Can theatre do anything about climate change? There is something so utterly perfect about this question, so completely of its time, that the article from which it comes, written by Steve Waters in the Guardian theatre blog, should be preserved in a time capsule, so that it may be studied by historians of the future.
Waters’ words express the very particular hubris of the political artist. Sure, climate change is already in the news every day; journalists, activists, politicians and experts are devoting themselves to it; sure, An Inconvenient Truth already reached millions of viewers, grossing nearly $50 million; but if only I, the immortal artist, would produce a play about it in a small London theatre, then things could really get moving. Waters even admits, incredibly, that part of him hopes that the effects of climate change will be really terrible, to demonstrate the importance of his play!
Sunday, 9 December 2007
Kudos to Tom Paulin, whose dazzlingly subtle inquisition of Keats’ “Ode to Autumn,” published in today's Guardian, finally proves beyond doubt that the work in question is not (as has been believed and taught by bovine generations of “Literalist” scholars, their brains addled by the stench of their own tweed) a poem about the humble pleasures of that season, but an elaborate proto-Marxist illustration of the master-slave dialectic in the context of agricultural labour, ending in a passionate call for the immediate assassination of George III. Paulin reveals his familiarity with and admiration of the luminaries of the Zemblan Discontortionist school of literary criticism, forcefully revealing John “Che” Keats’ hitherto undisclosed status as the originator of the radical trade union movement.