Thursday, May 12, 2005


Mamet on Simon, Wolfe on bad-boy execs

It's too easy to make fun of the Huffington Post--like shooting guppies in a brandy snifter--so I'll cease and desist. I'll also acknowledge that I found two interesting items on the site today. First, David Mamet celebrates the defenestration of John Simon over at New York Magazine. Simon has always deplored the playwright's potty-mouthed vision of contemporary life, and yes, the feeling is mutual. Mamet's dispatch in its entirety reads: "I have just heard that John Simon has been fired from the post he long disgraced at New York Magazine. In his departure he accomplishes that which during his tenure eluded him: he has finally done something for the American Theatre." No mincing words there. But for a more positive spin on Simon's long tenure as the Grim Reaper of American Drama, see this post ("Off the aisle") from Terry Teachout.

The other link I found there, from the New Mexican, concerns Tom Wolfe's appearance at Brazil's Biennial Book Fair in Rio de Janeiro. First revelation: he's cut back from 34 white suits to a paltry, pauperistic 24. Next revelation: he's ditching fiction for his next book, which will focus on the shabby-chic impulses of executive types. Given Wolfe's keen eye for upper-middle-class pageantry, this sounds like fertile terrain. But oddly enough, he seems less interested in the nostalgie-de-la-boue angle, and more perplexed that America's most eligible bachelors are sending out mixed signals:
After all, what is a rich man who dresses in a style known as post-homeless trying to say? That's what I'd like to find out. That's why there are so many bad marriages. A girl can no longer tell where a young man stands just by looking at him.
Time to add another clause to the lovely Defense of Marriage Act, forbidding guys in the top two tax brackets from shopping at Old Navy.

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