Friday, October 09, 2009

I posted on a UK web site called The Independent UK about an interview conducted with Gore Vidal. He was asked about his views on many things some of which I agree and others I do not. The interviewer asked Vidal if he thought, although Vidal is in a weakened state at age 84 and in a wheelchair, if he would live another 8 years. Here is the link to the Gore Vidal interview. I think he has always been a fascinating personality. My comments are as follows:

I have loved Gore Vidal ever since I saw his debate with William Buckley in the late 1960's in which Buckley's feathers became riled when Vidal called him a fascist. I loved seeing Buckley's feathers aflutter. Still, I do not always agree with Gore Vidal. I agree with his assessment about the nature of US imperialism but I do not agree that every single thing the US does is motivationally in error.

I most especially do NOT understand how he could become romantic about the essence of Timothy McVeigh, the domestic terrorist who blew up the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995 (one day before Hitler's birthday.) Maybe I just do not have the cerebral capacity to understand Vidal's infatuation with McVeigh. McVeigh was, in my opinion, a beast who was a member in good standing of the violent extremist racist right wing. I thought Gore hated the right.

David Koresh, of Waco fame and McVeigh's raison de guerre, was asked to come out of his lair by the FBI and wouldn't after many hours of standoff so the FBI used force hoping Koresh would give himself up. If one does not do as the FBI asks then I believe one must face the consequences. Unfortunately there were children in the Koresh compound and it exploded in flames as Koresh's huge cache of ammunition was struck by FBI fire reducing the dwelling to ashes. Koresh was a right wing religious extremist and most probably a pedophile. This is supposedly why McVeigh blew up a federal building killing children and other innocents? Me thinks Gore's homosexuality, which he denies homosexuality even exists though he has admitted to hundreds of encounters with men, is aroused by McVeigh. I cannot think of one other reason that could account for Vidal waxing sentimental over this murderer. Vidal is enigmatic on that point. He reminded me of Truman Capote's infatuation in his novel "In Cold Blood" with the Clutter family murderer, Perry Smith.

I believe the left, of which I consider myself a part, errs when it thinks the world is filled with tabula razas just waiting to become good. Government is about the management of power and some states manage it better than others. I believe there are situations when war, which should be avoided when possible, is a sad necessity at times and fascism in Europe during the 1930's and 40's was such a time. Whatever this country's faults, and I agree lack of an educated populous in the US is one of them as Vidal suggests, all of its wars were not in error. Japan was an imperialist power, Germany certainly was an imperialist power as was Italy and even the somewhat neutral Franco's Spain. If the US did not act the Axis powers would have certainly obliged. What is Vidal thinking?

Still, I love Gore Vidal and envy his absorbent intellect. I wish I possessed a corner of it. I do hope he lives another eight years and another eight after that.

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