A notable gun control article in Newsweek's
online arm, The Daily Beast
, by the polymath David Mamet, whose stunning work as playwright/author/screenwriter/director/actor (I don't think Mamet has ever danced or sung professionally) was once slobbered over by the Frank Rich's of the glitterati world and the chattering classes, but less so since his libertarian views and pro-Israel stance became well known. He's less popular since he has been expressing libertarian instincts over the last decade or so. Here's the article: http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2013/01/28/gun-laws-and-the-fools-of-chelm-by-david-mamet.html
Captioning the article title is this line: "The individual is not only best qualified to provide his own personal defense, he is the only one qualified to do so."
Mamet is not ordinarily a political or cultural commentator as such. This is technically off topic, but he has a towering talent for stage and screenwriting. Many of you will no doubt be familiar with him, since he is so extraordinarily prolific. Mamet's hard-edged plays dominated the serious Broadway stage from the 70's to the 90's, and he even now has plays running near Times Square, both new and revival. Mamet is at least the equal of US theater icon Arthur Miller, whose body of significant works is miniscule compared to Mamet's massive library. Look at just the most successful of his plays: Sexual Perversity In Chicago, American Buffalo, Glengarry Glen Ross, Speed-The-Plow
; and he has at least a score more plays like Oleanna, Edmund, etc.
, which someone who, say, keeps up with the Tony awards, views as top-flight masterful works.
But he has even more widely known screenplays and directing jobs, which include several of his plays made into movies: The Postman Always Rings Twice, The Verdict, About Last Night, The Untouchables, House of Games, We're No Angels, Homicide
(a movie, not tv, starring Joe Mantegna and William H. Macy surrounded by tons of Mamet's glorious character actors), Glengarry Glen Ross, The Water Engine, Hoffa*, Oleanna, American Buffalo, The Edge, The Spanish Prisoner, Wag The Dog, Ronin, The Winslow Boy, State and Main, Hannibal, Heist
. He's even done TV, creating the show The Unit
and writing episodes for it.
If nothing else, the list of actors he's written for and directed, and who repeatedly line up to work with him tells you what a monumental talent he is: Al Pacino, Robert DeNiro, Jack Nicholson, Sean Connery, William H. Macy, Joe Mantegna, Paul Newman, Sean Penn, Dustin Hoffman, it just goes on and on. And then there are the gang of Mamet's Old Reliables, who you see in almost every Mamet movie: Mike Nussbaum, Robert Prosky, J.T. Walsh, Ricky Jay, Natalija Nogulich (you'd know her face), (ex-wife) Lindsay Crouse.
Another thing is that Mamet's plays and movies were often set in the grittiest South Side parts of Chicago. He's sort of the antithesis of John Hughes, who so often set his movies in Lake Forest-type northside affluent Chicago suburbs.
All that said, I don't like all Mamet's plays and movies. To me he's such an incredible downer of a guy, with a horrible view of humanity and a depressive personality. He seems so hopeless and negative. Still I enjoy a good portion of his creations. I just can't take too many at one time.
* Mamet experimented with the dialogue in Hoffa
by having characters speak in a realistic truncated, shorthand style, particularly when using obscenities. particularly in conversations between Hoffa (Jack Nicholson) and loyal right-hand man Bobby Ciaro (Danny DeVito) Such as having saying"The fuck did you do?" and "The fuck he wanna do that?". It's understood by the listeners that the intended line was "What the fuck did you do?" and "Why the fuck would he wanna do that?" I don't know of Mamet doing this in any other scripts, but then I haven't seen many of his plays.