Thursday, September 11, 2008
1: Each grain of rice can only represent a PERSON.
2: Each grain of rice can only represent ONE person.
3: That person cannot be fictional.
4: That person can be dead.
5: As the grains act as 'cast members' it is possible for one person to appear in a number of piles simultaniously 'played by' different grains of rice.
There are other rules of protocol, about presentation and performance but it is the boundaries of those fundamental rules that I enjoy exploring and here we have to resort to Case Law. Today Chris presented a new Test Case the discussion of which caused Graeme to appeal against a former Test Case.
Test Case 1: Degrunier vs No one (my metaphor breaks down here): The Unknown Soldier
Degrunier argued that, as a real, though unknown soldier was burried in the tomb of the Unknown Soldier beneath the Arc De Triomphe she should be allowed to place this person into the show (her idea was that he should go into The New Room).
After some deliberation Justice Yarker denied the claim. His resoning being that, whilst fulfilling the technical requirements that the rice represent a single, non-fictional person, the symbolic power carried by the real unknown soldier collapses when translated into the show as that symbolism is removed by a further degree, it becomes a representation of a symbol. The show makes the role of the Unknown Soldier redundent as every single solider who fell on a particular battle field can now have their own rice representative, they do not have to share a single symbol. In part, this is what gives the show its power.
At the time Justice Yarker said he would consider allowing an appeal to Justice Stephens, but on retireing to his chambers the thought "no I'm defintately right on this one and that's the end of it".
Test Case 2: Rose vs Yarker: Twelve Angry Men
Appealing a previous judicial ruling Rose argued that Twelve Angry Men shouldn't be allowed because amongst other things it felt a bit funny.
Many of the trainee barrasters standing by had no idea what was going on and had to be briefed about an old black and white film staring Henry Fonda adapted from a stage play the author of which no one could remember.
Trow and Semp, speaking on behalf of Yarker, pointed out that whilst the 'statistic' appears to be referring to fictional characters in fact it is merely identifying a dozen hopping mad males. Trow used the Million Men test case to bolster his argument.
Rose internally cursed that QC Hadingue was on other legal duties in Stratford and unable to back him up.
Yarker (acting contrary all good legal proceedure as both defendant and judge) decided against the appeal. Whilst acknowledging the validity of the 'feeling a bit funny' argument and welcoming the appeal he said he was minded, on this occasion, to allow Twelve Angry Men so long as it stays in its own room and doesn't interfere with any other 'statistics'.
With both case and court dismissed everyone wandered off and no one seemed particularly bothered about being paid less than £100 per hour.
The Unkown Soldier has been allowed before by me (with specific reference to place of burial and in the context of a section on european conflict) I did however take some persuading.
Though still highly sceptical I could see a greater chance of my accepting an Unknown Soldier within a greater Conflict setting if its context were constructed so that it led people to reflect on the device of The Unknown Solider. In The New Room? No.