TO BE OR NOT TO BE...WHATEVER

IN A YEAR MAINLY STARRING FOOLS, KNAVES AND DOLTS, HAMLET'S ENTRANCE WAS BEAUTIFULLY TIMED

If the character of a year is composed of issues and statistics, 1996 looks all right. The money was good, workers got jobs, there was peace in our time. Problems too big for government to handle were acknowledged as such or reduced to manageable size in local pockets. Bill Clinton discovered America, and America discovered in Clinton a repository for a political centrism unimaginative yet safe.

The only things missing in the year were nobility, honor, beauty, moral action and a sense of how to live in the world. But even in America one can't have everything.

Enter Hamlet, mirthless, disheveled...

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