David Mamet: the ideological journey of a former “brain-dead liberal”

But for the fact that I am not a famous and wealthy writer-director for stage and screen, who mostly works in iambic-pentameter, David Mamet’s story of his ideological awakening could be my own. This is how he describes his initial realization of where his long-established assumptions had been wrong.

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.”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 I thought that people were basically good at heart? Which was it?

Read all about it at the Village Voice, David Mamet, Why I am No Longer a ‘Brain-Dead Liberal’

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2 responses to “David Mamet: the ideological journey of a former “brain-dead liberal”

  1. I certainly hope that your journey has been marked by more facts and reason than the journey Mamet outlines. For one example (of many) from the article,

    “Bush got us into Iraq [partially true], JFK into Vietnam [true]. Bush stole the election in Florida [false]; Kennedy stole his in Chicago [true, in spades]. Bush outed a CIA agent [outright lie]; Kennedy left hundreds of them to die in the surf at the Bay of Pigs [true]. Bush lied about his military service [false--he revealed everything as opposed to Jean Fraud sKerry who has still not released his records]; Kennedy accepted a Pulitzer Prize for a book written by Ted Sorenson [true]. Bush was in bed with the Saudis [true--but he ought to have said "is"], Kennedy with the Mafia [probably true--the evidence convinces me, but it's arguable, still]. Oh.”

    With the kinds of reality-based fantasy just that one paragraph reveals, it’s no wonder the rest of his article is filled with irrational “arguments” and strange dualism.

    Even his best analogy to the ills of government intervention fails:

    “..take away the director from the staged play and what do you get? Usually a diminution of strife, a shorter rehearsal period, and a better production.”

    Often true. But there, since we are dealing with a much smaller “government,” it is often false as well. A good director can greatly enhance cast amity, make rehearsals efficient and enjoyable and enhance the production in a myriad of ways. Perhaps the analogy occured to Mamet from his own directorial experiences?

    Applying such an analogy to civil government is not a well thought out approach, IMO, but then it is typical of Mamet’s approach in the rest of the article.

    Frankly, your own prose has been of consistently (much) higher quality than that in Mamet’s article.

  2. Thanks for the compliment! My conversion was recent. I blame the essays of Bill Whittle at Eject! Eject! Eject!, Bush’s second inaugural address, Natan Sharansky’s Case for Democracy, the catalog of Jihadist atrocities from Jihad Watch, and the ex-Muslim sites I linked in the sidebar. Hence my focus was on the counter-jihad, and only recently has the need to counter the anti-religious, ideological crimes of the Jacobins and their totalitarian descendants become a clear priority.