Wednesday, 19 November 2008

"People Know They do This...But What They do"

As I lay on the stage at the end of Zero, dead, having been shot in the head, I always listen to the words that Stephen Hudson (the actor playing Alex) says.

But last night one of the lines he spoke really hit me, perhaps for the first time and it makes the title of this particular blog post:

"People know they do this...but what they do"

The character is referring to the acts of torture carried out by the various governments in the play and I can't help but reflect that this is the state of terrible complicite that we all exist in, both in the UK, US and various other nations around the world that utilise torture.

We know what goes on, we are not naive but we, in a sense, give it our approval because we think that it is required, some how, as a tool to defend us or that the people being tortured are in some way deserving of it.

And yet, in reality, we only have the faintest grasp of what it means to torture, what acts are carried out in our name and the full implications of these acts; on our humanity, our reason and our historical standing.

And I hope, through Zero, people watching the play will take some time, no matter how small, to make a reflection of their own on what has been done in our name.

6 comments:

  1. "People know they do this...but what they do"

    What? What do they do? I don't get it? Maybe it is too early in the morning.

    Of course, the best torturers aren't employed by the government, but are in our midst:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/baby-p-the-official-files-1023092.html

    And I give my approval for the British government to torture in my name. Heck, the way I'm feeling at the moment, I'd be more than happy to be signed up to torture. Yeah, I reckon I could inflict pain in the name of truth. Would you rip the fingernails from an "innocent man" if you knew the information you would extract could save a single innocent life? I know I would.

    Meanwhile, my story is taking an interesting twist. The rumour mill says that the people involved in my story are being housed in the village by the police and are being deliberately hidden for whatever reason. Some say that they are involved in a drug case back in London. They have endeared themselves to the local community by openly smoking drugs in their back garden until the early hours of the morning and other anti-social behaviour. Oh no, more darkies acting up to their stereotype. Again, if they want to behave like this and have the right to behave like this, then I have the right to call them darkies and revert to my stereotype.

    However, these scumbags were caught red-handed trying to steal their neighbours car. I spoke to the man concerned yesterday. He was unloading his shopping last Saturday afternoon, leaving his car unlocked, and heard footsteps on his gravel path. Expecting his friend to turn up, he ventured outside to find two black men (from the family that smashed up my shop) in his car. He scared them off and they ran away. He called the police, they came over and said: "Well nothing was stolen was it?" and fobbed him off. Remember, that this isn't London or a suburb of a big city. This is a small village where people still leave their doors unlocked and cars unattended when unloaded shopping. The city scum has been brought to their doors. Hurrah!

    But the Police were not interested in these people. The same way as they were not interested in taking any witness statements in our case, because no-one saw the accident...

    No, but we saw the aftermath. The guy running off, the woman smelling of alcohol and bragging about being at a nightclub. But hey, this is how the law operates now. No criminal act was done. It was an accident, a simple road traffic accident.

    But why they want to steal this guy's car is beyond me because quickly after the accident, those people got a new car. Shit, I can't even get money out of my insurers and it has been over a month since the incident and I am on the verge of closing up and trying to cut my losses.

    So let me torture these people for what they have done...and I would enjoy every moment of it because they are going to bring misery and trouble to every environment they are placed in, because they have carte blanche from the authorities.

    Scary, innit? And this is what is happening right across the country because the authorities seem intent on turning a blind eye to the scumbag. Whether they are black, white or sky-blue-pink with mauve spots, they will let this anti-social behaviour go on for whatever reason. This is why I posted the Baby P case, because those people were white, yet the authorities wantonly turned a blind eye to it. I am drawing the same parallels with these people.

    Meanwhile, some snidey anonymous cunt in the village called Environmental Health on us because our shop is "too dark". Yup, but we have been instructed to operate via our insurer's loss adjustor and have signs up telling people to enter the shop at their own risk. We even serve them at the door to stop them coming in. But no, someone out there wants us to close down permanently.

    In fact, let me torture Mr Anonymous too...

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  2. Very touching Dan. Torture is a heinous/hideous crime, from the medieval inquisition horrifying events to today's modern "enhanced interrogation" innocent people have been physically and psychologically traumatized. I assure you the medieval torturers also thought they were protecting the church and the people from heresy, while they were murdering innocent people. But where is the church today? In the late Islamic history, people high in power tortured the innocent to protect the state too, and where is the state today?

    torture saves non, it is one of the signs the state engaged in it is dissolving. If the terrorists got you to torture, they have won, and your demise is coming sooner or later. STOP torture now before it gets to the foundation of your civilization, because all civilizations thought they were the end of time, that they will remain forever. And non did, and non will if they repeat the same mistakes again. Time shows no mercy to those who commit mistakes.

    The roman civilization lasted a 1000 years, and so did the Muslims'. My point is at 400 years, western civilization has not stood the test of time yet! and it is too early to torture, if it happens now this civilization is short lived, no doubt in my mind.

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  3. The US/UK emulated interrogation techniques, devised by Stalin, to get false confessions.

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  4. There's a play on Broadway now that's supposed to be the most violent play ever shown there... They've got a pit where they bury a guy, too. Interesting....

    I am so thankful for my freedom.

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  5. Many people try to act like they don't know what they know.

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  6. Darren: torture is the 'what they do' I was referring to. And although you know I have massive sympathy and sadness at your terrible situation, as soon as you lose the powers of subjectivity, you lose your power to have a voice on the issue.

    Mo: thanks for that intelligent comment, much appreciated.

    Ren: indeed comrade.

    M@: as am I.

    Ortho: very true, such is the way of things, bury head in the sand...

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