I don’t get enough advice. Maybe it’s because I spent years actively ignoring it? This year I was hoping for some good advice, and still am! No matter how well you’re doing, there’s always a sense that you’re dogging it, and there’s some bit of wisdom that will push you through the membrane of the day-to-day to untold fabulousness. A foolish thought to carry around with you, but there it is. However, while waiting for my fairy godmother to clobber me with a toaster, calendar 2012 was a year that I kept going back to the greatest advice I ever got: Never open your mouth until you know the shot.[...]
After David Mamet trumpeted his switch to Republican Party politics in 2008, there were some who claimed that he'd been a conservative all along. Shelby Steele, an author of right-wing books on race and a fellow at the Hoover Institution who talked with the playwright frequently during his "conversion," said he detected early conservative leanings in Mamet's previous works. “I think he has the same values today that he did before,” Steele told a reporter. “He’s said to me he thinks he might have always been conservative without knowing it. All that happened was, he finally found a politics that suited his values.”
Steele doesn't appear to have looked [...]
I can sort of understand why so many people might find it amusing or disturbing that David Mamet will write and direct and new adaptation of The Diary of Anne Frank. But let's be serious: The guy is pretty much a born-again Jew. Do you really think he's going to turn in a screenplay full of "fuckin' Nazis" and "Otto, you cocksucker"s? Of course not. I'm sure he's going to approach the assignment with sensitivity, respect, and a dramatist's instincts for what makes a story vital and true. So remain calm. I mean, it's not like they tapped Quentin Tarantino to direct a movie set during the Holocaust, right? [...]
David Alan Mamet turns 65 today. There are all sorts of things I could say about him, and many of his ideas and proclamations make him what I guess we would call "problematic" or whatever, but is he the greatest playwright of the last quarter of the 20th century? It says here yes. (Should you feel the need to point it out in the comments I am indeed a heterosexual white man etc.) In any event, it's the man's birthday today. For the plays, the movies (okay, The Verdict, The Untouchables and House of Games at least) and that episode of "Hill Street Blues" he wrote, I [...]
"The mystery of political conversion narratives is why claiming that you used to believe the wrong thing, because you were stupid, moves you to the front of the line to talk about the new, correct thing that you believe, now that you are smart."
"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 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?… Most importantly, will you teach them never to question the pronouncements of those in power, for to do so is to risk ostracism?" —Right-wing "convert" David Mamet appeals to American Jews' sense of parental guilt as he encourages them to [...]