Tuesday, July 29, 2003

The Grand Old Men

Gore Vidal was recently profiled on PBS's American Masters series, some outtakes of which are here (and they are quite good for the most part).
At the bottom of the page is a clip of Vidal, Norman Mailer, and Kurt Vonnegut at a Vanity Fair photo shoot commemorating the three greatest living American novelists' objections to the War of Iraq. The clip isn't terribly interesting per se, but it is nice to show the three old men together who have argued, separately, very interestingly indeed against an impractical war fought with secret immoral aims.

It's a pity that the feature the photo shoot was for is not availiable to read because Conde Nast still stupidly insists on keeping Vanity Fair off the internet.

All three men were on the right side (which is to say the anti-war side) of the Vietnam War, whereas, pointedly, our Neocon moralists and ruling Oil Junta were not.

All three are veterans of World War 2, whereas our war-lovers are typically draft-dodgers, AWOLers, or were too young or unfit to have served.

All three have made a contribution to literature in a way the so-called literate conservatives -- people like Buckley and Podhoretz -- have not.
Aside the many televised talks they have done, there are a few essays and interviews on the net that showcase, respectively, their dissent:

Mailer 1
Mailer 2
Mailer 3

Vidal 1
Vidal 2
Vidal 3

Vonnegut 1
Vonnegut 2
There is another of Mailer, which is damn good, but the blasted Sunday Times has hidden it in their pay archives. If I find it elsewhere I will post it.