Difference between revisions of "September 15, 2019"

From Gerald R. Lucas
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** “Americans are angrier now than at any time I’ve ever seen them.” — “rage”{{sfn|Hitchens|1997|p=121}}
 
** “Americans are angrier now than at any time I’ve ever seen them.” — “rage”{{sfn|Hitchens|1997|p=121}}
 
** flag conservatism and moral reform{{sfn|Mailer|2003|pp=50, 52}}
 
** flag conservatism and moral reform{{sfn|Mailer|2003|pp=50, 52}}
 +
*** strive for world empire to begin moral reform at home{{sfn|Mailer|2003|pp=51–52, 57}}
 +
**** becomes a moral imperative{{sfn|Mailer|2003|p=53}}
 
** See the end of {{harvtxt|Hitchens|1997|}} for a likely scenario of a fascist takeover. In some ways, it seems similar to Trump’s America, though instead of solely against black Americans, it also demonizes Mexicans and Muslims.
 
** See the end of {{harvtxt|Hitchens|1997|}} for a likely scenario of a fascist takeover. In some ways, it seems similar to Trump’s America, though instead of solely against black Americans, it also demonizes Mexicans and Muslims.
 
*** {{harvtxt|Baumann|2016|}} compares Mailer’s analysis of Barry Goldwater and his supporters to Trump and his with some striking similarities.
 
*** {{harvtxt|Baumann|2016|}} compares Mailer’s analysis of Barry Goldwater and his supporters to Trump and his with some striking similarities.
 +
*** could happen quickly because of our lack of tradition{{sfn|Mailer|2003|pp=108–109}}
 +
** “Compulsive adoration of our leaders is poison, after all.”{{sfn|Mailer|2003|p=85}}
  
 
* Personal Responsibility (The Necessity of Criticism)
 
* Personal Responsibility (The Necessity of Criticism)
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** “Culture’s worth huge, huge risks. Without culture we’re all totalitarian beasts.”{{sfn|Hitchens|1997|p=126}}
 
** “Culture’s worth huge, huge risks. Without culture we’re all totalitarian beasts.”{{sfn|Hitchens|1997|p=126}}
  
* '''Democracy''' is a state of grace{{sfn|Mailer|2003|p=70}}
+
* '''Democracy''' is noble and always threatened{{sfn|Mailer|2003|p=70}}
 
** “Democracy is existential”{{sfn|Mailer|2003|p=16}}
 
** “Democracy is existential”{{sfn|Mailer|2003|p=16}}
 
*** We cannot take democracy for granted because it is always in peril and always changing.{{sfn|Mailer|2003|pp=16–17}}
 
*** We cannot take democracy for granted because it is always in peril and always changing.{{sfn|Mailer|2003|pp=16–17}}
 +
*** Is hard-won and maintained: “The only defenses of democracy, finally, are the traditions of democracy.”{{sfn|Mailer|2003|p=70}}
 +
*** '''“Democracy is a state of grace attained only by those countries that have a host of individuals not only ready to enjoy freedom but to undergo the heavy labor of maintaining it.”'''{{sfn|Mailer|2003|p=71}} [bold mine]
 +
*** “If our democracy is the noblest experiment in the history of civilization, it may also be the most singularly vulnerable one.”{{sfn|Mailer|2003|p=110}}
 +
** “inimical to security”{{sfn|Mailer|2003|p=106}} — Mailer hopes there’s not another national crisis to push us toward fascism (Was Obama’s presidency that thing for those who are now in power?)
 +
** depends on critical distinctions{{sfn|Mailer|2003|p=108}}
 +
** links freedom to democracy, and asserts it’s just as delicate — also the thing he likes most about America{{sfn|Mailer|2003|p=110}}
  
 
* Corporate Capitalism
 
* Corporate Capitalism
** against corporations{{sfn|Hitchens|1997|p=117}}
+
** “Corporate power is running this country now.”{{sfn|Mailer|2003|p=104}} (See the discussion that follows.)
 +
** against corporations,{{sfn|Hitchens|1997|p=117}} as they expanded into American life since WWII{{sfn|Mailer|2003|p=48}}
 
** contradiction; leads to greed in a “Christian nation”{{sfn|Hitchens|1997|p=120}}
 
** contradiction; leads to greed in a “Christian nation”{{sfn|Hitchens|1997|p=120}}
 +
*** live as an oxymoron: be altruistic / “beat everyone”
 +
*** “money-grab” of the nineties led to a “pervasive American guilt”
 +
**** “money leaches out all other values”{{sfn|Mailer|2003|p=108}}
 +
*** “Jesus and Evel Knievel don’t consort too well in one psyche.{{sfn|Mailer|2003|p=46}}
 +
** “Marketing was a beast and a force that succeeded in taking America away from most of us.”
 +
*** created a '''culture of interruption''' that led to a '''deterioration of concentration'''. Mailer was talking about commercials on television, so arguably this problem has gotten worse with our devices and notifications.{{sfn|Mailer|2003|pp=89–91}}
 +
** likens corporatism to “the pall of plastic”{{sfn|Mailer|2003|p=46}}
 +
*** the aim of technological society is to work everything over to plastic{{sfn|Mailer|2003|p=92}}
  
 
* '''Technology''' inspires totalitarianism{{sfn|Hitchens|1997|p=126}}
 
* '''Technology''' inspires totalitarianism{{sfn|Hitchens|1997|p=126}}
 +
** “Technology has become the dominant culture in existence and may soon be the only real culture.”{{sfn|Mailer|2003|pp=88–89}}
 +
** contributes to “the deterioration of the powers of concentration, like florescent lights, bad architecture, invasive marketing and ubiquitous plastic{{sfn|Mailer|2003|p=91}}
 +
** frays the soul{{sfn|Mailer|2003|p=91}}
 +
** substitutes power for pleasure, making us narcissistic and power-driven{{sfn|Mailer|2003|p=92}}
  
 
===Citations===
 
===Citations===
{{Reflist|20em}}
+
{{Reflist|15em}}
  
 
===Working Bibliography===
 
===Working Bibliography===

Revision as of 12:16, 25 October 2019

Mailer’s Political Resonance

Themes

  • Fascism is humanity’s natural state[1]
    • against political correctness[2]
      • “we’ve got to find a way to say human nature is both ugly and beautiful, and we have to deal with both.”[3]
    • “Americans are angrier now than at any time I’ve ever seen them.” — “rage”[4]
    • flag conservatism and moral reform[5]
      • strive for world empire to begin moral reform at home[6]
        • becomes a moral imperative[7]
    • See the end of Hitchens (1997) for a likely scenario of a fascist takeover. In some ways, it seems similar to Trump’s America, though instead of solely against black Americans, it also demonizes Mexicans and Muslims.
      • Baumann (2016) compares Mailer’s analysis of Barry Goldwater and his supporters to Trump and his with some striking similarities.
      • could happen quickly because of our lack of tradition[8]
    • “Compulsive adoration of our leaders is poison, after all.”[9]
  • Personal Responsibility (The Necessity of Criticism)
    • “When you have a great country, it’s your duty to be critical of it so it can become even greater.”[10]
    • “The politics of Norman Mailer have conventionally been evaluated more as a personal register of the American zeitgeist, and less as owing any debt or duty to ideology.”[11]
    • Left Conservative — “a challenge to those who remain fixed in orthodoxy or correctness”[12]
    • Cancer is an outgrowth of inaction or conformity.[13]
    • “Culture’s worth huge, huge risks. Without culture we’re all totalitarian beasts.”[14]
  • Democracy is noble and always threatened[1]
    • “Democracy is existential”[15]
      • We cannot take democracy for granted because it is always in peril and always changing.[16]
      • Is hard-won and maintained: “The only defenses of democracy, finally, are the traditions of democracy.”[1]
      • “Democracy is a state of grace attained only by those countries that have a host of individuals not only ready to enjoy freedom but to undergo the heavy labor of maintaining it.”[17] [bold mine]
      • “If our democracy is the noblest experiment in the history of civilization, it may also be the most singularly vulnerable one.”[18]
    • “inimical to security”[19] — Mailer hopes there’s not another national crisis to push us toward fascism (Was Obama’s presidency that thing for those who are now in power?)
    • depends on critical distinctions[20]
    • links freedom to democracy, and asserts it’s just as delicate — also the thing he likes most about America[18]
  • Corporate Capitalism
    • “Corporate power is running this country now.”[21] (See the discussion that follows.)
    • against corporations,[2] as they expanded into American life since WWII[22]
    • contradiction; leads to greed in a “Christian nation”[23]
      • live as an oxymoron: be altruistic / “beat everyone”
      • “money-grab” of the nineties led to a “pervasive American guilt”
        • “money leaches out all other values”[20]
      • “Jesus and Evel Knievel don’t consort too well in one psyche.[24]
    • “Marketing was a beast and a force that succeeded in taking America away from most of us.”
      • created a culture of interruption that led to a deterioration of concentration. Mailer was talking about commercials on television, so arguably this problem has gotten worse with our devices and notifications.[25]
    • likens corporatism to “the pall of plastic”[24]
      • the aim of technological society is to work everything over to plastic[26]
  • Technology inspires totalitarianism[14]
    • “Technology has become the dominant culture in existence and may soon be the only real culture.”[27]
    • contributes to “the deterioration of the powers of concentration, like florescent lights, bad architecture, invasive marketing and ubiquitous plastic[28]
    • frays the soul[28]
    • substitutes power for pleasure, making us narcissistic and power-driven[26]

Citations

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Mailer 2003, p. 70.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Hitchens 1997, p. 117.
  3. Hitchens 1997, p. 127.
  4. Hitchens 1997, p. 121.
  5. Mailer 2003, pp. 50, 52.
  6. Mailer 2003, pp. 51–52, 57.
  7. Mailer 2003, p. 53.
  8. Mailer 2003, pp. 108–109.
  9. Mailer 2003, p. 85.
  10. Mailer 2003, p. 15.
  11. Hitchens 1997, p. 115.
  12. Hitchens 1997, p. 116.
  13. Mailer 2003, p. 19.
  14. 14.0 14.1 Hitchens 1997, p. 126.
  15. Mailer 2003, p. 16.
  16. Mailer 2003, pp. 16–17.
  17. Mailer 2003, p. 71.
  18. 18.0 18.1 Mailer 2003, p. 110.
  19. Mailer 2003, p. 106.
  20. 20.0 20.1 Mailer 2003, p. 108.
  21. Mailer 2003, p. 104.
  22. Mailer 2003, p. 48.
  23. Hitchens 1997, p. 120.
  24. 24.0 24.1 Mailer 2003, p. 46.
  25. Mailer 2003, pp. 89–91.
  26. 26.0 26.1 Mailer 2003, p. 92.
  27. Mailer 2003, pp. 88–89.
  28. 28.0 28.1 Mailer 2003, p. 91.

Working Bibliography

  • Baumann, Paul (March 23, 2016). "Mailer on Trump". Commonweal. Retrieved 2016-10-01.
  • Begiebing, Robert (2020). "Norman Mailer and Joseph Ellis: Unsettling Dialogues on Democracy". The Mailer Review. 12 (1).
  • Binelli, Mark (May 2007). "Norman Mailer". Rolling Stone. pp. 69, 72.
  • Busa, Christopher (1999). "Interview with Norman Mailer". Provincetown Arts. pp. 24–32. Retrieved 2019-09-15.
  • Hitchens, Christopher (1997). "Norman Mailer: A Minority of One". New Left Review. 22 (March/April): 115–128.
  • Mailer, Norman (2013). "Immodest Proposals". Mind of an Outlaw. New York: Random House.
  • — (2003). Why Are We at War?. New York: Random House.
  • Mailer, Norman; Mailer, John Buffalo (2006). The Big Empty. New York: Nation Books.
  • McAfee, Andrew (October 23, 2019). "Technology Will Keep Us From Running Out of Stuff". Wired. Retrieved 2019-10-24.
  • Pritchard, William (November 24, 2016). "Stormin' Norman". Washington Examiner. Retrieved 2019-10-01.
  • Sheed, Wilfred (1971). "Norman Mailer: Genius or Nothing". The Morning After: Selected Essays and Reviews. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. pp. 9–17.
  • Wade, Francis (August 12, 2019). "Reading 'The Armies of the Night' in an Age of Youth Protest". LA Review of Books. Retrieved 2019-09-15.