Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Um, Hum, I See

Let me see if I get this right, a journalist who has done reporting on human trafficking, including the trafficking of underage children, an enormous world wide industry is considered "weird" by people on a blog run by an Ivy Leaguer blogger who has done little to no journalism or reporting who, from time to time, makes it his business to complain about an age of consent he considers unreasonably high, said blogger being "not weird".  Especially when said by a guy who complained when I pointed out that Gore Vidal, a man who declared himself a "pederast" is known to have taken frequent trips to that infamous sex tourism venue, Thailand, and who, among other things, is reputed to have participated in the beating of an underage rent-boy who another world famous author reportedly claimed ripped him off because Vidal, a rapidly fading dead formerly celebrity author of second rate historical fiction, dirty books and snarky political and lit'rary pieces was "a great writer".  

Yeah, clear as dirty crystal. 

Update:  I suppose the UN staff and researchers who produced their report on human trafficking last year must be real weirdos, according to the Bran Muffins and Geritol Brain Trust set.

Update 2:  The Kinks?  Lola?  Well, it fits but I wouldn't touch it.  

Update 3:  Well, I say Gore Vidal's books are fading but it's not just me, his authorized biographer and friend Jay Parini said it, too.

Do you think he is read now by people under the age of 50 or 60?

I doubt it. But then again who is read from that generation? Do you think John Updike is read? I doubt it. Do you think any novel of Norman Mailer’s is read now? I was teaching a seminar in Middlebury College last year and I asked a group of English majors … I mentioned Mailer. I drew blank stares. Not one person in the room had heard of Norman Mailer.
Would they have known Gore’s work?

No. I said to the class, “How about Capote?” And they said yes, Philip Seymour Hoffman. So that’s what they know.
If you were talking to your students at Middlebury and they agreed to read one thing by Vidal, what would you tell them to read?

I assign the selected essays. And it blows them away repeatedly. And so that’s where Gore is going to survive. I always say a hundred years from now he’ll be known as a kind of figure on the scene, a public intellectual who wrote these scintillating essays. Myra Breckenridge might be looked at by sociologists because it’s a post-sexual, transsexual novel. The fluidity of sexual lives in that book are really very postmodern.
And you could imagine the book being reissued tomorrow and it being very popular.


You could. It’s a transgender novel. That’s a good idea.

I used to love to read his pieces in The Nation and here and there but I've looked at some of them and they strike me as superficial, sometimes silly and often false.  We had a lot of the same enemies, that's about as much as I can say about him now. 

1 comment:

  1. I always think of Vidal as fizzy, like a carbonated beverage.

    A carbonated beverage always goes flat, after a time.

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