Saturday, 12 December 2009

'Meat in the room'

A friend of mine gave me a DVD of In The Loop to watch recently.

It's a modern British political satire. The twenty first century inheritor of the legacy of the Yes Prime Minister and the Yes Minster series. It is cutting and irreverent as only the British can be. I guess there is something for being a race that swears by the stiff upper lip. My friend said that the film has been described as 'the Sistine Chapel of profanity'.

The film is set in the context of British and American polity and the build up to an Iraq like invasion.

I found an interesting concept there, that of 'meat in the room'. Apparently the Americans don't feel that a meeting is a meeting unless there are at least twenty people in the room. So Simon Foster, bumbling British minister, is asked to attend a joint US UK meeting. He is there to make up the number. Or as the British apparently say, to be 'meat in the room'. He is given strict instructions to remain mum and to not draw attention to himself.

Problem is that no one has told Simon he is meat in the room. He feels compelled to say something as he is in the room. He believes that the Americans who called for the meeting would expect that.

He opens his mouth. And sparks off a series of event which lead to the Americans and Brits deciding to invade an unnamed country.

Sounds familiar? Have you even come across meat in the room? Have you ever been meat in the room?

Have a happy and fulfilling Sunday.

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