Wednesday, March 12, 2008

David Mamet makes conservatives happy

Mamet writes:

This is, to me, the synthesis of this worldview with which I now found myself disenchanted: that everything is always wrong.

But in my life, a brief review revealed, everything was not always wrong, and neither was nor is always wrong in the community in which I live, or in my country. Further, it was not always wrong in previous communities in which I lived, and among the various and mobile classes of which I was at various times a part.

And, I wondered, how could I have spent decades thinking that I thought everything was always wrong at the same time that [I thought] that people were basically good at heart? Which was it? I began to question what I actually thought and found that I do not think that people are basically good at heart; indeed, that view of human nature has both prompted and informed my writing for the last 40 years. I think that people, in circumstances of stress, can behave like swine, and that this, indeed, is not only a fit subject, but the only subject, of drama.

I'd observed that lust, greed, envy, sloth, and their pals are giving the world a good run for its money, but that nonetheless, people in general seem to get from day to day; and that we in the United States get from day to day under rather wonderful and privileged circumstances—that we are not and never have been the villains that some of the world and some of our citizens make us out to be, but that we are a confection of normal (greedy, lustful, duplicitous, corrupt, inspired—in short, human) individuals living under a spectacularly effective compact called the Constitution, and lucky to get it.

Interesting read.

Oh, and get this part:

Prior to the midterm elections, my rabbi was taking a lot of flack. The congregation is exclusively liberal, he is a self-described independent (read "conservative"), and he was driving the flock wild. Why? Because a) he never discussed politics; and b) he taught that the quality of political discourse must be addressed first—that Jewish law teaches that it is incumbent upon each person to hear the other fellow out.

And so I, like many of the liberal congregation, began, teeth grinding, to attempt to do so. And in doing so, I recognized that I held those two views of America (politics, government, corporations, the military). One was of a state where everything was magically wrong and must be immediately corrected at any cost; and the other—the world in which I actually functioned day to day—was made up of people, most of whom were reasonably trying to maximize their comfort by getting along with each other (in the workplace, the marketplace, the jury room, on the freeway, even at the school-board meeting).

And I realized that the time had come for me to avow my participation in that America in which I chose to live, and that that country was not a schoolroom teaching values, but a marketplace.

The italicized portion of the final paragraph is the part that Noam Chomsky needs to get through his thick fucking skull. That man astounds me. He feeds off the society he critiques so viciously, and expresses zero gratitude for the fact that he suffers no truly negative consequences for what he does: no black helicopters, no jack-booted thugs pounding at his door and dragging him off, nothing. Quite the contrary, he's popular and makes a living off what he does.



Cappy said...

I never understood why Chumpsky was such a big deal. So he has an opinion. So does every barroom loudmouth. BFHD.

I read the Mamet article with glee. Came to that same conclusion real fast after 9/11. And my rabbi continues to piss off the hippies remaining in the congregation by praying for an American victory.

Anonymous said...

From the article;

"Bush outed a CIA agent... Bush lied about his military service... Bush was in bed with the Saudis...

I'm on fan of Bush, but that's all still Chomsky-level BS.