Friday, December 09, 2005

God Bless Pinter

On December 7th, the great playwright Harold Pinter accepted his Nobel Prize. He did not mince words.
"The crimes of the United States have been systematic, constant, vicious, remorseless, but very few people have actually talked about them . . . 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."
Outside of the US, many average “Joes” and “Janes” are fully aware of the domination America has extended and do not buy the “force for universal good” illusion that accompanies the rhetoric. I am an American citizen and, with that said, although people might not think so, I am not unhappy about this. I am also happy that by being a US citizen, I have certain rights as the rights to criticize my government in the effort to create discourse and change. More than a right, it seems to me that it is my responsibility to educate myself on the issues and stand up and say “no” when I see things are going in a wrong direction. I am standing up. What strikes me interesting is that many Americans do not know about the domination techniques used by this country to retain and extend “Pax American.” If they do know about it, many Americans believe the “force for universal good” bullshit spewed on the carpet. A force for good my ass, it is a force for universal consumerism. Many of us have been successfully hoodwinked. But if you look at the actions behind the rhetoric, the hood lifts, light shines and praise the lord, you can see. The New York Times reported that:
“Mr. Pinter said it was the duty of the writer to hold an image up to scrutiny, and the duty of citizens ‘to define the real truth of our lives and our societies. If such a determination is not embodied in our political vision, we have no hope of restoring what is so nearly lost to us - the dignity of man.’"
President Bush spends a lot of time these days spewing about democracy and freedom. But what do his actions say? His actions are contrary to both democracy and freedom. He works to exclude other voices when, it is a fact, democracy is about dissent, it is about a cacophony of chaotic voices reasoning out issues and searching for truth. Democracy is a messy business and if you support it, you better be ready to get your hands dirty. Yet, he gives speeches and denies intelligent audience members the opportunity to question, or to support, his ascertains. He denies participation. In rallies, dissenting voices are purposely kept out and threatened. Inclusion is not a word or a concept in this administration’s concept of truth. This mentality also works to keep people quiet on the street. At a pizza parlor, not long ago, my friends and I were discussing our dissatisfaction about how the US policy in Iraq has been mishandled from day one. I had made a remark stating that I felt that President Bush was far more concerned with the rights of big business than he was about people, freedom or democracy. Really, it was a rather lame and oblivious remark on my part, as at any other time someone would have looked at me and said: ‘no shit Sherlock!” This time, however, I was “shushed” because it was not appropriate to say such things out loud. Decoded: Essentially, my dissent could be seen as a terrorist act and it was no longer safe to have a dissenting voice in this culture. Were the folks who shushed me over-reacting? Most likely. Yet, I would not be surprised by now to learn that I have a “file” out there on me somewhere. We are not living in a so-called “culture of life” but a “culture of silence.” Live like Pinter, don’t fall to the peer pressure. You may commence dissenting.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...