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Response to JEFF9K (Original post)

Sat Nov 29, 2014, 01:03 PM

3. Mixed feelings about Mr. Vidal

I've been a big fan of Vidal's historical novels ("Lincoln" is a classic), but not much else.

Vidal was the kind of liberal that I usually wished was on the other side. His forte in political debate was hyperbole and snide insult.

He never seemed to be able to make a case without overstating his case. (e.g. quoted above - "The failure of the Bush administration to saves lives in hurricane-ravaged New Orleans is further proof that any first-world militarized nation can easily defeat the United States in a modern war".)

I recall a debate with Wm. F. Buckley where Buckley lost his famous cool and called Vidal, "you little queer." Buckley got a lot of deserved criticism for that, but few people seem to remember that his outburst was in response to being called a "crypto-nazi" by Vidal. As a gay man myself, I find Buckley's comment offensive. But I would find being called a Nazi far more offensive.

On the other hand...he was capable of some excellent one liners. When Henry Kissinger was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, Vidal commented dryly, "Never underestimate the Scandinavian sense of humor."

Interesting man, brilliant novelist...but not a guy I'd want to sit down and have a beer with.

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JEFF9K Nov 2014 OP
hlthe2b Nov 2014 #1
JEFF9K Nov 2014 #2
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Bagsgroove Nov 2014 #3
JEFF9K Nov 2014 #4
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