Earlier this week, Jay wrote a piece about Donald Trump and the “F-word”: fascism. In response, Mark Helprin had this to say, about the 2016 presidential election: “… we are skewered on the devil’s fork of fascism lite and communism lite, both of which can change rather speedily into heavies.”

1007636In this “Q&A,” Helprin and Jay talk about this, of course. Helprin is utterly uninhibited in expressing his disgust at the two major-party nominees. He says that we are in a time of craziness and criminality. Those two C’s are in the saddle.

At the end of the podcast, Jay brings up an artistic and literary subject, for reasons that will be plain. That subject is “Swan Lake.”

Mark Helprin is one of the best writers in the English language. “Winter’s Tale” is some people’s favorite novel. So is “A Soldier of the Great War.” So are other Helprin works. Hopelessly individualistic, and unconcerned for reputation, he simply says what he thinks is true. In this podcast, he lets slip that, once upon a time, he found Hillary Rodham Clinton “devilishly attractive.”

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There are 8 comments.

  1. Valiuth Member

    I love the analogy of the two prongs of the devils pitchfork. A truly sad election.

    • #1
    • June 23, 2016, at 6:11 PM PDT
    • Like
  2. Ansonia Member

    What an engaging podcast. Please have Mark Helprin on again soon.

    • #2
    • June 23, 2016, at 11:15 PM PDT
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  3. I Walton Member

    I find it difficult to ignore Helprin; a Winters Tale captures humanity as richly and deeply as any I’ve read and his views on security are brilliant. Yet we cannot elect Hillary so Trump must come out of the convention with the key members of his cabinet known, persons with the knowledge and integrity to resign rather than follow him into some disaster. If not then we prepare to fight Hillary’s presidency in ways that do not weaken national security any more than she will do with out our help. We must start from day one to strip our states of Federal money and mandates, take over school boards, break up the unions. It’s going to be a fight to the death.

    • #3
    • June 24, 2016, at 5:02 AM PDT
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  4. EEM Member
    EEM

    Mr. Helprin said something about Bill Clinton encouraging Donald Trump to run; he said your listeners need to know this (or something to that effect). It sounded almost conspiratorial, but Jay, you didn’t follow through for clarification. Could you (or someone) clarify? I Googled it, but it’s sort of all over the map. Hard to know what’s true, what’s rumor/hearsay, what’s made up, etc.

    • #4
    • June 24, 2016, at 6:54 PM PDT
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  5. DJ EJ Inactive

    I always enjoy listening to Mark Helprin, but I must disagree on the origins of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament). If you take the evolutionary view of religion, that more complex and sophisticated monotheism developed out of earlier, disorganized polytheism, then the OT represents this development. The authors of the Old Testament, however, explicitly reject this view. Genesis begins with God creating, revealing himself to, and knowing Man on a personal level. Man knows God’s personal name, YHWH, and the language of Genesis 2 reflects this. It is only with the fall into sin that Man forgets God, creating gods out of created natural processes observed with their senses. The OT authors recount how God repeatedly intervened in history to re-reveal himself and restore that relationship, that knowledge, and again tell Man his name (Exodus 3:14).

    For the OT authors, polytheism represented failure, a loss of knowledge and wisdom of how the world really works and who God is. Would the OT authors rely on Mesopotamian myths for the story of Noah and the Flood? Baked clay tablets have a much better survival rate than animal skins or other perishable writing materials, so the earliest Gilgamesh tablet 11 is older than the earliest manuscript of Genesis, but that doesn’t necessarily make the story older. Nor does it exclude a completely independent tradition passed down from monotheist to monotheist via oral recitation and/or written down on materials that mostly did not survive to the present day.

    • #5
    • June 25, 2016, at 2:33 PM PDT
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  6. Goldwaterwoman Thatcher

    EEM: Mr. Helprin said something about Bill Clinton encouraging Donald Trump to run; he said your listeners need to know this (or something to that effect). It sounded almost conspiratorial, but Jay, you didn’t follow through for clarification.

    It isn’t true.

    • #6
    • June 26, 2016, at 3:02 PM PDT
    • Like
  7. EEM Member
    EEM

    goldwaterwoman:

    EEM: Mr. Helprin said something about Bill Clinton encouraging Donald Trump to run; he said your listeners need to know this (or something to that effect). It sounded almost conspiratorial, but Jay, you didn’t follow through for clarification.

    It isn’t true.

    Jay? Could you maybe get to the bottom of this?

    • #7
    • June 26, 2016, at 5:17 PM PDT
    • Like
  8. Blue Yeti Admin

    Mark is referencing this Vanity Fair piece from last August.

    • #8
    • June 26, 2016, at 6:34 PM PDT
    • Like