Boomer Shame Has No End

The Secret Knowledge by David Mamet

It was shocking reading David Mamet’s “The Secret Knowledge – On The Dismantling of American Culture”. First, I should say this: I’m finding it hard to write anything nice about this book. Seriously. If I start reading something and I feel as though I’ve committed myself to reading it, I will do just that – even if I don’t like it. That’s how I got through those college English Lit classes. I mean, Mamet truly is a writer that I’ve admired most of my life. But I’m starting to wonder if he’s always been over the edge or if I’m just now seeing it.

According to my birth year (1963) – correct me if I’m wrong – I think I’m exactly in-between the infamous baby boomer generation and the generation that followed. A confusing place, indeed. But this place (that I’ve spent my life being put into) taught me early that before it could even get started, life is over. For the longest time I blindly hoped – as we all do in this day and age of haves and have-mores – that the boomers would wake from their dream that is the nightmare of others. To me, obviously, the boomers are the worst thing that has ever happened to a nation, they are the seed and the tree of American’t dysfunction. Just look at what they’ve done. And now look at what Mamet has done. The only secret this book reveals is the true greedy and repugnant face of a generation of swindlers, under-achieving hoodlums and cry-babies.

I want to like everything written by David Mamet. Seriously. But that’s never going to be possible. Mamet will always remain one of the great American playwrights – but it seems as though he’s practically given that up. Obviously there is something that drives him to write about his conservatism, and I reckon that’s a good thing. The fact that he is, in the arts, a creative genius and, at the least, participates in political discourse, is OK by me. Yet this isn’t the first time I’ve reached wit’s end with his politics – just as I’ve reached wit’s end with all conservative politics.

This book does take the cake. It is proof-supreme how a brilliant writer can write so… (may all things worst the world over forgive me for using this word but there are moments when it fits perfectly) …stupidly. And I’m not alone in that opine-yon. See the external links below. Also. When one of the only people that would interview him about this book was the filthy, zombie spawn of Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, I kinda knew that I was in for a (mis)treat. Anywho. Mamet really should stick with writing plays or films. His batshit conservatism and the belief that right wingers and boomers are OK simply because they are in possession of something that someone else (mostly their own children!) cannot possess, making them the center of the universe, well… I digress. I fought my way through this book because, somehow, in that little S&M place in my heart, Mamet deserves it. I was wrong. The only thing he deserves is a snub.

Related links:

 

Rant on.

Tomas

Just Keep It Techi

Woz Mike Daisey

Have to call out one of my favorite podcasts. Went on vacation for a few weeks. Didn’t take anything that would allow me to connect to the Internets like I do on a daily basis while not on vacation. Vacation is vacation, right? (But I did take my Kindle and read like a madman!) When vacation was over, there was a nerve or two commanding me to get back online. There is an effect of not having heard any tech news for two weeks. But let me backtrack for a sec. Just as I was leaving for vacation Mike Daisey was in the news and being called-out for not being a journalist. That didn’t surprise me. Heck, I even downloaded the text to his one-man show onto my Kindle (but didn’t get to reading it while on vacation). Sun, fun, scuba was just ahead of me. So. Back to the present. When I heard the podcast from my favorite Macintosh show, from the twit-network, I went through the roof. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. The red box in the pic above in no way indicates how it was attempted to completely disqualify Mike Daisey’s criticism. It was Andy Ihnatko that did most of the batshit talk, defacing Daisey’s work. I guess I’m disappointed in that – but somehow not surprised. Being complicit is a hard pill to swallow.

Having grown up in the land of bullshit, the one ability it ingrained in me is to think for myself – and I did exactly that the whole time Daisey made headlines with his fascinating and unconventional freakshow. I knew from the get-go Daisey was full of bullshit – in fact, I have to admit that he’s much better at it than most, including moi. But that’s ok. It’s not as though – even for a sec or two – that I thought that he wasn’t anything other than a bullshit showman. Isn’t that what American’t has given the world in the past (insert time frame here) years? And even though his bullshit stinks like all others, at least anything he says or does on a stage in a theater will harm no one yet might just get some to think – with or without a few things thrown in that ain’t quite truth. I mean, come on. What would you rather have? Mike Daisey or Fox News?

Now get this. Can you imagine a land of bullshitters starting to actually think? Hats off to Daisey for such an achievement. An achievement, in and of itself, that is practically a miracle in the land of be-me, be-like-me or else you lose, sucker! With that in mind. The be-like-me guys on the panal of this show should have never talked about this. Seriously. You should have just ignored it, fellows. This has been out of your league since 1984 became like 1984. Or you should have provided a bit more praise. It would have been that easy – just praise the bullshitter. Indeed, there is something to the adage: keep your mouth shut if you don’t want people to know how … how you might be lacking in the ability to be objective.

The fact that Daisey attacked one of the best examples out there of how corporatism has relegated The United Mistakes of American’t to being a 2nd world nation (on its way to being 3rd, baby) is/was enough for me, no matter what Daisey’s theatrics, pseudo-journalism or bullshit culminate in. I too have followed the complacent, unoriginal, big-brother theatrics of Apple for years. Whether Daisey made up a few things or not in the context of criticizing the emodiment of fail-upwards corporatism means absolutely nothing in a land that is represented by the same corporatist principles at all levels of government, community and individuality. The thing that attracted me to Daisey’s bullshit was that potentially automatons might see the complex truth about things like the compulsive behaviorism that is the first step in earning opportunity to potentially get a job or career with even the slightest living standard. Let me say that again. In American’t you first and foremost must earn opportunity. Once you’ve done that it’s up to others who will judge you whether or not you can eventually graduate to actually someday having a living standard. Think about what that means. Everything in the land of the pseudo-free is a commodity now. Even opportunity. Yeah, baby. It’s no longer an issue of working hard and rising from dish washer to millionaire. The unoriginality of American’t economics post cold-war – promulgated by the so-called baby boomer generation –  means that you have to somehow find a way to elbow someone else out of the way who is already struggling to wash dishes, somehow acquire access to those dishes, and then proceed to earn the privilege of washing them. And so. Comfortably forget concepts like achieve or merit. You compete with twenty cents an hour employees in a far off land that make the gadgets that make your life and they are totally at ease with washing dishes. Oh. And let’s not forget. Of course. (Sarcasm on?) Everyone knows that there is a drug obsessed Steve Jobs in us all. (Sarcasm off?) Yeah, baby. Way to go Automaton American’t!

The Apple success story is such a diabolical joke that only in a place of mindless jokester can it be on any pedestal where others can look down and krapp on those questioning it (or questioning everything else). In its essence, the lack of questioning everything is what Daisey was attacking. Since, obviously, this panel and all the rest of us that use Apple products are complicit, I reckon it feels better to burn the crazy-bitch-witch (Mike Daisey) instead of waking up to yet another alarm regarding impending fail-upwards doom. Again. Way to go American’t automatons. You/we have found another way of not looking at truth, justice and the rod that is ramming you/us.

Thank you Mike Daisey! Keep up the good bullshit work.

 

Rant on.

-tgs-

Related post here.