The Guardian has asked the usual pundits to pick their "highlights and lowlights of the arts year". David Hare is scathing about the neglect of H Pinter's Nobel Prize speech. The phrase 'contact embarrassment' comes to mind, but enough of me. Over to Mr Hare, who rumbles, Politicians want us to be interested in them. But why should we be, when they're not interested in anything but sport and themselves?
The shaming indifference of the political class to Harold Pinter winning the Nobel prize. Most of us are past being scandalised by the omissions of the BBC, which appears to have lost all interest in literature and the performing arts, but it seems astonishing that the BBC did not broadcast the statement by a Nobel prize-winning author. Such things used to be their bread and butter. Worse, they censored all mention of the speech from their TV news. Astonishing, too, that not one party leader congratulated Pinter or commented on what he had to say.I must say, I rather warmed to him for the display of adolescent petulence with which he concludes.
Politicians want us to be interested in them. But why should we be, when they're not interested in anything but sport and themselves?
It also put me in mind of another man with pure high aims to pursue.
There is no happiness to be hoped for as long as the last enemy of Liberty breathes; you have to punish not only the traitors but even the indifferent one; you have to punish anyone who is neutral in the Republic and does nothing for her.Saint-Just setting out what the policy of the Committee for Public Safety should be. But those pesky Indifferent win out every time in the end. Have you ever noticed?
Norm has a few words about this piece, as well.