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David Mametís The Anarchist: The New Leftís Terrible Triumph
Townhall.com ^ | November 21, 2012 | Hugh Hewitt

Posted on 11/21/2012 5:34:36 AM PST by Kaslin

In New York Friday to appear on Sean Hannity’s program, I stayed an extra day to catch an early performance of David Mamet's new play The Anarchist, now in its second week of previews. Sitting next to Marcello, a Brazilian venture capitalist, we chatted about the election just past.

"I do not understand you Americans. Dogs on car roofs? Really?"

I can't argue that our process isn't absurd or that our media isn't mired in the trivial. The day before I had interviewed Israel's Ambassador to the United States, historian Michael Oren, and had passed a pro-Israel demonstration in Times Square on my walk to the theater. The brewing war the ambassador was willing to discuss on air with me and about which the demonstrators were fully informed hadn't come up in the love-fest press conference the president held with his fan club earlier in the week, but global warming had. Egypt’s turn to Islamist extremism had barely come up in the entire presidential campaign even though it is has changed everything. What can you say to a serious foreigner about our press and our elections?

The key topics are obvious. The important guests are available. The news business doesn't have to be empty and stupid. But it is.

Then Woody Allen walked in, took a seat in the second row, and the lights went down and came up on Debra Winger and Patti LuPone. They were in a spartan room of a correctional facility, and their dialogue provided much insight into this absurd month, year and election. For Mamet has been thinking about the radical left and what happened to it after it blew itself and the country up in the 1960s. The result of his thinking is The Anarchist, and it is a very troubling commentary on the language of politics, which is the language of media.

The Anarchist won't be reviewed for a week or so, but bet on it being savaged by the usual, lefty, suspects. The actresses are wonderful, their conversation the meaty back-and-forth of two very smart adversaries who have been sparring for years, the one a convicted murderer who killed in the course of an Ayers-Dohrn-Boudin-like spasm of youthful revolutionary zeal, the other an officer of the justice system, the warden, on whose recommendation the freedom of the former depends after decades of imprisonment.

Will anyone under 50 get this? Under 60 even? Slowly, inexorably the drama builds as the voices of the Weathermen come back, coded, over four decades of obscurity.

Where did they go? The bomb-throwers and the sit-in heroes? Sure, we know Ayers and Dohrn are in Chicago, still peddling nonsense, and the Port Huron gang is spread far and wide, some of them via ash scatterings.

But where did their "ideas" go? No one in the MSM espouses that claptrap anymore, or uses the hackneyed phrases of "the movement," but very, very few people in the Manhattan-Beltway media elite talk about anything serious at all.

Here's a clue. The idiot wind of the ‘60s blew and blew and blew and ended up bottled in newsrooms and green rooms all across the land. It ended up tenured and stupid, credentialed and wholly incapable of basic economic analysis though it is very good at regression analysis applied to polling data and Twitter quips.

Ezra Klein, Rachel Maddow, Jon Chait and Chris Hayes are the heirs to and current super-egos of the great noise from four decades back, with Kos as its id. That's it: all that is left of the New Left.

But this underwhelming legacy is why the '60s radicals should be thought of as the winners of a long delayed overtime. Not because they have a certified Alinskyite lefty as president. That's a temporary problem. The president has a sell-by date. He can do a lot more damage and no doubt will, but the House isn't going to agree to anything too stupid.

No, the '60s gang won because their utterly empty language triumphed. Endless talk about quite obviously empty propositions passes for debate. It is all cliche. Read the transcript of the president's presser last week. An avalanche of cliche. He doesn't know how else to talk. The press doesn't know how else to ask questions.

The lasting damage of the New Left isn't the fiscal bankruptcy of the country, but it's intellectual bottoming out. Because they were so vacuous, everything became vacuous. This is what I loved about The Anarchist. It batters the conceits of the Left so thoroughly at no one from that land of absurd arguments can leave without knowing Mamet's got their number. Frauds, all of them. Just frauds. Marcuse. Bloch. Rubin. The whole over-the-hill gang of sloganeering hucksters. For this work I am thankful.

But Lord it is depressing.

There are some aspects of The Anarchist that will upset my fellow Evangelicals and Mass-attending Catholics. Mamet's got a nose for fraud, and my faith has its fair share of posers. That the left puts on Christ easily when it is convenient shouldn't be an insult but a warning.

Throughout I kept glancing at Woody Allen's (large) bald spot. What was he thinking? All of his art --there's a lot of it and it is very good-- and none of it challenged this biggest problem of all, the frauds around him. The enormous, giant, fraudulent media-industrial complex anchored at the New York Times and the New Yorker but spreading out like the concentric circles of a blast pattern.

(And Woody chewing on the Jesus talk –how fascinating it would be to know what he really thought of that. Constructed by an artist who had done his homework. Some very moving bits, some obvious questions.)

Woody shuffled out. Old. A few movies left in him perhaps. There had to be a shock, not of recognition, but of complicity in the whole affair, like the producer of the big benefit for the Sandy victims, knowing the music wasn't very good, the money raised not so much, the "recovery" far away and the Manhattan media bored already with their backyard devastation because it isn't going away but they want to. Their heartfelt concern isn’t going to last anywhere near as long as the damage.

Just like the vanguard of change in the old SDS: Gone, forgotten, but present in the awful wreckage they left behind.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: anarchist; hughhewitt

1 posted on 11/21/2012 5:34:41 AM PST by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

bttt


2 posted on 11/21/2012 5:37:23 AM PST by facedown (Armed in the Heartland)
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To: Kaslin

Nicely put.


3 posted on 11/21/2012 5:55:58 AM PST by RoosterRedux (Obama's second term is his presidential mulligan.)
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To: Kaslin

wow, I can not get to NY to see it, but where can I get a script


4 posted on 11/21/2012 5:58:39 AM PST by yldstrk (My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: yldstrk

That’s what I was thinking — I want to see Mamet’s play.


5 posted on 11/21/2012 6:04:42 AM PST by Yardstick
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To: Kaslin

Lyrical and almost poetic, this article really hits the nail on the head of the problem as I’ve been seeing and harping on it.

Over the last few evenings, the wife and I have gone out to dinner and always managed to overhear conversations about Republicans or Obamacare or the elections in general. Some discussions are rabidly left, some are moderate, some are “right-wing,” as it were. The one common thread I found, however, is that its older folks having the conversations, my apologies to anyone older than 32 reading this.

When I read about or talk about the “split” in this country, I point directly at the Boomers as the subjects of that discussion. I look at people like my mother and mother-in-law, both conservative American women who didn’t deign to participate in the bra-burning of the 60s. They grew up in households espousing hard work.

Then there are the old leftists who are so vocal in their vitriol against what the perceive as racist right-wingers that they seem older than their years. They seem tired and hoarse from complaining so much. Yet they’re consistently getting what they want and turning this country into some sort of socialist utopia that’s anything but. What did they expect? Did they think that if Carter won against Reagan in 1980 that it would be all sunshine and lollipops? Did they think that if Dukakis won it would be good times and everyone would be rolling in cash?

Quite frankly, as a young man in my early 30s, I’m incensed by these leftist elders who still hold on to this idea that free love, getting high, and partitioning the American electorate into haves and have-nots are the best way to move this country forward. They’re willing to take all the credit for the good times but blame every negative on the other party or “racist whitey.”

It’s over ladies and gents. The leftist ideology failed miserably, and in the next 4 years, we’re going to see and experience what it’s really like to live under the jackboot of socialism and communism. We’re going to see difficulty and hardship unlike anything seen by our elders. I find it amusing, however, that the very lefties from the 60s and 70s who preached for free healthcare and free everything are now going to be the enfeebled victims of those very things, yet I’d bet my paycheck that they’ll be the first to say, “If Republicans weren’t in power it would be different...”

Obstinate to their deaths, the lot of them.


6 posted on 11/21/2012 6:09:58 AM PST by rarestia (It's time to water the Tree of Liberty.)
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To: Kaslin

Bttt for later passing around.


7 posted on 11/21/2012 6:14:30 AM PST by Dust in the Wind (U S Troops Rock)
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To: Kaslin

Mamet is positively brilliant when it comes to expositional dialogue. I would love to see what he has done here. I’m also curious as to how the reviewers will receive or even comprehend his messages, given Mamet’s “coming out” as a conservative.


8 posted on 11/21/2012 6:17:41 AM PST by andy58-in-nh (Cogito, ergo armatum sum.)
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To: rarestia
Entirely fair observations on your part, I think.

"Then there are the old leftists who are so vocal in their vitriol against what the perceive as racist right-wingers that they seem older than their years.

That image instantly brought to mind the words of Bob Dylan: "But I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now" (from My Back Pages).

Most of us who were radicals in our youth learned to put away childish things, and did so most willingly when the demands of adulthood and responsibility became unavoidable. And yet, for some, especially the children of wealthy liberals, such a day of reckoning never came.

Instead, they went to Ivy League schools and made a career of their radicalism; never learning anything again that might discomfit or challenge beliefs latched onto in the heat of adolescent rebellion against the necessity of earning an honest living, or even of being truly honest with one's self.

I also had the benefit of such an elite education, but wound up becoming a conservative rather early on in life (in my early 20s). Why? Because my parents were working class Truman Democrats, essentially grounded in reality by inescapable duties and entirely accepting of Old World standards of virtue. And I honored them - even when they annoyed me.

9 posted on 11/21/2012 6:36:27 AM PST by andy58-in-nh (Cogito, ergo armatum sum.)
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To: andy58-in-nh

We followed a similar path with the exception of my education being public university rather than Ivy league. I knew going into college that I was a conservative and often argued with professors who spouted complete lies to further an agenda.


10 posted on 11/21/2012 6:40:16 AM PST by rarestia (It's time to water the Tree of Liberty.)
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To: rarestia
We followed a similar path with the exception of my education being public university rather than Ivy league. I knew going into college that I was a conservative and often argued with professors who spouted complete lies to further an agenda.

I had professors (in the mid-1970s) who were open Communists. Arguing with them was always a frustrating experience; they understood the power of rhetoric and ridicule; I did not. I had never heard of Saul Alinsky; they had memorized his Rules. And needless to say, one sacrificed the possibility of achieving high grades merely by virtue of one's willingness to disagree in class.

Our universities are now dominated by radicals, administratively and professorially. After 40 years they remain, closing American minds, one at a time.

11 posted on 11/21/2012 6:51:52 AM PST by andy58-in-nh (Cogito, ergo armatum sum.)
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To: Kaslin
The brewing war the ambassador was willing to discuss on air with me and about which the demonstrators were fully informed hadn't come up in the love-fest press conference the president held with his fan club earlier in the week, but global warming had. Egypt’s turn to Islamist extremism had barely come up in the entire presidential campaign even though it is has changed everything. What can you say to a serious foreigner about our press and our elections?

Nice that so many people 'get it' ... funny the press will be the last to know... The New York Times sucks more...

12 posted on 11/21/2012 7:12:40 AM PST by GOPJ (The economy is so bad MSNBC had to lay off 300 Obama spokesmen - Leno)
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To: rarestia

I actually credit the conservatives of Free Republic for much of my education. I discovered FR in 1998, at the same time I was in grad school. I’d argue with my professors using what I learned from freepers, and I’d argue with freepers using what I heard from my professors. In the end it became clear to me that freepers would never stop explaining their point, but professors would tell you to shut up. Politely, of course, but that was the ultimate message. “We are right, shut up,” they explained.


13 posted on 11/21/2012 7:27:30 AM PST by A_perfect_lady (Great nations are born stoic and die epicurean. -Will Durant)
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To: A_perfect_lady

I came aboard here at FR in 2004 and haven’t looked back. At the time I was adrift in a sea of liberals. I had trouble clarifying arguments. After a few years here, I can debate with the best of them, and you’re spot on with your assessment: liberals know they’re wrong and give up by deflecting or dismissing. Conservatives are part of a never-ending pursuit for the truth.


14 posted on 11/21/2012 7:29:57 AM PST by rarestia (It's time to water the Tree of Liberty.)
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To: Kaslin

Took a while for Mamet to connect the dots and become a political conservative. He was already conservative in other areas of his life. Plus he never wrote wimpy stuff. He wrote the screenplay for “The Edge”

___________________________

Was David Mamet Ever Really A Liberal Anyway? | The Awl
www.theawl.com/.../was-david-mamet-ever-really-a-liberal-anyway
Jun 20, 2011 – Start with Glengarry Glen Ross, Mamet’s best play and film script. .... Indeed, in February 2002, Mamet wrote an essay for the prominent New York-based ..... Meanwhile, The Edge is basically survival nut porn in the superior ...


15 posted on 11/21/2012 7:37:06 AM PST by dennisw ( The first principle is to find out who you are then you can achieve anything -- Buddhist monk)
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To: rarestia

And there’s no way to penetrate their obstinacy and I suspect the reason for that is power. anyone who remains a leftist in the face of facts and logics simply has a thirst for real or imagined power over other human beings.

It’s a sickness, but a certain percentage of the population has this power disease, and they all gravitate to communism/socialism.

communnism/socialism is the system which gives maximum power over others, even more than the medieval Catholic church,now made even more possible by technology, humanity’s cheapest, fastest and dirtiest way to control masses of people.

The power freaks swarm to it like moths to a flame.

they see themselves as the elite, the top 10% in such a society, it’s heady, addiciting.

That’s why you’ll never penetrate their thinking, I suspect. there a lot in it for them.


16 posted on 11/21/2012 7:58:02 AM PST by squarebarb ( Fairy tales are basically true.)
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To: andy58-in-nh

Now that so many Universities have become indoctrination centers, we can start challenging college graduation as THE default pathway to career success. One way to do this is by demanding alternate doors of entry to good jobs.I.Q. tests and life experiences used to be standard employer tools until the Left sued and said employers can’t give tests because tests were “unfair” to certain people.

Young adults should not have to feel that their lives are doomed without the holy grail of college indoctrination/graduation. They should not be told that they “need not apply” unless they have been through the brainwashing center.


17 posted on 11/21/2012 7:59:29 AM PST by Anima Mundi (Envy is just passive, lazy greed.)
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To: Kaslin
I am of the firm opinion that if we don't come up very soon with a viable, effective alternative to the Leftist presstitutes who filter & manipulate what the majority of Americans are fed as 'news', conservatism will be "hobbled" to the point where we cannot win elections, regardless of who runs.

Where did they go? The bomb-throwers and the sit-in heroes? Sure, we know Ayers and Dohrn are in Chicago, still peddling nonsense, and the Port Huron gang is spread far and wide, some of them via ash scatterings.

But where did their "ideas" go? No one in the MSM espouses that claptrap anymore, or uses the hackneyed phrases of "the movement," but very, very few people in the Manhattan-Beltway media elite talk about anything serious at all.

Here's a clue. The idiot wind of the ‘60s blew and blew and blew and ended up bottled in newsrooms and green rooms all across the land. It ended up tenured and stupid, credentialed and wholly incapable of basic economic analysis though it is very good at regression analysis applied to polling data and Twitter quips.

18 posted on 11/21/2012 8:28:09 AM PST by MissMagnolia ("It is when a people forget God that tyrants forge their chains" - Patrick Henry)
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To: Kaslin

Typical Hewitt, can’t decide if I liked or hated (a) the subject (b) the author...


19 posted on 11/21/2012 9:03:37 AM PST by StAnDeliver (Own It.)
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To: rarestia

Congratulations. Very perceptive for one in their mid-thirties.


20 posted on 11/21/2012 9:52:54 AM PST by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: Anima Mundi

I like the idea of students getting degrees in the hard sciences getting a sizable tuition break.

But I haven’t heard its corollary - that the courses leading to women’s studies or multiculturalism or Alinskyite sociology would have severely hiked tuitions.

Ways have to be found to tax or establish fees for the moocher class, but to parse that fee as helping the environment or underclass. For example - adding a fee to Starbucks coffee and explaining that the extra cost goes to poor coffee bean pickers in South America.


21 posted on 11/21/2012 4:16:19 PM PST by A'elian' nation (Political correctness does not legislate tolerance; it only organizes hatred. Jacques Barzun)
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