Vanavond om half zes heeft de Britse winnaar van de Nobelprijs voor Literatuur Harold Pinter zijn Nobellezing gehouden voor de Zweedse Academie.
Per video, want de schrijver is te ziek om naar Stockholm te reizen; hij lijdt aan slokdarmkanker.
De toespraak werd zondag jongstleden opgenomen in een Londense studio en is nu te zien (en te lezen) op de site van de Nobelprijsorganisatie.
De stem van Pinter is hoorbaar aangetast, maar de strekking van zijn tekst is - hetgeen te verwachten was - ongemeen scherp in de richting van het Amerika van George Bush.
?The United States possesses 8,000 active and operational nuclear warheads. Two thousand are on hair trigger alert, ready to be launched with 15 minutes warning. It is developing new systems of nuclear force, known as bunker busters. The British, ever cooperative, are intending to replace their own nuclear missile, Trident. Who, I wonder, are they aiming at? Osama bin Laden? You? Me? Joe Dokes? China? Paris? Who knows? What we do know is that this infantile insanity ?? the possession and threatened use of nuclear weapons ?? is at the heart of present American political philosophy. We must remind ourselves that the United States is on a permanent military footing and shows no sign of relaxing it.
Many thousands, if not millions, of people in the United States itself are demonstrably sickened, shamed and angered by their government's actions, but as things stand they are not a coherent political force ?? yet. But the anxiety, uncertainty and fear which we can see growing daily in the United States is unlikely to diminish.
I know that President Bush has many extremely competent speech writers but I would like to volunteer for the job myself. I propose the following short address which he can make on television to the nation. I see him grave, hair carefully combed, serious, winning, sincere, often beguiling, sometimes employing a wry smile, curiously attractive, a man's man.
'God is good. God is great. God is good. My God is good. Bin Laden's God is bad. His is a bad God. Saddam's God was bad, except he didn't have one. He was a barbarian. We are not barbarians. We don't chop people's heads off. We believe in freedom. So does God. I am not a barbarian. I am the democratically elected leader of a freedom-loving democracy. We are a compassionate society. We give compassionate electrocution and compassionate lethal injection. We are a great nation. I am not a dictator. He is. I am not a barbarian. He is. And he is. They all are. I possess moral authority. You see this fist? This is my moral authority. And don't you forget it.'
Afgelopen maandag is Harold Pinter overgebracht naar een ziekenhuis.