Harold Pinter’s Speech

Rachel Maddow brought this one to my attention this morning. It’s Harold Pinter’s Noble Peace prize acceptance speech. He spoke about America quite a bit. Some of it is bound to hit a nerve or two. If you have the ability to listen to it, click here. There is something powerful in hearing his voice.

Here is one segment Maddow played for her listner’s today:

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.

Ouch.

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.

Ouch. Ouch.

If you can’t listen to it but are interested in reading the rest do so by clicking here.

Pretty powerful stuff.

16 Comments

  1. There’s a Pinter double feature production going on now at the Atlantic Theater Company.

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  2. Good luck getting tickets.

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  3. Never mind. There are apparently tickets available. For now.

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  4. Michele – remember when Mike and Dee were here, we walked past the theater where the Pinter double feature is being staged? Over on the west side…

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  5. How does everyone feel about this concept of selling self-love?

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  6. Quite an interesting bit in the paper about it today by the Guardian’s theatre critic:

    http://books.guardian.co.uk/news/articles/0,6109,1661931,00.html

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  7. Wonderful link, Doug. Thank you!

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  8. he really gets me hot under the collar. i read that speech and i was amazed at how much common knowledge can get me fired up!

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  9. selling self-love? I try to all the time. Especially to hot women. Pairs of them. In a room. On a bed. Low lights. Kenny G playing in the back…

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  10. I have to apologize for that last bit. Don’t know what’s gottem in to me. Damn deadlines are driving me batty. I almost started slapping someone at the coffee station for just standing in my way.

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  11. No need to apologize. We all try and sell our love from time to time.

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  12. oh, self love……i don’t find anything wrong with it. selling it? i don’t know….if we were selling it as a commodity, then sure……but if we were selling it and telling someone what to do with it, then i’d have to say, that could be a bad sale.

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  13. Now imagine for a second that everything you knew to be true about your government and your country wasn’t actually true at all. Let’s say many of us not only realize this to be so, but we actually embrace it and keep it. Is that concept or the realization of it so impossible to accept that we’re given no other option but to go along with it?

    Say you’re a religious person. You believed in God and his heaven from the moment you were able to think and remember. And then one day a group of scientists prove that there is no God that we are, in fact, totally soulless and will one day just die and be buried. I imagine that to face a new truth (ie. that there is indeed nothing and the laws you’ve been abiding by all along were created by someone very much human like yourself) would be more life shattering then believing what they’ve known all along.

    It’s terrifying to face another possibility sometimes. Especially if that possibility tears apart the only reality we’ve ever been presented.

    I dunno but I think I just blew the last remaining fuse I had and on such a sophomoric thought, too.

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