February 15, 2015
February 8, 2015
She doesn’t do it the Anglo-American way. Not for her the well rehearsed impression ofspeaking off the cuff. No prolonged playacting – being seen on camera repeatedly reaching outwards; inviting, grooming the far-flung viewer to come sit on the sofa.
Instead, reading a prepared statement on the Ukrainian ‘peace deal’, is as it says – reading, eyes on the script, lips synched to the page. Compared to Barack-Blair (rhymes with thin air) and their juniors, her performance – but that’s it, ‘performance’ is what it’s not – is as foreign as the preferred pronunciation of her first name: Angeeela; long ‘e’; short on rhetoric.
Mutti (Mother) Merkel, childless herself, is said to treat the German people like children – cutting up policy into bite sized pieces lest they find it indigestible. Let the German people decide whether to accept her domestic regime. But internationally this criticism is hard to swallow, especially as issued in those areas of the world stage – UK, USA, where the recent staging of politics (sofas and soundbites galore) has also been its babyfication.
Those who live in doll’s houses – grow up!
Glissando More accurately, glissssaaaaando. The sound of Prince Charles sliding and gliding around his words as he has been obliged to step around the everlasting presence of his mother, our Queen. Bending, benighted, bewildered.
Good Life U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden, on the podium at the Munich ‘peace conference’, pink-cheeked and aglow with the good life. Never has losing looked so healthy – losing ground to Russia’s Putin, giving ground to France and Germany, gaining ground in health and wellbeing. (Perhaps not the best-ever trade off.)
Good to talk Not caged before burning like the Jordanian pilot murdered by IS, condemned prisoners of Britain’s forgotten religious wars were staked to the ground and consumed by fire (Thomas Cranmer), or drowned in a rising tide of seawater (Wigtown Martyrs). Between two sets of victims, Tudor and Stuart, Shakespeare found a form of words for opposing interests: his Globe, London’s first public sphere. Even now we can hear his joy in staging conflicts in blank verse instead of grisly executions; also his recurring fear of the world struck dumb again, condemned to death screams instead of humanising dialogue.