Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Pinter's Killer Nobel Speech
Just released today by the Nobel Committee is the video and text of Harold Pinter's acceptance speech for the 2005 Nobel Prize for Literature.

Pinter, a dramatist whose spare dialog and stark dramatic situations convey threat and menace as much with pauses as with speech, here confronts the limits of a writer's powers. Compared to his plays, this is minor stuff as literature, major as the engagement of a powerful intellect and spirit with intractable political and economic reality.

With passion, with rhetoric, with logic and moral force he lays out a much stronger case for Bush as actually representing historical American trends than many of us are comfortable acknowledging.

A few sample paparagraphs:

The invasion of Iraq was a bandit act, an act of blatant state terrorism, demonstrating absolute contempt for the concept of international law. The invasion was an arbitrary military action inspired by a series of lies upon lies and gross manipulation of the media and therefore of the public; an act intended to consolidate American military and economic control of the Middle East masquerading – as a last resort – all other justifications having failed to justify themselves – as liberation. A formidable assertion of military force responsible for the death and mutilation of thousands and thousands of innocent people.

...

We must remind ourselves that the United States is on a permanent military footing and shows no sign of relaxing it.

Many thousands, if not millions, of people in the United States itself are emonstrably sickened, shamed and angered by their government's actions, but as things stand they are not a coherent political force – yet. But the anxiety, uncertainty and fear which we can see growing daily in the United States is unlikely to diminish.

I know that President Bush has many extremely competent speech writers but I would like to volunteer for the job myself. I propose the following short address which he can make on television to the nation. I see him grave, hair carefully combed, serious, winning, sincere, often beguiling, sometimes employing a wry smile, curiously attractive, a man's man.

'God is good. God is great. God is good. My God is good. Bin Laden's God is bad. His is a bad God. Saddam's God was bad, except he didn't have one. He was a barbarian. We are not barbarians. We don't chop people's heads off. We believe in freedom. So does God. I am not a barbarian. I am the democratically elected leader of a freedom-loving democracy. We are a compassionate society. We give compassionate electrocution and compassionate lethal injection. We are a great nation. I am not a dictator. He is. I am not a barbarian. He is. And he is. They all are. I possess moral authority. You see this fist? This is my moral authority. And don't you forget it.'

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home