The Mind of Al Gore 5

You know right away with Gore that his philosophical ideas were not worked up for him by speech writers. Asked which thinkers he had been influenced by in his brief career as a divinity student, he mentioned Reinhold Niebuhr, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, and Ed¬mund Husserl. Would that be Merleau-Ponty’s Phenomenology of Perception? Yes, he said, with a flicker (just a flicker) ... Read More »

The Mind of Al Gore 4

The prospect of the draft drove Clinton almost to despair. It seems to have been the only time in his life, as David Maraniss’s bi¬ography, First in His Class, makes clear, when he lost his sense of bearings. A man whose deepest impulse is to demonstrate sympathy for every faction was suddenly obliged to alienate the affections of one faction ... Read More »

The Mind of Al Gore 3

It’s true that for people with a reputation for brains the Clintons are amazingly inept at (as editorial writers say) “getting the facts out.” They apparently cannot bring themselves to admit that their actions are less than noble, even when their actions, like avoiding the draft or making a quick buck in the commodities market or lying about an affair, ... Read More »

The Mind of Al Gore 2

One morning in late September 1998, a few days after the day on which the House Judiciary Committee had made the nation a Rosh Hashanah gift of Clinton’s grand jury testimony, I went to the White House to talk to a man now contemplating the fact that he was about to be handed, and possibly sooner rather than later, an ... Read More »

The Mind of Al Gore

In the summer of 1992, after he was assured of the Democratic nomination for president, Bill Clinton took a room at the Capitol Hilton, in Washington, and set about the business of interviewing potential running mates. Al Gore was then in his second term as a senator from Tennessee. Gore had run for the Democratic presiden¬tial nomination himself four years ... Read More »

Laurie Anderson’s United States 2

One of the great evolutionary leaps in the history of modern en¬tertainment was the invention of the microphone. The microphone is more than a convenience, and it is more than a prop; it is an extension of the body. It expands the space the performer can com¬mand by reducing that space to the dimensions of intimacy It turns the stadium ... Read More »

Laurie Anderson’s United States

Laurie Anderson was born in Chicago in 1947 and was raised in the suburb of Glen Ellyn. She entered Mills College, in California, in 1965, with the intention of becoming a doctor, but dropped out after a year and moved to New York City, where she enrolled at Barnard. She graduated with a degree in art history in 1969, studied ... Read More »

Lust in Action: Jerry Falwell and Larry Flynt 6

By 1983, Falwell had an empire of his own. He had, in fact, two empires, a ministry and a political organization. The core congregation of Falwell’s ministry was the church in Lynchburg, which had seventeen thousand members in 1983 (up from thirty-five when Falwell took it over, in 1956). But Falwell also had a television program, The Old Time Gospel ... Read More »

Lust in Action: Jerry Falwell and Larry Flynt 5

These movies were produced entirely for the delectation of men, of course, and when Linda Marciano, the star of Deep Throat, emerged a decade later to reveal that she had performed in that film under duress, she exposed rather dramatically the extent to which the promiscuous woman of the sexual revolution, despite all the popular rhetoric about sexual equality and ... Read More »

Lust in Action: Jerry Falwell and Larry Flynt 4

The question the Falwell case poses (as Post analyzes it) is whether a principle of free speech can be devised which is firm enough to protect dissident and unpopular opinion but not so in¬flexible that it protects hatemongers and speech bullies along with it. Many intelligent people, in the years since Hustler v. Falwell was decided, have tried to formulate ... Read More »