Michael Billington of the Guardian has an excellent write-up of Harold Pinter’s recent Nobel lecture:
“At one point, for instance, Pinter argued that ‘the United States supported and in many cases engendered every rightwing military dictatorship in the world after the end of the second world war’. He then proceeded to reel off examples. But the clincher came when Pinter, with deadpan irony, said: ‘It never happened. Nothing ever happened. Even while it was happening, it wasn’t happening. It didn’t matter. It was of no interest.’ In a few sharp sentences, Pinter pinned down the willed indifference of the media to publicly recorded events. He also showed how language is devalued by the constant appeal of US presidents to ‘the American people’. This was argument by devastating example. As Pinter repeated the lulling mantra, he proved his point that ‘The words ‘the American people’ provide a truly voluptuous cushion of reassurance.’ Thus Pinter brilliantly used a rhetorical device to demolish political rhetoric.”
Rock on with your bad self Mr. Pinter. Full text of Pinter’s Nobel lecture.