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[VIDEO] David Mamet: ‘Economic Justice’ Is Really Just ‘Communism’ 

SHAPIRO: It’s really interesting because when you watch your movies, there are…some lines that have become just part of the American parlance. Obviously, there’s the whole “Chicago way” speech from “The Untouchables,” or the speech that, in the movie version, Alec Baldwin gives in “Glengarry Glen Ross” – the “always be closing” speech.

A lot of folks on the Left tend to use these particular lines actually a fair bit. So, Barack Obama famously suggested that you don’t bring a knife to a gunfight in his sort of political heyday, and people on the Left are constantly suggesting that capitalism is this dog-eat-dog business where people are attempting to tear each other down, and they use that as an excuse for government interventionism. But it sounds like your basic view of human beings [is] that all human beings are basically at each other, and that’s why we have to come to these basic agreements to leave each other alone.

MAMET: Well, yeah. I was watching yesterday the great Tucker Carlson – I’m crazy about him. He had some cockamamie, I think Democrat something or other congressmen or something, and he says to the guy, the Democrat, he says, “Wait a second,” he says, “you guys got nothing left in the golf bag. What in the world are you gonna run on in the midterms?” And the guy says, “Economic justice and social justice.”

So I said, okay, you know, let’s break it down to the English language, right? What does economic justice mean at the end? How is that different than justice, right? It’s communism. It’s statism. It means that someone is going to stand above whatever rules we have for commerce, and decide what’s just to whom, right?

As Thomas Sowell said, whenever anybody says, “It’s gonna help A,” you say, well, who’s it gonna hurt?

So, economic justice is, at the end of the day, it’s communism. Read the rest of this entry »

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Mamet Cease-and-Desist Letter Closes Gender-Reassigned ‘Oleanna’ After One Performance

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Known for crafting scripts for the stage and screen with maximum authorial command, David Mamet is the last guy I’d count on to “go with the flow” in a dispute about content.

For the Journal SentinelChris Foran reports:

Milwaukee’s Alchemist Theatre has canceled its production of the David Mamet drama “Oleanna” after one performance after receiving a cease-and-desist letter from the playwright’s representatives over the theater company’s decision to cast a male actor in the play’s lead female role.

Violating an author’s material to add new chapters in the gender debate would be a non-issue if the author were a dead white male. They picked a live one. Who better to tango with than a famous successful macho provocateur like David Mamet?

Oleanna,” introduced to audiences shortly after the Anita Hill/Clarence Thomas hearings in 1991, centers on the relationship between a professor and a female student who accuses him of harassment and rape.

In Alchemist’s production, which opened Thursday night, Ben Parman was cast in the role of Carol, the student. David Sapiro plays John, the professor.mamet-tall-bw

In a statement issued Friday evening, Erica Case and Aaron Kopec, owners of Alchemist Theatre, said:

“We excitedly brought this story to the stage because even though it was written years ago, the unfortunate story that it tells is still relevant today. We auditioned for this show looking for the best talent, not looking for a gender. When Ben Parman auditioned we saw the reality that this relationship, which is more about power, is not gender-specific but gender-neutral.”

Blogger Ann Althouse posted an item about this, and asks:

Do you think Mamet overreacted? I’d like to hear his point of view. This seems heavy handed toward regional theater, but I assume the license has terms and the terms were violated. Why didn’t the theater seek permission before committing to this path?

I’d like to hear Mamet’s view, too. At this time (the news of the play’s closure was reported in the journal Sentinel less than 24 hours ago) he’s not made any public comments, but I suspect we’ll see something within a few days. I agree with Althouse when she says,

“…It’s specifically all about the male teacher/female student relationship. If it’s about 2 men, it’s a different story. There’s nothing wrong with telling different stories, bouncing off an old text, and any given production can stand on its own merit, but Mamet owns the rights…”

“Oleanna” is ripe for reinterpretation. Gender elasticity is the preoccupation of our time. For talented writers like Kevin D. Williamson, it’s a lively debate topic. (read his Laverne Cox piece if you haven’t yet, exploding with 8736 Comments) For any number of hack journalists, academics, bloggers, and media figures, it’s an echo chamber. Why not theater people, too? It’s easy to see the temptation. Especially with material like “Oleanna“.

But it’s inconceivable that anyone even casually familiar with Mamet’s work could underestimate this author’s seriousness about precision, fidelity, and creative control. Of all the writers to screw with, David Mamet? Really?

Althouse continues…

“…I suspect he’s angry that he wasn’t asked, but I also think he would have said no, it wrecks his story, and isn’t that probably why they didn’t ask?”

I agree, if asked, Mamet would likely have said no, though he might have invited Alchemist to make its case before declining.

But it wasn’t just that Mamet wasn’t asked. The casting choice was concealed until the curtain went up. It was staged for maximum controversy. Read Erica Case and Aaron Kopec’s statement, see if you think it makes sense.

“We auditioned for this show looking for the best talent, not looking for a gender. When Ben Parman auditioned we saw the reality that this relationship, which is more about power, is not gender-specific but gender-neutral.”

Authors and lawyers are inclined to be more specific.

“We stayed true to each of David Mamet’s powerful words and did not change the character of Carol but allowed the reality of gender and relationship fluidity to add to the impact of the story. We are so very proud of the result, of both Ben and David Sapiro’s talent, and Erin Eggers’ direction.”

Writer and director David Mamet speaks about actors Felicity Huffman and her husband William H. Macy at the Hollywood Walk of Fame

The “reality of gender and relationship fluidity”? This is the kind of postmodern academic gibberish that Mamet brilliantly savages in his plays. What they’re essentially saying is, “we reject the author’s reality, and are substituting our reality.” As Williamson says, “facts are not subject to our feelings.”

Not knowing the details of the contractual agreements involved in staging plays, it’s not clear if Erica Case and Aaron Kopec thought they were taking a calculated risk, and expected to succeed? Or expected to fail, intentionally provoking the author, invitng a shut-down, figuring they’d benefit either way? That they went to “unusual lengths” to conceal their casting gambit suggests an attention-seeking stunt.

Violating an author’s material to add new chapters in the gender debate would be a non-issue if the author were a dead white male. They picked a live one. Who better to tango with than a famous successful macho provocateur like David Mamet?

mamet-lower

Welcome to micro-agression theater.

Chris Foran continues…

Dramatists Play Service, which represents Mamet and which gave Alchemist the rights to produce the play, didn’t see it that way. The firm sent the cease-and-desist letter Friday, the day that reviews of the show appeared online and revealed the company’s casting decision — a decision that the company went to unusual lengths to keep hidden before opening curtain.

Read the rest of this entry »


David Mamet’s Legal Drama ‘Race’ Takes No Prisoners

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“Race” by David Mamet performed by Next Act Theatre. (l-r) Tiffany Renee Johnson, Jonathan Smoots, David Cecsarini, and Lee Palmer. Credit Timothy Moder

audio-buttonLake Effect’s Bonnie North speaks with Next Theatre’s David Cecsarini, Tiffany Renee Johnson, Lee Palmer, and Jonathan Smoots.

WUWM‘s Elanor Peterson and Bonnie North:

Of all the “isms” that are out there, racism is one of the most enduring, and in this supposedly post-racial age, the most pernicious.

It can be hard for people of different races to even talk openly with each other about how race has impacted them without the conversation devolving into accusations. And that makes any change in race relations that much more difficult to achieve.

audio-buttonListen to a scene from “Race” featuring David Cecsarini and Tiffany Renee Johnson.

Next Act Theatre is throwing open that conversational door with its production of David Mamet’s play Race:

A wealthy white man is accused of assaulting a young black woman. He denies the charge, claiming it was consensual. Two law partners – one white, one black – are considering the case, but they’re doubtful of the man’s veracity, and highly concerned about racial politics. Mamet pulls no punches as he cross-examines our views and prejudices of what is, arguably, the most complex and intransigent socio-political issue in America.

Mamet is known for his biting and unsparing dialogue, and he is true to form here. Director Edward Morgan says the playwright offers a fresh take on the subject.

Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] The Obamacare Gamble

The Pundit Planet Media – The Obamacare Gamble – YouTube

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David Mamet talks War

Writer and director David Mamet speaks about actors Felicity Huffman and her husband William H. Macy at the Hollywood Walk of Fame March 7, 2012. Huffman and Macy have been awarded joint stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce in Los Angeles. REUTERS/Gus Ruelas (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT) - RTR2Z0AK

Writer and director David Mamet speaks about actors Felicity Huffman and her husband William H. Macy at the Hollywood Walk of Fame March 7, 2012.  REUTERS/Gus Ruelas

 “Roll back the clock, and every possession of every great country started with a crime,” playwright David Mamet told The Daily Caller in a wide-ranging interview.

Patrick Howley writes:  He was paraphrasing Balzac, by way of the first page of Mario Puzo’s Godfather, but he might as well have been quoting any of the modern writers who call themselves Mamet disciples. His new book “3 War Stories” is a trifecta of short novellas dealing with war, crime, and history in ways that avoid easy moral conclusions.

The stories deal respectively with a 19th century writer/spy (“The Redwing”), religion within the context of the American Indian Wars (“Notes on Plains Warfare”), and a peculiar crime committed against the backdrop of the start of the Israeli War of Independence. But through them all runs themes consistent to Mamet’s work since his early plays in the 1970′s: criminality, ethics, and the dysfunctional ways people treat each other in societies.

War, it could safely be said, is just the most extreme example of the casual violence that has always colored David Mamet’s world. And his views on the matter are just as complex as his work would suggest.

“You can’t write about history without writing about politics at some point. History is about movements of people,” Mamet said. ”What is criminality and what is government is a theme that runs through every history. You can even see it today with John Kerry in Vietnam. He was highly decorated for his service then he came back and decided the Vietnam War was a crime. Now he’s doing the same thing in Iran.”

Mamet, an observant Jew who believes Kerry’s recent easing of sanctions on Iran represents the Obama administration turning its back on Israel, is a rare outspoken conservative in show business, crediting the economist Milton Friedman as having helped him transform from a typical Baby Boomer liberal.

“Obama is a tyrant the same way FDR was a tyrant. He has a view of presidential power that states: the government is in control of the country and the president is in charge of the government. He’s taken an imperial view of the presidency,” Mamet said.

“I don’t think war is inherently necessary. It used to be thought that a country shouldn’t go to war unless it is absolutely necessary,” he said. “War is tragedy. The great war stories are tragedies. It’s the failure of diplomacy. “War and Peace,” “A Farewell to Arms,” “For Whom the Bell Tolls.” Those are some of the greatest tragedies.”

But in the event of tragedy, according to Mamet, compromise is off the table.

Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] David Mamet: “Nobody Wants The Government Involved In Their Business”

David Mamet: YouTube


David Mamet Ices Obama: ‘He’s a Tyrant’ 

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Margaret Eby reports:  Playwright David Mamet, a longtime critic of President Barack Obama, had harsh words for the POTUS on an appearance on “The Hugh Hewitt Show.”

“He’s a tyrant,” Mamet, 65, said. “I give him great credit. He’s always said that his idea was to reform the United States. And, you know, like many tyrants, like Wilson and like Franklin Delano Roosevelt, he believes that his way is the right way and that he’s going to implement his vision of the world, and many agree with him.”

“He’s acting in concert with his conscience. And I applaud him for it,” Mamet continued. “I just disagree with everything he’s done.”

He connected some of his dissent with the current administration with Obama’s foreign policy.

“I’m a Jew,” Mamet said. “I’m for the Jewish people, and I’m an American, and I’m for the West, and I’m for our allies.”

[See also: David Mamet: ‘The Essence of Science is Doubt, to Follow Truth Wherever it Leads…]

NY Daily News

Read the rest of this entry »


David Mamet: ‘The Essence of Science is Doubt, to Follow Truth Wherever it Leads…’

“…that’s also the essence of drama to follow the truth of human interaction where it leads. You can’t do that while you’re also trying to promote a political agenda…”

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Mamet’s appearance was brief, I happened to catch the segment, which was only a few moments. (artists and authors are rarely the lead guest on news programs, even dramatists of Mamet’s stature) Mamet’s comments, summarized here in this RealClearPolitics item, appear to focus on one minor comment, that Hollywood conservatives  are “legitimately frightened for their jobs“, but that’s just a provocative headline, not a reflection of his commentary. After the jump is a transcript of the Mamet interview. Mamet’s new book, Three War Stories, is available in paperback, and also as a Kindle edition.

Screenwriter and playwright David Mamet tells FOX News’ Megyn Kelly why there seems to be so few conservatives in Hollywood. Mamet said that people in Hollywood who fake being liberal do so because they’re “legitimately frightened for their jobs.” [VIDEO]

Mamet explained why he believes there are few open conservatives in Hollywood. “Conservatives believe in smaller government and in the power of the electorate. So I think that we’re less likely to try to use a dramatic forum to warp people’s political views.” —RealClearPolitics

Read the rest of this entry »


The Right Way to Rebel

contributor-80x100-ggutfeldV2So, let’s say you realized, that, try as you might, you’re not like the rest of them.

You’re different. You don’t instantly agree with them. Their assumptions are no longer yours. Maybe, secretly, they never were. But now, you find yourself the odd man out as they rant, they rave, they ridicule.

You realize–in a quiet, private moment–that you aren’t a liberal. What next? What do you do? Can you let go from the safety net of agreeable party conversation and follow your own path? It’s quite a leap. Anyone who has done it will tell you–it’s never easy. See: David Mamet.

And I know–I know–you’ve never considered, ever, that you might be a conservative. Because, for the longest time, being a conservative was met with edgy derision and mockery. The “typical conservative,” as identified by the media and those in entertainment, is a cloddish clown–a humorless scold devoid of contemporary cache and hip fashion. Some of them make you angry. Some make you laugh at their earnestness. Some… you just don’t get. They’re weird.

I get it. I was there, once, facing a new terrain of oddballs. It’s important to note, however, that this stereotype–although true in some parts–in the larger sense is false. And it is a stereotype created by a movement and it’s proponents in the media that has owned the narrative since I was in diapers (at least ten years). The idea that conservatives are somehow more intolerant and angry than liberals is a lie. Both have their fair share, but the nature of conservatives is “live and let live.” It’s a shame that a few of them still don’t get that part. But all in all, the oddballs are oddly cool. Read the rest of this entry »


David Mamet Speaks: To Jews Planning to Vote for Obama

A note to a stiff-necked people

BY DAVID MAMET

To those Jews planning to vote for Obama:

Are you prepared to explain to your children not the principles upon which your vote is cast, but its probable effects upon them?

Irrespective of your endorsement of liberal sentiments, of fairness and “more equal distribution,” will you explain to your children that top-down economic policies will increasingly limit their ability to find challenging and well-paid work, and that the diminution in employment and income will decrease their opportunity to marry and raise children?

Will you explain (as you have observed) that a large part of their incomes will be used to fund programs that they may find immoral, wasteful and/or indeed absurd? And that the bulk of their taxes go to no programs at all, but merely service the debt you entailed on them?

Will you tell your children that a liberal government will increasingly marginalize, dismiss and weaken the support for and the safety of the Jewish state?

Will you tell them that, in a state-run economy, hard work may still be applauded, but that it will no longer be rewarded?

Will you explain that whatever their personal beliefs, tax-funded institutions will require them to imbibe and repeat the slogans of the left, and that, should they differ, they cannot have a career in education, medicine or television unless they keep their mouths shut?

Will you explain to them that it is impossible to make a budget, and that the basic arithmetic we all use at the kitchen table is not practiced at the federal and state level, and to suggest that it should be is “selfishness?”

Most importantly, will you teach them never to question the pronouncements of those in power, for to do so is to risk ostracism?

Are you prepared to sit your children down and talk them through your vote on the future you are choosing for them?

Please remember that we have the secret ballot and, should you, on reflection, vote in secret for a candidate you would not endorse in public, you will not be alone.


David Mamet is a Pulitzer Prize-winning and Tony- and Oscar-nominated playwright, essayist, screenwriter and film director. His latest book is “The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of American Culture” (Sentinel).

 

via Opinion | Jewish Journal