Comment at end
25th August, 2009
‘QUEEN’ DIRECTOR FREARS
“If Gordon Brown was suggesting to publicly execute Tony Blair, he would be popular in Britain just overnight.”
Asked if he would go and watch the “execution” – (HONESTLY! – that’s what he was asked!) – Stephen Frears, director of the films “The Deal” and “The Queen” said:
“With great pleasure. But closed eyes.”
Closed eyes?! What’s the point of THAT, my da-a-ahling, my sweetheart, my lovely?
Scaredy-cat! Worried he might be sick at the sight? Sicker than he already is?
And why attend a longed-for execution ‘with great pleasure’ if one is squeezing tight one’s eyes? Mad fool – or as someone said to me in Welsh on Facebook tonight – “Frears ydy twll dyn” – euphemistically speaking – “Fears is a manhole”.
Perhaps Frears didn’t have hanging in mind for this ‘guilty’ man (see here)
There are plenty of other ways ‘to skin a cat’ to continue the metaphor, for those so inclined.
I suppose Fears could bring his knitting in the good ol’ fashioned 18th century French gallows way.
Les tricoteuses get everywhere. Or GOT everywhere. Public hanging went out of fashion a couple of hundred years ago.
The British journalist and Blair biographer John Rentoul used it here too at his blog – “Bring back hanging”. Rentoul asks why so many people who are/were against Blair are unable to use “reasoned argument”. The answer – their reason doesn’t stand up to argument.
One plain, one purl …
Excerpt from Julie’s site:
Teleschau: How about your own (UK) government?
Frears: A catastrophe.
Teleschau: Aren’t we living in a time when the powerful are just tragic figures like in Shakespeare?
Frears: With ‘The Deal’ and ‘The Queen’ I really felt like in Shakespeare. Gordon Brown is a tragic hero. Tony Blair wasn’t that, he was simply dreadful.
Teleschau: What makes your Prime Minister Brown a tragic figure?
Frears: He used to be a pretty decent guy who was dragged down by his own character. But compared to Blair he is a saint! That’s the shocking thing. If Gordon Brown was suggesting to publicly execute Tony Blair, he would be popular in Britain just overnight.
Teleschau: Would you go and watch?
Frears: With great pleasure. But closed eyes.
Fine, Mr. Frears thinks the UK government is a “catastrophe” and Tony Blair was/is “dreadful”. Although I don’t agree at all, it’s a view he is entitled to. BUT to suggest that a public “execution” of Tony Blair would make Brown “popular overnight” and he’d visit it “with great pleasure” is ABSOLUTELY UNACCEPTABLE.
And it’s not only that but it once again leads me to a debate about the limits of FREE SPEECH. Don’t get me wrong. I am NOT against free speech. Quite the opposite. BUT I am wondering if the permanent defamation -the attempt to destroy the reputation and integrity- of an INNOCENT MAN, is still what should be considered as FREE SPEECH?!?! IF that is FREE SPEECH, what is
Slate: For me, the moment when my sympathies started to shift toward the queen, a bit, was when she goes out for the drive by herself.
Frears: Yes. That’s what someone said to me the other day—when she starts to drive, you realize, oh, it’s all a lot more complex than it seems, isn’t it.
Slate: One of my favorite small touches was when Cherie Blair suggests to Tony that he has a “mother thing” for the queen—psychologizing even his respect for her.
Frears: That was me being kind to the writer. For some reason, I found the idea of psychological explanations for these people’s behavior presumptuous. Peter took that moment seriously, as a motivation for Blair’s behavior. When I read the script I said to him, you can’t take this seriously! Whatever else, I think it is impolite to ascribe psychological motivations to people. But it’s a good joke.
Slate: I read earlier this week that Shilpa Shetty of Big Brother will meet with the queen and Blair. What do you make of that?
Frears: Oh, I saw that, too. Was she going to the commons or the palace? This is a matter of national importance in Britain. I don’t know what to make of it. You have to ask someone cleverer than me. Clearly someone thought it was more important than the number of people who died in Iraq last week.
OK, he’s right on the “cleverer ” bit.