Gore Vidal, Controversial, Outspoken – “The United States of Amnesia”
The United States of Amnesia
Gore Vidal (1925 – 2012)
Asked :”What will be your legacy?”. His reply: “I don’t care!”
Gore Vidal was a controversial figure in the 20th century. He was active in the worlds of literature, TV and Film, Politics and cultural issues. He brings his unique ideas about events. He was close to the Kennedy family and Russia’s Gorbachev. The documentary has his views on Truman Capote, Norman Mailer and Christopher Hitchens.
His two most controversial books are “The City and the Pillar” 1948 and “Myra Breckinridge” (1966).
”The City and the Pillar” was the first candid expose of a homosexual relationship between two typical strongly athletic all American boys. They have an initial gay encounter while camping. One of them carries romantic notions and carries memories of that one night stand throughout his life and comes out as openly homosexual. The other person pretends to be straight and even gets married to a woman. Yet he agrees to a renewal of the relationship in a hotel room. He chickens out at the last moment – this encounter does not end happily and the gay man has to start his life again.
“Myra Breckinridge” is the story of a starlet in Hollywood who is a trans woman. This book was way ahead of its time. This book was condemned as pornography. It has a casting couch situation where Myra bangs a budding male star in the ass with a strap-on! What a blow for feminism!
Gore was from a family of politicians. He was close to the Kennedys, but was swiftly disenchanted by JFK after his election. He blames JFK for the failed Cuba invasion and irrevocably entrenching American troops in Vietnam. He says JFK made a lot of powerful speeches, but action was missing.
He calls George W Bush (the son) the “most stupid” president America ever had. As proof that 9/11 was not an inside job, he asks if Cheney or Bush could have ever done such an efficient job.
Vidal mocks the phrase “war on terror” and says one cannot fight an abstract noun. He recommends a “war on dandruff” instead.
US actions have ensured destruction power centres of Europe and Japan, leaving it as the sole “decider” of global events.
The benefit that recent US Policy has had is to unite the entire Muslim world against it. With a white population of just 20% of the world, the time is getting close for the Day of Reckoning.
He takes delight in poking fun at Ronald Reagan. “Did you hear the sad news? The Reagan library burned down. Sadly, both books were lost. Sadder still he had not finished coloring the second.”
In a TV interview he says” Being homosexual or heterosexual is as different as someone having blue eyes, and someone else brown.”
Democracy in USA
He is convinced that the USA is no longer functioning as a democracy. Under the current situation the government has access to your private phone calls and emails, credit cards and so many other things. The extent of government’s snooping is unprecedented in all history And the funny thing is that in spite of all this surveillance, Americans feel more scared and threatened than ever before.
He says that there is hardly any difference between a Republican nominee and a Democratic nominee. Each election costs more than the last one. Each president has to do shady things for re-election. He calls the country United States of Amnesia. The Cheney-Halliburton link is now well known. He wonders what secrets will emerge about Obama’s campaigns in 2008 and 2012. History is in favour of an unholy nexus between Obama and his corporate backers. The U.S of Amnesia will be “surprised” when it happens.