Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Virtually Impossible

Via the kind Dan Coyle, we have Lawrence Meyers:
It is nearly impossible to read a review of David Mamet’s work now without the critic noting the playwright’s conservative politics.
I accomplish the near-impossible BEFORE BREAKFAST AROUND LUNCHTIME WHEN I WANT TO and sometimes I don't want to so there.



Onwards!
Subtextually, the film is a political allegory. This story didn’t have to be about Spector (played by Al Pacino). It could have been about anybody. To understand the allegory, it’s helpful to pay attention to the gigantic disclaimer as the film begins:

This is a work of fiction. It's not "based on a true story." ... It is a drama inspired by actual persons on a trial, but it is neither an attempt to depict the actual persons, nor to comment upon the trial or its outcome.

Get it? Mamet is telling the audience this is a political allegory.

So what is that allegory?

Spector is the stand-in for the successful American entrepreneur. He is persecuted simply because he is successful, famous and rich. The liberal media, eager as it always is to tear down success, demonize him. Baden is provided as the rational thinker, Mamet’s idealized American who weighs the evidence, logically considers all the angles and ultimately gives Spector the benefit of the doubt. Mamet’s deeper political agenda then, it that rather than immediately condemning the successful man because of what his attackers claim, people take the rational route of actually using their mind and examining evidence before condemning anyone.
And chief among the problems a successful businessman has is maintaining a supply of weaponry to keep the staff in line.

9 comments:

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Heh.

The Ramones were better without Phil.
~

tigris said...

Subtextually, the film is a political allegory ... Spector is the stand-in for the successful American entrepreneur.... persecuted simply because he is successful, famous and rich. The liberal media, eager as it always is to tear down success, demonize him

So they shouldn't note his conservative politics, but those conservative politics are what the movie is all about?

Smut Clyde said...

Imma guessing that the argument is that since liberals are going to seize upon Mamet's political agenda anyway, it's OK for Coyle to reduce the play to an agenda and pronounce it Goodthink. Because THEY STARTED IT (or would have).
Please forgive me for failing to follow through to the link and check my interpretation.

Substance McGravitas said...

Dan Coyle is a swell gentleman. The offender is Lawrence Meyer. Edit forthcoming.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

Spector is the stand-in for the successful American entrepreneur. He is persecuted simply because he is successful, famous and rich.

Well, because of that and his propensity to shoot women in the head.

Now, adherents of which political philosophy voted against the "Violence Against Women Act"? Of course, though, liberals are the real sexists.

Smut Clyde said...

An earlier rejected version of the play:

O.J. Simpson is the stand-in for the successful American entrepreneur. He is persecuted simply because he is successful, famous and rich.

Substance McGravitas said...

I had the same thought.

Smut Clyde said...

He is persecuted simply because he is successful, famous and rich.

If being successful, famous and rich is reason enough for persecution, there's a surprising number of people who aren't currently in jail.
Perhaps there are some additional criteria.

fish said...

I have to agree with thudner on this point.