Sunday, 7 April 2013

An address to politicians

I found this ‘address to politicians’ in the third issue of the underground magazine, Oz, dated May 1967:

‘First to you who are currently successful: you who made it mouthing phony, ill-written, unutterably boring, lying, arse-licking speeches. Lend an unctuous ear – it may prove expedient.

And you out of office need not look so pious. Sincerity, sensitivity or honesty did not cost you election. Had you possessed any of these qualities you would never have stood. Only the scum of a society could bother to fashion a career so ruthlessly opportunist, so intellectually parasitic, so spiritually unrewarding.

Platitudes. This indignation doesn’t bruise your egotism, this rage prompts no self-assessment, nor costs you votes. Philosophers, poets, authors, dramatists, artists and tele-pundits have interminably exposed the vileness of your methods, the sordidness of your ambitions. The masses, whom you despise, hold your profession beneath contempt.

And still you survive.

You think that Parliament is the greatest institution in the world. Parliament! Parliament: bloated with fat, pompous, dying alcoholics who babble on with: here, here, honourable member, procedural motions, precious amendments, last ditch filibustering … Parliament: the gulch parting promise from achievement.’

Mundane quote for the day: ‘Consider what value, what meaning is enclosed even in the smallest of our daily habits, in the hundred possessions which even the poorest beggar owns: a handkerchief, an old letter, the photo of a cherished person. These things are part of us, almost like limbs of our body; nor is it conceivable that we can be deprived of them in our world, for we immediately find others to substitute the old ones, other objects which are ours in their personification and evocation of our memories.’ – Primo Levi, If This Is A Man

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