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To the Jews who, in the sixties, envied the Black Power Movement; who, in the nineties, envied the Palestinians; who weep at Exodus but jeer at the Israeli Defense Forces; who nod when Tevye praises tradition but fidget through the seder; who might take their curiosity to a dogfight, to a bordello or an opium den but find ludicrous the notion of a visit to the synagogue; whose favorite Jew is Anne Frank and whose second-favorite Jew does not exist; who are humble in their desire to learn about Kwanzaa and proud of their ignorance of TuBi’Shvat; who dread endogamy more than incest; who bow the head reverently at a baptism and have never attended a bris — to you, who find your religion and race repulsive, your ignorance of your history a satisfaction, here is a book from your brother.br> Mamet’s conversion to a libertarian form of philosophical conservatism — not political Republicanism — is almost certainly connected to this passionate reaffirmation of his Jewish heritage and faith. One of the first examples Mamet gives in his Village Voice piece of his changing ideology is his view that NPR might as well stand for “National Palestinian Radio.” (Really, how long can one rail against the international slander the IDF endures without recognizing the U.S. military has perhaps been similarly railroaded in the court of world opinion?) Later, when explaining the spark behind his political-philosophical self-inventory, he notes that it was his rabbi who reminded his “exclusively liberal” congregation “that Jewish law teaches that is incumbent upon each person to hear the other fellow out.”
When that intellectual dust settled, Mamet had been sold on what he calls the “conservative (or tragic) view” over the “liberal (or perfectionist) view,” wherein everything is “magically wrong and must be immediately corrected at any cost.” The tenets of Judaism opened Mamet’s mind to other perspectives he very well may have shunned in his earlier assimilated years. In the end liberalism became a kind of cousin to performance art to Mamet, who many years ago told New Theater Quarterly of the latter, “You have to ignore a hell of a lot to enjoy yourself at such a performance. You have to pretend you are something that you are not.”
*****p> There was great comfort in being part of a group; and it was, he thought, similar to the comfort of being alone. If you took the trappings off, he thought, it felt the same… br> — David Mamet’s 1994 novel,
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?