David Mamet…

kinnon —  March 12, 2008 — 7 Comments

…is a very good writer. Read this. Please. It will be heresy to some. Truth often is.

I found not only that I didn’t trust the current government (that, to me, was no surprise), but that an impartial review revealed that the faults of this president—whom I, a good liberal, considered a monster—were little different from those of a president whom I revered.

Bush got us into Iraq, JFK into Vietnam. Bush stole the election in Florida; Kennedy stole his in Chicago. Bush outed a CIA agent; Kennedy left hundreds of them to die in the surf at the Bay of Pigs. Bush lied about his military service; Kennedy accepted a Pulitzer Prize for a book written by Ted Sorenson. Bush was in bed with the Saudis, Kennedy with the Mafia. Oh.

And I began to question my hatred for “the Corporations”—the hatred of which, I found, was but the flip side of my hunger for those goods and services they provide and without which we could not live.

Read the entire piece.



A television editor, writer & director since 1978. A Christian since 1982. More than a little frustrated with the Church in the West since late in the last millennium.

7 responses to David Mamet…

  1. I have to go read the piece (and I will, as you know). But I just want to say this, in a meager defense of Kennedy. He never proclaimed, nor did anyone proclaim him to be, someone who was morally upright. The world was a much different place when Kennedy was in office and, as a culture, we had much different expectations of our president. It’s also pretty well known now that JFK was a womanizer and slept with Marilyn Monroe even in the White House. I don’t excuse it … but we were different then. I wonder if we had more grace.

  2. Was it more grace – or just less knowledge. I’m not sure we’ve become more graceless – and that might be part of what Mamet is saying – we are who we are – not who we proclaim to be.

    I loved the myth of Camelot (the Kennedy version). I was eight and in a train station in Montreal on my way to where we would fly to Europe to live for the next five years when we heard the news of his shooting…and then his death. I will always remember it (or so I hope).

    I also love the myth of Obama. I hope and pray that there is real hope and truth in this myth – but I am a learned cynic. Bush was no savior. Neither will Barack be. But if we can learn that we are all broken fallible people on whatever hue of the political spectrum we fall – we will be better for it. Mamet seems to have come to that place.

  3. When will we learn that no person, not even our presidents, is all good or all bad to oversimplfy. We have this tendency today to demonize anybody on the other side of an issue from us which certainly isn’t anywhere near to being “Christian.” I may like some politicians more than others, which is okay, but none of us needs to call someone with a different position the “anti-Christ” or worse.

  4. None of us are as strong (morally, or otherwise), or as right as we usually think we are. At least I’m not.

    Really good article, thanks for posting it.

  5. Mamet and these comments remind me of my favourite Rich Mullins’ song, “We Are Not As Strong as We Think We Are.”

    We are frail we are fearfully and wonderfully made
    Forged in the fires of human passion
    Choking on the fumes of selfish rage
    And with these our hells and our heavens
    So few inches apart
    We must be awfully small
    And not as strong as we think we are

  6. That song is where my comment comes from. It’s one of about twenty favorites of his for me.

  7. This article did change my mind. Not about liberalism, though. About David Mamet. I once thought he was simply brilliant. Now I just think he writes good plays.

    I’ve always been a liberal, but since I’ve always also been a Kierkegaaridan (like any good liberal?), I never believed the poppycock that Mamet says he believed about people being basically “good at heart.”

    Like any true believer, Mamet has exchanged one faith for another. I wish him well. But the faith he abandoned wasn’t ever really liberalism, and his current faith in corporations is not an advancement. Where is Neibuhr when you need him?


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