Skip to comments.Idiocy Watch: Special Norman Mailer Edition
Posted on 11/20/2001 1:23:26 PM PST by denydenydeny
With humankind altogether hyperlinked, how is it that there are still people who do not expect to be overheard? Perhaps Norman Mailer thought that a shabby outburst delivered in the Netherlands and covered (it appears) only by NRC Handelsblad, the leading Dutch newspaper, would escape the attention of his fellow countrymen. Well, no such luck. So we are less than delighted to report--no, we are delighted to report it, since it confirms our long-standing sense of the essential meretriciousness of this man's mind--that Mailer addressed the following observations to an audience at the Cross Border Festival in Amsterdam on October 29 (because these comments were translated from English to Dutch, then back to English, they may vary from the originals):
"The WTC was not just an architectural monstrosity, but also terrible for people who didn't work there, for it said to all those people: 'If you can't work up here, boy, you're out of it.' That's why I'm sure that if those towers had been destroyed without loss of life, a lot of people would have cheered. Everything wrong with America led to the point where the country built that tower of Babel, which consequently had to be destroyed."
Had to be destroyed: 5,000 deaths were just the collateral damage of a perfectly understandable act of social and architectural criticism. And Mailer continued:
"And then came the next shock. We had to realize that the people that did this were brilliant. It showed that the ego we could hold up until September 10 was inadequate."
It does not come as a surprise to discover that Mailer regards the conflict between Al Qaeda and the United States as a duel of egos. The tough guy has always viewed history as a dick thing. And he continued:
"Americans can't admit that you need courage to do such a thing. For that might be misunderstood. The key thing is that we in America are convinced that it was blind, mad fanatics who didn't know what they were doing. But what if those perpetrators were right and we were not? We have long ago lost the capability to take a calm look at the enormity of our enemy's position."
Again the confusion of right with enormity. In what sense, though, are thousands of innocent and incinerated people "wrong"? And does Norman Mailer really believe that the perpetrators may have been "right"? Nothing in his long career of stupid and indecent extenuations of other people's pain rules out the possibility that he believes it. But the fearless American writer should not sneak around to the far corners of the world to express his bold views. He should make his dissent at home, where it matters, and where it can get his name into a lot of newspapers that the people who lunch at the Four Seasons can read.
The World Trade Center towers were gorgeous buildings. In addition, they didn't hurl insults on the downtrodden masses. They were inanimate.
Whose courage, what courage? These cowardly lowlife dirtbags smuggled razor blades onto a commercial aircraft, fully expecting no resistance from the unarmed civilian passengers. Mr. Mailer please note: the same courage that you find in a man who beats his wife to death and then eats the end of his own shotgun.
True courage was manifested by the passengers of Flight 93.
Nay. Armies of the Night and Miami and the Siege of Chicago were far superior to NATD.
That Mailer has several Spaniards in his brainworks was ALWAYS obvious to friends, foes, and Mailer himself; the problem is he has always chosen to display the Spaniards, FULL FRONTAL!
And he stabbed one of his wives a few times too, several years back.
The evidence is everwhere.
To me, mailer has always seemed like a guy who thought that other people would not think of him as manly because he was a writer, so he had to do all this posturing. Yes, he can write; but so what? X42 was charming, wasn't he? At the end of the day it is character that counts and Mailer lacks same.
It impresses the Al Hunt types, but he never managed to convince me. Too bad Jack Henry Abbott didn't get Mailer, instead of an innocent bystander! Talk about irony...
I assumed the "downhill" was all-inclusive; re his novels, he's never written one that IMneverHO caught "The Bitch" (as he has called a great novel), and I include NATD.
I'm sure he's been used as a dupe from time to time, and he's played the fool, intentionally and with relish (Advertisements for Myself, et al), and he's meddled with certain lives in such a way as to cause great unhappiness. All too true.
Art. Go figger.
This is the same kind of sophomoric pseudo-profundities that Krintong is spewing out these days. I haven't read this idiot, won't and don't believe that he is anything other than a "brilliant writer" to the pretentious bourgeois Renaissance Weekend crowd. (Check out Tom Wolfe's take on Mailer and a couple of other literary icons in Wolfe's recent collection of essays "Hooking Up".)
But seriously folks, veronica makes an interesting point about other felon-worshippers: y'know, I think she is on the money.
And, don't forget that Norman stabbed one of his wives...woman-hating is part of the self-hating homosexual modus operandus.
Mary McCarthy and Sidney Hook -- leftwingers! -- were so outraged they organized a concurrent anti-Stalin conference.
Mailer shows his ignorance -- or his willfull lying -- by claiming the WTC was some sort of a rich-man's work place.
Read the NYTimes obits you wife-stabbing scumsack and learn something about the kind of people who worked there.
Mailer idolized Hemingway, at a time when Hemingway was a literary and celebrity giant. In Advertisements for Myself, Mailer suggested that Hemingway be elected President, because then we would have a real man in charge. ("President Eisenhower was a bit of a woman.")
So he became a 5'3" imitation of Papa, except that he couldn't box, and couldn't write very well (The Executioner's song was O.K.)
Mailer has a shock value publicity approach. It's sad when anyone takes him seriously, as in the Abbot case.
I though to myself: "What an *sshole."
In this era of overanalysis, there's something very refreshing about your reaction.
And yeah...I'm no Derrida-spouting deconstructionist. Just a guy originally from Brooklyn.