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Mamet Uncensored

from The Wall Street Journal

David Mamet Is a Defiant Scribe in the Age of Conformity

The playwright won’t play along with woke signaling, talismanic masking or deference to petty tyrants.

By Barton Swaim

ILLUSTRATION: KEN FALLIN

Back in the 1980s and ’90s, innumerable films, TV documentaries and history textbooks instructed us that the 1950s were years of conformity and conventionalism: “The Donna Reed Show,” McCarthyism, “The Organization Man,” TV dinners. In fact, the ’50s were a time of extraordinary artistic creativity, boundless technological innovation, original thinking in politics, intellectual diversity in journalism and higher education, new energy in religion, and enormous progress in race relations. What the ’80s and ’90s mistook for conformity was a naturally evolved cultural solidarity—something nearly everybody, on the left and the right, longs for now.

An informed observer of present-day America might reasonably conclude that our own decade—at least among the educated and advantaged classes—is far more imbued with the spirit of conformism than the ’50s were. Corporate managers and military leaders parrot nostrums about diversity, inclusion and sustainability that few of them believe. Museums and orchestras studiously avoid programming that might offend ideologues. Reporters and producers in the mainstream press seize on stories—or ignore them—solely because that’s what everybody else in the press is doing. Large majorities in wealthy cities dutifully comply with public-health restrictions they know to be largely ineffective, mainly because refusing to do so would invite the ire of friends and neighbors complying with those restrictions for the same reason.

Maybe America’s deciders and describers (to use Nicholas Eberstadt’s phrase) aren’t the independent-minded lot they think themselves to be.

[ click to continue reading at WSJ ]

Posted on April 9, 2022 by Editor

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