Tuesday, December 28, 2004

They cut down Five of Them this Weekend

The London Shakespeare Workout Homepage

He said, "They cut down Five of them this Weekend". In the Prison.

I asked, "What do you mean they 'cut them down'?"

Well, one of them did commit suicide, and the others tried. Apparently in this prison of 800, there were 5 attempted suicides by self-hanging over the Christmas weekend.

Little bits of information from the horse's mouth, which frankly, do depress me. It's bad enough that the world is so imperfect. I'm the kind of person who wants things fixed, instead of the kind of person who just walks around with gossamer wings, saying "..it's so sad, isn't it..", with eyelids fluttering.

One and a half hours on the phone. Performing Arts types all bear the same hallmarks. Barrels of self-faith that run deeper than the Mariana Trench, and then the self-hyping garrulous effusiveness that is essential to survive in the profession. But at the end of it all, what did I gain from the encounter, except the opportunity to pick up off the floor piles of names that were dropped in front of me. In a society with too much celebrity culture already, should I really give a damn? Shall I use the names as a substitute for a vocabulary? Will they maybe fill out a soup for my dinner?

Anyway, although I commend the activity of taking Shakespeare into prisons to bring hope and opportunity to the inmates, I like to take a broader view. Who is making efforts to deter people from making the mistakes that lead them to become criminals, then caught and imprisoned? The Guardian? You can't even get people to buy a newspaper, let alone read Shakespeare. Not until they're stuck in a prison with nowhere else to go.


Ok, so I've got a sinus headache, and although it's sunny, I'm in a bad mood. Only a sauna will work on this, and I've got to drag my sorry old ass over to one, self-will or not, and cough up the mini-mortgage along with the rest of this semi-dormant cold virus. Times like this, a big raging rant is more relieving than all the money earned by Vodaphone's executives from the brainless kids who blow fortunes on mobile phones.

Ilford is no pleasure. The Boxing Day Sales there did not entice me to spend fifty pence today. Hard to believe it used to be a posh place to live, over ten years ago. It has been vitally apparent for a while, that the English have deserted it, the way they abandoned Newham. But still it depresses me, because I remember how it used to be, and because it is my nearest substantial shopping centre. Curiously enough, you don't even see any bespectacled, frowning, studied political science at University types. They're very eager to defend censorship of free speech in places like East London, but they don't actually live anywhere near here. No, I suspect they're all in Camden, Clerkenwell, Notting Hill and Brixton or even holidaying in their second homes in Cyprus and Bulgaria?

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