Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Say it isn't so, Mamet?


Seems David Mamet has had quite a change of heart these past few years, as he rails against "liberalism" in his new book, The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of American Culture.  This is something you would expect from Regnery Publishing, not an award-winning playwright and film maker who has given us some very thought-provoking plays and films over the years.  David Ulin writes in his review that most of Mamet's arguments are all too easy to refute, leaving me to wonder what "secret knowledge" he is privy to that the rest of us are not, or if this is dementia setting in early.

4 comments:

  1. He's not the first Young Firebrand to become a cranky altakaka. Remember most of the Neo-Cons started off as Trotskites. It seems a special affliction of Jewish intellectuals, their heritage steeped in Talmudic thinking. Such can produce genius as if from an assemble line, yet its relentless parsing can lead to endless conflict. Golda Meir once said, "If the Arabs really wanted to destroy us, they'd leave us alone." I suspect Mr. Mamet has internally painted himself into a corner and it has driven him mad.

    ReplyDelete
  2. GREAT line from Meir.

    Mamet has taken an antagonist role in one of his own quirky plays.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Nice to see your comment, Nebris. Mamet's stated positions remind me a lot of Ron Silver. I suppose there is something left of a "liberal establishment" in Hollywood, although not much judging by the types of films that have come out in recent decades. Nevertheless, I imagine those Hollywood parties can become a bore with all the political correctness, and so Mamet feels need to vent. Judging by the review, it doesn't seem Mamet has exhibited much awareness for America beyond Hollywood.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm not sure Mamet was ever the liberal some people seem to think he was. In plays like American Buffalo and Glengarry Glen Ross, he took a very blue collar or proletarian approach in his criticsm of capitalism. He decried how it tended to damage both buyers and sellers, to make unwitting enemies of them. But reading his plays and writing about them, I never got the feeling that he thought some sort of move to European style socialism was the answer. Even in this new book, which I haven't read, I get the feeling that he is more interested in exposing the shibboleths that we allow ourselves to be enslaved by. The fact that he is now taking aim at liberals may be only because he sees them as an easier target.

    ReplyDelete