I saw the highly esteemed Ken Loach, as so many others, getting somewhat trapped – or trapping himself:
saying what is so often said by many people, by many of us:
We have to begin where people are
He corrected himself shortly later, talking about those people whom he wanted to collect as being
part of our struggle
He did not ‘correct himself explicitly’, referring to the earlier statement, may be he did not even mention it. And I am surely one of those who used the same phrase, or thought in the way of ‘beginning where …’ and ‘collecting from …’, forgetting that it is our common and one world. Sure, there is the need to ‘translate’: abstract models in political science as in economics as in linguistics … translating them in ‘real life world meaning’. And there is the need to translate what we say into the language of ’the other’ – and in actual fact we permanently do it, without even thinking about it and even mentioning it.
Talking about arts, academic work, politics …, isn’t the need for such ‘beginning where …’ and ‘collecting from …’ the simple fact of these areas very much captured by the overall alienation [if this is the right word], things we do becoming meaningless [again: if this is the correct word which it is probably not]. In academia as elsewhere we are ‘producing papers’, are ‘working on problems’, for ‘outstanding journals and universities’ … – I heard the other day that ‘being invited from a foreign university’ is awarded higher than being invited by a national one … – and in this way we can surely say that it is our world – even if the one form of alienation is simply called alienation, another may be called extreme expert knowledge and specialization and again another illusion of … being ore intelligent than others.
Coming back to Ken, it is obvious that he did not mean what in some way he said: and amazing character of simplicity in the best of all senses, the simplicity of lived common sense, reflecting the deepest knowledge of things that is possible.
[And this makes his films so meaningful for all of us, how have a bit of it, i.e. the common sense, left].