26 February 2006


Minister of Information, Helpmann = Secretary of Defense, Rumsfeld

In one window is a bank of TV sets - on the great majority of the screens is the face of MR. HELPMANN - the Deputy Minister of Information. He is being interviewed. No-one bothers to listen to HELPMANN.

INTERVIEWER : "Deputy minister, what do you believe is behind this recent increase in terrorist bombings?"

HELPMANN : "Bad sportsmanship. A ruthless minority of people seems to have forgotten certain good old fashioned virtues. They just can't stand seeing the other fellow win. If these people would just play the game, instead of standing on the touch line heckling -"

INTERVIEWER : "In fact, killing people -"

HELPMANN : "- In fact, killing people - they'd get a lot more out of life."

INTERVIEWER : "Mr. HELPMANN, what would you say to those critics who maintain that the Ministry Of Information has become too large and unwieldy ...?"

HELPMANN : "David ... in a free society information is the name of the game. You can't win the game if you're a man short."

INTERVIEWER : "And the cost of it all, Deputy Minister? Seven percent of the gross national produc..."

HELPMANN : "I understand this concern on behalf of the tax-payers. People want value for money and a cost-effective service. That is why we always insist on the principle of Information Retrieval Charges. These terrorists are not pulling their weight, and it's absolutely right and fair that those found guilty should pay for their periods of detention and the Information Retrieval Procedures usedin their interrogation."

INTERVIEWER : "Do you think that the government is winning the battle against terrorists?"

HELPMANN : "Oh yes. Our morale is much higher than theirs, we're fielding all their strokes, running a lot of them out, and pretty consistently knocking them for six. I'd say they're nearly out of the game."

INTERVIEWER : "But the bombing campaign is now in its thirteenth year..."
HELPMANN : "Beginner's luck."

-- Terry Gilliam's Brazil. 1985.


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