Liberals at Twilight

Dessicated novelist Gore Vidal recently stood from his plate of roast child, unchained his latest romantic conquest from the cellar wall and tottered over to one of those new-fangled electronic speaking devices to deliver his views to Daniel Trilling of the New Statesman. This, for instance, on the Republican Party:

These are the small-town enemies of everybody. They just dislike everyone. They couldn’t come out and say: “We don’t want a black president” – we’ve finally got past that roadblock. So what they did was set out to slaughter the opposition party, the Democrats.

The rest is equally considered and sage. And okay, I’m joking about his personal habits, but this is a phenomenon I noticed first listening to Norman Mailer give an interview toward the end of his life. I noticed it again only recently debating former talk show host Dick Cavett on NPR. To wit: Lefty celebrities of the sixties age badly. Really badly. Once their wit or talent or gift for invective is gone, they have nothing left but crotchety and unreasoned distaste for the Others who disagree with them. They have become, in fact, conservative in the pejorative sense of that word: inflexible, immovable, cantankerously defiant of change.

Age is no friend to any of us, of course. But these are people whose every idea failed spectacularly, who have lived to see that their considerable talents were used in a way that ultimately debased American discourse and themselves. They are a bitter, disappointed and secretly self-disgusted generation. Ciao, baby.

  1. Craig McLaughlin

    Except for Garrison Keillor. He remains a delight.

  2. flownover
    Craig McLaughlin: Except for Garrison Keillor. He remains a delight. · Oct 11 at 4:26pm

    tru dat

  3. Scott R

    Gore’s appearance on Uncommon Knowledge in 2002 with Dinesh D’Souza is a classic example of what you describe: a repulsive, bitter blob.

  4. EJHill

    The Progressives have always advanced their favorite fantasy of universal acknowledgment of their greatness. They preferred that it would come as some sort of mass enlightenment but they would readily accept our incarceration in a re-education camp. If both of those failed they were also open to Plan C, which is our physical extinction. (If you think I exaggerate check out the stories on the 10:10 “Green Film” where global warming denying children are blown up.)

    They thought they had the answer in Mr. Obama. After all, who dare question the wisdom of a black man? And if his policies were questioned they could always yell, “Racism,” couldn’t they? It never failed in the past.

    But the charge has grown tiresome and it has failed – spectacularly. As has their policies.

  5. Diane Ellis
    C

    “Plate of roast child” (or perhaps “Liberals at Twilight”?) caused there to be an advertisement exhorting viewers to “Become a Vampire!” The ad features a young woman with blood running down her chin. Disturbing image.

  6. flownover

    I’m sorry but was seized by a paroxsym of reckless mirth with the second course of kid ! Poifect !!

    Who was enabing these tottering piles of typing (hat tip to TC) ?

    Quentin Crisp, Benny the Ball…..they’re all here !

  7. flownover

    Gore is the only time I have been advised of something to be avoided that could be described in one word.

    It was in Pamplona , Al was still a congressman, Gore was still a congregational man .

    Just saw the trap I’d set. I think Gary Oldman and Linda Hunt have opportunities.

    And have the local office call Anne Rice back, maybe have Bobby Jindal call her.

  8. Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    Diane Ellis, Ed.: “Plate of roast child” (or perhaps “Liberals at Twilight”?) caused there to be an advertisement exhorting viewers to “Become a Vampire!” The ad features a young woman with blood running down her chin. Disturbing image. · Oct 11 at 4:39pm

    I dunno… I’ve been getting that “Become a Vampire!” ad for weeks here, no matter the post. Plus those even more disturbing “Make My Baby” ads, featuring pictures of kids with orange-blue faces, lopsided pupils, serial-killer deadpans, or something equally horrific.

    Maybe it’s just part of the buildup to Halloween.

    Or maybe they’ve identified me as being part of the “baby-making vampire” niche market.

  9. Bill Walsh

    Chaney_Phantom_01.jpgYou’re right that all they’re left with is bile and choler, but I wonder if it’s not the result of disappointment and experience, but time stripping away niceties and politesse to reveal the skull beneath the skin.

    After all, if you’re as radically opposed to What Is as a Mailer or a Vidal, you’re either furious because of something, or you’re finding something to hang your inchoate fury on. Add the disinhibiting effect of age, and one may be looking at the dark heart that was always there, cloaked in their gauzy, lofty claims of a superior love for humanity.

    And their hateful adversaries? Project much, dudes?

  10. flownover
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake

    Midge ? Meet Eric.

    Is that a robot in your driveway or are you just glad to predict me ?

  11. Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    Speaking of the ads we get here, there’s now one running from the AARP asking “WHERE DO THE CANDIDATES’ STAND ON THE ISSUES?” Umm… the candidates’ what?

    I thought one of the advantages retired folks were supposed to have over us youngsters was better punctuation. But apparently, we’ve reached the point where even the elderly can’t punctuate.

    Now excuse me while I go make my vampire baby.

  12. flownover

    Excuse the acting like I was “inoculated with a victrola needle” , but Mailer in the morning and Vidal at night is just not acceptable for a nice autumn day like this.

    Missouri was beautiful, we shut down Robin Carnahan> Imaginary wet index finger strokes air–

    As Lileks contemplates a rake, we use a scythe.

  13. Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    flownover

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake

    Midge ? Meet Eric.

    Is that a robot in your driveway or are you just glad to predict me ? · Oct 11 at 5:11pm

    Flownover, who’s Eric?

    I admit to being a geek, but if it’s a current pop-culture reference you’re making, it’ll probably go swoop! right over my head unless there’s an explanatory link attached. Because really, I’m that much of a geek.

  14. EJHill
    Diane Ellis, Ed.: “Plate of roast child” (or perhaps “Liberals at Twilight”?)….

    Is this what you’re looking for, Diane?

  15. flownover

    Eric Schmidt, CEO Google, MegaObamaMoney

    Oldernyu

  16. flownover
    EJHill

    Diane Ellis, Ed.: “Plate of roast child” (or perhaps “Liberals at Twilight”?)….

    Is this what you’re looking for, Diane? · Oct 11 at 5:28pm

    You’re a scary guy EJ, Halloween beckons.

  17. Patrick Shanahan

    Andrew,

    A movement built on youthful “attitude” and disdain for basic American virtues could not help but descend into self-parody. “I hope I die before I get old” sang The Who in an anthem for the generation. Turns out they were right. Those who stagger into senescence with that youthful attitude unchanged are pitiful and silly characters -bitter, empty shells whose actuals selves have collpased under the pressure of decaying hipdom.

    Gore Vidal is a cultural black hole.

  18. EJHill
    Patrick Shanahan: A movement built on youthful “attitude” and disdain for basic American virtues could not help but descend into self-parody.

    Amen to that. When a 67-year-old Mick Jagger sings “I can’t get no satisfaction,” I mean, at his age, is anyone surprised? No satisfaction without the little blue pills…

  19. Cas Balicki
    Andrew Klavan: Dessicated … ·

    Desiccated?

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