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December 08, 2005

Harold Pinter: Gibbering Senile Crank

The New York Times' headline:

Playwright Takes a Prize and a Jab at US

Is this a jab? I thought we take jabs at each other here. I think this is more serious than that:

The playwright Harold Pinter turned his Nobel Prize acceptance speech on Wednesday into a furious howl of outrage against American foreign policy, saying that the United States had not only lied to justify waging war against Iraq but had also "supported and in many cases engendered every right-wing military dictatorship" in the last 50 years.

"The crimes of the United States have been systematic, constant, vicious, remorseless, but very few people have actually talked about them," Mr. Pinter said.

Yeahhh... few have actually talked about them. Just you, every fucking douchebag artiste or faux intellectual or dilettante cafe-goer in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, South America, and the various corrupt leftist regimes in San Franscisco and Boston.

Brave guy. Why don't you do something really brave and say something critical about Islam, like Salman Rushdie said?

These courageous truth-tellers only seem able to muster the bravery to malign the five or six countries on the face of the earth that won't rub them out if they get too nasty.

"You have to hand it to America. It has exercised a quite clinical manipulation of power worldwide while masquerading as a force for universal good. It's a brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis."

Well, he does say we're witty. I'm going to call that paragraph a net-neutral.

Witty's good. Witty's definitely good.


The playwright, known in recent years as much for his fiery anti-Americanism as for his spare prose style and haunting, elliptical plays like "The Caretaker" and "The Homecoming,"...

He's know as much for his screeds as his plays? Really?

I'd say he was much more well-known for the former.

Let's face it, he's a bitter old man unable to do any further good work and it's only because of his lunatic rantings that they're flattering him with this prize.

The literature prize has in recent years often gone to writers with left-wing ideologies.

Like I was just saying. Give the NYT honesty points for mentioning this.


When he won the award, Mr. Pinter said he did not know if the academy, whose deliberations and reasoning are kept secret, had taken his politics into account.

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that his politics didn't exactly hurt his chances.

[W]hile drama represents "the search for truth," Mr. Pinter said, politics works against truth, surrounding citizens with "a vast tapestry of lies" spun by politicians eager to cling to power.

Mr. Pinter attacked American foreign policy since World War II, saying that while the crimes of the Soviet Union had been well documented, those of the United States had not. "I put to you that the United States is without doubt the greatest show on the road," he said. "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."

And yet Mr. Pinter is one of our best customers for that particular item. Maybe he's mad we don't give volume discounts.

He returned to the theme of language as an obscurer of reality, saying that American leaders use it to anesthetize the public. "It's a scintillating stratagem," Mr. Pinter said. "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."

Reassuring cushions? What is modern avant-garde theater but just that? As I've raved before, nothing is said in these plays that creates the slightest dicomfiture for their liberal, often leftist, audiences. Their idea of a "challenging" play is one intended to "challenge" all the people outside the theater, who would no doubt find their assumptions duly undermined if they actually bothered to watch this dreck.

For the actual theater-goers, of course, it's a just some comforting Revivalist Tent Preachin', but with reserved seating and $15 cocktails.

Accusing the United States of torturing terrorist suspects in Guantánamo Bay and Abu Ghraib, Mr. Pinter called the invasion of Iraq - for which he said Britain was also responsible - "a bandit act, an act of blatant state terrorism, demonstrating absolute contempt for the concept of international law."

And yet not a peep out of this guy about Al Qaeda.

Eh. It's Joker politics.

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posted by Ace at 05:13 AM

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