Friday, December 09, 2005

Comfortably numb

Holy crap, you must read this breathtaking speech given by Brit playwright Harold Pinter upon accepting the Nobel Prize this year, also available here.

An excerpt:

I put to you that the United States is without doubt the greatest show on the road. Brutal, indifferent, scornful and ruthless it may be but it is also very clever. As a salesman it is out on its own and its most saleable commodity is self-love. It's a winner. Listen to all American presidents on television say the words, "the American people," as in the sentence, "I say to the American people it is time to pray and to defend the rights of the American people and I ask the American people to trust their president in the action he is about to take on behalf of the American people." It's a scintillating stratagem. Language is actually employed to keep thought at bay.

The words "the American people" provide a truly voluptuous cushion of reassurance. You don't need to think. Just lie back on the cushion. The cushion may be suffocating your intelligence and your critical faculties but it's very comfortable. This does not apply of course to the 40 million people living below the poverty line and the 2 million men and women imprisoned in the vast gulag of prisons, which extends across the U.S.

The United States no longer bothers about low-intensity conflict. It no longer sees any point in being reticent or even devious. It puts its cards on the table without fear or favor. It quite simply doesn't give a damn about the United Nations, international law or critical dissent, which it regards as impotent and irrelevant. It also has its own bleating little lamb tagging behind it on a lead, the pathetic and supine Great Britain.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Whoa-that was scathing and, sadly, completely accurate.

RanduLuvsPaiste

Jess said...

Dude. That was awesome.

Bro said...

There is some balance in having more than one super-power. Alas it is up to ourselve to police ourselves.

vikkitikkitavi said...

Everytime I hear some politician on tv say "the American people want this" or "the American people feel that" I just want to scream "You do NOT speak for me, motherfucker!"

And how dare you pretend that you do?