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The Christmas season was drab and lifeless this year in Beirut. Bombings continue to plague the city, fifteen in the last fifteen months, with the December 12th assassination of the anti-Syrian journalist and politician Gebran Tueni the most recent. The violence has spooked the population into caution and political pessimism.
Ed.s note: The following speech was delivered by Harold Pinter in December of 2005, upon his acceptance of the Nobel Prize in Literature. We have left the British grammatical style intact.
The year was 1964, early January. From Knokke-Le-Zoute Experimental Film Festival, where Barbara Rubin and I created a scandal when they forbade us to show Jack Smiths film Flaming Creatures, we proceeded to Paris, where we spent some time with Roman Polanski as our driverwe had a car, a tiny car but a car.
Retort to Paul Mattick (1-22-06): We appreciate the serious attention paid to Afflicted Powers: Capital and Spectacle in a New Age of War in the December/January issue of the Rail. However, there were a number of aspects to Paul Mattick’s review that call for a response.
In early 1965, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the civil rights movement had reached a crossroads. Ten years of struggle had achieved lasting victories from the Montgomery Bus Boycott to the Civil Rights Act. But full citizenship for black Americans was far from assured, as evictions, beatings, lynchings, and bombings continued unabated in response to voter registration efforts in the South.
In elementary school, there are the dittoes. They appear every January 15—purple, mimeographed sheets of paper with a picture of Martin Luther King, Jr. superimposed on a rippling American flag, a quote from “I Have a Dream,” and a few questions and blanks to fill in from the word bank on the side: “Martin Luther King, Jr. worked for people of all races.”
Id like to say a few words about the fucked-up state of things. And I may also ruminate about the things of stateyou know, the lies, the money, and all the rest. Figuring out where to begin is almost as much of a problem as where it ends.