Thursday, March 13, 2008

David Mamet Abandons 'Brain-Dead" Liberal Fold

As is all too painfully apparent, most people in the entertainment industry are traditionally ultra left. We are often treated to vitriolic rants by the Hollywood elite regarding how hateful this country is, how fractured and vile we are as Americans. And although, admittedly, we are far from perfect, we are not the pariahs the libs frequently make us out to be. So, when someone in the movie biz abandons the liberal fold, and deigns to make it publicly known, it is cause for much celebration for those of us who ditched it long ago, or who never embraced it to begin with. Those of us cowering in the fringes, fearful of openly acknowledging our non-liberalness, other than in venues like this (where we can remain in relative anonymity), we raise our hands in grateful praise. Hallelujah! Another one has finally seen the light.

It's not often, but every once in a while a notable celebrity will quietly reveal his conservative bent, or admit this country 'aint half as bad as the ultra-libs seem to think it is. David Mamet, acclaimed playwright, screenwriter, director (GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS, THE VERDICT, WAG THE DOG, SPEED-THE-PLOW) is one of those. Though I wouldn't hand him his conservative badge of honour, just yet, he wrote a very interesting article for the Village Voice, recently, entitled: David Mamet: Why I Am No Longer A 'Brain-Dead Liberal- an election-season essay'. His words, not mine.

"I took the liberal view for many decades, but I believe I have changed my mind. As a child of the '60s, I accepted as an article of faith that
government is corrupt, that business is exploitative, and that people are generally good at heart.These cherished precepts had, over the years, become ingrained as increasingly impracticable prejudices. Why do I say impracticable? Because although I still held these beliefs, I no longer applied them in my life. How do I know? My wife informed me. We were riding along and listening to NPR. I felt my facial muscles tightening, and the words beginning to form in my mind: Shut the fuck up. "?" she prompted. And her terse, elegant summation, as always, awakened me to a deeper truth: I had been listening to NPR and reading
various organs of national opinion for years, wonder and rage contending for pride of place. Further: I found I had been—rather charmingly, I thought—referring to myself for years as "a brain-dead liberal," and to NPR as "National Palestinian Radio."

It's a brilliant, wonderfully revelatory dissertation on how he came to terms with his more tolerant and accepting conservative side. He talks about how he came to realize that the faults of President George W. Bush were no different than the faults of President John F. Kennedy, whom he happened to revere. He talks about class, but how unlike the Marxist view, the U.S. class system is not static. The poor can rise from the depths of poverty and make something of their lives, whilst the rich and powerful can fall.

It's a fascinating 5 pages of the inner workings of an ex-lib, and well worth the read.

Let's hope more in my industry, and other traditionally liberal fields, find their way to the Truth, as David Mamet has.


Anonymous said...

Is this the same David Mamet who is the executive producer of The Unit? If it is, I hope his epiphany carries over to this wonderful show. It has headed down the path of shame since it first premiered. It truly turned liberal and I read that Eric Haney who's novel the show is based on, hates Bush and protests the war. I also read that a wife of one of the producer's (I thought it was Mamet, but maybe not) works with Michael Moore on all his movies.

Incognito said...

ANON. Yes it is the same Mamet.. hopefully it will. I think this is a recent revelation for him.. but also remember, he might be one producer, but still has to deal with the others, plus the network etc. Not sure about his wife working with Michael Moore. Maybe she hasn't had Mamet's epiphany yet, though the article seems to imply she might.

WomanHonorThyself said...

yes I had heard about this Incog..wonderful find!..great to see you back girlfriend!:)

Pat Jenkins said...

time to give you the big head incog. but your post gives warrant to the courage you exhibit. as you put your career and well being on the line by expressing beliefs. and your "incognitoness" is proof the left is a movement bent on constriction instead of "free" living. i commend you!! p.s. i know you didn't publish it for this purpose but you deserve congrats.

Incognito said...

WOMAN: Thanks Angel, good to be back.

PATJ: Thanks my friend! though, I'd be more courageous if I posted in my real name. Some day.

Karen said...

I read his post at Pajamas Media. It's a great piece. I say, welcome, Mr. Mamet. Better late than never!

MUD said...

The thing that bothers me the most is that just because a person is good looking or a great actor, it doesn't make them more right. If one of the Baldwin brothers says something, I just don't bother to listen. Actors are actors and everything they do is a lie if they are good. Why should this not spill out into their political life. I'll bet that you have one or two issues that makes you mor liberal than me and I obviously have some that I support. For example, I hate that our congress is spending money like there is no tomorrow and have been for quite a few years. Break a leg. MUD

Incognito said...

KAREN: That's cool.. A friend emailed the Village Voice link to me. Loved it! and yes, better late than never.

MUD: Absolutely right, MUD, but I guess, just as we feel the right to have opinions and right about them, I guess they do too. And I don't listen either. Though I think one of the Baldwin bros is a conservative. I don't lie... bad karma.. :-) and there are probably some issues that you support that are more liberal than mine.
and thanks!! I'm trying to break 2. we've had some nice reviews... so that's good!