Gore Vidal...

By Michael J. Smith on Wednesday August 1, 2012 01:27 AM

... now gone too, just a few days after Alex Cockburn. Double whammy. I feel so lost. When will we ever see their like again?

Loved 'em both, when they were right and especially when they were wrong. Loved their wonderful breezy confidence, their capacity to follow their own nose trustfully wherever it led, no matter what anybody else thought.

We need more of that. Where will we find it?

Comments (20)

Two wealthy, white, old, Anglo men, who spent much of their lives getting recognition from the corporate media, have died. They are very interesting, but they are not all there is. To ask "when will we ever see their like again?" is to suggest that we wait for academia, literary critics, and the corporate media to tell us who the new approved dissidents are. They may deserve more attention than Mitt or Barry, but that's picking nits among the titled set.

Perhaps "their like"--though less male, white, wealthy, or famous--are already out there. Perhaps they are utterly unknown to moneyed culture; perhaps they go even farther and do things greater than peaceably complain from the lap of luxury. Within the gilded ballroom, who can tell?

Your recent "Some Fun With Empty Suits" was wonderful, and merited framing. Yet, in human terms, look to the children's playground, rather than to the corpses' graveyard. You need not abandon all your dirges and roastings of the wealthy old men of the world, if there you find satisfaction--but the endless new beginnings to come will deliver more than empty chairs at empty tables.


I was just thinking of the grand man yesterday, having seen a clip of him last week. The parting look with his customary "coldness" is priceless.


Coincidentally, the 2 pages Gore added as foreword to another old fighter's book are as good as the last word on a never-ending "dispute" replayed the n'th time right here a couple of days ago.

Leaving us beneath a shelterless sky...


"Loved 'em both, when they were right
and especially when they were wrong"

i must say i liked GORE 24/7
but alex when he was right
sometimes revealed a serpent triumphant
that tends to gall me i must say

the hard look of gore's has only one generational equal

bob dole's
the two poles of the deep soul scan

and yes really a strong yes

i did love them both
"especially when they were wrong"

defiantly blessedly unrelentingly
above all cool headedly wrong
neither was a coriolanus
both were worthy promptors

not of the nine tales
to the great american buttock variety
more the razor cut
delivered just above our hamiltonian eye


high arka

u may have chosen a poor moment
to play the tone deaf
preachy.... "dated" prig

yes father S's 'empty suits' piece
deserves high praise
but coming from you
there must be source consideration


Arka, allow us some time to mourn. This hasn't been the greatest couple of weeks, whatever the hue, station, or gender of the greats in question.

MJS, fear not: Twitter will no doubt produce such wit in 140 characters or fewer. #nextgorevidal I am certain the Daily Kos produces such prose...daily.

Oh, well, I'm just in a sour mood, no getting around it.


Arka, I think you mistake the source of my grief. It's mostly for the pleasure they gave me, not because I think we have to depend on great men.

Merkin in Montreal:

Indeed a great double loss. To me, what made them both so endearing was their unique ability to sprinkle their sharp critique with wit, humor, and gossip. Their speeches and writings were the antithesis to the didactic left (think Chris Hedges, yawn!) that dominates the progressive discourse these days. They were also “Equal Opportunity” by poking fun at the Right and the Left.

I attended Comrade Cockburn’s talk in San Francisco on two occasions when I was still living there. He was hilarious! I was howling the whole time and he was amused by my cackles as I’m quite loud!

I do think that Comrade Smith has some of that wit and humor in his writing, especially when he shares the details of his latest email from some benighted liberal on his friends circle!

anne shew:

ark' and owen, of the "tone deaf " .. it's more than that owen with her putting us in the same boat somehow, in my having a look at your writing here over the last few weeks , we are so very different , of in what ways arka is not able to see this is a wonder ./ getting any pleasure out of reading gore is not left ,sneeze , / kisses ar k'


Gore and Alex were ever DELIGHTFUL. I had to read every word, and always felt invigorated, amused, inspired...delighted. They possessed a rare gift. With none of the phony contrarianism(tm) of You Know Who.


Their likes certainly won't be found in any Race to the Top, Tiger Parented, STEM Students... What a ghastly non society where somehow it has become not only okay, but mature and adult to refer to humans as machines ... absent of the essence, treasured, scorned and sometimes hated, that made the two of them so beloved to so many.

Rest in Peace Gore Vidal


(For fucks sake ... it has been declared (cursive has been declared obsolete and unecessary by the monsters and lackies of monsters, running the hideous show) that the majority of humans have no need to learn to write in flowing verse .... when the situation begs ... (az the far wizer puterz, can now do that righting for uz. ...Though, nothing is offered up as to what - when the power plug is pulled ..or the solar storm shutz down the puterz – will do that wrtiting for us, when all are unable to express). .... Though, the kiddles are, currently, allowed to learn how to mimic machine block letter fonts (as if the machine, invented and tweaked by certain humans , .now needs to be mimiced, instead of the human. How did that machine.somehow surpass the intent and abilities of most humans? ...talk about bad science).

...Yes, there are ...... few and so very far between, brilliant exceptions ...... for the kiddles of the Jobz Gatesz Pagez Brinnz Theilz Zuckerz (and, certainly, Kurzweil who is devoloping a sequel to pet semetary starrring his daddy (only)) such as: Computer Free Silicon Valley School, That Doesn’t Compute ( www.venusproject.org/computer-free-silicon-valley-school.html , not an endorsement of the Venus Project , which I know knothing about, just a link for those unable to link to the New York Times,( like myself)).

Who, among most reading, don’t remember sensing the intent and direction beyond the words written when reading the cursive of a hand written letter, ....or, .... the cursive, ....written in the sand, on a wall, on a mirror....from the gut ... and not in Calibri Font Size 11 ™ (which has been declared by some unseen ‘wizards,’ to fit all?))


(and, so sorry (NOT!) to ‘drag’ on, but yes expression has been banned for most children. .... From the Sly Con Valley Cali nooooz:

“The ultimate goal is to get every child [$$$$]college[$$$$$] and career ready [despite the fact that there will be no jobs for them after all that money has been spent on “college”]. That means, cursive is out ...”

[ www.sfgate.com/education/article/New-education-standards-end-rote-learning-cursive-3623837.php despite: www.venusproject.org/computer-free-silicon-valley-school.htm ]

Itz a part of [UZ] Core Standards [For the Fucked] ( www.corestandards.org/in-the-states ):

Other entities [the only ‘entity’ listed, that I can see, is the DOD] that have formally adopted the [Core] Standards

Department of Defense Education Activity

Who would want their warrior slaves to know that they are not actually being taught anything of value .... and that they are dying for nothing but the malevolent, twisted desires of those who proclaim to be their betters, .....when those “betters” are nothing but scum..?


can't we stop the machine?

anne shew:

eugene luther's eyes are trying to tell me something , said the cat .. . ,

hugs, Michael, hugs.


Tks. 'Grief' is maybe a little melodramatic, but sadness for sure. I was so awfully fond of both of them.

And I don't think we will see their like in a qualitative sense. There will be good sharp writers, writers who can make the targets of their wit writhe as well as C and V could do.

But they won't do it in quite the same *way*. Perhaps it's the *way* I will miss.

Styles change, and something is always lost as well as gained.

I liked, admired, their style. Sit levis terra.


Sid levy's terrace....ahh you bring me back Father ?

Why I almost forgot...what a nite...and to think she didn't even remember it

anne shew:

of back to eugene , of something that came to mind a few days ago that i remember him saying something of , of ..that we should all be bi , i agreed in that we should all find another person sexually appealing as we are drawn to something of their character before .. . , i've always considered myself to be bi because this is how my own sexuality has been, and i am saying this from the point of view of someone who is considered by many to be the most feminine girl on the planet

Matt Hardwick:

We need more of that. Where will we find it?

Within ourselves, of course. After all, the Golden Age is supposed to be in us...

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