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Gore Vidal is dead

 
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On the other hand



Joined: 19 Apr 2003
Location: I walk along the avenue

PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 11:07 pm    Post subject: Gore Vidal is dead Reply with quote

Quote:
Gore Vidal, the celebrated and iconoclastic author, playwright and commentator, died Tuesday at the age of 86.

His death was first reported by the Associated Press shortly after midnight Tuesday on the east coast, and later confirmed by a number of other media outlets. His nephew, Burr Steers, said that Vidal died that evening at his California home of complications of pneumonia.



Never read any of his fiction, but that's because I don't read fiction. When I first became aware of him, I found his persona a little grating, he always seemed excessively enthusiastic about brandishing his upper-crust pedigree, as if it somehow enhanced the legitimacy of his points.

But he was a substantive critic of his nation's policies, both foreign and domestic. Some of his positions seemed to owe as much to a quasi-isolationist viewpoint as they did to more orthodox left-wing thought. He was a vocal decrier of what he regarded as Imperial America, in contrast to some possibly idealized notion of original republican values. But I sometimes wondered what he thought about those aspects of strengthened government(eg. the welfare state, civil-rights legislation) which were more in line with progressive ideals.

He apparently found a partially kindred spirit with Timothy McVeigh in later years. I suppose it took some courage to go public with this correspondence, since McVeigh isn't the kind of outlaw figure that liberals and leftists would typically embrace.

I'm sure there's some appropriate Latin phrase to post here for the occasion, but I'll be damned if I know what it is.

Slate
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On the other hand



Joined: 19 Apr 2003
Location: I walk along the avenue

PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 11:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Associated Press obit
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JustinC



Joined: 10 Mar 2012
Location: We Are The World!

PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 4:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gore Vidal is dead

Long-live Vidal Sassoon?

Oh ... wait ..
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On the other hand



Joined: 19 Apr 2003
Location: I walk along the avenue

PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 10:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Now listen you queer, stop calling me a Nazi or I'll sock you in the goddam face..."

Apparently, when each of them agreed to appear in the coverage, they were both asked who they wouldn't want to debate, and each guy answered the other one. So ABC decided to pair them off.
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Julius



Joined: 27 Jul 2006

PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 11:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought he was hilarious when interviewed on that show "hard talk'.

Respect.
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Jeonmunka



Joined: 05 Oct 2009

PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2012 11:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are there any who can replace him?
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NovaKart



Joined: 18 Nov 2009
Location: Iraq

PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 6:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

He didn't have good luck with movies, Caligula and Myra Breckenridge.
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HarryMorgan



Joined: 02 May 2011

PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 9:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

NovaKart wrote:
He didn't have good luck with movies, Caligula and Myra Breckenridge.


Maybe screenplays weren't his thing, but I enjoyed his performance in Bob Roberts as an actor. Great film, and one that has gone under the radar, but which is still very relevant and worthy of greater appreciation today, IMO. The only book I read of his was Creation and I enjoyed it, but that was a number of years ago. I liked Vidal as a social commentator, as well, in the appearances I was able to catch every now and then. Such as Real Sex (I believe that was the name) on HBO. Wink Good writer, social critic, and a progressive personality. I would like to think he made a positive impact in his time here.
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caniff



Joined: 03 Feb 2004
Location: All over the map

PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 1:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was more upset to hear about Horshack.
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Ya-ta Boy



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: Established in 1994

PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 4:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The only book I read of his was Creation and I enjoyed it,


In addition to 'Creation', give 'Julian' a try. It's historical fiction about Julian the Apostate (Roman emperor). Good read.

'Lincoln' not bad, but not great.

The other stuff, not so much. A LOT not so much.
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NovaKart



Joined: 18 Nov 2009
Location: Iraq

PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 10:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Caligula might have been good if they followed his screenplay but when it was bought by Penthouse the director just didn't care about making anything of quality. Myra Breckenridge was, I think, based on a book by him but I don't know if he wrote the screenplay. I heard the director really didn't know what he was doing either and it was in the contract that he couldn't be fired. Actually I think both of those movies are entertaining to watch but terrible for quality.
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On the other hand



Joined: 19 Apr 2003
Location: I walk along the avenue

PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2012 7:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I heard the director really didn't know what he was doing either and it was in the contract that he couldn't be fired. Actually I think both of those movies are entertaining to watch but terrible for quality.


My understanding is that there are about a dozen or so versions of Caligula, in various states of bowdlerization. Apparently, most of the real hardcore scenes were directed by a self-taught Guccione, after he decided he didn't like Tinto Brass' version so flew to Italy with a bunch of Pets for filming.

The version I saw in Korea was probably the most sanitized version there is, you wouldn't even know it was supposed to be a p0rn film. Funny how Guccione kinda got Helen Mirren on the way up and Malcolm MacDowell on the way down for that.
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Ya-ta Boy



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: Established in 1994

PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2012 7:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Was Caligula more or less a nice enough guy or was he a raving lunatic?

My view is that we know next to nothing about the answer any more than we know the answer to any other historical question.

The 'answer' lies in the attitude of whoever has the most power at this moment.

As Henry Ford famously said, "History is bunk."

I rarely agree with a flat-out capitalist, but there it is.
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Ya-ta Boy



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: Established in 1994

PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2012 9:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

My understanding is that there are about a dozen or so versions of Caligula, in various states of bowdlerization.


You have had roughly 2,000 years to make up your mind.

Someone somewhere asked Mao what he thought of the French Revolution and he famously said, "It is too soon to tell." OK, I can kind of accept that.

But now you are saying that 2,000 years is too soon to tell.

Ho hum.

As far as I can see, modern historians are the gold-medal-winners in the competition for 'who me? Ya wanna me to take an actual point of view and defend it? Wha...ya crazy? Me, risk my tenure?'

Is there any group of more cowardly people on the face of the earth then historians...well, maybe journalists?
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On the other hand



Joined: 19 Apr 2003
Location: I walk along the avenue

PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2012 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
You have had roughly 2,000 years to make up your mind.


Actually, when it comes to the film Caligula, I've had about five years to make up my mind, since it was about that long ago that I saw it.

And I'm still going with my original impression, which is that it was pretty much a woofer, which may haven been improved, albeit only slightly, by the retention of the hardcore scenes put in by Guccione.

And Ya-Ta, you know I have nothing but respect for you and your contribution to these boards, but is there any particular reason for your suddenly falling into this rather solipsistic argument against the historians' guild? I mean, I can't see anywhere on this thread where someone was saying "Thank God we have historians to give us the unsullied Truth about the past!!"

And for what it's worth, I think one of the things that makes your contributions so compelling is your own grasp of, and love for, history. So this currect crusade(*) against the subject seems a little self-lacerating on your part.

(*) Alluding to a series of religious wars spanning the 11th to 13th centuries. Of course, I would never presume to tell anyone what to think about them.
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