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Pop Culture and Politics: Passing By the Train Wreck

If Macbeth were alive today, he would probably make an appearance in the public confessional with Oprah Winfrey and, in all likelihood, would emerge as a prime candidate for Big Brother or one of the other “reality” shows that crowd our airwaves.  Macbeth would be helped to come to terms with his domestic issues and would, in turn, deliver some wrenching monologue to the viewing audience exhorting them to become similarly “empowered,” empowerment being the highest attainment both of mind and spirit known to modern man.

In due course, we could expect to see the thane of Glamis rewarded with his own show, which would spawn the inevitable line of accessories—everything from rhinestone-clad daggers to insomnia medications.  There would be a brisk trade in replica witches’ cauldrons among broadly the same audience as that drawn to the occult antics of Mr. Marilyn Manson.  Critics would race to fawn over their latest celebrity protégé.  The taste-makers at MTV would uniformly speak in Macbeth’s voice and would wrinkle up their noses at anything that had a bad smell for him.  As a converted warmonger, Macbeth’s views on the conflict in Iraq would be received with an awe normally reserved for the truisms of Gen. Wesley Clark.  The competition for an exclusive interview would be brutal.  One can imagine the jockeying between Larry King...

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