Quote of the Day postsSaturday October 05, 2019
Mamet on Art and Arthur Miller
“We are freed, at the end of these two dramas [Death of a Salesman and The Crucible], not because the playwright has arrived at a solution, but because he has reconciled us to the notion that there is no solution—that it is the human lot to try and fail, and that no one is immune from self-deception. We have, through following the course of the drama, laid aside, for two hours, the delusion that we are powerful and wise, and we leave the theater better for the rest.
”Bad drama reinforces our prejudices. It informs us of what we knew when we came into the theater—the infirm have rights, homosexuals are people, too, it's difficult to die. It appeals to our sense of self-worth, and, as such, is but old-fashioned melodrama come again in modern clothes (the villain here not black-mustachioed, but opposed to women, gays, racial harmony, etc.).
“The good drama survives because it appeals not to the fashion of the moment, but to the problems both universal and eternal, as they are insoluble.
”To find beauty in the sad, hope in the midst of loss, and dignity in failure is great poetic art.“
David Mamet in the Feb. 2005 New York Times Op-Ed ”Attention Must Be Paid," after the death of Arthur Miller a week earlier. I'd put it in a Word doc, which I kept amid other oddities in a Miscellaneous folder on my desktop, which is what I'd do before I had this blog. I found it again as I was straightening up the folder. It's a great reminder. For the thousandth time. A reminder of what art is and most of Hollywood isn't. I should have it as a wall-hanging somewhere.
I know this all looks bad. But I'm still very grateful to all the dedicated political reporters who worked so hard to make sure that we wouldn't elect a woman who used a personal email account to conduct work business.— Ian Millhiser (@imillhiser) October 4, 2019
Rudy Can't Fail
Here's a laugh-out loud paragraph in The Guardian's article on the growing Trump-Ukraine scandal, and the dangers for people around the president—including Attorney General William Barr and Trump's personal attorney, and former Mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani:
Through a spokesperson, Barr has denied involvement. Speaking on Fox News, Giuliani has enthusiastically detailed his involvement, but said he was working at the behest of the state department, which the state department has denied.
Really tired of “Impeachment is useless because it will fail” takes. Impeachment will succeed. REMOVAL will failbut that's on Republicans. At least the Democrats will have done their job and made their case.— Mark Harris (@MarkHarrisNYC) September 22, 2019
High Crimes, High Time
“Trump has already done more than enough to warrant impeachment and removal with his relentless attempts, on multiple fronts, to sabotage the counterintelligence and criminal investigation by then-special counsel Robert S. Mueller III and to conceal evidence of those attempts. ...
”The current whistleblowing allegations, however, are even worse. Unlike the allegations of conspiracy with Russia before the 2016 election, these concern Trump's actions as president, not as a private citizen, and his exercise of presidential powers over foreign policy with Ukraine. Moreover, with Russia, at least there was an attempt to get the facts through the Mueller investigation; here the White House is trying to shut down the entire inquiry from the start — depriving not just the American people, but even congressional intelligence committees, of necessary information.
“It is high time for Congress to do its duty, in the manner the framers intended. ... Congressional procrastination has probably emboldened Trump, and it risks emboldening future presidents who might turn out to be of his sorry ilk. To borrow John Dean's haunting Watergate-era metaphor once again, there is a cancer on the presidency, and cancers, if not removed, only grow.”
George Conway and Neal Katyal, “Trump has done plenty to warrant impeachment. But the Ukraine allegations are over the top,” in The Washington Post