"Our Form of Democracy is Bribery, on the Highest Scale" -- Gore Vidal
Gore Vidal is a hero of mine. Unafraid, informed, honest and incredibly well-spoken he repeatedly floors me with his plain and simple reason. And his wit. And his charm. But mostly because of the truths that come fearlessly out of his mouth. This man inspires me, and at the same time I feel incredibly sad that simply speaking uncomfortable truths evokes such hatred in those not ready to grapple with them. Or from those who profit from them. He was also loved and respected by many, and had the opportunity to be one of the most published, quoted philospher/critic/political analyst/cultural iconoclasts ever, and I'm very glad about that.
This amazing documentary "The United States of Amnesia" covers Gores life from his days as a boy in the Senate listening to his grandfather make his famous speeches, to his last days and searing critiques of the Bush administration, and his skepticism about Obama's authenticity.
I particularly loved his connection with Mikhail Gorbechev and hearing what that man had to say about the end of the cold war and how everything seemed like it might get better except the USA caught the "victory disease" and continued to pursue war for profit and worship its own empire.
You can't really argue with anything Gore Vidal says. It stings, but it's true. He has a great scope of vision that completely exposes phonies. I love that.
He wasn't comfortable living in America, and I feel the same way. I often feel completely outside my own culture, my own country. While I enjoy the stunning natural beauty my country has to offer, and I am grateful to not wear a burka and not to be in a war-torn nation, that's about it. I hate so much about how our politics work, the raping of our economy and health by corporations, the disgusting over-consumption and unaccountable, defensive behavior by adults and children, by the aggressive, competitive, HEAVILY ARMED population on the roads and in the shops. I want to leave this country, all the time.
I dream of living in France, as Gore lived in Italy. Or Italy, I'd live there. Or the Hague. And I don't feel sorry to say it. I'm going to let this man inspire me to speak my truth, without worrying about offense. I am a thoughtful, educated person who has lived almost 50 years in this crazy country, and I have seen A LOT of it. I've also lived in other countries, and I have seen some of how it works there. The way I feel about my culture is an honest and truthful account without any agenda other than reality. You may say that reality is subjective in many ways, but I'm talking about a basic, factual, encompassing scope of what has come before, and what is happening now, and what might be projected for the future. People don't do that anymore. Remember things and take them into account. It really is The United States of Amnesia.
Thank you Gore Vidal, for all of your debates, essays, novels, plays, historical accounts and perfectly clear, unassailable way of expressing the truth. We are all fortunate that he landed on this planet at all. I wish he could have lived two lifetimes with his friend Howard so that we could get more commentary, more essays and more of his perspective. Thank you Gore Vidal, I appreciate it and I am very glad you bothered.