Shakespeare Prophesies Trump: An Idiot, Full of “Fire and Fury,” Signifying Nothing

Macbeth, lamenting the emptiness of every fleeting life:
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

This came to mind today with word that Donald Trump threatened to unleash upon North Korea “fire and fury like the world has never seen” — not just because the words match up, but because the ideas do too.

The world has seen it before, Donald — all of it. The succession of buffoons, intoxicated by their dominion in this earthly realm, blustering and bloviating, all the way to oblivion. It’s Nietzsche’s illusory “will to power” — a force that hovers over us as we careen through time, dipping down into our ranks from one generation to the next, picking its soulless marks, repeating its cry — its scream into a wall of wind, saying, “I am somebody!” And it’s the stuff of fools, because we are all, each of us, stardust.

It is enough for many of us that when we are gone, we will once have been here. But for others, just having been here won’t do to exalt the unbounded figures they think themselves to be.

For them, as they chase relevance into a swirling tunnel of delusions and pathologies,  there is no kindness or grace or solidarity with all the nature about us. A person like this has a tale to tell only about his own self — and it’s a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

-bb