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Bush and Blair slated by Pinter
December 7, 2005 10:40 AM   Subscribe

Bush and Blair slated by Pinter George W Bush and Tony Blair must be held to account for feeding the public "a vast tapestry of lies" about the Iraq war, writer Harold Pinter said. [Postroad: but then, what do artists know about politics?]
posted by Postroad (41 comments total)

 
...what do artists know about politics?

Who cares?
posted by Witty at 10:46 AM on December 7, 2005


More than politicians know about artists.
posted by kozad at 10:48 AM on December 7, 2005


tr.v. slat·ed, slat·ing, slates

To cover (a roof, for example) with slate.
To put on a list of candidates.
To schedule or designate: Our professor has slated the art history lecture for Thursday afternoon; was slated to direct the studio's next film.

That being said, Pinter is a god.
posted by StickyCarpet at 10:49 AM on December 7, 2005


But then, what does Bush know about politics?

There are great changes on the way.
posted by Cycloptichorn at 10:49 AM on December 7, 2005


He launched this critisism in his acceptance speach for this years Nobel Prize for Literature!
posted by jeffburdges at 10:51 AM on December 7, 2005


Held to account? Does this mean they'll have to payback all of the dirty money they've made since taking power?

There's little I'd like to see more than GWB in a line at a soup kitchen because he has to be, not for the photo op.
posted by fenriq at 10:54 AM on December 7, 2005


But what does Bono think?
posted by brain_drain at 10:55 AM on December 7, 2005


StickyCarpet

OED:
slated, ppl, a

Reproved, scolded; severely criticized or attacked.

1872 E. PEACOCK Mabel Heron I. 80 Think how he went away like a slated dograted I should have said. 1897 Daily News 13 Jan. 6/4 One of the consolations of the ‘slated’ author. 1899 Westm. Gaz. 18 Apr. 2/3 The athletic friends of the ‘slated’ authoress.
posted by biffa at 10:58 AM on December 7, 2005


StickyCarpet: In British English i.e. proper English ;), slated has a totally different meaning, namely to be severely criticised - for example "the minister was slated by the press on his unemployment policy". Therefore a phrase such as "the crew were slated for arrival at noon" has totally different meanings on each side of the Atlantic.
posted by brautigan at 11:00 AM on December 7, 2005


I do not support the International Criminal court. World government would just mean the U.N. eventually starts doing all the nasty crap the U.S. does today, and you'd have no place else to go. Instead, I support countries like Spain which can try people anyplace in the world for crimes against Spaniards, and countries who claim the ability to try anybody anyplace for crimes aginst humanity (see list). If your found guilty by such a country, it usually just means you can't travel as much, which seems like a reasonable solution.
posted by jeffburdges at 11:01 AM on December 7, 2005


Must be held to account? Sure, sounds great. Here's a bell, there's a cat...
posted by Mars Saxman at 11:01 AM on December 7, 2005


what does Bush know about politics?

Politics? A great deal.
Running a country and/or a war? Zilch.
posted by mischief at 11:02 AM on December 7, 2005


Sorry guys, I was too lazy to walk across the room and get my real dictionary.
posted by StickyCarpet at 11:04 AM on December 7, 2005


Yeah! What do artists know about politics... Especially when it comes to war.
posted by drpynchon at 11:13 AM on December 7, 2005


A little trigger happy are we, Mr Postroad?
This would have been a much better post if you had bothered to link to the actual lecture. Which is excellent, btw.
posted by mr.marx at 11:15 AM on December 7, 2005


jeffburdges: Where do we have that we can go to now to deal with problems created by the US?

There are a large number of problems with the system you moot. Most importantly is the lack of power to back up any attempts to bring people to trial internationally. Systems like the Spanish one doesn't even work brilliantly to bring to justice those committing crimes against Spaniards, opening this up to make sure everyone gets brought to justice, particularly for crimes against their own citizens, without doing so through international agreement is unlikely to see positive results.

The existence of a stronger international legal/justice system does not equal world government since government power extends far beyond the setting of laws addressing the setting of legal limits.

In support of an increased international legal framework I would point out that we already have such a framework with regard to trade and that this aspect of international law is already rapidly expanding, often to the advantage of legal entities such as multi-national corporations. These changes are difficult to reverse and their is little will to do so. The body of non-trade law is not expanding to match the trade aspects and this has implications for international responsibility with regard to environmental impacts, workers rights (and all the other things you hear about when the WTO talks roll around). The world continues to globalise, the failure to develop a legal framework which addresses the globalisation process allows developments which we would not regard as acceptable nationally and increasingly takes controls out of the hands of the people who laws out to protect, i.e. all of us.
posted by biffa at 11:20 AM on December 7, 2005


drpynchon: we were all just vamping so you could pull that together. Nice job!
posted by StickyCarpet at 11:21 AM on December 7, 2005


Is there a self-link in there drpynchon?
posted by kingfisher, his musclebound cat at 11:27 AM on December 7, 2005


I strongly suggest that those interested in Pinter's work read the lecture's transcript in mr. marx's link: it is (unlike Posty's post) awesome stuff
posted by matteo at 11:30 AM on December 7, 2005


How many Nobel Prize winners have spoken out in public against the war, now? A bunch, no? This isn't even the first Nobel speech against the war, is it?
posted by VulcanMike at 11:32 AM on December 7, 2005


(Not dismissing the post -- trying to emphasize the gravity of the news, rather)
posted by VulcanMike at 11:32 AM on December 7, 2005


I, for one, am always curious as to why people claim that Bush is a better authority to comment publicly on politics than someone like Pinter.
posted by deanc at 11:49 AM on December 7, 2005


Here's to the ladies who lunch.
posted by orthogonality at 11:53 AM on December 7, 2005


BushandBlairslatedby(Fill in name here)filter.
Too much excitement.
posted by Joeforking at 12:43 PM on December 7, 2005


I just wish that Pinter had taken his place at the podium, paused for an uncomfortable length of time, then left.
posted by holgate at 12:46 PM on December 7, 2005


I, for one, am always curious as to why people claim that Bush is a better authority to comment publicly on politics than someone like Pinter.
posted by deanc at 2:49 PM EST on December 7 [!]


Indeed. There is this bizarre notion that if you're not a politician, you can't possibly know anything about politics, or if you're not a musician, you can't judge music. Well, at least when the opinion differs from your own. When it doesn't it seems to be all fair game.

The notion, is of course, entirely absurd. One's profession neither automatically designates how much one knows about something else or how much one doesn't know about something else.

Surely though, witty's "Who cares?", spectacular as usual in its scope and breadth, is argument enough!
posted by juiceCake at 12:57 PM on December 7, 2005


I care what Witty thinks about politics.
posted by iamck at 1:17 PM on December 7, 2005


I wouldn't trust a politician's opinion on anything, least of all politics.
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:30 PM on December 7, 2005


I just wish that Pinter had taken his place at the podium, paused for an uncomfortable length of time, then left.

[this is genius]
posted by matteo at 2:16 PM on December 7, 2005


Sorry, much as I love Pinter, this sucks ass. The left knew all this, the right are never going to reassess anything because Pinter told them to.

As an artist, if you want to criticize those in power then do it through your work, if not at least have the courage of your convictions to actively go into politics like Glenda Jackson. Pinters work rules, his nasty little champagne socialist group just annoys me.
posted by ciderwoman at 2:39 PM on December 7, 2005


ciderwoman - He still made some good points (i.e. Nicaragua).
posted by iamck at 3:10 PM on December 7, 2005


Sorry, much as I love Pinter, this sucks ass.

I disagree strongly. If more people had stood up from the start and shouted loudly about this outrage instead of meekly staying silent or "criticizing through their work" (oh yeah, we all know how much Bush notices allegorical novels and strikingly visceral paintings) things might have turned out very differently. Instead we had a cowed media dutifully parroting obvious bullshit and an ignorant, scared and occasionally just a little bit vicious populace sticking their flags out and supporting the war criminals.

I don't care whether you're a politician, a playwright, a rock star, an artist, a scientist or a gobshite Mefite: it is your goddamned duty as a moral entity to vocally oppose evil as loudly and publicly as possible. Especially when it is evil being perpetrated by your own government and army in the name of your own country.

Goddamn, it annoys the living snot out of me that people are still giving it this, "oh what does he know about it he should stick to the day job", crap every time a public figure says something right about this heinous war.
posted by Decani at 3:25 PM on December 7, 2005


The speech was broadcast tonight on More4, one of Channel 4's digital channels (it replaced The Daily Show...), and I think his delivery added a great deal to it. While I was a little disappointed that he devoted so much time to attacking America specifically - it got too one-note after a while, when it would have benefitted from being expanded into a more universal critique of power and manipulation - the sheer potency and precision of his fury was still astonishing. Great stuff.
posted by flashboy at 3:42 PM on December 7, 2005


[drift] A friend of mine is a former actor, and knows Pinter as a FOAF. He claims, and I have no reason to doubt, that Pinter's answerphone message is:

(pause) Not ... here.

[/drift]
posted by athenian at 4:12 PM on December 7, 2005


"Yeah! What do artists know about politics... Especially when it comes to war.
"posted by drpynchon at 1:13 PM CST on December 7 [!]"


Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a winner.
posted by HyperBlue at 5:51 PM on December 7, 2005


what? know? about?
posted by Satapher at 6:04 PM on December 7, 2005


but then, what do artists know about politics?

Not a damn thing when you disagree with them.
posted by HTuttle at 10:51 PM on December 7, 2005


"If more people had stood up from the start and shouted loudly about this outrage instead of meekly staying silent "

Decani, over a million of us marched through central London to protest at the idea of this war, and still the government went ahead, why do you think they are going to suddenly listen to Pinter?

And yes, I do believe it's an artists place to criticize through their work. I think "Guernica" says more about war than a thousand speeches Picasso could have made.

Would you be so keen on Pinter and his views if he has used the ceremony to speak out in defence of Milosevic, as he has so often done? Or if the winner had been staunchly right wing and had used the ceremony to praise Bush and Blair and talk about how well the war was going?
posted by ciderwoman at 3:22 AM on December 8, 2005


So many points lucidly stated, so much creepy clarity, such a shame most people debate Pinter's right, authority or timing than the truth of his words. Or is that the result of embarassment, trying to crack a joke before one chokes on the undeniability of terrible truths?
posted by acrobat at 4:21 AM on December 8, 2005


Dammit acrobat you're right. If only someone would start up a thread about the iraq war.
posted by ciderwoman at 4:24 AM on December 8, 2005


ciderwoman, you're so fucking smart you make my head spin. Let's!
posted by acrobat at 4:54 AM on December 8, 2005


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