Playwrights tend to start out political and end up personal. Harold Pinter appeared to follow the opposite course. Marrying continental absurdism with British popular comedy, he changed how dialogue was written in British theatre as definitively as Cézanne changed how paintings were painted in France. Complementing his dialogue, his great speeches turn the mundane (in No Man’s Land, the one-way system around London’s Bolsover Street) into poetry. Despite this, those of us who followed him rejected his elliptical style and what we saw as the solipsistic apoliticism of absurdism («Nothing means anything, nothing can be done»). So it was a surprise when, in later life, Pinter became a prominent voice of political dissent.… Seguir leyendo »
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Jacqui Smith’s announcement yesterday of tougher measures to exclude «preachers of hate» is the latest in a series of initiatives to prevent young British Muslims turning to violent extremism. A mushrooming array of guidelines for schools, colleges and councils emphasises the need to challenge the narrative al-Qaida uses to attract recruits.
These guidelines do nothing to challenge the dominant narrative by which violent extremism is commonly explained, a narrative that sees even peaceful groups as transmission belts on which insecure Muslims are shuffled towards violence. However, there is a very different narrative of British Islam, which the government is less keen to talk about.… Seguir leyendo »