OPINION

The tape never sleeps

The Caretta caretta is a famous turtle and a protected species. The cassette cassette is a technique of conversation between the government spokesman and the opposition parties’ spokesmen. This is, fortunately, not a protected species for we would have to alter the meaning of dictionary entries, such as «discussion» and «dialogue.» Whatever the subject under «discussion» – be it economic, political, athletic, environmental, cherries or oil – the tape recorders «inform» and «enlighten» us, spewing the same old tape over and over again. We know its content better than we know the speeches on national holidays. First, the conflicting parties mouth verbs that communicate repugnance: accuse, condemn, charge, denounce. Secondly, for every noun there are five strong adjectives that have always (even before the time of the surrealist Andreas Embeirikos) been open to interpretation. When the one-(noun)-to-five (adjectives) ratio turns into one to seven or eight, then the ever-cautious TV channels know that they must inform the rather cool-headed audience that «things are heating up.» Once in a while, there’s a surprise: Like yesterday, for example, when the government spokesman’s remarks turned a bit sharper when he used the word «hogwash.» If that made him feel he knocked out his opponent, there is nothing we can say to shake his conviction, like the conviction that we live in an ideal world. I am not aware if the Caretta caretta hibernates, like her terrestrial relatives. But I can assure you, the cassette cassette never sleeps, nor does it break down.