Regardless of the fact that when I would see Gore Vidal on television in recent years , he wasn’t looking in the best of health, he was still as quick a wit as ever. A few months ago, he was the opening guest on Real Time with Bill Maher where Maher showed a video of Vidal as a 10 year old boy in a commercial with his father about aviation.
In the long and detailed obit that the New York Times published today, they wrote,
Few American writers have been more versatile or gotten more mileage from their talent. He published some 25 novels, two memoirs and several volumes of stylish, magisterial essays. He also wrote plays, television dramas and screenplays. For a while he was even a contract writer at MGM. And he could always be counted on for a spur-of-the-moment aphorism, putdown or sharply worded critique of American foreign policy.
Unfortunately, there seems to be very few people left who will write or comment publicly their opinions¹ without pussyfooting around, retracting, or apologizing for fear of the ridiculous kangaroo court that has been setup in the past couple of decades. I remember when William F. Buckley died a few years ago, Vidal wouldn’t even give a dead man a break, ”I thought hell is bound to be a livelier place, as he joins forever those whom he served in life, applauding their prejudices and fanning their hatred.”
¹ After re-reading this, I remembered that there are plenty of people who do voice their opinions publicly (cough michelle bachman cough cough), but I meant people who are at least a couple rungs up from glow worm on the ladder.