Monday, June 06, 2011
David Mamet and Islam
Lawrence Auster's blog features a long paean to David Mamet based upon the latter's claim, based on a new Horowitzesque book he wrote, of having grown up beyond "liberalism" to find the merits of "conservatism".
Auster weighs in with a couple of indications that Mamet may not be sufficiently "conservative" -- being PC about homosexuality and about race (and also for the supposed liberal sin of wearing a baseball cap for his book jacket cover).
The Auster reader who had been praising Mamet to the skies then concedes some ground, and notes:
"Mamet is indeed still PC on race. If my own experience is any indication, moving away from PC on race is the single most difficult step in the conversion from liberalism to a consistent conservatism. It may take him many years, as it did for me."
Neither Auster nor his reader mention Mamet on the more important issue of Islam. While, to my knowledge, Mamet hasn't tackled Islam head-on (and thank Allah for that: I'd hate to see some new Mamet play on Broadway about the subject -- inevitably hitting all the PC MC notes on it as one would be sure to see a blue sky on a clear day), he has tackled it at an angle, so to speak; or several angles, courtesy of three TV cameras on a big-budget popular drama on a major network.
The TV show in question was The Unit. It premiered in 2006, and lasted four seasons. In a previous essay last year, I discussed its deftly sly PC MC take on Islam (and, just as importantly, its non-take on Islam -- as we have seen with other popular TV dramas (and movies) purportedly dealing with the hot issue of terrorism ripped from today's headlines (such as 24 and the British show MI-5 which, curiously, rarely mention Islam (except, of course, as a pawn for some Western Globalist Cabal); but do trot out all other terrorist groups under the sun: the IRA, ex-KGB, vaguely Slavic gun-runners, sinister shadowy silver-haired white billionaires, environmental terrorists, "rogue" Western military personnel, trusty white skinheads, and sometimes a Basque or two, if not some obscure anti-Turkish Armenian group those television writers just out of college probably Wikipedia'd).
So, what does David Mamet have to do with the TV show The Unit? As IMDB informs us, he was its creator and executive producer, and he is credited as writer of 66 of its episodes, and director of four (and one would not be unreasonable to suspect that, like David Milch on his projects, Mamet had a close hand in shaping the final product of any given episode directed by other directors).
Now, why would David Mamet, an intellectual playwright of cerebrally arty-farty Broadway plays about relationships and psychological conundrums, become so intimately and massively involved with a popular TV show dedicated to showcasing the U.S. Military's most elite cadre, the special ops "Delta Force", rivaling even the Seals for its rigorous training and execution of highly dangerous operations around the world?
Given that the show consistently pushed the Tiny Minority of Extremists meme with regard to Islamic terrorism while simultaneously exaggerating the danger of non-Muslim terrorist groups (and, of course, occasionally adding that especially perverse twist of the PC MC knife in this regard -- redirecting a show's plot that seems to be about Muslim terrorists onto a non-Muslim terrorist group that is "really" to blame, which only reinforces the PC MC caution against "jumping the gun" and blaming Muslims whenever terrorist plots are uncovered) -- my sense is that David Mamet set out to construct a popular show precisely to help "educate" the public about how to regard the problem (= the non-problem) of Islamic terrorism.
It's either a willful motivation like that, or it was just his PC MC wiring taking over his brain's reflexes (as it does with millions of otherwise intelligent Westerners with regard to the problem of Islam). Either way, he is not to be lauded as a "liberal" who was lost and now has found "conservatism". He is to be condemned for being flamingly remiss about the problem of Islamic terrorism -- particularly as he was in charge of a major venue for educating the public in this regard.
Instead, we got themes on The Unit such as (to pick one example of dozens from a turban) a series of several episodes that formed a plot arc about a fanatically determined unknown terrorist group that was endangering innocent lives in a suburban community with some kind of deadly gas, with ultimate plans that go way beyond that, including a suitcase nuke in Washington, D.C., where the initial indicators pointed to the possibility of Muslim terrorists -- but which at the end, of course, turned out to be a White Power group hell-bent to inflict untold carnage. Subliminal message from show Creator/Executive Producer/Writer: it's not Muslims we should be worried about; it's white "racists". What made it worse was that this story arc of several episodes was very well acted, written and directed -- superb drama: all in the service of deforming the general public about the most significantly deadly problem we face now.
Indeed, were one to indulge the willful motivation explanation, it's almost as if Mamet was, through his television project, at least in part (aside from earning lots of money "conservatively"), trying to educate the American public to accept the benefits of a strong American military elite force using virtually extra-legal special ops tactics -- not against Muslims, of course, but against the "real danger": non-Muslim terrorists who, as the Mamets of the world know, apparently, are the real danger.
So much for Mamet's "conservatism" (not that being "conservative" is a guarantee these days for being anti-Muslim) -- and so much for Lawrence Auster's ability to properly vett "conservatives".