David Mamet's grunt of relief.

I am linking to this David Mamet interview in the Financial Times largely for this passage:

But attitudes in Europe to the Middle East tend to be more sceptical about Israel than American ones, I interject. Does he believe that anyone who disputes Israel’s land claims and believes in reallocation of territory to the Palestinians is anti-Semitic?

Uncharacteristically, Mamet hesitates slightly as he starts to answer and I wonder if he will back down, or at least hedge his answer. “Well, at some level … listen …” He throws his head back and looks briefly at the ceiling before emitting a grunt of relief as he abandons caution.

“Yes!” he exclaims. “Of course! I mean you Brits … ” He smiles ruefully. “I love the British. Whatever education I have comes from reading your writers and yet, time and time again, for example reading Trollope, there is the stock Jew. Even in George Eliot, God bless her. And the authors of today … I’m not going to mention names because of your horrendous libel laws but there are famous dramatists and novelists over there whose works are full of anti-Semitic filth.


…and it’s because as a former Democrat I’m familiar with the sensation. I remember distinctly the feeling of liberation and relief when I realized for the first time that I no longer had to pretend that I did not consider the antiwar movement to be comprised of fools, dupes, and knaves; and that the last category did not proudly have for its membership people who openly and gleefully hated every aspect of Western society, up to and including its geographic bias.  There is nothing like that grunt of relief that you get when you can finally call somebody on their institutional bias, ignorance, and/or hatred; and I’m pleased to see it here in Mamet.  It’s a sign that the deprogramming took*.

(Via AoSHQ Headlines)

Moe Lane

*It’s an interesting phenomenon, and one based in something that I call Bob Syndrome (I think that I stole the name from my wife).  To put it simply: there are decent people on the Other Side, there are cynical opportunists, and then there are very nasty people with vicious beliefs that make them scum that walks.  Meanwhile, there are decent people on your side, there are cynical opportunists, and then there’s… Bob.  Bob’s just got these funny ideas in his head, and you should probably just smile and nod, because it’s easier for everybody and Bob works hard for folks.  And then there’s very nasty people with vicious beliefs that make them scum that walks, but those people were tossed out of positions of authority long ago and nobody’s going to let them back in.


Yup, sometimes that last sentence isn’t actually true.  On either side, honestly.  And telling those people from Bob isn’t always the easiest thing to do from the outside.


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