Monday, January 4, 2021

It’s Theater, It’s Absurd…And Yet We Wait

“Nothing happens, nobody comes, nobody goes, it’s awful.”  ― Samuel Beckett

Shouting-Your-Demands-Tim Etchell

On any other first Monday of a new year I would be guardedly optimistic about what was to unfold over the next 12 months. But as it is I’ve grown as weary of the tick-tock-big-news-to-follow teasers from our camp as I have the drivel from the left.

I keep getting the feeling that I’m watching a live action version of Beckett’s Waiting For Godot – in which Estragon and Vladimir wait endlessly for someone who never shows up. Some people choose to interpret the play as a nihilistic statement but I tend to view it more in an existentialist light which requires each man to bear his own burden and make the most of the life he’s been given.
VLADIMIR: But that is not the question. What are we doing here, that is the question. And we are blessed in this, that we happen to know the answer. Yes, in this immense confusion one thing alone is clear. We are waiting for Godot to come–
POZZO: Help!
VLADIMIR: Or for night to fall.
(Pause.) We have kept our appointment and that's an end to that. We are not saints, but we have kept our appointment. How many people can boast as much?
ESTRAGON: Billions.
VLADIMIR: You think so?
ESTRAGON: I don't know.
VLADIMIR: You may be right.
POZZO: Help!
VLADIMIR: All I know is
that the hours are long, under these conditions, and constrain us to beguile them with proceedings which —how shall I say— which may at first sight seem reasonable, until they become a habit. You may say it is to prevent our reason from foundering. No doubt. But has it not long been straying in the night without end of the abysmal depths? That's what I sometimes wonder. You follow my reasoning?
ESTRAGON: (aphoristic for once). We are all born mad. Some remain so.
POZZO: Help! I'll pay you!
ESTRAGON: How much?
POZZO: One hundred francs!
ESTRAGON: It's not enough.
VLADIMIR: I wouldn't go so far as that.
ESTRAGON: You think it's enough?
VLADIMIR: No, I mean so far as to assert that I was weak in the head when I came into the world. But that is not the question.
POZZO: Two hundred!
VLADIMIR: We wait. We are bored. (He throws up his hand.) No, don't protest, we are bored to death, there's no denying it. Good. A diversion comes along and what do we do? We let it go to waste. Come, let's get to work! (He advances towards the heap, stops in his stride.) In an instant all will vanish and we'll be alone once more, in the midst of nothingness!

Sorry if it’s too early in the week, the year, the game to get pragmatic, but it must be said: if having waited on January 6th and nothing significant transpires - and I fully anticipate it won’t – what then?

I’m just asking, I don’t have the answer.

tim etchells I've gone to get help

“Nothing happens, nobody comes, nobody goes, it’s awful.” – but I repeat myself.