Official Frank Serpico Blog
Saturday, December 17, 2005
Not Christian or Jew or Muslim, not Hindu, Buddhist, sufi or zen. Not any religion
or cultural system. I am not from the East or the West, not out of the ocean or up
from the ground, not natural or ethereal, not composed of elements at all. I do not exist, am not an entity in this world or the next,did not descend from Adam or Eve or any origin story. My place is placeless, a trace of the traceless. Neither body or soul. I belong to the beloved, have seen the two worlds as one and that one call to and know, first, last, outer, inner, only that breath breathing human being.
Friday, December 09, 2005
December 8, 2005
Playwright Takes a Prize and a Jab at U.S.
By SARAH LYALL, New York Times
LONDON, Dec. 7 - The playwright Harold Pinter turned his Nobel Prize acceptance speech on Wednesday into a furious howl of outrage against American foreign policy, saying that the United States had not only lied to justify waging war against Iraq but had also "supported and in many cases engendered every right-wing military dictatorship" in the last 50 years.
"The crimes of the United States have been systematic, constant, vicious, remorseless, but very few people have actually talked about them," Mr. Pinter said. "You have to hand it to America. It has exercised a quite clinical manipulation of power worldwide while masquerading as a force for universal good. It's a brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis."
Sitting in a wheelchair, his lap covered by a blanket, his voice hoarse but unwavering, Mr. Pinter, 75, delivered his speech via a video recording that was played on Wednesday at the Swedish Academy in Stockholm. Doctors told him several years ago that he had cancer of the esophagus and recently ordered him not to travel to Stockholm for the speech, his publisher said.
The playwright, known in recent years as much for his fiery anti-Americanism as for his spare prose style and haunting, elliptical plays like "The Caretaker" and "The Homecoming," was awarded the $1.3 million Nobel literature prize in October. In its citation, the Swedish Academy made little mention of his political views, saying only that he is known as a "fighter for human rights" whose stands are often "seen as controversial." It mostly focused on his work, saying that Mr. Pinter "uncovers the precipice under everyday prattle and forces entry into oppression's closed rooms."
The literature prize has in recent years often gone to writers with left-wing ideologies. These include the European writers José Saramago of Portugal, Günter Grass of Germany and Dario Fo of Italy.
When he won the award, Mr. Pinter said he did not know if the academy, whose deliberations and reasoning are kept secret, had taken his politics into account. He clearly welcomed the platform the award gave him to bring his views, long expressed in Britain, to a larger audience.
Dressed in black, bristling with controlled fury, Mr. Pinter began by explaining the almost unconscious process he uses to write his plays. They start with an image, a word, a phrase, he said; the characters soon become "people with will and an individual sensibility of their own, made out of component parts you are unable to change, manipulate or distort."
"So language in art remains a highly ambiguous transaction," he continued, "a quicksand, a trampoline, a frozen pool which might give way under you, the author, at any time."
But while drama represents "the search for truth," Mr. Pinter said, politics works against truth, surrounding citizens with "a vast tapestry of lies" spun by politicians eager to cling to power.
Mr. Pinter attacked American foreign policy since World War II, saying that while the crimes of the Soviet Union had been well documented, those of the United States had not. "I put to you that the United States is without doubt the greatest show on the road," he said. "Brutal, indifferent, scornful and ruthless it may be, but it is also very clever. As a salesman it is out on its own and its most saleable commodity is self-love."
He returned to the theme of language as an obscurer of reality, saying that American leaders use it to anesthetize the public. "It's a scintillating stratagem," Mr. Pinter said. "Language is actually employed to keep thought at bay. The words 'the American people' provide a truly voluptuous cushion of reassurance. You don't need to think. Just lie back on the cushion. The cushion may be suffocating your intelligence and your critical faculties but it's very comfortable."
Accusing the United States of torturing terrorist suspects in Guantánamo Bay and Abu Ghraib, Mr. Pinter called the invasion of Iraq - for which he said Britain was also responsible - "a bandit act, an act of blatant state terrorism, demonstrating absolute contempt for the concept of international law." He called for Prime Minister Tony Blair to be tried before an international criminal court.
Mr. Pinter said it was the duty of the writer to hold an image up to scrutiny, and the duty of citizens "to define the real truth of our lives and our societies." If such a determination is not embodied in our political vision, we have no hope of restoring what is so nearly lost to us - the dignity of man," he said.
Monday, December 05, 2005
Hello again, I hope this finds you all well and in good spirits. I don't recall if I mentioned at any time that I don't actually own a computer. At present I am in a public library. I have gotten many requests for the following poem. So here it is.
A TALK WITH MY SOUL
DEAR SOUL HELP ME REMEMBER THE WAY
THE WAY IT WAS BEFORE THEY LED ME ASTRAY
BECAUSE I WAS A BABE AND MY BODY SMALL
I WAS TAUGHT TO WALK BEFORE I COULD CRAWL
I FELL ON MY FACE AND SCRAPED MY KNEES
BUT THOSE PEOPLE THAT LOVED ME I WAS EAGER TO PLEASE
THEY CLAPPED THEIR HANDS AND MADE SUCH A FUSS
THAT MY BEST INFANT YEARS WERE SPENT IN A RUSH
HURRY AND WALK, HURRY AND EAT
YOU'LL SOON BE A MAN AND STAND ON YOUR FEET
WELL I STOOD ON MY FEET BUT WAS COMPLETELY LOST
I HAD LOST TOUCH WITH MY SOUL WHAT A TERRIBLE COST
I DROPPED TO MY KNEES AND TRIED TO FIND IT AGAIN
BUT FOR FEAR I'D GET LOST THEY ENCLOSED ME IN A PEN
NOW THEY COULD GUARD ME I WAS UNDER THEIR CONTROL
FURTHER AND FURTHER THEY TOOK ME FROM MY SOUL
I TRIED TO LOOK BEYOND THEM I GAZED INTO SPACE
BUT DISTRACTION AFTER DISTRACTION THEY STUCK IN MY FACE
I SOON GREW TIRED AND TRIED TO SLEEP
BUT THEY CAME AND AWOKE ME AN APPOINTMENT TO KEEP
COME MY SON YOU'LL BE NOBODY'S FOOL
THEY WASHED AND FED ME AND SENT ME TO SCHOOL
WHAT IS THIS PLACE SO FOREIGN TO ME?
WHAT CAN THEY TEACH ME IF I JUST WANT TO BE?
IF THEY ARE SO SMART WHY DON'T THEY UNDERSTAND WHAT I SAY?
MY BODY MAY BE SMALL BUT I ALREADY KNOW THE WAY
I WAS TAUGHT RELIGION AND ALL ABOUT RACE
I WAS TAUGHT SO WELL I FELT OUT OF PLACE
BUT NOW I AM A MAN AND HAVE NO ONE TO BLAME
SO I MUST FORGET WORDS LIKE GUILTY, STUPID AND SHAME
AND WITH THE HELP OF MY SOUL I'll REMEMBER THE WAY
AND GET BACK WHERE I WAS ON THAT VERY FIRST DAY.
I wrote these words on a brown paper bag as they came to me one day while traveling down a lone country road in a foreign country. I was lost in more ways than one. I believe in the divine and the divine inspiration. Once it came to me on a rooftop in Brooklyn just before I got shot. I didn't heed the warning then, I was so committed at the time to my oath as a police officer. Today with my hearing only in one ear, I listen intently.
The God I believe in is not just my God, but the God of all beings no matter what language they speak. God does not require language, education or fancy clothes. I have no use for man made religion. In my opinion it is a man made disaster responsible for the death and torture of countless millions by deranged minds, zealots, bigots and hypocrites. I have no respect for capitalist evangelists, pontifs, or the herd mentality that blindly follows their dictates. They profane the name of Christ but none follow in his footsteps save a few perhaps like St. Francis and even Vincent Van Gogh. Yes, he just wanted to be like Christ and minister to the poor and needy but was sent packing by his superiors who accused him of setting a bad example because they wanted to hold on to their riches and not be reminded by his oath of poverty.
I even heard one of these televangelists distort the words of Christ by omission. He blabbed "Christ said come follow me," yes that is true, but Christ also said "First give what you have to the poor and then follow me. Christ also said render unto Caesar things that are Caesar's, etc. Today's evangelists are dictating government policy. One of my favorite authors, Thomas Payne said, "I am a citizen of the universe and my religion is doing good." Needless to say the clergy would not even let him die in peace. They tormented him on his death bed to "recant and save your soul" -- what a mockery.
Well, I've rambled on long enough and did what you're not supposed to do, discuss religion and politics, but I'd rather people hate me for what I am than love me for what I am not.
FOR A MORE ACCURATE PICTURE OF WHAT IS GOING ON IN THE WORLD GO TO:
May God bless you and peace be with you.