For those of you looking for the soothing balm of Patrick Stewart reading aloud Shakespeare's sonnets, this is not your blog post. Instead we present a riff on Shakespeare’s Sonnet 106, a salute to the Netflix phenom, Tiger King, using artworks from SAAM's collection.
When in the chronicle of wasted screen time
I see depictions of the foulest frights,
Viral menaces and petulant kings of grime,
Lamentations of unwanted death and blight,
Then, in ruby warmth of streaming service’s glow,
Of fur, of scales, of whisker, of blood, of paws,
I gaze past garish mullets waving to and fro
Into a twisted tale of ignoring animal welfare laws.
So all the dire news feeds be but chatter now
In this woeful time of pandemic and fear;
Is it any wonder that we need stories that show us how
It could always be worse, when murder lurks near?
For we, which now behold deeply troubled parts,
Wish we had eyes for nothing, but binge-watching and art.
Sara Snyder is chief of External Affairs and Digital Strategies at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. She also moonlights as our popular culture blogger, and has created posts celebrating Star Wars and Stranger Things, illustrated with artworks from the museum's collection.