Excerpt from Wild Rides, Wildflowers
[photo courtesy of the Burgtheater]
9 June, Vienna
Sam, I ought to go to bed, but I’m still reeling from the events of the day. A couple of hours ago NATO and the Yugoslav Parliament came to some kind of agreement that stops the bombing. And I’m just back from the world premiere of Peter Handke’s play in Vienna’s Burgtheater. It’s called “The Play of the Film of the War,” and has the filmmakers John Ford and Luis Buñuel in a Serbian town ten years after the war trying to decide how to make a film of the war. Interesting for you and me, Sam, was the scene when the really bad guys of the play, three “Internationals” who know all the answers, who dictate all the terms, and who can think only in absolutes, appear on the stage as follows: “Three mountainbike riders, preceded by the sound of squealing brakes, burst through the swinging door, covered with mud clear up to their helmets. They race through the hall, between tables and chairs, perilously close to the people sitting there. ‘Where are we?’ the First International asks. ‘Don’t know,’ the second answers. ‘Not a clue,’ the third says.”
Sam, the American moralists—people without a hint of self-irony or humor, absolutists who run the world because of their economic power, clueless idiots—were depicted this evening as mountainbike riders. Same genus, as us—but by god I hope they’re another species.