“It is so cold in here. So fucking cold.”

October 7, 2009 at 11:19 am | Posted in Miscellany, Reality Bites | Leave a comment
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The first part of the headline to the story — Obama is “incompetent — annoyed me but the second part — and the U.S. is a Madhouse — made me curious, so I trotted over to HuffPo to read Johann Hari’s “exclusive interview” with Gore Vidal. I can’t say I particularly disagree with Vidal’s assessment.

Yuki yanagi ni karasu (Blackbird in snow) Koson Ikeda, artist.   (Library of Congress)

Yuki yanagi ni karasu (Blackbird in snow) Koson Ikeda, artist. (Library of Congress)

Gore Vidal is not only grieving for his own dead circle and his own fading life, but for his country. At 83, he has lived through one third of the lifespan of the United States. If anyone incarnates the American century that has ended, it is him. He was America’s greatest essayist, one of its best-selling novelists, and the wit at every party. He holidayed with the Kennedys, cruised for men with Tennessee Williams, was urged to run for Congress by Eleanor Roosevelt, co-wrote some of the most iconic Hollywood films, damned US foreign policy from within, sued Truman Capote, got felated by Jack Kerouac, watched his cousin Al Gore get elected President and still lose the White House, and – finally, bizarrely – befriended and championed the Oklahoma bomber, Timothy McVeigh.

Yet now, he says, it is clear the American experiment has been “a failure.” It was all for nothing. Soon the country will be ranked “somewhere between Brazil and Argentina, where it belongs.” The Empire will collapse militarily in Afghanistan; the nation will collapse internally when Obama is broken “by the madhouse” and the Chinese call in the country’s debts. A ruined United States will then be “the Yellow Man’s Burden,” and “they’ll have us running the coolie cars, or whatever it is they have in the way of transport.”

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