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  1. #1 Writer Gore Vidal, 86, has died 
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    Gore Vidal, the iconoclastic writer, savvy analyst and imperious gadfly on the national conscience, has died. He was 86.

    Vidal died Tuesday at his home in the Hollywood Hills of complications of pneumonia, said nephew Burr Steers.

    Vidal was a literary juggernaut who wrote 25 novels, including historical works such as “Lincoln” and “Burr” and satires such as “Myra Breckinridge” and “Duluth.” He was also a prolific essayist whose pieces on politics, sexuality, religion and literature -- once described as “elegantly sustained demolition derbies” -- both delighted and inflamed and in 1993 earned him a National Book Award for his massive “United States Essays, 1952-1992.”

    Threaded throughout his pieces are anecdotes about his famous friends and foes, who included Anais Nin, Tennessee Williams, Christopher Isherwood, Orson Welles, Truman Capote, Frank Sinatra, Jack Kerouac, Marlon Brando, Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Eleanor Roosevelt and a variety of Kennedys. He counted Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Al Gore among his relatives.

    He also wrote Broadway hits, screenplays, television dramas and a trio of mysteries under a pseudonym that remain in print after 50 years.

    When he wasn’t writing, he was popping up in movies, playing himself in “Fellini’s Roma,” a sinister plotter in sci-fi thriller “Gattaca” and a U.S. senator in “Bob Roberts.” In other spare moments, he made two entertaining but unsuccessful forays into politics, running for the Senate from California and Congress in New York, and established himself as a master of talk-show punditry who demolished intellectual rivals like Norman Mailer and William F. Buckley with acidic one-liners.

    “Style,” Vidal once said, “is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn.” By that definition, he was an emperor of style, sophisticated and cantankerous in his prophesies of America’s fate and refusal to let others define him.
    Good men sleep peaceably in their beds at night because
    rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.



    Real superheroes don't wear capes. They wear dog tags.
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  2. #2  
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    Olde-style, states' rights conservative. Ask if this concept confuses you.
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  3. #3  
    Drive-by Poster ABC in Georgia's Avatar
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    RIP Mr. Vidal!

    Didn't think much of him at the time ... but also didn't realize that he did so much in his lifetime either.

    In other spare moments, he made two entertaining but unsuccessful forays into politics, running for the Senate from California and Congress in New York, and established himself as a master of talk-show punditry who demolished intellectual rivals like Norman Mailer and William F. Buckley with acidic one-liners.
    Hah! Hogwash and absolute tripe!

    I remember watching him take on Buckley (one of my earlier Conservative heroes) on TV ... and Buckley, with his wonderfully relaxed and sardonic way of speaking, totally wiped the floor with him! Loved every minute of it!

    Oh well! ~ ABC
    Last edited by ABC in Georgia; 08-01-2012 at 04:58 AM.
    American By Choice ~ 1980
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    Junior Member Wayne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ABC in Georgia View Post
    RIP Mr. Vidal!

    Didn't think much of him at the time ... but also didn't realize that he did so much in his lifetime either.



    Hah! Hogwash and absolute tripe!

    I remember watching him take on Buckley (one of my earlier Conservative heroes) on TV ... and Buckley, with his wonderfully relaxed and sardonic way of speaking, totally wiped the floor with him! Loved every minute of it!

    Oh well! ~ ABC


    I saw that too. Werent they BILs?
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  5. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne View Post
    I saw that too. Werent they BILs?
    If that acronym means brothers-in-law, no; they were not related by blood or marriage. He was vaguely related to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis by marriage; their mothers were at various times married to the same man, Hugh Auchincloss.

    His politics were cranky liberal at best, and he wrote his share of crap (Myra Breckinridge comes to mind), but he wrote very well researched historical fiction ("Burr", "Lincoln", and "1876" are terrific), and his political play, "The Best Man", is still a riveting story fifty years later (see the movie version sometime, with Henry Fonda and Cliff Robertson).
    "Today, [the American voter] chooses his rulers as he buys bootleg whiskey, never knowing precisely what he is getting, only certain that it is not what it pretends to be." - H.L. Mencken
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    Quote Originally Posted by ABC in Georgia View Post
    RIP Mr. Vidal!

    Didn't think much of him at the time ... but also didn't realize that he did so much in his lifetime either.



    Hah! Hogwash and absolute tripe!

    I remember watching him take on Buckley (one of my earlier Conservative heroes) on TV ... and Buckley, with his wonderfully relaxed and sardonic way of speaking, totally wiped the floor with him! Loved every minute of it!

    Oh well! ~ ABC

    I believe they are referring to the time when Buckley asked Vidal about his accent. Vidal responded, "It's a class accent, you aren't supposed to know we have one." Although, that exchange may have been between Vidal and David Suskind. I was so young, who can remember?
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    CU Royalty JB's Avatar
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    In response to the Roman Polanski sexual abuse case, Vidal said: "I really don’t give a fuck. Look, am I going to sit and weep every time a young hooker feels as though she’s been taken advantage of".

    After Buckley's death on February 27, 2008, Vidal summed up his impressions of his rival with the following obituary on March 20, 2008: "RIP WFB — in hell"
    Sayonara scumbag.
    Be Not Afraid.
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  8. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by JB View Post
    Sayonara scumbag.
    QFT. Vidal's bio from discoverthenetworks.org shows that he was a true piece of work:


    • Author and essayist
    • Viewed America as the primary purveyor of violence around the world
    • Suggested that the Bush administration knew in advance that the 9/11 attacks were coming
    • Died July 31, 2012

    Gore Vidal was a celebrated American author who wrote more than twenty novels, five theatrical plays, numerous screenplays, and over two hundred essays and articles. He was also a vehement critic of the United States, one who accused his own country of being the primary purveyor of violence around the world.

    Vidal was born Eugene Luther Vidal, Jr. in West Point, New York in 1925. After graduating from Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire in 1943, he joined the U.S. Army Reserve. Influenced by the isolationist views of his grandfather, Vidal opposed America’s entry into World War II, but he was assigned as first mate on a freight ship in the Alaskan Harbor Craft Detachment. His experiences there inspired him to write his first novel, Williwaw, published in 1946.

    Vidal was often viewed as an early champion of sexual liberation, and many of his earlier works reflected the burgeoning sexual politics of the time. His third novel, The City and the Pillar (1948), featured anopenly gay protagonist. In 1956, while working as a screenwriter for the film Ben-Hur, Vidal attempted to introduce a homosexual subtext into the relationship of the main male characters.And in 1968 he wrote the transsexual comedy Myra Breckinridge. Though Vidal was always private about his own sexuality, he maintains that “everyone is potentially bisexual.”

    In the early 1970s Vidal was a chairman of the People’s Party, an offshoot of the Peace and Freedom Party. In 1982 he ran for a U.S. Senate seat in California but was defeated by Jerry Brown in the Democratic primary.

    Many of Vidal’s works reflected his personal views regarding American foreign and domestic policies. In one of his fiction books, The Golden Age (2000), Vidal claimed that President Franklin Roosevelt had provoked the 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor so as to justify America's entry into World War II. Vidal reiterated this opinion during an interview with LA Weekly in 2002, when he also gave voice to many of the themes of his just-published Dreaming War: Blood for Oil and the Cheney-Bush Junta. For instance, he said:
    “[The war on terror] ... is an imperial grab for energy resources…. After 9/11 the country was really shocked and terrified. [Bush] does a little war dance and talks about evil axis and all the countries he’s going to go after. And how long it is all going to take, he says with a happy smile, because it means billions and trillions for the Pentagon and for his oil friends. And it means curtailing our liberties, so this is all very thrilling for him. He’s right out there reacting, bombing Afghanistan. Well, he might as well have been bombing Denmark. Denmark had nothing to do with 9/11. And neither did Afghanistan, at least the Afghanis didn’t.”
    In Dreaming War, Vidal suggested that the Bush administration knew in advance that the September 11 attacks were coming and purposely did nothing to prevent them -- a theme Vidal would revisit many times thereafter. At a May 2007 arts and literature festival in New York City, for instance, he said:
    “I’m not a conspiracy theorist, I’m a conspiracy analyst. Everything the Bushites touch is screwed up. They could never have pulled off 9/11, even if they wanted to. Even if they longed to. They could step aside, though, or just go out to lunch while these terrible things were happening to the nation. I believe that of them.”
    In a post-September 11 article titled “The End of Liberty,” Vidal accused the Bush administration of “relentless plundering of the [U.S.] Treasury” to fund a war (in Iraq and elsewhere) whose aim was to create a “global empire.”

    After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Vidal lent his name and support to a number of anti-war organizations and campaigns. For instance, he was a signatory to the “Statement of Conscience” crafted by Not In Our Name, a project of C. Clark Kissinger’s Revolutionary Communist Party. This document condemned not only the Bush administration’s “stark new measures of repression,” but also its “unjust, immoral, illegitimate, [and] openly imperial policy towards the world.”

    Vidal also endorsed World Can’t Wait (WCW), another Revolutionary Communist Party project that sought to organize “people living in the United States to take responsibility to stop the whole disastrous course led by the Bush administration.”

    In his 2002 book Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace, or How We Came To Be So Hated, Vidal wrote:
    "The right wing are the bad guys, but they know what they want -- everybody else’s money. And they know they don’t like blacks and they don’t like minorities. And they like to screw everyone along the way.... Although our rulers have revived the word ['terrorist'] to describe violent enemies of the United States, most of today’s actual terrorists can be found within our own governments -- federal, state, municipal."
    In Vidal's view, in the post-9/11 era “Islam has been demonized as a Satanic terrorist cult that encourages suicide attacks -- contrary, it should be noted, to the Islamic religion.”

    In March 2003 Vidal said the following about what he perceived as America's overriding ambitions for worldwide hegemony:
    “[W]e [the U.S.] have had an imperial streak from the very beginning, but it didn't get going until 1898, when we picked a war with Spain because we had our eye on Spanish colonial possessions, specifically the Philippines, which got us into … Asia and, from that moment on, we really were a global empire…. There's a group of what they call neo-conservatives -- most of them were old Stalinists and then they were Trotskyites and then, finally, they are neo-conservatives now.... [T]hey write really extraordinarily frightening overviews of the United States and the rest of the world that we, after all, have all the military power that there is and let's use it. Let's take the Earth. It's there for us.”
    In 2006 Vidal was a signatory to a letter that appeared in a number of international newspapers, condemning Israel’s “illegal military occupation of the West Bank and the systematic appropriation of its natural resources.” Among Vidal’s fellow signers were Noam Chomsky, Harold Pinter, Arundhati Roy, Naomi Klein, Howard Zinn, and Richard Falk.

    A longtime supporter of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, Vidal in May 2007 said:
    “We’ve seen all the bad side of Cuba because we’re fed nothing else by the media…. They’re turning out thousands of doctors…. Castro has been generally benign. The bloodcurdling stories that we’ve been told by our government seem not to be true at all…. This is contrary to the American way. Everything we do, we do in bad faith. We’re always out to get somebody, particularly anyone foolish enough to put themselves in the hands of our government.”
    That same year, Vidal signed a letter calling on President Bush to cease his “continuing hostility towards Cuba” and to normalize U.S. relations with Castro’s island nation. Other signatories included such notables as Harry Belafonte, Danny Glover, Alice Walker, Carlos Santana, Bonnie Raitt, and Sean Penn.

    Also in 2007, Vidal signed a petition that appeared on the website of the anti-war coalition After Downing Street. Addressed to the "Joint Chiefs of Staff and all U.S. Military Personnel," this petition stated that “any preemptive U.S. attack on Iran [in an effort to cripple that nation’s budding nuclear weapons program] would be … a crime of the highest magnitude.” Other signatories included Michael Lerner, Cynthia McKinney, Cindy Sheehan, and Norman Solomon.

    While Vidal’s political views were decidedly leftist, he found fault not only with Republicans but also with centrist Democrats:
    There is only one party in the United States, the Property Party ... and it has two right wings: Republican and Democrat. Republicans are a bit stupider, more rigid, more doctrinaire in their laissez-faire capitalism than the Democrats, who are cuter, prettier, a bit more corrupt -- until recently ... and more willing than the Republicans to make small adjustments when the poor, the black, the anti-imperialists get out of hand. But, essentially, there is no difference between the two parties.”
    Vidal held Democratic congressman Dennis Kucinich in very high esteem. In June 2008 he praised Kucinich for having introduced articles of impeachment in an effort to remove President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney from office.

    In his later years, Vidal was a contributor to Truthdig.com, a Web magazine “that provides expert coverage of current affairs as well as a variety of thoughtful, provocative content assembled from a progressive point of view.”

    Vidal was also a board member of the Defending Dissent Foundation (DDF), whose mission is to "protect and advance the right of dissent in the United States" by "alerting local activists to civil liberties threats" and "educating the public, the press and policymakers as to how dissent is crucial to democracy." Other notabale (past and present) DDF board members include Chip Berlet, Victor Navasky, and Kit Gage.

    Vidal died of complications from pneumonia at his California home on July 31, 2012.

    Vidal was an apologist for monsters and an enabler of tyranny. His long life is proof that the good die young.
    --Odysseus
    Sic Hacer Pace, Para Bellum.

    Before you can do things for people, you must be the kind of man who can get things done. But to get things done, you must love the doing, not the people!
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  9. #9  
    Drive-by Poster ABC in Georgia's Avatar
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    In 2006 Vidal was a signatory to a letter that appeared in a number of international newspapers, condemning Israel’s “illegal military occupation of the West Bank and the systematic appropriation of its natural resources.” Among Vidal’s fellow signers were Noam Chomsky, Harold Pinter, Arundhati Roy, Naomi Klein, Howard Zinn, and Richard Falk.
    Wow! Such good company. Charmers all!

    Also in 2007, Vidal signed a petition that appeared on the website of the anti-war coalition After Downing Street. Addressed to the "Joint Chiefs of Staff and all U.S. Military Personnel," this petition stated that “any preemptive U.S. attack on Iran [in an effort to cripple that nation’s budding nuclear weapons program] would be … a crime of the highest magnitude.” Other signatories included Michael Lerner, Cynthia McKinney, Cindy Sheehan, and Norman Solomon.
    Oh Mercy! ...

    Thanks ODY, didn't know any of this. Could have quoted your entire post here. Was all news to me.

    Vidal was an apologist for monsters and an enabler of tyranny. His long life is proof that the good die young. --Odysseus
    And as my mom used to add ... "And the Devil takes care of his own!"


    ~ ABC
    Last edited by ABC in Georgia; 08-01-2012 at 06:58 PM.
    American By Choice ~ 1980
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  10. #10  
    Senior Member Bailey's Avatar
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    Why am I not shocked that Nova and Lindanumbers like this elitist snob, I saw a video of Vidal saying he'd knock someone down, if i had been that man he said it to I'd slap the shit out of him.
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