Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Some wisdom from Norman Mailer.
I am lucky enough to have been blessed with a peripatetic mind. I can take in a lot of information and know a lot of things and can make a lot of connections. Of course this upsets clients who prefer people who think in manner depicted by the directional chevrons you find in powerpoint and act as if the world were an orderly and logical place.
This morning I somewhat randomly picked up Norman Mailer's reportage of the 1968 Republican convention in Miami Beach. You can find all this in his book on the 1968 conventions, "Miami and the Siege of Chicago."
Here's a passage I particularly enjoyed. "Unless one knows him well, or has done a sizable work of preparation, it is next to useless to interview a politician. He has a mind which is accustomed to political questions. By the time he decides to run for President, he may have answered a million. Or at least this is true if he has been in politics for twenty years and has replied to an average of one hundred-fifty such queries a day, no uncharacteristic amount. To surprise a skillful politician with a question is then approximately equal in difficulty to hitting a professional boxer with a barroom hook."
I read a lot. From Virgil and Euripides to Maureen Dowd to body copy. Mailer's words above are some of the best I've stumbled across in a long time.
Posted by george tannenbaum at 10:55 AM