Friday, February 01, 2013

Have I mentioned lately that I believe David Mamet has completely lost it?

David Mamet has once again been paid to embarrass himself by spewing more kooky wingnuttery. This time, in Newsweek, he's expressing his crusty-old-man paranoia that Barack Obama is trying to take his guns on behalf of our Marxist (yes he uses the word Marxist) gubmint, and meanwhile Obama has the nerve to expect secret service protection! Just who does this guy Obama think he is?

It's hardly worth me addressing the lunacy since those duties have been handled by Media Matters for America, and Salon and The Guardian and Andrew Sullivan and Michael Tomansky and Scott Lemieux. Although I do want to give Ta-Nehisi Coates of the Atlantic special focus. He writes:
I was absolutely stunned by this paragraph: 
The Founding Fathers, far from being ideologues, were not even politicians. They were an assortment of businessmen, writers, teachers, planters; men, in short, who knew something of the world, which is to say, of Human Nature. Their struggle to draft a set of rules acceptable to each other was based on the assumption that we human beings, in the mass, are no damned good -- that we are biddable, easily confused, and that we may easily be motivated by a Politician, which is to say, a huckster, mounting a soapbox and inflaming our passions. 
Which is also to say the Founding Fathers were also slaves, and by slaves I mean white guys who wore wigs. All jest aside, I find the process that produces this sort of work to be utterly amoral. I've said this before, but this is the kind of writing that would get you bounced out of any decent essay writing class at a credible university. Words have meanings. You cannot change the fact that Thomas Jefferson served in the Virginia House of Burgesses because it's unfortunate for your argument. Unless you have a name like David Mamet.
But I would argue that the real issue of having a name like David Mamet is that nobody is able to fact-check his essays, let alone tell him no, his services as an essayist are not required because he is incapable of reasoning coherently. And so what we will see for who knows how long - it could be years - is that this fear-filled old man with a failing mind will be allowed to share the evidence of his decline again and again, writing screeds that are universally recognized as incoherent and factually wrong. And writers like Coates will assume that Mamet is deliberately spreading lies out of pure amorality.

Eventually, though, even the secular worship of a Great Man of the Arts will finally be insufficient to hide the truth: Mamet isn't saying these things because he is amoral and cynical, it's because he can no longer tell the difference between fact and fiction.

Although knowing that David Mamet looks to Glenn Beck for answers should be enough to clue anybody in - just this week Jon Stewart spoofed the incoherent freakshow that is Glenn Beck's Weltanschauung. It's kind of Stewart's speciality.

How much longer will the humiliating display of David Mamet's decline go on before they finally stop parading him around like a pinhead to be gawked at?


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1 comment:

  1. I agree. RACE made me think this man knows nothing about race. It was written with a void of a casual understanding of American history. Really weird that it was ever produced. I hope he can straighten the ship because he is talented, but the last 7 years he's written some pretty strange stuff.

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