For the last fifteen years I have been infiltrating education institutions to untangle a four hundred year old web of lies. I’ve listened in on closed-door meetings with the highest authorities, spent countless hours pouring over documents, and met a lot of men in dark parking lots. I have begun to hear fearful whispers in the conspiracy about “Deeper Throat,” and I like to believe I’ve earned that moniker because what I’m about to reveal is throating truth deeper than anyone has ever throated it before.
Fact: Shakespeare isn’t real.
How could that be, you say? We’re celebrating his birthday today, he has that museum in England probably, I know he can rock an earring — these are the qualities of a real (dope) person. Illusions, I say. Manufactured, I tell you. And all you have to do is tug on one single thread in the web to see what I mean.
Who is Shakespeare? The guy who wrote Shakespeare’s plays. Right?
For being the spiritual author of Western literature, there’s not much we know about Shakespeare himself. Compared to contemporaries like Ben Johnson, the paper trail of his voice and opinion is practically non-existant. Our image of his face is non-definitive, with only two portraits accepted as authentic, painted posthumously. It’s almost impossible to say anything absolute about Shakespeare’s biography, at least in regards to its relationship with his work. Closet catholic, closet homosexual, mourning father — arguing that the plays reveal the secret inner life of its author takes much qualifying and, if you’re really being academically rigorous, a conclusion that skews towards the ambiguous middle.
Well, who cares about his bio, it’s still his name on the plays. Shakespeare is the author. But you can problematize this too, questioning the language of the plays, looking at differences in folio and quarto editions, the lack of a singular script for blocking the performance, and the unknown nature of the play in actual performance. To call Shakespeare author is another task that takes qualifying and an eventual turn towards ambiguity. It’s not about saying there’s another author to the plays; it’s about questioning the presence at all.
Most conspiracies end up being less of a shadowy illuminati situation than just a bunch of powerful people independently making decisions that serve their best interests. And there’s no better author for that than Shakespeare, the empty master. It’s the emptiness that lets us fill him with our own meaning, shape him to serve our interests. Shakespeare isn’t a person, but a verb. The name describes an act more than anything else. His name describes the invention of meaning.
But my conspiracy is different. This is about the invention of Shakespeare.
The year is 1963. The place: Dallas, Texas. It is a humid fall day. Flashback three-hundred and forty seven years earlier to Stratford-Upon-Avon, mourners filing out of a church. Up high in the rafters a man watches and strokes his beard. A figure steps out of the shadows.
“I guess that answer was “to be” after all, huh?” says the figure.
“They think me dead,” says the man.
“A dead man at his own funeral,” the figure, a clean-shaved man in a suit, takes his place on the rafter beside. “The time truly is out of joint.”
“Aye,” the bearded man faces him. “Such things and worse will happen when you travel betwixt it, Hoover.”
“A necessary risk to reach the most deadly assassin in human history.”
The bearded man looks away into the distance, the horizon of memory.
“That twas long ago.”
“That’s a bit relative.”
“Just deliver me my task so I may be done with this bloody business.”
“What’s the rush?” J Edgar Hoover steps closer. He rests his hand on his.
“We have not time for this.”
“No, Bill,” Hoover strokes Shakespeare’s face. “All we have is time.” He kisses him deeply and doves flutter away out the windows into the sun. Shakespeare hesitates but kisses back, tongue searching Hoover’s warm mouth while his hand finds the in-seam of his slacks and traces the bulge of his huge throbbing penis. Hoover pulls back.
“You’re going to kill the President of the United States.”
“The who of what?”
“Also I’m a lizard person from the center of the earth.”
“Shut up and kiss me you fool.”
Shakespeare shot JFK and there has been a concerted effort to cover-up the details of his life and involvement with time-traveling lizard-person J Edgar Hoover this is why he is the empty author and if any journalists would like to see my years and years of evidence collected to prove this undeniable fact they can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Happy Shakespeare Day Everyone.