crimes
need bigger brass knuckles
the shorter the rhyme
the bigger the chuckle

He said,
I'll ask my next victim
Whether your dictum
holds true as I'm kicking his crotch...
If so then then your theorem
Will act like truth serum
And he'll laugh as I steal his gold watch

I said,
If so sure of my tip it could lead you to clip
some hapless mugg-ee just to test it
I'll add an addendum
so you seek someone random
to watch you get fully un-vested

I asked for: A limerick that outlines the aesthetic and artistic philosophy of K-pop video producers.

In all K-Pop MVs throughout
With aegyo and lips in a pout
The girls look demure
but their movements ensure
that male viewers at home rub one out.

He asked for one on the abuse of CGI and 3D technology in modern cinema.

In the seventies, auteur directors
used nudity as male erectors
to cover weak stories
we now have the glories
Of digital 3-D projectors!
So... did I just try to use my skill with a limerick to prove my coolness?
By limerick to prove one's non-lameness
Risks choosing criteria baseless.
It seems to all of us
To be analogous
To gangsta raps on my urbane-ness.

And that's all I can handle for now.

Stay laughing, readers. 


holterbarbour said...

Very glad you kept the context of the other stuff, especially your razor-sharp reply to my capacitance challenge. That one just clicks like a Swiss watch. Or if that's not the appropriate metaphor, then it clicks like a busted hard drive. Whatever's clickier or otherwise better.

Your next challenge is to incorporate the IUPAC name for Titin into your next limerick.

holterbarbour said...

Oddly enough, I can't find that old tweet either, but it's still on my phone as "So as "x" reaches null singularity, "y" reaches infinite hilarity?"

The Sanity Inspector said...

Fun stuff!

Foreigner Joy said...

Get well soon lil'babyseyo

Jean Wilson said...

Loved this! Thanks so much for sharing.