I know this is the second time I’ve mentioned Aaron Sorkin in the past few days, but that’s only because I’m rewarding myself for applying to grad school by letting myself watch episodes of Sports Night and The West Wing. Anyway, I’m watching Sports Night and this is the dialogue that just went by:
Jeremy: This, you’re gonna love! This is maybe the most important piece of boxing writing ever done.
Casey: And what with all the important pieces of boxing writing to choose from–
Jeremy: The Marquis of Queensberry Rules…written by?
Casey: The Marquis of Queensberry?
Jeremy: No, boxing boy. John Graham Chambers.
Casey: Then why’s it called the Marquis of Queensberry Rules?
Jeremy: It’s a mystery.
Dan: That’ll keep me up at night.
And then they let it go, though if you have watched even one episode of any show written by Aaron Sorkin you will be aware that letting things go is not the forte of his characters. This they let go, and at no point in the episode did anyone bring it back up. You know why? Because the Marquess of Queensberry after whom the names are ruled (because he said they were good – hardly seems fair to poor John Graham Chambers, but I don’t care because boxing freaks me out) was complete crap. Not worth bringing back up.
Is it vindictive of me to a) be this pleased that even Aaron Sorkin couldn’t be bothered to look up Marquess of Queensberry and his connection with the rules; and b) take the time to write a blog post about it, even though c) the Marquess of Queensberry has been dead for over a century? I – okay, yeah. Maybe. On the other hand, he was a great big jerk. Did I tell you – BECAUSE I AM ABOUT TO TELL YOU – did I tell you about the time that he went to the premiere of The Importance of Being Earnest with a bunch of (seriously) yucky rotten vegetables? And do you know that he not only cheated on his wife, not a bit discreetly, he also brought his mistresses back to the family home and made his wife entertain them? He was awful. He was awful in many, many different ways, and the fact that he persecuted Oscar Wilde and ruined his life is just one of several reasons (okay, the main reason) that I do not like him.
I’m sorry this blog post is slightly vindictive.
Sometimes I am slightly vindictive about people who acted like a jerk to Oscar Wilde.
Like every time I find myself in the poetry section of a bookshop, I just glance over to see if they have any books of poetry by Lord Alfred Douglas. And they never do. And then I look to see whether they have any books of poetry by poets that Lord Alfred Douglas thought he was better than, like W.H. Auden and Percy Bysshe Shelley and T.S. Eliot. Just about always, they have all books of poetry by all three of these gentlemen. And then I have a smug vindictive internal giggle. If you are ever with me in the poetry section of a bookshop, and I am looking pleased, ask me if I am thinking of Lord Alfred Douglas. I don’t hate your odds of being right in that case.