Rage, rage into Wednesday Night

Written by  //  February 16, 2011  //  Special Wednesday Nights, Special Wednesdays, The Salon  //  No comments

By Felix von Geyer
The MetropolitaIn
February 16, 2011

 

 

Do not go gentle into that good night,

Old age should burn and rave at close of day;

Rage, rage, against the dying of the light. (Dylan Thomas)

Like the two matching lines of a villanelle poem such as Dylan Thomas above, Diana and David Nicholson intertwine their alternate lines that have recurred throughout the poetry of Wednesday Night that last December pushed through its 1500th successive Wednesday – more than 25 years.

Between them they introduce, compare and contrast people, their perspectives, opinions and deeds that are the substance and form that bring shape, solidity and occasionally lingering noeticism to any informed debate or opinion.

They also cover the spectrum of small ‘l’ liberalism. Where Leonard Schapiro once divided the Rationalists and Nationalists of 19th century Russia into liberal-conservatives and liberal-radicals; David`s focus is more conventional, markets, finance and who might be doing what and where. Importantly, he guarantees the bounds and realms of relevance and decorum, though occasionally is guilty of slicing out an incisive observation and fails to allow debate to become too penetrating. However, his task is a little like the Speaker of the House, which he undertakes objectively and usually with aplomb.

Diana however seemingly embraces the new age of sustainable development and one suspects privately she believes the way is possible but political will is lacking. Her forte – which as anyone who comes to know her soon realizes can never be limited to one – is the vastness of her social network where she is held with the highest esteem.

Had she been Shakespeare’s role model for the nurse in Romeo and Juliet, would an entirely different play have emerged, avoiding the banalities of Act 5 (as a Theatre Director friend of mine has referred to them)?

One cannot but wonder how as a couple, they upend the idea of ‘behind every great man is an even greater woman’ for Diana is ably and encouragingly supported by her husband in what she does, says and whom she cares to know – even if intelligence services visit to find out if secrets might be in the process of being traded. Perhaps they too should come along and find out – just bring a bottle of red wine.

For what is unique to Wednesday Night and common to all Wednesday Nighters is its surrounding bonhomie.

If invited back for a second time it seems, you are always a Wednesday Nighter and wherever you are when you bump into fellow Wednesday Nighters away from the Nicholsons, it is as though an unexpected and welcome family reunion.

As bland as this may sound, once you realize the variety of professionals, finance experts, economists, academics, diplomats, politicians, intelligence experts, documentary and film makers not to mention journalists who grace their threshold, then like the red wine that that seeps between your lips while there, you’ll value the experience of being a Wednesday Nighter, even if David won’t quite allow anyone to rage, rage into the night!

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