Monday, March 31, 2008

David Mamet, Thomas Sowell, and Gun Ownership

Once a month, readers of this blog are invited to stand for a reading from The Gospel According To Saint Thomas.
But before we begin our scripture reading for today's services, we have a guest speaker who has come to us with a personal testimony.
Please welcome playwright and screenwriter David Mamet to the pulpit. Brother Mamet is best known as the author of "Wag The Dog", "Glengarry Glen Ross", "The Verdict", "Sexual Perversity In Chicago" (filmed as "About Last Night"), and my own favorite, "American Buffalo".

Awkwardness and throat-clearing as Brother Mamet approaches the pulpit with a copy of The Village Voice, where his conversion testimony was recently published.....

I wrote a play about politics (November, Barrymore Theater, Broadway, some seats still available)..... And as part of the "writing process," as I believe it's called, I started thinking about politics.....The argument in my play is between a president who is self-interested, corrupt, suborned, and realistic, and his leftish, lesbian, utopian-socialist speechwriter.....
The play, while being a laugh a minute, is, when it's at home, a disputation between reason and faith, or perhaps between the conservative (or tragic) view and the liberal (or perfectionist) view.

Smoke begins to rise from The Village Voice, as it can no longer contain the power of this great man's rhetoric....

The conservative president in the piece holds that people are each out to make a living, and the best way for government to facilitate that is to stay out of the way, as the inevitable abuses and failures of this system (free-market economics) are less than those of government intervention.
I took the liberal view for many decades, but I believe I have changed my mind.

The Village Voice begins to spontaneously ignite in Brother Mamet's hands. Truly a sign that he is filled with the Spirit. Fortunately, for those wanting to read the entire text, I have provided a link to Mamet's complete article, eternally preserving it for future theologians should The Village Voice burn all the original manuscripts during a fit of jealousy and Old Leftie repression. Wait !!! A smoldering but legible ember of the text is drifting down to the pulpit.....Mamet grabs it, and continues reading:

"....I began reading not only the economics of Thomas Sowell (our greatest contemporary philosopher) but Milton Friedman, Paul Johnson, and Shelby Steele, and a host of conservative writers, and found that I agreed with them: a free-market understanding of the world meshes more perfectly with my experience than that idealistic vision I called liberalism."

At this moment the congregation rises to their feet and begins whooping and hollering like they're hearing Jeremiah Wright on Ecstasy. Brother Mamet, who is accustomed to the calm and serenity of his synagogue, begins edging toward the exit. "Say it again !" the congregation shouts.

"Unhhhh....I began reading not only the economics of Thomas Sowell (our greatest contemporary philosopher)....."

All the ladies in the front row begin fainting like it's an Obama rally. They've been alone in the wilderness for so long. Could David Mamet be the one who the prophets foretold? Mamet, finding his voice, tries to say it again, this time with more confidence:

"I began reading not only the economics of Thomas Sowell (our greatest contemporary philosopher) ! ! ! !"

The congregation is validated. Vindicated. For the first time in his life, The Whited Sepulchre begins speaking in tongues.

"Thomas Sowell is our greatest contemporary philosopher ! !" Mamet screams as he runs from our chapel, probably to go write a Pulitzer Prize-winner where unattractive men sit around in repressive environments and cuss a lot.

Order is eventually restored. Stretchers carry away the ladies from the front rows, probably to Free Market convents of some sort. Now that Brother Mamet's testimony is over, let us continue with our traditional liturgy.

Please stand for the reading from The Gospel According To Saint Thomas:

Thomas Sowell, the smartest man in the world now that Milton Friedman is dead, has declared that "Gun ownership deters crime". Therefore, if you want to reduce crime, get a gun.

Thus endeth this month's reading from The Gospel According To Saint Thomas.

The man has spoken.

You may be seated.


Steve said...

Absolutely ferocious title. That might scare people off. What could be more severe: Tarantino, Nietsche, and Pacifism? John Hughes, Camille Paglia, and reverse Jihad among Zoroastrian Persians?

I read a few Sowell books back when I was a little more confused about things than I am now. He's definitely a persuasive writer and a master of his ideology. So much so to convert Mr. Mamet.

Maybe I should re-read before I condemn...

The Whited Sepulchre said...

May I recommend his "Basic Economics". Usually in stock at B&N, Borders.

Jay@Soob said...

All hail the Good Saint Thomas. And Whitey for reintroducing us to his wisdom.

I live in a state that maintains the most lax gun laws in the country. Oddly enough, we also maintain one of the lowest crime rates. Proliferate gun ownership is not responsible for higher rates of crime. Period.