Larval ‘great white hope’ Rand Paul may be anti-green-technology, but the Republicans are thrifty recyclers of antique ideas & tattered trophes. Tom Scocca at Slate reports the not-exactly-news that someone has a book to sell:
David Mamet Shocker: Rich Person Discovers He Is a Republican
David Mamet talked to the Weekly Standard about how he decided he was a Republican. This is going to really bust up the intelligentsia, you see, because liberals believe anybody who uses “fuck” in a work of art has got to be a fellow traveler.
Andrew Ferguson describes a Mamet speech at Stanford that drove the faculty—men with “wispy beards” and women with “hair shorter than their husbands'”—to walk out, shocked by his scathing attack on higher education:
He compared four years of college to a lab experiment in which a rat is trained to pull a lever for a pellet of food. A student recites some bit of received and unexamined wisdom—“Thomas Jefferson: slave owner, adulterer, pull the lever”—and is rewarded with his pellet: a grade, a degree, and ultimately a lifelong membership in a tribe of people educated to see the world in the same way.
“If we identify every interaction as having a victim and an oppressor, and we get a pellet when we find the victims, we’re training ourselves not to see cause and effect,” he said. Wasn’t there, he went on, a “much more interesting . . . view of the world in which not everything can be reduced to victim and oppressor?”
See, in fact, the slaves totally owned Jefferson. But anyhow: higher education, it makes people stupid, and wrecks their gender identities, right? No one has ever made that risky observation before. And now Mamet is coming out with a whole book of it….
More entertainment (from Scocca, not Mamet) at the link. I seem to remember Mamet dramatically throwing off the chains of Liberal historical theory in the pages of some highly conventionally-liberal publication — the NYTimes? New York? The New Republic? — some time around the second inauguration of the C-Plus Augustus. But it would violate the ‘Republican intelligensia’ standard to do my own research, and besides, I am sure Mamet’s closely reasoned argument has never before been made with such care…
I want to say I always thought David Mamet was a self-important douchebag.
Somebody stop the planet, I want some people to get off.
Well that’s disappointing. Always Be Closing, and all that.
Uninterestingly enough, David Mamet ’11 sounds just like Dennis Miller ’04.
Frankensteinbeck (The ex-Uloborus)
It WOULD be nice if people didn’t constantly look for a victim/oppressor relationship, taking the process so far that they identify higher education of all things as a monolithic political brainwashing system. You have to be looking pretty hard for victim/oppressor dynamics to see that one.
Wait. I was supposed to get a pellet?
Whelp, thx to Psychology Today, I realize that my quest to find a significant other is futile…cause it has been “scientifically” found that Black women are less attractive than other women.
So I guess there is no hope for me…bummer!!!
ETA: I not gonna link to the article (which has been taken down since this morning anyway), but I’ll just link to the blog post from Black Snob about it: Black Women: So Hideous No One Will Leave Us Alone
Village Voice in ought 8:
So wow, I dug out my spreadsheet, found the column for “Republicans with talent.” OK, one check. Am I missing anyone else?
Apostates gonna apostasize.
@srv: Hitler, Adolph. Painter.
Just leave the other slots blank for him.
I just want to say that I don’t even have a very good idea of who David Mamet is.
Having said that, what I find funny about douchebags like him is that they seem to have no clue that the “liberal intellectual elites” that they are so fond of criticizing have been saying the same things about higher education since before they were born and in many cases, since before their grandparents were born.
Nietzsche once said that the worst thing about education was that it took intelligent, vibrant young minds and made them images of their teachers. Herman Hesse wrote a book called “Beneath the Wheel”. The liberal intellectual elites that I was exposed to as a young’un liked putting books like that on the curriculum to help their students learn to take their lessons with a bit of a grain of salt.
Now you have these stupid fucks coming along a hundred years later and acting like nobody has ever criticized education before. The problem isn’t so much that people like Mamet are attacking higher education, but that they are trying to take credit for the long-since-published Special and General Theories of Why Universities Suck.
Of course, I spend a good bit of my time telling my students that I don’t want them to simply dump material into their short term memory and then puke it back up on the exams.
Oh, that’s right – Mamet and others of a similar ilk aren’t talking about actual classrooms.
@mark: You beat me to it. But it’s worth a read, if for no other reason than Mamet’s unintentionally hilarious observation, gleaned from a lifetime of experience that we are to assume is more meaningful than our own, that when “government gets out of the way” then everything goes swimmingly.
This piece was published almost exactly 6 months before the Great Meltdown got underway.
Alrighty, I’m reposting this video cause I love the reactions of the kids and because it cheers me up from the realization that I am not as attractive as other women (see my prev comment)
Obama Greets Graduates at Booker T Washington HS
Congratulations Booker T Washington Graduates, Class of 2011!!
“Gritty” contemporary playwright known for his use of profanity. “Glengarry Glen Ross” is probably his most famous work; he probably hasn’t gotten over being called out for sexism after his play Oleanna took on the subject of sexual harassment… by imagining a younger woman student falsely accusing an older male professor.
Apparently some people are predicting the Rapture will come next Tuesday. Is that soon enough for you?
Didn’t Mamet’s big move to the right coincide with his getting a Hollywood-size taxable income?
@Frankensteinbeck (The ex-Uloborus): Uloborus? Really?
Hey! You wrote a book. What’s up with that?
Hey, Mamet: put the fucking coffee down. Coffee’s for the tenured.
Seriously, I always like Mamet scripts, because the world actually is full of toughguy-poseur douchebags, and one needs to navigate their pathologies. But, newsflash to David Mamet: that doesn’t justify actually being a toughguy-poseur douchebag.
@lamh34: WTfucketyF? Is Psychology Today resorting to self-immolation to get page views? Or have they just decided to follow the Lancet’s lead of an erstwhile-decent publication printing unmitigated crap and blowing its professional legitimacy for all time? In any event, Michelle Obama’s many fans, e.g., will be surprised to hear that.
I never cared much for Glengarry Glen Ross. It seems pretty stagy. But I really like Spanish Prisoner, Wag The Dog, and Vanya On 42nd Street.
Mamet is going to have a hard time if he decides to expand beyond upsetting the people who have been going to his plays and movies all these years and starts hanging out with the dyed-in-the-wool teatard crowd.
Ah, thank ye. Glengarry Glen Ross is known to me.
Maybe it’s the way the adaptation turned out, but I don’t recall the movie as being especially profanity-laced. I mostly remember it as a movie with a half a dozen great roles of the type that somehow never seem to end up in the hands of actresses.
The assumption that all ‘high brow’ artists, or cutting edge artists, are leftist, is ignorant, to put it bluntly.
Mamet is not a thinker. I will read the article for the Mamet quotes, which maybe will be insightful in some way, or at least funny.
But anyone who has read a Mamet play, knows. Or who has decided not to avert their attention from noting his trouble with anything in the direction of a plot, logic is not his strong point.
Edit: BTW, problems with logic and sustained trains of thought also show up in Mamet’s essays, a book of which I read once. After reading those, I never assumed Mamet would follow any conventional, identifiable, or coherent, political doctrine. Forget the name of the book of essays now, and no time to look them up.
The Other Chuck
Breaking: College students found to engage in left-leaning pseudo-intellectual wankery, therefore the appropriate reaction is to bomb brown people, rip up the social contract, and make all women chattel breeders.
I mean sure, the root of “reactionary” is “react”, but leave it to the likes of Mamet to make it the most knee-jerk sort of reaction possible. Guy got his buttons pushed by a college kid, and he’s controlled entirely by it. As Al Pacino would say, “You stupid fucking child”.
The Other Chuck
Did you watch the same movie I did? It’s not nicknamed “Death of a Fucking Salesman” for nothing.
So he points out that some professors like to churn out leftist dittoheads, and that’s news?
Does not seem novel to me that some folks indoctrinate others. Left or right.
But yeah, he’s trollin’ for a reaction from the crowd.
@Frankensteinbeck (The ex-Uloborus):
It comes from the “if you’re not thinking like me, you must have been brainwashed” line of reasoning.
When you’re a religious parent and your kid comes home saying, “My biology professor just told me evolution calls into question the 6000 year old earth theory, then gave me a textbook’s worth of information to absorb, analyze, and digest” you’re watching 16 years of carefully cultivated familial indoctrination get whisked out the door.
And college gets even crazier.
@Splitting Image: Look up ‘Fuck’ in the OED, and it references Mamet in American Buffalo. At least my reduced OED did.
Mamet would probably tell us that the only proper way to view the founding fathers is as the godlike figures that paid hagiographers have portrayed over the years. After all there’s no need to see the world any other way than the way it always has been seen.* So Jefferson must be seen as writing the Constitution** with his right hand and strangling the British*** with the left while clubbing Indians**** into submission with his dick.
** I know Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence and wasn’t even in the U.S. when the Constitution was drafted. We are talking about the conservative appreciation of facts here.
*** I also am aware Jefferson’s military record isn’t inspiring.
**** As far as I know, clubbing Indians is one thing Jefferson didn’t do with his dick.
Higher education would indeed be pretty fucked if all it did was regurgitate basic history facts that shuld be thought in primary or early secondary education. Or maybe that was all that Mamet’s alma mater, Goddard College did. Being unfamiliar with the institution, it’s hard to surmise what Mamet’s experience with it was.
@Jennifer: I haven’t actually managed to read the WHOLE thing cuz it’s a little too me! me! me! but, yes it is a classic of the genre. At least the first 2 pages. That’s all I can speak abt. (or page and a half. god, I have no attention span.)
@lamh34: OMG. That video had me reaching for the kleenex. Simply wonderful. Thanks for posting that link.
@FlipYrWhig: and punches are thrown from the prof to the student iirc
anyways i heard this started when mamet came under the sway of a radical rightwing rabbi (or RRR) around 04/05– so whatever else he says is just to distract us from noticing his wispy fear of death
@The Other Chuck:
You’re probably right, but I haven’t seen it in years. The amount of profanity wasn’t really what I found memorable about it.
Mamet was also the screenwriter for Wag The Dog among other movies that got good critical acclaim (I like The Spanish Prisoner myself). A big surprise to me was that he created a network TV series The Unit which came, stayed for four seasons, and left without my ever knowing it existed. I’ll admit that I don’t watch much TV these days but I at least usually know the names of the shows out there and approximately what they are about.
@Citizen_X: Mamet has always been a “toughguy-poseur douchebag.”
He has always portrayed himself as the tough Jewish kid, duking it out with other ethnic minorities on Chicago’s south side.
I think he’s written some great plays and movies, but lately he has become a total neo-con. His lame TV series ‘The Unit’ was all about portraying Arabs and Hispanics as the bad guys, who were capable of committing horrible crimes against the innocent.
Even while admiring his writing, I don’t think I ever thought of him as anything other than an asshole. It’s part of his genius. It’s why he has created so many wonderful asshole characters.
Roy Edroso covers this as the non-event it is, and reminds us how long ago Mamet declared himself a right-winger (2008).
In case he’s too humble to say it, he wrote a fabulous book. (It doesn’t count as blowing your own horn if somebody else is blowing it, I checked the rulebook.)
edited to add: my blockquote fail haunts me.
Yeah, I remember — although not very well — when Mamet made his announcement. I do remember I read it and thought, “Yep, he’s a Republican all right. A self-important, douchebag of a Republican.” He seemed quite taken with himself.
For some reason, I seem to recall his announcement also had a lot of stuff about working out and being pleased with his newly toned body. Does anyone else remember that? It seemed very odd.
I think Mamet has talent, but of a limited sort. He puts on a great show — portraying lowlifes in a very funny and ferocious way — but I don’t see him as any deep thinker. He just knows how to push an audience’s buttons. And, given the reactionary quality of alot of his characters, it didn’t much surprise me when he “came out” as a Republican.
I also suspect that he, like Ron Silver and a few others who openly switched sides in the 00s, was largely motivated by the Iraq war/support for Israel’s position.
@lamh34: I guess you should get a bunch of cats. Isn’t that the done thing? Seriously though, WTF?
Geez, reading that, I’m embarrassed for Mamet. He sounds like a high school junior who’s just read “Atlas Shrugged.”
Also, too, what one Daniel Martin said in comments to the Slate piece:
“It’s doubly weird that Mamet stakes his “self-sufficiency” on copyright law — the most transparently artificial species of property in existence. Based on copyright law, Mamet is exactly as rich as the government says he can be. Any participation in the market on his part is wholly predicated on the entirely synthetic state-run creation of his copyright prerogatives.”
I don’t get the butthurt and paranoia re: leftist academia. In college, took a sociology class taught by a self-identified s0cialist. I’m no s0cialist now, and that class didn’t make me one then. In reality the prof wasn’t really as interested in making us into his little red brigade as much as getting us to re-examine pre-conceived notions of social norms. You know, learn something new.
Or maybe not. It didn’t matter to me, since I knew the point wasn’t to memorize every talking point.
@Splitting Image: The softcore Demi Moore/Rob Lowe romantic comedy About Last Night… was based on one of his plays. He also wrote the screenplay for The Untouchables. Here endeth the lesson.
@lamh34: Oh. That was such a wonderful video. Talk amongst yourselves ….
So what’s the book Uloborus wrote? I’m looking for new reading material.
Well shit…I kinda hate cats! What am I gonna do now?
Mamet is very interesting on the subject of screenwriting- http://www.movieline.com/2010/03/david-mamets-memo-to-the-writers-of-the-unit.php
There is no reason to expect he knows what to do in politics, or in life, so I would never expect him to be an authority on these things.
He’s a serious fucking authority on screenwriting :)
Jason In the Peg
I read his book of essay’s “Theatre” in December. At the end he acknowledges the influence of Milton Friedman and Thomas Sowell.
It is a collection of essays in which he applies the model of Chicago Economics to the business and art of the theatre and apologizes for all of his past failures to live up to those ideals. It is filled with lame attempts to explain away his success in spite of failing his ideology.
I was and remain embarrassed for him in the same way you might for an alzheimers patient.
Jason In the Peg
@jinxtigr: yes absolutely. Also Three Uses of the Knife is great. It’s about the 3 act structure in films and plays.
Damn I just realized why my comment is stuck in mod hell. FYWP fail.
I don’t think Mamet gets his pellet. As far as I know, no one has accused Jefferson of adultery. It is believed that he had sex with Sally Hemmings when he was a single widower.
The problem wasn’t adultery. It was having sex with a slave, which is rape.
If Mamet thinks the only problem people have with sex is that one might be cheating on one’s spouse, he is a moral idiot.
Weirdly, I feel like that validates one of the things I’ve come to believe about American culture, namely that it’s actually more threatening to white supremacy for a white man to marry a black woman than the other way around. If a black man marries a white woman, that’s reinforcing the idea that white people are at the top of the ladder, because of course a black man would want to “marry up” and have an attractive (aka white) wife. If a white man marries a black woman, that’s admitting that maybe white people aren’t automatically superior since a member of the so-called “superior” race can find an “inferior” to be attractive enough to marry.
Still working on the theory, but I think it’s already based in more logic than Psychology Today’s. And it explains the right wing’s extreme hatred of Michelle Obama, too.
“The world reduced to victim and oppressor.”
Funny, isn’t that the Tea Party platform?
Gee, Mamet, I learned in school that Jefferson was a fascinating mind, inventor, architect, author (of something important, what was it, something about adultery and slave owning, probably), ambassador to France, President, etc. Probably why I didn’t get my pellet, like Jewish Steel didn’t get his.
Well, I suppose that I am disappointed by this. American Buffalo, Wag the Dog, The Untouchables, The Verdict, and, of course, Glengarry are a great fuckin’ bunch of films. But really, I couldn’t give a shit about his political views. Hard hitting, two-fisted dialogue, sure. But this is basically Mamet showing us his watch, telling us it costs more than our car. Good for him. All his best work is 20+ years behind him anyway. He got paid, he’s pulling the ladder up behind him, we’re all a bunch of losers, coffee is for closers like him. Rich guy is a Republican, film at 11.
I spent eleven years in college getting three degrees in playwriting and I have to share the same profession with this schmuck?
Frankensteinbeck (The ex-Uloborus)
@Jewish Steel: and @Jim, Once:
I wrote two books! And a bunch of other stuff! But at the moment only one book is available, the fluffy, frothy love story Sweet Dreams Are Made Of Teeth. Currently it’s only available from Smashwords. Should be on Amazon sometime tonight. After that… well, it WILL be on Sony, Borders, and Apple iBook stores, but they don’t tell you how long the processing time is. For all I know it’ll be a week.
Jason In the Peg
@Mustang Bobby: I’m at my first colony getting ready for my first reading here. You wouldn’t want to share a tip or two?
@Jason In the Peg: Read the whole thing as Mr. Magoo. There’s nobody on earth who doesn’t luv Jim Backus.
@Jason In the Peg: Drop me an e-mail and let’s talk.
Jason In the Peg
@Mustang Bobby: Will do.
Why oh why is this woman so unattractive?
First lady Michelle dances on Front Lawn
Man, I sooo love this FLOTUS. She motivates me to get up and move…lol
@Frankensteinbeck (The ex-Uloborus): Excellent. I downloaded the sample, will check out the complete book on Amazon tomorrow.
Frankensteinbeck (The ex-Uloborus)
I hope you enjoy it! My fantasy tends to be a bit unconventional, and often gothy.
…unconventionally gothy. My point is, not a lot of vampires.
@lamh34: You could solve murders like an AA Miss Marple. Would that be better?
The Fat Kate Middleton, Dowager Duchess of Cambridge (aka Jim, Once)
I’m tired of my old name, trying out a new one. I looked for inspiration from Mamet, but it just wasn’t there. Testing.
@Omnes Omnibus: Oooh! Now that sounds great. I’m more inclined to becoming Jessica Fletcher (“Murder She Wrote”). She always solved the crime, and never moved a muscle.
you’ve sold me…lol.
@Frankensteinbeck (The ex-Uloborus): When and where will it be available in old fashioned book form? Some of us are old fashioned. Looks interesting BTW.
@lamh34: One does one’s best.
@Frankensteinbeck (The ex-Uloborus): Dinosaurs?
Frankensteinbeck (The ex-Uloborus)
It will eventually be available from Amazon in old fashioned book form. My plan was to concentrate first on getting all of my old inventory up on ebooks and then work the print form, since financially speaking print is a drop in the bucket and it’s an entirely separate system to learn.
But you’re the second person to ask, so I dunno, maybe I need to accelerate that.
In 2007, Mamet came out with a book called Bambi vs. Godzilla in which he proudly displayed his right-wing opinions, regardless of whether they had any connection to the topic of his essays (but then to call them essays would be glorifying what were just some opinions pasted together with five dollar words.) It seemed like his “conversion” stemmed from his realization that Israel was always right, and the foremost job for David Mamet was to protect Israel from any liberal scum who might impugn its policies.
@Frankensteinbeck (The ex-Uloborus): Cool. If you think of it, could you let people know when it is available on paper?
Frankensteinbeck (The ex-Uloborus)
A lot of influence from fairy tales, various mythologies (Judeo-Christian is a hoot), and random folk belief. So I’ve got a book about a nightmare’s love life, a book about children being cursed with never growing up, a book of fairy tales I wrote, and the Doll House stories which are… uh, the best I can come close to is ‘a supernatural dating agency’. And the book currently In Progress is a post-post-apocalyptic retelling of Genesis that centers around angels being very bad parents.
Mamet once again gets everyone’s attention. You can’t do better than by forcing tenured professors to walk out in the middle of your speech. The only bet he overlooked was exposing him to the audience. Would’ve gone better if he’d worn a raincoat to the speech and flashed everyone periodically.
Second-best comment (after aimai’s) on the Edroso thread: “Hoo, boy. The guy who wrote Oleanna, Homicide, Speed-the-Plow, and Throw Frank Nitti off the Courthouse! [not to mention Wag the Dog] has conservative leanings? Was this a surprise even in 2008? To whom? Billboards keep better secrets.”
PZ Myers has a detailed ripping of the Psychology Today article. The author, Satoshi Kanazawa, (note, not a white guy!) previously endorsed Ann Coulter for President because she would have nuked the Middle East after 9/11.
Handy – I think it is the fear of the students actually following your prof’s advice and examining their previous beliefs, etc. that scares the righties. I grew up raised by two lefties English profs (though one later went back to the Catholic Church). They taught me to think critically and examine my motivations and find my way in life rather than just regurgitate the fascist belief system some rightwing daddy would’ve imposed on the family. I went through a little Ayn Rand phase, but eventually I came around to justice, fairness and egalitarianism. At this point, I am probably more of a leftist than either of my parents.
@Frankensteinbeck (The ex-Uloborus): Looks like a neat book. I will be checking it out.
@mark: Thank you. Announcing one’s bold contrarianism in the Village Fvcking Voice — now there‘s an iconoclast for ya!
And he waited until the RW ‘Dubya Who?’ era to do it, too. Hey, Mamzer, 1976 called and it wants its bad-boy schtik back…
Rush Limbaugh brought up the same point a few weeks ago, when he was talking about Wisconsin—how those stupid protesters didn’t even realize the irony that their own pension fund was invested in Koch Industries.
That would be kind of difficult. Koch Industries is a privately owned company. How ironic.
Allow me to take a second to feel vindicated for never liking David Mamet’s work.
I also want to say that the “intellegentsia” that he villifies are about the only people that give two shits about his work.
This story line has been a pet peeve of mine for a while. Anyone who has read anything by Mamet prior to the year 2000 – and in particular his books of essays, Writing in Restaurants and Make-Believe Town – knows he was never a liberal in any meaningful sense. He has been a member of the NRA for ages, is extremely skeptical of feminism (and scathing towards female executives), and his longest-term social concern, expressed in both plays and essays, has been the decline of masculinity.
I say this as a fan of his work. Not a liberal, never has been.
I don’t know if anybody noted this yet, but:
Have you watched DePalma’s “Untouchables” recently? 1980’s Reagan Psycho-fantasy, the War-On-Drugs repackaged as a fascist John Ford-esque morality-play.
I still have a guilty pleasure for the movie, because DePalma always has his tongue at least somewhat in cheek. But Mamet wrote it, and without apparent irony. He was always a crypto-nazi at best.
Watch the “gun in your mouth” scene and tell it didn’t inspire Ashcroft’s boys in 2002. Dare ya.
@Tom Q: Exactly, Tom. It’s Ron Silver syndrome; post 9/11; post-Jenin; Bibi-worshipping tough guy posing. What’s startling is that former liberals who have gone to the right initially on Israel also conform their other politics to the right. Very smart people who know better are twisting into knots becoming global warming deniers and anti-Obamacare ranters.
As for Mamet, he always worshipped the tough guys (Alex Baldwin in Glengarry anyone? (not to mention the humiliation of women (his ex-wife in House of Games.)
Those two pieces are his peak, though. He may as well become a wingnut as far as I’m concerned.
Sadly, it is entirely possible for someone to pass through the entire process at just about any university anywhere in the United States of America, from the lowliest podunk county community college to the toniest of the Ivies, without having acquired the thing their diplomas suggest they have – an education. Our previous so-called President proved that, once and for all, so this fact is not really anything new.
So to this conservative idiot with a diploma, and anyone else like him, if you went to college and didn’t get an education, you have no one to blame but yourself. The opportunity was certainly there; you just didn’t avail yourself of it instead of attempting to break the school record of most beers drunk at a sitting while plotting the perfect foolproof plan to get certain members of the opposite sex to drop their knickers for you. To you I say, shame on you.
The bright side is that this formally ends his theater career, which was actually over a decade or two ago.
I don’t think any line has thrown me out of a movie like Mamet’s “I became what I beheld” from that one. Pretentious much?
Next he will discover the Diggers and Levelers, and conclude they we Marxists, sometime before he discovers that he is in fact the only proof of his point about education that he can prove.
@johnsmith1882: Baby steps. Jefferson was a genius, but he owned slaves (and did them from time to time). Does this make him less of a genius, or just a product of his times? Margaret Sanger wrote some silliness that kinda, sorta, resembles eugenics. Did that make her less of a hero for the family planning movement? No. The Canadian rock band Rush did entire albums devoted to Ayn Rand themes. Did that make them less awesome? Heck no, eh!
You can’t judge historical figures from the past by current standards. You just can’t. Progress is a continuous progress, not something you get all at once. Baby steps.
David who, said what?
“I became what I beheld, and I’m content that I’ve done right”.
Jason In the Peg
@Fergus Wooster: What a statement from someone who’s made a career of studying “toughguy-poseur douchebags”
H/T to Citizen_X
I heard Rapture Predicting Guy on the radio the other day. He seemed very, very certain. Am I the only one going to lay in some party supplies this weekend in case he is right?
Cuz if all the right folk get raptured, things are going to be a lot better for the rest of us.
More on why this is a made-up controversy.
That’s from 1989. So why is this a story today?
This is all surprising because work like “Glengarry, Glen Ross” looks like an attack on free enterprise capitalism. Mamet certainly does devote a lot of his art to looking at the underbelly of capitalism for a closet Republican.
Well of COURSE Mamet’s a Republican…
His best work (Glengarry, American Buffalo) happened 25+ years ago, the overwhelming majority of what he’s done since has been unadulterated crap, and he walks around pretending that a couple of decent plays a generation ago make him a genius.
Anybody who caught even a glimpse of the steaming pile that was Mamet’s “Unit” (pun intended since measuring dicks–particularly Mamet’s–was central to the show) knows two things to be true: 1) David Mamet is a wingnut, and 2) when he soiled himself on 9/11, he crapped away all of his talent along with everything else.
I totally agree. Like last night, I was watching Freedom Riders on PBS–a completely umamerican and soshulist teevee station–and it was making some kind of big deal about these riders. OK, yeah, some of ’em got beaten and a bus was burned. And OK, yeah, some of ’em got put in prison. But what did they expect, totally provoking the innocent Klukluxers who were all provoked by black folk sitting IN THE FRONT OF THE BUSES?
I just got done watching The Unit on Netflix and while I’ve suspected Mamet was a right-winger ever since Oleanna, the show isn’t necessarily a conservative tropefest.
What I took away from the series is that Dennis Haysbert is awesome and like Haysbert, the other actors on the show deserve far better than Mamet’s material.
The politics of the show arent’ necessarily what I would call right wing. They fall somewhere in the middle of the road.
A couple of interesting plot arcs deal directly with pacificism and the very, very weak arguments typically made by right wingers in defense of militarism (although I think that was actually the opposite of Mamet’s intent – his half-formed ideas being undone by his own writing), racism in the military, violence against women, the lawlessness and corruption of the post 9/11 torture/extraordinary rendition/terrorist detention regime, and a raft of other topics in which Mamet comes off as either apostate or in which the right and left views towards militarism are given the benefit of the doubt.
Seasons 1 and 2 are by far, the best ones, but the 4th (and final) season was one the more ridiculous things I’ve ever forced myself to sit through.
All in all, a well acted, occasionally well written, sometimes preposterous show.
David Mamet has occassionally made a decent movie. So WHY should his stupid support of Republicans matter to me?
Martin Heidigger made statements supporting Hitler, and he wrote some decent philosophy. Should I go become a Nazi? Should I hate Jews because of Mel Gibson? Should I go become a scientologist because of Tom Cruise?
All this just carries on the endless Mel Gibson–Tom Cruise tradition of rich “artists and intellectuals” with stupid ideas.