Thursday, October 13, 2005

American Football - Hot Dogs - Apple Pie - Chevrolet

Originally uploaded by pkeleher/Paul.
The poet, playwright, screenwriter etc Harold Pinter has just been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. I first became interested in Pinter when my high-school staged his absurdist/existentialist play "The Dumb Waiter". I think of his work as more "interesting" than "enjoyable", but when you're in a mood to think rather than have everything spoon-fed to you pre-digested, try and catch one of his plays. They will surely be staged a little more frequently now that his name is back in the press.

In his poem "American Football: A Reflection Upon The Gulf War", Pinter comments on the circus-like atmosphere surrounding the original Gulf War (and all modern televised wars). For me it really hits home when i think about how frustrating and confusing it was to watch the sanitized/televised version of our "victory" in the the war, while at the same time being painfully aware of the death, destruction and disease we were spreading on the ground. According to Pinter, "It sprang from the triumphalism, the machismo, the victory parade, that were very much in evidence at the time."

American Football: A Reflection Upon The Gulf War

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.

for more on the poem

for more on Pinter.