Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Gore Vidal in Cuba

You won’t be reading this stuff in the mainstream media, regardless of the fact that with 35 novels, numerous produced scripts for features and small screen alike, and an endless array of essays on an endless array of subjects, Gore Vidal is our primary literary figure today.

The respectable consensus says it is right and good to ignore an 81-year old intellectual with some serious national history in his sack of knowledge. There is not even a sense of respect in recognizing that these are the final chapters of a man who dedicated his days and work to the public life of the United States. No appreciation.

And if Gore Vidal was not sexy enough for your average $58 zillion a year anchor, the fact he was in Cuba could not have made the story more saleable.

Cuba, the sensible word has it, does not exist, a fact which precludes anything good or interesting from ever happening there.

But try to imagine how distinct a place it is, outside the mediated vanity fair of global consumer life, without advertisements, the endless pitch, without ambition even.

But the cameras will not arrive until Cuba has been turned into a 7-11 and the public eye will see what it needs people to see.

Which leads us to the whys and wherefores of your friendly global neighborhood blogger who, almost unwittingly, pours either bile or passion into a gaping hole left in the new information market by the old ways of reporting.

So, in case you thought it interesting, highwayscribery wanted to let you know about an article in today’s edition of Mexico’s “La Jornada,” reporting on Gore Vidal’s visit to Habana, Cuba, for a concert commemorating the 26th anniversary of John Lennon’s terrible murder.

Vidal told the Communist Party newspaper “Granma” that the United States, with George W. Bush at the helm, is under “dictatorship.”

“Try to find the adequate expression for a political system that has suppressed the writ of habeas corpus, that makes incursions upon individual rights, and discards legal protections consecrated in the Magna Carta,” said Vidal.

Asked how he feels when called a “bad American” for his scathing critique of our ruling grandees, Vidal responded, “I feel like the last good American. At least I’m an American concerned with defending ethics and history in my country in the hopes we’ll return to being decent and respected. I dream and work to prevent them from taking more of the republic the United States once was, that republic which has collapsed under the present regime.”

(the scribe needs a pithy or poignant observation to break up these two quotes, but can't think of anything).

“John Lennon,” Vidal concluded, “was life, the complete opposite of people like Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and W. Bush, who incarnate death.”

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