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David Mamet: "Are You Part of My Tribe?"


Mac_the_Nice
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A fascinating interview

--


 

 2005 Edmond (play) / (screenplay) 

 2004 Spartan (written by) 

 2001 Heist (written by) 

 2001 Hannibal (screenplay) 

 2000 State and Main (written by) 

 2000 Lakeboat (play - uncredited) / (written by) 

 1999 The Winslow Boy (screenplay) 

 1999 Lansky (TV Movie) (written by) 

 1998 Ronin (screenplay - as Richard Weisz) 

 1997 Wag the Dog (screenplay) 

 1997 The Spanish Prisoner (written by) 

 1997 The Edge (written by) 

 1996 American Buffalo (play) / (screenplay) 

 1994 Texan (TV Short) (written by) 

 1994 Oleanna (play) / (screenplay) 

 1994 Vanya on 42nd Street (play adaptation) 

 1993 A Life in the Theater (TV Movie) (play) / (teleplay) 

 1992 Hoffa (written by) 

 1992 Glengarry Glen Ross (play) / (screenplay) 

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Well Vautrin, personally I would LOVE to have a discussion with you and Mac and anyone else who might be interested in what Mr. Mamet had to say regarding these topics and present my arguments as to why I disagree with SOME of the learned man's opinions, AND even though those opinions expressed in that video were from a noted playwright and filmmaker...however I question if this website is the "proper" website in which to hold such a discussion and especially considering "The Rules" around here.

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A fascinating interview
--
 
 2005 Edmond (play) / (screenplay) 
 2004 Spartan (written by) 
 2001 Heist (written by) 
 2001 Hannibal (screenplay) 
 2000 State and Main (written by) 
 2000 Lakeboat (play - uncredited) / (written by) 
 1999 The Winslow Boy (screenplay) 
 1999 Lansky (TV Movie) (written by) 
 1998 Ronin (screenplay - as Richard Weisz) 
 1997 Wag the Dog (screenplay) 
 1997 The Spanish Prisoner (written by) 
 1997 The Edge (written by) 
 1996 American Buffalo (play) / (screenplay) 
 1994 Texan (TV Short) (written by) 
 1994 Oleanna (play) / (screenplay) 
 1994 Vanya on 42nd Street (play adaptation) 
 1993 A Life in the Theater (TV Movie) (play) / (teleplay) 
 1992 Hoffa (written by) 
 1992 Glengarry Glen Ross (play) / (screenplay) 

 

Another very good one is House of Games (1987).   I've seen it on TV, but perhaps not on TCM.  The Spanish Prisoner is my favorite.  

 

In the early days of Huffington Post he wrote blog posts and drew little cartoons.  I'll listen to the interview when our internet is feeling better.  :)

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Well Vautrin, personally I would LOVE to have a discussion with you and Mac and anyone else who might be interested in what Mr. Mamet had to say regarding these topics and present my arguments as to why I disagree with SOME of the learned man's opinions, AND even though those opinions expressed in that video were from a noted playwright and filmmaker...however I question if this website is the "proper" website in which to hold such a discussion and especially considering "The Rules" around here.

Right, Dargo. We should not be so imprudent as to ignore the rules, and I won't. So, toward an interest in remaining within the scope of those, I'll reserve comment concerning our friend's stated opinion that this interview with Mamet "Just goes to show that a person with talent in one field can be an idiot in another." But, in lieu of having Vautrin's definition of an idiot, perhaps I can be permitted to offer mine . . . 

 

An "idiot" in the non-literal, non-congenital sense of the word, generally is used to refer to a person expressing views we disapprove of or disagree with, often as not because we cannot, or care not, to share in the perspective from which our designated "idiot" is coming from. 

 

Another element of my definition for "idiot" would be to use it in description of a person who in some degree is negligent in the exercise of thinking for himself--where "him" is used in the gender neutral, generic sense that many a fine woman writer still employs that pronoun with respect to all 'mankind', when she doesn't want all that ungainly 'him or her' messy stuff cluttering her page. Such a woman writer will, for sake of art, default to a more traditional usage. And art with no tradition to inform it, is no 'art' at all, having no standards of long standing by which to recognize it for such. In this, the said woman writer has shown us she has a 'conservative' streak in her. 

 

But does that make *her* a "conservative"? Or let us put that question like this: Does that make her a "brain-dead conservative"? Or which is to say, "an idiot"? Why, I should say not! If this were the case, one of the most 'liberal' or shall we say, 'left-wing' writers of the former century, Jessica "Decca" Mitford, a former card-carrying Communist would be a "conservative" within the meaning of the "brain-dead idiot" sense of the term shared by many a "brain-dead liberal" within Mamet's sense of the term. 

 

Cutting to the chase: Insofar as I, personally, would care not to be viewed as a brain-dead idiot from either end of the political spectrum, long ago--not by any conscious decision--I found that my thinking simply cannot be forced to fit within any of the political pigeon-holes along the right to left spectrum. As with Decca Mitford, it turns out for me that some of my sensibilities are liberal (if not radical), while others are strongly traditional, anti-progressive, and quite smugly staid in the conservative comfort-zone of tradition. 

 

 

I could not call myself "libertarian" without causing a lot of people to mistakenly suppose, for instance, that I must have enjoyed myself like crazy while reading Atlas Shrugged, that I would feel America should follow an isolationist foreign policy and continue (with the UN) doing absolutely nothing about those missing girls in northern Nigeria, and additionally that where many a traditional family has the family Bible enshrined on a fireplace mantel I must certainly have a heavily magic-markered, dog-eared and softly foxed copy of Ayn Rand's Virtue of Selfishness. Yes that, just that sitting there right next to a little cherry-wood box with an intricately hand-carved inscription on the cover which reads, in Sanscrit, "You Can Put Your Weed in Here." 

 

Not since 1974 have I put "my weed" anywhere. Indeed, that last joint I ever smoked was not "my weed" to put anywhere, it was the other guy's, that of a friend, a young black man, an aspiring screenwriter and the gay son of a majorly successful L.A. dope dealer. It was in his pad, two blocks down Palm Ave. from Sunset Boulevard and the Whisky A Go Go where my pal Lionel was found dead of suicide by gunshot to the head, two days after I'd shared those last few tokes of boo with him. I don't say the two things are connected, his suicide, and the end of my delight in smoking dope--but you never know what may be going on unconsciously in any of our decisions, our political positions or world views. 

 

I do not call myself 'liberal' or 'conservative' or 'libertarian' because I do not let other people do my thinking for me. How could I, in view of my definition for a "brain-dead idiot"? And though I have at times ever so fleetingly thought that maybe Lionel offed himself in despondency over my lack of any romantic interest in his arse, I am perhaps Ayn Rand 'selfish' enough to feel that neither She nor any other god would call on me to suffer any guilt over it.

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I was thinking more in the direction of an idiot being someone who says a

large quantity of stupid things that make little rational sense and who

seems to be lacking, in varying degrees, a connection to the real

world. Using that definition, I found Mamet to be an idiot. It isn't a

case of an idiot being someone I disagree with. I didn't agree with

W.F. Buckley, but he wasn't an idiot. A person can think for themself

and still agree with the general political views of other folks. Being a

conservative or liberal doesn't mean one is not thinking for oneself.

There was a conservative author who was being interviewed on Book

TV a number of months ago, can't recall his name, but he called someone

an idiot and explained to the interviewer that this person's views were

so totally foolish that he considered him an idiot, without any apology.

That's sort of my feeling toward most of Mamet's views as expressed in the

interview--idiotic.

 

I need a personally significant weed story that is more about just having

fun smoking weed. Sadly, I don't have one. Hey, we were smoking some

pot, looking out the back bedroom window, and listening to reggae music.

How much fun was that? Well, quite a bit actually. :)

 
Vautrin: "It isn't a case of an idiot being someone I disagree with."
 
Ah, so! In that case, you don't necessarily 'disagree' with Mamet saying liberals are "brain-dead". It's just that . . .
 
Vautrin: "Being a conservative or liberal doesn't mean one is not thinking for oneself."
 
So you do say. But seeing how your disagreement doesn't all by itself make me an 'idiot', neither can it change my position, that it absolutely has to make idiots of 'conservatives' and 'liberals' for pasting such group-think, arbitrary, scope-limiting, reality filtering labels upon themselves--like people playing a comic role in their liberal or conservative or libertarian clown suits.
 
Honk Honk! "I'm a liberal."
 
Wheeeeeeeeeeeeee! "I'm a conservative."
 
Bingo! "I'm a libertarian."
 
It was Groucho Marx who said, "I don't care to belong to any club that will have me as a member".
 
Now, let's see--is there anyone I have yet to insult, equal opportunity-wise? I do aim to be inclusive, multicultural and non-discriminatory.
 
Monarchists! Anarchists! Dadaists! Yes! Do Send in the Clowns . . .
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I need a personally significant weed story that is more about just having

fun smoking weed. Sadly, I don't have one. Hey, we were smoking some

pot, looking out the back bedroom window, and listening to reggae music.

How much fun was that? Well, quite a bit actually. :)

Ain't it a drag I couldn't have provided Cheech & Chong's Next Movie Part Two for you?

 

B u m m er !

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Well, there you go again.......just kiddin'.

 

I was just pointing out that simply because someone disagrees with a person's

political views does not mean that they consider that person an idiot.

 

Yes. You said that already. It was quite clear, and still is, what you're saying right there. I get it in just the same way I get you when you say you don't get the appeal of Cheech and Chong. I get them, I get their appeal, and I get you. I get it! And because I get right where you're coming from, I'm still saying, as a person quite active on all kinds of Web forums, that I have observed the opposite of what you say to be the case, plenty of times: people calling other people "idiots" because they don't agree with them, or disapprove of their views, or just because they don't get where the so-called, or alleged "idiot" is coming from. I see that all the time. All the time. And restating your position, that disagreement is not your reason for calling David Mamet an "idiot" is starting to be something we see all the time (or at least a couple of times), right here! Got you, dude. I got you--same as I get Cheech & Chong. I get them and I get you. And it doesn't change a darn thing. Ain't that something?

 

Legalize Cheech & Chong!!!!

 

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