A Response to Ms. Christie Blatchford

Late in the evening of August 22, 2011, an article by National Post columnist Christie Blatchford began to circulate on the feeds. In this piece, entitled “Layton’s death turns thoroughly public spectacle” she opined that even to the bitter end, Jack Layton was a politically obsessed, highly ambitious opportunist. Given the considerable hours I’ve spent in the theatre over the course of my professional career I immediately thought of another man who had been similarly maligned after his death, Julius Caesar. Below is a slightly modified version of Marc Antony’s speech from Julius Caesar. I think you’ll agree it’s absolutely pitch perfect.

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;
I come to bury Jack, not to praise him.
The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones;
So let it be with Jack. The noble Blatchford
Hath told you Jack was ambitious:
If it were so, it was a grievous fault,
And grievously hath Jack answer’d it.
Here, under leave of Blatchford and the rest–
For Blatchford is an honourable woman;
So are they all, all honourable men and women
Come I to speak in Jack‘s funeral.
He was my friend, faithful and just to me:
But Blatchford says he was ambitious;
And Blatchford is an honourable woman.
He hath brought many captives home to Rome
Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill:
Did this in Jack seem ambitious?
When that the poor have cried, Jack hath wept:
Ambition should be made of sterner stuff:
Yet Blatchford says he was ambitious;
And Blatchford is an honourable woman.
You all did see that on the Lupercal
I thrice presented him a kingly crown,
Which he did thrice refuse: was this ambition?
Yet Blatchford says he was ambitious;
And, sure, she is an honourable woman.
I speak not to disprove what Blatchford spoke,
But here I am to speak what I do know.
You all did love him once, not without cause:
What cause withholds you then, to mourn for him?
O judgment! thou art fled to brutish beasts,
And men have lost their reason. Bear with me;
My heart is in the coffin there with Jack,
And I must pause till it come back to me.

13 thoughts on “A Response to Ms. Christie Blatchford

  1. Shakespeare still is and probably always will be relevant. Blatchford might suggest Shakespeare was too dramatic, or that you are dramatic for seeing the connection between this story and the one playing out in the news right now.

    This monologue is far more rational than Blatchford and even her opposition have been these past couple of days.

  2. Reading that just made me feel much better. After reading Blatchford’s article, I was incensed! She was writing in very poor taste. (which is, I believe, her full-time occupation) I really hope you sent her a copy of this!

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