Mike Sharp / Blog

Poem On Violence in Society-written by a good friend

The Lords of Misrule (Newcamp 2013)

“We live in a culture of anonymity” I’ll never forget that statement spoken with such solemnity by my Shakespeare professor

He had shown us a painting depicting the Lord of Misrule on His night, the twelfth night, the medieval world was symbolically (and literally) turned upside down

The king became a peasant and a peasant became the king

At the stroke of midnight the glass slipper slipped off and life returned to its routine rut

“We live in a culture of anonymity” the roles my professor lamented are now rarely reversed

And for many the only way to feel like kings or Lords is to seize headlines

Through violence

My professor mentioned Timothy McVeigh the Oklahoma City bombing he killed 168 people 19 of them children because, McVeigh said he wanted to destroy our government to kill the king to be the Lord

My professor mentioned Ted Kaczynski the Unabomber his packages killed 3 injured 24 more terrorized hundreds maybe even thousands because Kaczynski imagined himself a perfect anonymous killer a 20-year Lord of Misrule

My professor predicted promised more anonymous yet after-the-fact somehow obvious violence

Because the Lord of Misrule cannot be contained

He was right

He was right

Columbine High School Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris shot, stabbed and bombed to death 12 of their fellow students and one teacher

Then they killed themselves

If their homemade propane bombs had actually worked they would have destroyed 488 more lives

Why did they do it?

Some blame hate others neglect

My professor would have called them Lords of Misrule

He was right

Virginia Tech Seung-Hui Cho bulleted down 32 people grazed, wounded 17 more

Why did he do it?

In his manifesto he declared to no one in particular to everyone “You forced me into a corner and gave me only one option”

He wanted to be king for a day

At what cost?

The cries raged then for better gun control as if taking away guns would erase the deaths would stop the Lords of Misrule any more than a band aid can hold shut a bullet wound or a piece of yarn can contain a pit bull

The list continues: Aurora, Colorado a midnight screening of The Dark Night Rises James Eagan Holmes downed forever 12 people wounded 58 more

Why did he do it?

The list continues: Sandy Hook Elementary Adam Lanza killed 20 six and seven-year olds 6 adults 1 mother himself (28 more dead!)

Why did he do it?

The cries rage again for better gun control as if taking away guns would erase the deaths would stop the Lords of Misrule any more than a baseball mitt can catch a cannonball

260 dead and this is only counting major shootings and this is only counting American incidents

If we take away the guns and bombs if we take away all weapons what will be the new outlet for the Lords of Misrule?

If we take away all the supposed explanations what will be the new excuse for the Lords of Misrule? Is “They’re crazy!” really enough?

If we take away all the headlines all the media attention who will look at the Lords of Misrule?

“We live in a culture of anonymity” of 15-minute fame reaped from the rape of the innocent bystander the innocent child

But the Lord of Misrule will come whether we want him or not

How can we again reverse the roles give misrule one night instead of 260 souls?

How can we again regain life’s routine?

Childhood, just visiting


I don't know if you've experienced it, but thanks to Facebook and an onslaught of other social networking sites, I have been confronted with my previous lives via old friends. It's a strange feeling to be suddenly overcome with emotions from reading a familiar name and then to actually be able to 'catch up' by looking through their pictures and information and maybe even an exchange of email or chatting; it's simultaneously voyeuristic, nostalgic and an answer to many loose ends.

Frankly, I love it but it can get exhausting. This is noticeable in the rhythm that seems to naturally occur in the interactions, over the months; real busy in bursts, then slow for a period. It is not a natural re-engagement into these relationships, this community. But then, we are unnaturally separated to begin with.

I and so many that I grew up with now live hundreds and thousands of miles away and history and technology have exponentially propelled this expanding distance. I suppose we are fighting our way back to one another, to that time and place when and where things were so much simpler and seemed more real; a time and place where others were responsible for us.

I hope I've learned from that experience to better appreciate the who, where and when of now. I hope that when this is memory, I can bear the separation better; but probably not. I think that slowing down might help, although it seems a near impossible task.

I remember having the power to suspend time when I was young. I used it sparingly, but those moments really stick out. Music wields that power, so do movies and books and most creative efforts, especially when they're shared.

I'm in the business of time suspension and soul connection, and it's time to go to work. Come and join me in my office/s:

The Beach House on Sunday, July 12@5-9PM 601 Wise Avenue Dundalk, MD 21222

Slainte Irish Pub on Thursday, July 16@9PM (open mic) 1702 Thames St Baltimore, Maryland 21231

Micho's on Friday, July 17@6-8:30PM 31 Main Street Reisterstown, MD 21136