Friday, February 27, 2015

Veritas Diaboli

27th February 2015

And the Oscar goes's a bit like professional boxing - you want to believe in it, but you just can't. Still, we have always pinned laurels on our "greatest and whitest," it seems to be something in our makeup. And we all watch in rapt fascination the lives of these largely dysfunctional people. It's sort of a sick parade, and yet you can't keep your eyes off the spectacle. But I suppose it means as much as it did in ancient Greece when they planted the wreath on the head of the gladiator. It's just that our gladiators are in Darth Vader costumes. The real person is a sickly worm living inside a helmet. But then our age doesn't really care that much about real people.

It is the era of truthiness, not truth. I won't defend "the truth," because like everyone else, I can't define it. Pontius Pilate turns away from the condemned Christ with the words, "What is truth?" We're still asking. It's something we feel at a gut level, but it's not quantifiable.  On a visceral level you know that people who murder and maim in the name of truth are nowhere close. And neither does it have to do with "facts" necessarily, which is the realm of science, even though "science" has spawned its own priesthood, as have the militant atheists.

It's what art can point to, though never define, and why, I suppose it's a good thing to honour the efforts of the cinematic artists as the world did at the Oscars last Sunday night.
And besides, if I were truthful, I would admit that following the three-hour long production, I was out in the snow with my dogs, trundling along with my hood pulled up against a black moonless sky, deciding on my acceptance speech if I were ever to receive the award for best adapted screenplay. I decided I would quote Yeats, because the poets get closer than most in this quest for the truth. But I won't tell you which lines of Yeats. You'll have to watch the Oscars - just don't hold your breath!

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