Wednesday, February 27, 2008

So it goes.

Via Billy Beck, I got the word that William F. Buckley has died.

He wasn't necessarily my cup of political tea but I'll probably miss him more than Mr. Beck, mainly because he was good at making chowderheads feel the pain of their ignorance, plus the very mention of his name could cause a hippie's head to explode if dropped into the conversation at just the right moment. Good entertainment that doesn't insult my intelligence is going to be harder to come by from now on.


(EDIT: Speaking of punching hippies...)

11 comments:

Gmac said...

Yep, he may not have been everybody's fav but watching him deconstruct a position was definatley something fun.

Billy Beck said...

He was an interesting linguistic technician, and a fairly adept logician. He argued well, from his position.

Unfortunately, that was what made him essentially useless to me.

staghounds said...

I once saw one of his big round table things on PBS. This one was about drugs, and there were all sorts of big wheels there. The drug tsar, police chiefs from like LA or Miami, congressional drug policy people, a real summit. It went something like this:

At one point marijuana came under discussion, maybe decriminalising an ounce or less. Buckley asked the person to whom he spoke, "How big is an ounce of marijuana? I know it weighs an ounce, but how much space does it occupy?"

Silence.

"No, I rally do want to know. Is an ounce of marijuana as much as a pack of cigarettes? A gallon bucket? How much is an ounce?"

"Um, I don't know."

"Police chief, you know, you must have arrested people with an ounce. Tell me."

"Um, no I haven't actually."

And so on. NOT ONE OF THE "EXPERTS" HAD A CLUE.

It was absolutely priceless how he exposed, by accident, such basic ignorance in all these policy makers.

Anonymous said...

One might not agree with Mr. Buckley's views or principles...to articulate....ah....genius...few can compare...

Anonymous said...

And another good result of William F. was his son Christopher Buckley, who authored _Thank You For Smoking_, _No Way To Treat A First Lady_, and other satires of current society.

Erik in Colo.

Reno Sepulveda said...

I'll admit I'm not anywhere near the smartest person I know. But watching William F. Buckley (rest his soul) argue with somebody always bored me out of the room. Even though I agreed with him most of the time.

It all seemed like so much mental masturbation. I mean if you are pissed off enough to punch somebody for calling you a Nazi, for Christ's sake punch them! Don't go "I say dear dear fellow if you infer that I'm a Nazi once more why I'll...punch you! I was in the infantry by God!

And the accent didn't help matters at all.

Anonymous said...

The office in Manhattan where I worked from '99 to '06 was in the same building as NR. I rode up/down in the elevator a few times with him. . . . never spoke to him though. . . Vibe magazine is also in that building. . talk about from the ridiculous to the sublime. . .he did love the obscure words. . .

The Fudgie Ghost

Anonymous said...

I think you would have LOVED him. I was into the whole YAF thing in undergrad in late 70s-early 80s, got to meet and speak with him several times. Brilliant, cool, interesting, and one hell of a gentleman.

Old Grouch said...

I've replied here.

Anonymous said...

Gore Vidal is a hippie?

Tam said...

I'll bet he reeks of patchouli.