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XXXXX DRUDGE REPORT XXXXX FRIDAY SEPT 06, 2002 20:32:09 UTC XXXXX
[Filed by Matt Drudge in Germany]
NORMAN MAILER DECLARES: 'AMERICA IS SO VAIN'
In an 8,000-wordish polemic to be published in this weekend's London SUNDAY TIMES [9/8/02], Norman Mailer sounds what he hopes to be a "wake up call for America," the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.
The legendary Mailer rips the United States in a shock Q & A, calling it "so big, so powerful, and so vain..." and warns "every American has to ask himself, 'Am I ready to die for my ideas?'"
DRUDGE can reveal more of the coming rant, which is sure to ignite controversy on both shores.
"This century is going to be the most awesome of all centuries to contemplate - there is a real question whether human kind will get to the end of it... America's so big, so powerful, and so vain, ... I get angry when I see it being less than it can be.
"The British have a love of their country that is profound. They can revile it, tell dirty stories about it. But deep down their patriotism is deep. In America we're playing musical chairs - don't get caught without a flag or you're out of the game. Why do we need all this reaffirmation? It's as if we're a three hundred pound man who's seven feet tall, superbly shaped, absolutely powerful, and every three minutes he's got to reaffirm the fact that his arm pits have a wonderful odor. We don't need compulsive, self-serving patriotism. It's odious...
"When you have a great country it's your duty to be critical of it so it can become even greater...
"Culturally, emotionally America is growing more loutish, arrogant, and vain.
"I detest this totally promiscuous patriotism. Wave a little flag and become a good person? Ugly.
"If we have a depression or fall into desperate economic times, I don't know what's going to hold the country together...
"There's just too much anger here, too much ruptured vanity, too much shock, too much identity crisis. And worst of all, too much patriotism. Patriotism in a country that's failing has a logical tendency to turn fascistic...
"Let's suppose ten people are killed by a small bomb on a street corner in some city in America. The first thing to understand is that there are 280 million Americans. So, there's one chance in 28 million you're going to be one of those people. By such heartless means of calculation, the 3000 deaths in the Twin Towers came approximately to one mortality for every 90,000 Americans. Your chances of dying if you drive a car are one in 7,000 each year. We seem perfectly ready to put up with automobile statistics. I fear I am ready to say there is a tolerable level to terror...
"One of the things I've always found least attractive about Tony Blair was his toadyish attitude toward Clinton...
"Clinton made a point of surrounding himself with people who might be 90% as intelligent as himself, but never his equal. Bush is smart enough to know that he couldn't possibly do the same, or the country would be run by morons."
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