Sep 30, 2014

Man, what happened to intellectual discourse in our country?

Why is being an intellectual considered a crime?

What happened to the days when Sontag, Chomsky, Vidal, Mailer, Germaine Greer, Kate Millet, Joan Didion, and Hannah Arendt would be on the late night chat shows?

What the flip happened?


I was just watching HBO's latest doc triumph, The 50 Year Argument, directed by Martin Scorsese and David Tedeschi, which is about the history of the New York Review of Books.

(I do not read the New York Review of Books nearly enough.  I generally only buy it when I am in superb indie bookstores -- which is nearly never now.  The last one I bought was at Shakespeare & Company in Paris! In April!)

Anyhoo, the very fine documentary just made me pine for the 60s and 70s when so many of this nation's greatest thinkers would not only appear in print, but were eager to do television, as well.

The 50 Year Argument then led me to the above full length feature film, Town Bloody Hall.  That film is bloody brilliant.  It is Norman Mailer versus a half dozen leading feminists (and Susan Sontag, in the crowd), and a thousand or so other women in the crowd with Sontag.

You can watch The 50 Year Argument on HBO or HBOGo, and Town Bloody Hall on YouTube.  Great stuff.

Still, what the fuck happened, man? Why is it all FoxNews and Housewives of Wherever now that rule our media world?

From Andy Warhol's "Screen Test" for Susan Sontag

--Ardent (mds)

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