Thursday, October 13, 2005

A Slight Ache 

We thought it was rather snide of the committee to give the peace prize to IAEA director Mohamed el Baradei, but as it turns out they were only warming up. The latest winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, although primarily known as a playwright, has also won the Wilfred Owen Award for his poetry:
God Bless America (2003)

Here they go again,
The Yanks in their armoured parade
Chanting their ballads of joy
As they gallop across the big world
Praising America's God.
The gutters are clogged with the dead
The ones who couldn't join in
The others refusing to sing
The ones who are losing their voice
The ones who've forgotten the tune.

The riders have whips which cut.
Your head rolls onto the sand
Your head is a pool in the dirt
Your head is a stain in the dust
Your eyes have gone out and your nose
Sniffs only the pong of the dead
And all the dead air is alive
With the smell of America's God.

American Football:
A Reflection Upon the Gulf War (1991)

It works.
We blew the shit out of them.

We blew the shit right back up their own ass
And out their fucking ears.

It works.
We blew the shit out of them.
They suffocated in their own shit!

Praise the Lord for all good things.

We blew them into fucking shit.
They are eating it.

Praise the Lord for all good things.

We blew their balls into shards of dust,
Into shards of fucking dust.

We did it.

Now I want you to come over here and kiss me on the mouth.
Is an accurate and vital correspondence between what is and our perception of it impossible? Or is is that we are obliged to use language only in order to obscure and distort reality - to distort what happens-because we fear it? We are encouraged to be cowards. We can't face the dead. But we must face the dead because they die in our name. We must pay attention to what is being done in our name.
-- H. Pinter, Oh Superman, 1990

You will find links to the more polemical speeches here. (Thanks to Zemblan patriot J.M. and our stalwart colleagues at Cursor for the links.)

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