Experiments in Critical Fusion #1

Source A: John Simon, “Ignoble Nobel: Let Us Pause.

Source B: Dale Peck, “The Moody Blues.”


Harold Pinter is the worst Nobel Prize winner of his generation.

As I made my way through Pinter’s incomprehensible labyrinths, all of them laden with pregnant pauses which kept me perplexed, wondering all the while why the Nobel Committee had not given me the prize, I contemplated my own considerable grace in how to broach this seminal problem in a Radar Magazine essay — which is to say, without humility or nuance.

“Do you have the pepperpot?” “Yes, I have the pepperpot.” This is the stuff of meaningful dialogue? I think not.

Yet another false start: What are we to say to such widespread acceptance of a playwright who specializes in the banal? Are we to cut off the forefingers of every fawning Pinterite to prove a point? Sad to say, this may be the only solution. If we are placed in the position of identifying those who are poorly educated, the dupes and charlatans, by counting nine fingers on their two hands, then it will become that much easier to avoid callow banter at a cocktail party.

For the enlightened members in our society are those who refuse to give Harold Pinter credence. They are the ones who will be invaluable during the upcoming eugenics war, when we wipe the anti-Pinterites from the face of the earth, allowing them to language through slow torture. Who needs the Geneva Convention when so many people are willing to love Harold Pinter? When indeed those pesky Swedes, who have invaded our homeland with their precious IKEAs, give this diabolical menace their highest award?

As to the question of who shall lead this cadre of torturers, I shall be only too happy to put my name at the forefront. I shall lead by example, storming into Greenwich Village apartments (in particularly, those easily amused theatrical types) and start hacking off fingers with a machete after administering a government-devised TTE (Theatrical/Torture Exam).

The salient problem here is that Pinter is no longer writing plays. He insists upon tossing off hastily composed poems as he is dying of cancer. Here is one such poem titled “Malignant”:

Smoked too many fags
Now the scrotum sags


I ask: is this even poetry? I have passed notes in class that have been more significant. And let’s be perfectly clear about the issue: never once has my scrotum sagged. And how does this even pertain to cancer?

If the Nobel people must encourage such doggerel, then the time has come to cut off their forefingers, ideally throwing them into a burlap sack and hanging this collection of fingers from the highest pike. This will set an example for those proud Pinterites who believe they sit safely behind their Playbills. I call upon our Attorney General to begin counting Pinterites, for they are the greatest threat to our country’s democratic fabric.

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One Comment

  1. I’m with you on Pinter as play-write – right over my head. As an orator however he deserves some kind of medal. Being able to sustain that combined degree of rationality and fury throughout the duration of his Nobel acceptance speech…accessible on line…truly exceptional. He continues the tirade, and very entertainingly so, on Charlie Rose…also available.

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