Gore Vidal

Gore Vidal died.

Witty bitter is not more interesting than plain bitter. Intelligence and talent with words only makes the condition of the heart contagious, and a sick heart should be sequestered, not broadcast.

What makes one heart bitter but the next, equally bruised, gentle and joyous? Isn’t it the sense of injustice in the bitter? Doesn’t the bitter heart feel like the heart deserves not to be bruised? The heart DESERVES? Goodness, what a word.

So then how can an atheist be bitter? What justice emanates from the laws of physics? How do you hold simultaneously the thought that you have no meaning and the thought that you have been mis-treated? How can you be a product of material laws and deserve anything other than what those same laws have given you? How can the ones who hurt you be anything other than products of the same impersonal laws?

Vidal seemed to me to always sneer. He always seemed to be thinking about how stupid someone else was. And he was probably right. But there’s not much as superficial as that sneer. I don’t know what personal pain he went through to get there. I wonder if he knew.

Bitter enjoys bitter. The audience who is angry will applaud an angry voice. The echo chamber will feed the performer, who may not realize he did not need to be intelligent to get that applause.

I wonder if he knew. How does the materialist with a world-class I.Q. interpret his own bitterness, or his own joy? Does he find it interesting that something closer to himself than his art came to him from the shape of a 13 billion year old explosion, and he likes (or dislikes) it?

What could be a more important use of verbal facility than to explain your own soul?

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