David Mamet and Political Views

There’s an essay over at The Vil­lage Voice that you want to read before it goes away:
“Why I Am No Longer a ‘Brain-Dead Lib­er­al’ ” by David Mamet Here’s a brief excerpt.

This is, to me, the syn­the­sis of this world­view with which I now found myself dis­en­chant­ed: that every­thing is always wrong.

But in my life, a brief review revealed, every­thing was not always wrong, and nei­ther was nor is always wrong in the com­mu­ni­ty in which I live, or in my coun­try. Fur­ther, it was not always wrong in pre­vi­ous com­mu­ni­ties in which I lived, and among the var­i­ous and mobile class­es of which I was at var­i­ous times a part.

And, I won­dered, how could I have spent decades think­ing that I thought every­thing was always wrong at the same time that I thought I thought that peo­ple were basi­cal­ly good at heart? Which was it? I began to ques­tion what I actu­al­ly thought and found that I do not think that peo­ple are basi­cal­ly good at heart; indeed, that view of human nature has both prompt­ed and informed my writ­ing for the last 40 years. I think that peo­ple, in cir­cum­stances of stress, can behave like swine, and that this, indeed, is not only a fit sub­ject, but the only sub­ject, of drama.

Some thought-pro­vok­ing stuff in there. It’s good to see some­one brave enough to change his views, and talk about it polit­i­cal­ly. Since I con­sid­er the Voice a very lib­er­al pub­li­ca­tion, it’s espe­cial­ly inter­est­ing to see the piece there.