Also, I like reading this line on the National Theater website: "Harold Pinter, who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2005, is generally regarded as the world's greatest living dramatist." This is encouraging, since, despite forgetting about his Nobel (I just remembered hearing about his speech, apparently some part of my brain didn't register why he was giving it), I decided last year I'm going to try to see every play he's written as they become available because of how much I had been enjoying the ones I'd seen performed here, in England. Too bad about missing Betrayal, but I'm convinced I've seen it before, at Intiman, I think, so I'll manage, though I think ten years later I'd enjoy it a lot more, what with all of the progressively better theatrical experiences I've managed to have since then.
You know, I just called up his speech, and it's too awesome not to share - here's a bit of it. Direct invasion of a sovereign state has never in fact been America's favoured method. In the main, it has preferred what it has described as 'low intensity conflict'. Low intensity conflict means that thousands of people die but slower than if you dropped a bomb on them in one fell swoop. It means that you infect the heart of the country, that you establish a malignant growth and watch the gangrene bloom. When the populace has been subdued - or beaten to death - the same thing - and your own friends, the military and the great corporations, sit comfortably in power, you go before the camera and say that democracy has prevailed. This was a commonplace in US foreign policy in the years to which I refer.
Also good to quote is the commentary on the Guardian about Mike Read's decision to not run for mayor. Check out "Whatta Palaver's" evisceration, first quoting the article: I've spoken to lots of young kids in gangs or "crews" as they prefer to be known and most want to get out of a way of life that gives them nothing. Get in there ... understand their problems and give them access to sporting facilities and the chance to make music, act, dance and write. Get them integrated into society and to realise its value.
"That's right Mike. All these "urban" types can only do sport or make music can't they? Its the sense of rhythm that does it, eh Mike?
How about giving them the chance to become journalists or nuclear physicists or geography teachers or Corgi registered plumbers or radiographers? How about giving them the chance of achieving a sense of self-worth that doesn't revolve around sports or entertainment or celebrity?
Patronising Tory twaddle."
I love it! When I need to make sure my picnic lunch arrives at the park well-chilled, I'm going to take that comment and drop it in the hamper along with my chicken salad sandwiches and jello salad, and I'm sure they'll be refrigerator fresh, if not even a bit frosty on the edges!