ABC's Lateline host, Tony Jones, interviewed that All-American good ole boy, Gore Vidal, last night. The connection to Australia? Current NSW premier Bob Carr penned the introduction for Vidal's latest polemic 'Inventing a Nation'. Ostensibly about the premise of the book, Vidal's responses to Taliban Tony wandered from off-topic rantings to straight out bull-shit dressed as 'intelligent political commentary'. His first foray into madness is early, designed to lull the ABC viewer into thinking that 'This man is IMPORTANT.'
TONY JONES: Now, your inspiration for writing this book came from a question President Kennedy put to you at Hiannas back in 1961. Could you start by recalling that conversation for us?
GORE VIDAL: We were sitting out overlooking the cold Atlantic Sea in the Kennedy compound - they have about four or five white-frame houses on the beach - and we were playing backgammon, and as usual I was winning and as usual he was swearing...
Pretentious fuckwit. Moving on. Let's discuss America's foreign policy. Tony?
TONY JONES: Isolationism is a bit of a moveable feast, though. I mean, American power was used to defeat Hitler and imperial Japan and, more recently, for example, to force Slobodan Milosevic out of power in Serbia. Do you see a use for American power against despotism?
GORE VIDAL: I don't think arbitrarily or pre-emptively - which is the key adverb here - no, I don't. I think in union, as we behaved in the Balkans - that was essentially a coalition of nations, United Nations amongst others - yes, of course; we belong to a certain world. Listen, remember, when you hear the word "isolationist" said by an American right-wing politician, he's sneering: "And they say they believe in a flat Earth and no relations with foreign countries because we're protected by two oceans." Nonsense. That was true 200 years ago, but in today's misuse of the word, it simply means those who object to our forcing ourselves upon other countries; going into the Middle East not to bring liberty and justice to the Iraqis - we didn't even know who they were, we don't even know where the country is, most Americans; we're there for the oilfields.
Gads! Where do you start with this? That's right, once again, IT'S ALL ABOUT THE OIL! Fuck me, apparently the first democratic elections in 50 years in Iraq are but a speed bump on America's high speed ride to the oil-fields. So why doesn't the world have cheaper oil Gore? As for pre-emptive foreign policy. Only when the United Nations is involved, huh? Like the Balkans. Riiiiiight. That was your mate Bill's little jaunt, but that's OK in your eyes. Incidentally, try and speak like Gore does. It doesn't even make sense when you say the words aloud. Has he finished yet Tony?
TONY JONES: Let's leap forward to the latest or the last State of the Union address and President Bush, in a way, rewriting the guiding principles of foreign policy. In his recent address, he said the ultimate goal now was to end tyranny in the world.
GORE VIDAL: (chuckles).
TONY JONES: Tell us what you make of that.
Au contraire mon ami's. How naive! End tyranny? What fool idea is this? Let's see what Gore 'UN Sec Gen' Vidal has to say.
GORE VIDAL: I think he believes that we can eliminate tyranny everywhere on earth if we allow it in our own country first. We will then provide a model. He is a tyrant, as much as he can be under our system, and our system in many ways is crumbling, so it's open season on the republic that Benjamin Franklin feared for.
Did he just say that? America's elected head of state is a tyrant? I wonder what measure you need for that? The evil fascist state of Greenland? The oppressive military junta of Tahiti? Maybe The Shrub's need for power is equivalent to those marauders of Luxembourg? Open season folks. So tell me again why your dissent isn't being crushed by the Australian fascist lapdogs of the US whilst you are here ranting away. Speaking of the whole 'dissent+crush' thingy, how's that going?
TONY JONES: Despotism, though, and tyranny implies a suppression of dissent. I mean, there's no bar to open dissent in the United States; just simply whether you can get on to the corporate media.
GORE VIDAL: (chuckles) Well, isn't that - that is how it's controlled. The great networks are owned by the great corporations. Sometimes a corporation - why, there's a native of your country who's come to join us who's buying up all sorts of radio stations, TV stations, newspapers, in a conglomerate, which was not allowed under our laws, but somehow they've all been bent, and doing very well with it. That is how you control what the people know. It's beyond anything Orwell dreamed of.
OMGWTF? ROFL! Hey Gore! Exactly WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU THINK YOU ARE DOING RIGHT NOW? It appears as though Gore's special aluminium hat slipped off for awhile there folks. He'll try and be cogent again in a minute. Or not.
GORE VIDAL: It's absolute. Is its credibility waning? Yes, of course it is. Prime-time television is nothing but propaganda, and almost everything said contradicts itself, because they don't bother to sound logical in what they say. They say the message very loud. That is what the people around Bush have discovered: you repeat the lie, and if people look slightly doubtful, you repeat it again more loudly, and you go on and on. Bush went on for about three years getting ready for the Iraq war, saying that Osama bin Laden, responsible for the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington, was working hand in glove with Saddam Hussein, who was equally guilty; therefore, we were going to remove Saddam Hussein, because he was so vicious. Well, he would have been very vicious had he been responsible for any of the attacks on the United States, but he wasn't.
No, that's right. Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath regime had nothing but good things going on. The man is a sick twisted moron who needs to move to Cuba. He'd be happy with Fidel. Any more, crazy-man?
TONY JONES: Gore Vidal, finally, can I ask you to engage in prophecy just for a moment? Look down the track. Four more years of George Bush. What will America and what will the world look like, in your opinion?
GORE VIDAL: Well, an unholy mess. The dollar declines in value. There is no way that you can up it. There's nothing you can do. The wars will continue. There will be an attempt made in Iran and Syria, other places that look exciting. The United States will go broke; it's as simple as that. That's what ended the British Empire. One of the reasons we got into World War I was that in 1914, under the Asquith Government, the government fecklessly ran out of money, and here they were, supposed to be fighting the central powers, Germany and so on. The same thing is happening to us. We don't have the money to pay the debts. Now, great nations that are rich in a sense don't go bankrupt the way individuals do, 'cause you can't put a valuation on them, but you can certainly show lack of confidence in their currency if it goes down, down, down, which it is now doing, and interest rates go up, up, up. As the interest rates go up, then we have the problem of inflation, which will give social insecurity to everybody, because the price of bread will suddenly get very high, which it has never been in the United States since the early '30s. So I would say that, in the long run, the world will be saved American despotism by the coming bankruptcy of the country. Now, that will have awful fallout for everybody. I don't even want to look into that crystal ball.
Why am I thinking of Brian on The Cross, whistling 'Always look on the bright side of life'? I'm so pleased my ABC took the time to interview Gore Vidal. Now, more people can understand what a complete and utter loon he is. I'll leave the last words for Tony.
TONY JONES: Gore Vidal, I think you are living proof, however, that dissent is still living in the United States. We thank you very much for taking the time to come on Lateline.
I lied, I get the last word around here. Gore Vidal is beyond words. He just needs to be beaten by the brown-shirts a little and finish crushing his dissent. That'd make me feel better.
(Cross posted at Bastards Inc.)