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Gore Vidal - Loss of a friend and advocate

“Think of the earth as a living organism that is being attacked by billions of bacteria whose numbers double every forty years. Either the host dies, or the virus dies, or both die” Gore Vidal.

We in the population movement lost a very great ally in Gore Vidal. See this interview and see how far ahead of his time he was:

Vidal talks about the need for compulsory birth control, and the role that malnutrition plays in hindering mental development. He was never afraid to take on taboo subjects.

“There is no longer any room at the banquet of life” Gore Vidal 1968.

I don’t know if I ever heard him say anything I disagreed with. He was witty and caustic, and a damn good novelist by the way. I don’t , as a rule, like fiction. But his historical novels were top notch. His novel about Julian the Apostate was among my favourites----but his other work were good reads too.

I guess the most lasting memory I will have of him occurred when I was glued to the televised events surrounding the Democratic Convention in Chicago in 1968, when tensions were high. Both MLK* and RFK** had been recently murdered, the Vietnam war was raging on, the students of France and Germany had taken to the streets and Soviet tanks had swarmed in to crush the Dubcek experiment. Quite a time. In the wake of the police riot, when Mayor Daley’s cops savagely beat up demonstrators, reporters and doctors attending to them—all before the cameras, Gore Vidal squared off against the smug, arrogant and hitherto unflappable William F. Buckley. He managed to get under Buckley’s skin, provoking Buckley to “lose it”, calling him a “queer” and threatening to punch him in the face. Great theatre!

Vidal was a superb talk show guest, pushing the envelope with cutting-edge comment delivered with wit.

What ever happened to his kind? First Hitchens, now Vidal. Who is next, Richard Dawkins? God forbid (pun intended).

What happened since then to make so many people so timid when objective circumstances have only gotten worse? Vidal’s analysis of what was wrong with America and the world forty years still seems valid today. But the difference is, few are willing to stick out their necks and say what he did then without fear.

Once upon a time it was the Left who carried the banner of free speech. Now they are the most ardent advocates of censorship. In 1968, I could never have imagined it. Nor could have I imagined that one day that I would be called a “fascist” by “progressive” people who make common cause with jihadists and turn a blind eye to the human rights violations of the Castro regime they admire from afar.

And not one of them seem to give a hoot that population has nearly doubled since Gore Vidal’s warnings. Vidal was a giant.


NOTES inserted by Editor

* MLK - Martin Luther King
** RFK - Robert Francis Kennedy, the younger brother of JFK, President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, who was murdered in 1963.

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