Tuesday, October 8, 2013

David Mamet Tells the Left to Go Screw

Mike L.

{Cross-posted at the Times of Israel.}

The following tidbit was written by Marnie Winston-Macauley and published by Israpundit.
The year 2008 was a very strange one for the Liberal literati of New York and Hollywood. It was the year they believed playwright, screenwriter, director, essayist, novelist and poet, David Mamet, “outed” himself as a Conservative. For many of his peers, Mamet, might as well have declared himself a serial killer.

The “outing” came in the form of Village Voice op-ed entitled, “Why I am No Longer a Brain-Dead Liberal.” It was followed by his 2011 book, The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of American Culture, a tale of his bitter disenchantment with liberalism, his blog since 2005 on Huff Post, and his frequent, outspoken interviews.

After his Conservative “Manifesto,” all hell broke loose among Mamet watchers.

Hey, Mamet isn’t some “culture-lite” writer or right-wing aging actor trumpeting for an AK47 in every drawer. This is a Pulitzer Prize-winning guy, whose works include Glengarry Glen Ross (1984), Speed-the-Plow (1988), The Verdict(1982) and Wag the Dog (1997). He has been a force of such magnitude that his dialogue; rapid-fire, edgy, cracking, naturalistic, intruding style bears his name: “Mamet-speak.”

Predictably, The Wall Street Journal mostly sent roses, the New York Times and The Economist mostly sent thorns (their reviewer called Mamet’s Secret Knowledge “baroque lucubrations,” a “tedious and simplistic rant”), while unpredictably, The American Conservative went nay. The most famous of zig-zaggers, the late Christopher Hitchens, threw those thorns calling it “one-dimensional,” “sloppy,” “shallow” “propagandistic,” and “more boring than irritating.” (The book is still a hot seller on Amazon).

While he’s been embraced by many on the Right, remember where Mamet lives; in the largely liberal world of the New York/Hollywood “artiste.” Distilling the rhetoric, Mamet has not merely been accused of being a turncoat, but, among other things, nihilist, cultish, self-serving – and nuts. Here are just a few titles of rebuttal articles: “David Mamet’s Fatal Conceit,” “Writer David Mamet: Man overboard,” and “David Mamet Gets Lanced-a-Lot.”
I like David Mamet very much and I certainly like him more now that I know that he has come out in favor of the Jewish people and the State of Israel.
Glengarry Glen Ross was brilliant, but Oleanna, which is under-appreciated, is also terrific.  The latter work is about a university professor, played in the movie by William H. Macy, who is black-mailed by a feminist student, and thus loses tenure, for failing to ascribe to her politically correct notions.
Mamet leaves the rightness and wrongness of the issue somewhat ambiguous, but in my reading of the play his sympathies lie with the professor who is a victim of the Great PC Extinction of those who refuse to comply with progressive-left ideological requirements.
Speaking strictly for myself, I am not a conservative.  I believe in a woman's right to choose an abortion, favor a tax code that is more helpful toward the poor and the middle class, marched many times in San Francisco against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and believe in government regulation of polluting industries and substantial safety codes for industrial workers.
Some call me a conservative, or even a Republican, despite the fact that I am neither.  They do so because within their narrow partisan ideological perspective anyone who criticizes the progressive-left or the Democratic Party must be an enemy of all that is good and true and left.
It is for this reason that I highlight this piece because we need more free-thinkers like Mamet to break up the presumptions of the authoritarian-left.  The only reason that I am sometimes referred to as "right-wing" is because I not only favor the movement for Jewish self-defense and autonomy but acknowledge that the Arab movement for a 23rd state is grounded in mid-twentieth century European fascism.
It has to be acknowledged, as Netanyahu did yesterday, that the "Palestinian national movement" is a political movement based within national socialism. The Grand Mufti, Haj Amin al-Husseini, did everything that he possibly could to bring the Holocaust to Palestine during, and prior to, World War II and, yet, he is considered a hero for the "Palestinian" movement.
The movement for social justice for the Jewish people has generally been a progressive-left movement.  David ben Gurion was a socialist and the Israeli political tradition is based on left-wing values, which is why the kibbutzim were such a prominent part of that movement.
The same cannot be said of the Arab-Palestinian national movement, which featured the oppression of local Arabs within Arab countries such as Lebanon, Syrian, Egypt, and Jordan.
If the local Arabs - who westerners refer to as "Palestinians" - wanted peace they could have accepted, or demanded, autonomy within a state for themselves in 1937, with the Peel Commission of Great Britain, or 1947, with United Nations Resolution 181, or between 1949 and 1967, when Jordan controlled the area, or in 2000 and 2001 and 2008 when Ehud's Barak and Olmert offered Arafat and Abbas almost everything, and yet they still declined peace and freedom in favor of war and blood.
David Mamet is right to reject the western-left, because the western-left is no friend to the Jewish people and has betrayed its core values.
If the western-left ever actually stood for social justice and human rights, it does so no longer.
Until we wrap our brains around this particular fact, we will have nothing to say, just as most progressive-left Jews who favor Israel basically have nothing to say.
They are mutes who shrug their shoulders, hold up their palms, and wish for the best - that is, when they are not attacking "right-wing" Jews, also known as those of us willing to stand the hell up.

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