I don't, really. But his liberalism has nothing whatsoever to do with that.
Vidal was ahead of the curve on gay rights, but, and perhaps it's because he was already getting old when I started to become exposed to him, I've always felt that his beliefs were very inflexible and not particularly nuanced. He seemed like more of an ideologue than an intellectual in his essays. I haven't read much of his fiction, so I can't really comment on it, but what little I did read (about half of Lincoln) I thought was pretty good, but not necessarily worthy of some of the adulation it received.
Vidal was a homosexualist.
Trivia re: the famous Vidal/William F. Buckley exchange at the 1968 Democratic convention. Buckley was chosen by ABC to debate Vidal after their first choice turned them down. Who was he?
I remember picking up Perpetual War For Perpetual Peace when I was like 19 or 20. It wouldn't be too much of a stretch to say that that book, and Dreaming War, changed the way I looked at the world around me.
I did most of my growing up in a post-cold war, pre-9/11 world. I was a fairly awake and aware kid (for a kid); I knew about Bosnia and Kosovo, Iraq, Somalia and Zaire, Haiti. Then, of course, the World Trade Center, the bombing of the USS Cole, 9/11. But only very dimly and shallowly, and in isolation. Gore Vidal's essays after 9/11 transformed my conception of American foreign policy and domestic police state tactics from a disjointed set of unrelated and incomprehensible events into a cohesive whole, a policy, something I could grasp.
I have been borderline obsessed with the topic ever since, and although my view of the world has diverged (and I hope matured) a lot in the ten years since, that book lit the fire. Which when looked at next to the sweep of my adult life, and my activities of the last year, in a roundabout sort of way means Gore Vidal is part of the reason I joined the Republican Party, which is sort of hilarious.
I think the only other book of his I've read was Creation, which wasn't very memorable. But sometimes you just wind up with the right book at the right time in your life.
Buffalo Pete: Raving batshit loony? Or HOPE FOR MAN???
(I may be that guy.)
An alternate view of Mr. Vidal: that he was a bigot and antisemite.
What is the opposite of eulogy? Calumny?
In September, director Roman Polanski was arrested in Switzerland for leaving the U.S. in 1978 before being sentenced to prison for raping a 13-year-old girl at Jack Nicholson's house in Hollywood. During the time of the original incident, you were working in the industry, and you and Polanski had a common friend in theater critic and producer Kenneth Tynan. So what's your take on Polanski, this many years later?
"I really don't give a fuck. Look, am I going to sit and weep every time a young hooker feels as though she's been taken advantage of?"
I got more styles than prison got bricks- ain't that some shit?