Another Rex Murphy rip-and-read

For years, T. Rex Murphy has been padding his column with quotes from Shakespeare, presumably in hope of impressing National Post lip movers that he’s got book larnin’ and stuff:

“Watching and listening to Mr. Obama at the Brandenburg Gate this week, that sad line of Hamlet almost inevitably recurred: “Oh … what a falling off was there …”

“To rework a standout line from Hamlet: ‘When scandals come, they come not as single spies, but in battalions.’” 

“A leadership race without Justin Trudeau would be both Hamlet without the Prince of Denmark, “…and one more yawn before sleep.”

“…if I may maul a familiar phrase from Hamlet, an ‘undiscovered country from whose bourn no Liberal MP returns.‘”

Last week found T. again plundering his Oxford Anthology of Shakespeare  for a passage from Othello:

Not poppy nor mandragora
Nor all the drowsy syrups of the world,
Shall ever medicine thee to that sweet sleep
Which thou owedst yesterday. 

The rest was downhill; yet another bone-lazy foamer on climate change, this one generously larded out with his reaction to a New York Times column he’d read. When he still couldn’t sustain his argument for an entire column, he starting taking potshots at Justin Trudeau (which the Post dutifully used as its headline.)

The Times essay that drew T.’s ire was written by “a John Scranton…the silliest production of the human mind since the first spark of consciousness, or the latest episode of The View.”

(Note to Rex: The Times writer is Roy Scranton, and don’t you have something better to do with your mornings, like, er, research?)

Of course, what really ticked off Rex were Scranton’s credentials:

“He is a professor of English literature, although I think it fair to claim that neither English nor literature should be thought complicit in Mr. Scranton’s fifteen-alarm brand of climate lugubriousness and pitiless despair.”

Sounds like a little professional envy to us.

There was a time when Rex once dreamed of a career in academe and he hived off to Oxford in pursuit of a degree in English Lit. Alas, he hosed out and returned to St. John’s, his professorial dreams dashed.

Scranton finished his PhD at Princeton, became an award-winning novelist/essayist, served with US forces in Iraq, frequently appears in Times, Rolling Stone and The Nation and he teaches Eng. Lit at Notre Dame.

“And oft, my jealousy shapes faults that are not.”

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10 comments on “Another Rex Murphy rip-and-read
  1. daveS says:

    Other than a large, sometimes inaccurate, thesaurus of complex synonyms, mind, why do the CBC, NatPost hire Rex Murphy.
    The CBC enhanced his reputation, as they have done with other Newfoundlander accented actors, but come off it. Other than a odd turn of phrasing for an Anglo-Canadian, what talent does Mr. Murphy have that is worth a public pulpit.

    The sadly corrupt The Canadian Encyclopedia, recycles an old Maclean’s September 2, 1996 article about Mr. Murphy, noting his love of 5 star French-style restaurants and his often-failed ventures.
    Entering Memorial University at the age of 15 was obviously beyond his depth.
    And while he was at one of Oxford’s minor halls on a Rhodes, he never got a degree.

  2. Alan Smithee says:


  3. OJM says:

    What kind of writer uses “lugubriousness”? This is a word so ugly it should be sent off to a leper colony.

    And what the hell is “pitiless despair”? Is it the despairing person who is supposed to supply the pity or the despair itself?

    Just another hack who believes dressing up their prose like a ten-dollar hooker can hide a lack of sound thinking and interesting ideas.

  4. Patrick60 says:

    If Climate Change is not the new reality, why does writing about it upset so many? Or is it just that you don’t see the phrase much in mainstream media when they are describing record wildfires, temperatures, rainfall, et cetera et cetera.

  5. reym says:

    daveS: thanks for the bio details. I’ve always assumed that he was an Oxford grad.

  6. John MacLachlan Gray says:

    A poor player, that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more:
    his is a tale told by a blowhard, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

  7. rocker319 says:

    Murphy’s irrational hate for Trudeau knows no bounds. His hate has infested the minds of, oh, a hundred thousand Canadians

  8. daveS says:

    Which Trudeau?
    Mr. Murphy is 71 (b. March 1947) and old enough to hate both Pierre (Prime Minister 1968–1979 and 1980–1984 [MP and Minister in 1965]) and Justin Trudeau (2015-2019).

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