Sunday, 11 December 2005

Communicating Coincidence

Yesterday, I wanted to comment on the story I merely had time to link to - as a bookmark and a hand raise that I agree with what he said - Harold Pinter's poke at Butch and Sundance, I mean Bush and Blair.

Like most of the world's population, I had heard Harold Pinter's name. I was not, however, familiar with his work. That really ought to change.

I'll admit, I also knew sweet FA about the man, so I decided to do a little light research today. You know, it is a funny thing, but I do not believe in coincidence, so when seemingly "coincidental" things occur, I want to understand the signs or look for the underlying trend.

Rebecca at Death and Taxes, may be correct in her assertion that our cats are communicating to cause us to mention the same topic exactly 30 minutes apart, but (not to underestimate the cats' undoubted abilities) I feel there may be other reasons.

Discovering a little about Pinter's life, reminded me of this.

My first question, I suppose, was that I wanted to know how easy is it going to be for the Bush administration to discredit Pinter and write off his comments as the ramblings of a looney - you know, like they do all the time whenever someone disagrees with them.

Doesn't it seem *strange* to you that they never seem to have a defence, other than to attack *dissenters*? It should do.

My mother, who is now 81 and, thus, a mere six years older than Pinter, was also born and brought up in London's East End. Actually, she was born "within the sound of Bow bells" (in the City itself) and this makes her a "true Cockney". Though she is not herself, she grew up among London's Jewish community and adopted it's customs.

(A shrewder businesswoman and market trader, is hard find!)

When I was a kid, we'd go to London on a Sunday morning to eat fresh bagels down Petticoat Lane and pick up bargains in the Houndsditch Warehouse, 'cause they were closed on Saturday, obviously.

These days, of course, everything is open on Sunday to squeeze another buck out of us. Back then it was still unique to there.

My mother was 15, coming on 16, when war broke out in 1939. By then she was already working, so she was no child and was not evacuated as Pinter was. In 1940, she was bombed out instead.

Fortunately, she and her parents had gone out for the day, so no lives were lost, but they came back to find that their home and everything they'd owned, bar the clothes they were wearing, was gone. Where they lived is now the site of London's famous Barbican Center.

Of course, I have grown up with the stories of my mother's and grandparents' experience of those events. I should say that, I have been aware of the basic facts. In the last few months only, during comparative discussions relating to recent news events, have I been able to get some details and actual reaction from my mother.

So, when Pinter says, "The condition of being bombed has never left me," I have a pretty good idea of his meaning, but I also know my mother would know exactly where he is coming from.

Pinter, I now know, is more than qualified to make comparisons between the Bush administration and Adolf Hitler's Nazi Germany.

As an aside, Pinter's first play, The Room, was performed in the same year as I was born. Not an important "coincidence", I don't think! :)

My comments on the the political issues will have to come in Part Deux (to be continued), because my mother arrives on Tuesday and if I don't get this house clean, she'll think another bomb hit and, the cats are "communicating" right now. There is one at my feet saying "[Expletive deleted], are you gonna feed me or what?"

The problem is that there is SO MUCH I want to say about this and what I see as happening in the world and, why. It is something I have been quietly observing for over a decade. There are pieces to put together. These thoughts can only come out in instalments.

Besides, I was interrupted - a nice interruption - to give a telephone interview to Spanish newspaper ABC, this afternoon. We talked about the Canary Islands, politics and cats, mostly. Naturally. The result, will probably come out (in Spanish), in both print and online versions tomorrow. Let's hope I don't come across as a complete idiot.

Earlier, I had been asked about a 1001 questions in an *anonymous* survey that the management of the local Teno Rural Park are doing to find out what residents think about the services to the community. Well, in my case, anonymous is a bit of joke. My nationality is on there and since everyone knows I am the only Brit in the area ...

Still, they got the benefit of my honest opinion.

The baker came to be paid, I had a chat with the neighbour, the landlady came to say she has started the process to have the cables removed from the roof (only been waiting seven years).

On a normal day, the only person I talk to is the dog!

All of which made this "coincidence" (today's horoscope), which I didn't get a chance to read until after all these events had already taken place and most of this was written, somewhat amusing:

"A message you'd never, ever have expected will arrive, undoubtedly wreaking havoc on each and every carefully laid plan you'd arranged. Once you hear it, though, you won't mind the disruption. This is the type of message you've been waiting for. Get ready to go with the flow, because the stars are sending new stuff your way in a veritable flood. Make sure your famous sixth sense -- your amazing intuition -- is up and running at full steam, because there's much to pick up on now. And more overt stuff -- seeming 'coincidences,' eccentric people both new to you and familiar, messages in odd places -- will certainly be happening too. So many pieces, and such an interesting puzzle!"

If there is one thing I will credit myself with though is that I do have "amazing intuition". And, I have a feeling it is going to be useful.

In the meantime, for those who are interested, the sources I consulted for information on Pinter:

Art, truth and politics: In his video-taped Nobel acceptance speech, Harold Pinter excoriated a 'brutal, scornful and ruthless' United States.

This is the full text of his address

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