Friday, December 26, 2008


Goodbye, Harold Pinter.

Nobel Prize-winning playwright, screenwriter, actor and activist, Harold Pinter died Christmas Eve. In his plays people clash and search for meaning, as well as territorial dominance over one another, themes that carry through The Birthday Party (1957), The Caretaker (1959), The Homecoming (1965), and Betrayal (1978).

Although Pinter disliked the term "political theatre" he began writing overtly political plays in the 1980s. Like many highly intelligent people, he disliked Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair (whom he called "a deluded idiot") and characterized Blair's Great Britain as "pathetic and supine," a "bleating little lamb tagging behind [the United States] on a lead." He called the Bush Administration "a bunch of criminal lunatics" and compared them with Nazi Germany.

Anything else, Mr. Pinter?

“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.”

Harold Pinter (1930-2008)

No comments: