Readers of my last blog probably noticed my tendency to sing the praises of French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin and some of his recent signs of activism in areas such as homelessness and the idea of a carbon tax. Thanks to Al Jazeera English, I was glad to see that he is at it again, this time awarding the Legion d'honneur to Harold Pinter while in London for a meeting with Tony Blair. Pinter has not minced words in his opposition to the Iraq war, speaking out in spite of his esophageal cancer and invoking epithets such as "deluded idiot" for the leader of his own country's government. It should go without saying that Blair was not present when Pinter received this French honor! De Villepin's comments at the ceremony, however, remind us that the French still appreciate the power of language:
Dear Harold Pinter, your words are actions. Your words are a shout. They are rough, engaged in violent hand-to-hand combat that makes them talk, that makes them speak out.
Having just speculated on whether or not American politicians really have the courage of audacity (as opposed to just the rhetoric), I find this most recent recognition of Pinter, along with the language in which it was expressed by de Villepin, particularly appropriate!