Thursday, December 3, 2020

Cancel Your Own Goddam Subscription

I returned to this book that  I had read but failed to review in 2014. I've always loved WFBs initials (same as mine) and have had to fight the sin of envy for his intellect, life experiences, friends (including Ronald Reagan, Art Buchwald, Charlton Heston, Tom Selleck and a host of others. 

As the linked review  points out, it is a good read. For me, it was a "wayback machine", igniting my first interest in conservative political thought as a counterpoint to the malaise of the Carter years. One of my early rather wordy blog entries here. (yes I used to be even MORE wordy, amazing though that seems). 

Mostly I just sat back and enjoyed the book for it's pleasure. I was struck by a great example of "fake thinking". On 232, Eric Alterman (still around as a professor at CUNY) proffers a completely fabricated supposed interchange between WFB and a "quivering college student" who asked "have you ever experienced" poverty? Alterman composed WFB's fictional reply: " Why yes, my yacht experienced an unfortunate shortage of stuffed goose recently between Nassau and the Bahamas". 

Buckleys reply is reason enough to read the book. For one thing, he doesn't know what "stuffed goose" tastes like ... if one is writing fiction as Alterman clearly was, it may as well have been Foie Gras!

Although fictional, I suspect the anecdote as likely been repeated so much that many, likely including Alterman believe it to be true. Somewhat like the fiction of Reagan sleeping staff meetings (why? He was the boss! Anybody that has experienced staff meetings knows that they are a great way to cure insomnia. When you are not the one in charge, you bear it best as you can. If you are ... "I just realized I need to be on an important call", we will take this up later". 

Reading the book caused me to hunt up
an old Firing Line ... both the book and the link are well worth your time. 

1 comment:

  1. I'm not sure because the name William F Buckley didn't mean as much to me back then, but he may be the person who pushed me over the edge to give up on conservatives and become more of a liberal in the early 70s. It didn't last more than a few years. Buckley was pretty good at repartee, though. -- The Reticulator