Wednesday, March 12, 2008

David Mamet: A Conservative Voice?

David Mamet: A Conser-vative Voice?

Have you seen the latest issue of The Village Voice in which playwright David Mamet declares himself no longer a liberal?

In the fascinating piece, Mamet tosses off the cloak of liberalism, declaring, "I believe I have changed my mind."

Without sounding too emphatic, Mamet discusses his new Broadway play November:

The play, while being a laugh a minute, is, when it's at home, a disputation between reason and faith, or perhaps between the conservative (or tragic) view and the liberal (or perfectionist) view. The conservative president in the piece holds that people are each out to make a living, and the best way for government to facilitate that is to stay out of the way, as the inevitable abuses and failures of this system (free-market economics) are less than those of government intervention.
While taking shots at critic John Simon and directors alike, Mamet says:

But if the government is not to intervene, how will we, mere human beings, work it all out? I wondered and read, and it occurred to me that I knew the answer, and here it is: We just seem to.
No wonder he says of the stark contrasts within November:

At the same time, I was writing my play about a president, corrupt, venal, cunning, and vengeful (as I assume all of them are), and two turkeys. And I gave this fictional president a speechwriter who, in his view, is a "brain-dead liberal," much like my earlier self; and in the course of the play, they have to work it out. And they eventually do come to a human understanding of the political process. As I believe I am trying to do, and in which I believe I may be succeeding, and I will try to summarize it in the words of William Allen White.


White knew that people need both to get ahead and to get along, and that they're always working at one or the other, and that government should most probably stay out of the way and let them get on with it. But, he added, there is such a thing as liberalism, and it may be reduced to these saddest of words: " . . . and yet . . . "

Rodney King once pleaded famously, "Can we all get along?" and yet Mamet apparently has concluded that despite all of our differences, we have been all along.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

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At 14 March, 2008, Anonymous Richard said...

Mamet's a genius. the essay makes sense.

At 04 April, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is a great moment in the movie "the Bird Cage" when the son tells his dad that half the country is conservative. Mamet has said it too. I know that it makes me puke to think half the country is liberal. I have NO idea how to handle it.
Can you liberals that are supposed to venerate tolerance explain your venom at my half?
I know as an actor I am not welcome to make certain statements like "Do you love children or are you pro-choice" or "Ya can't tax the rich MORE cause there isnt enough money, you HAVE to tax the middle classes the most" or "f@#& off commie swine"

When i say these kinds of things. I am definitly not welcome.

At 04 April, 2008, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Anonymous, First, I welcome any and all points of view including yours.

However, you did not observe my four simple rules above. I have edited and reposted because, being from a very conservative upbringing, I don't want my mother to see vulgar language on my site.

Second, please do not assume you know my politics. You say, "You liberals," yet I dare say that if you did a few google checks on me, you might be surprised. Go ahead, check me out.

You're welcome.


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