Posted by Karol at 11:29 AM
Technorati Tags: William+Buckley
Whoever does the eulogy should use really long, really obscure words that will have everyone scrambling for their dictionary.
The NY Times has set the right tone.
“William F. Buckley Jr., who marshaled polysyllabic exuberance, famously arched eyebrows and a refined, perspicacious mind to elevate conservatism to the center of American political discourse, died Wednesday at his home in Stamford, Conn.”
I didn’t even realize he had been suffering from emphysema.
I asked him if he would sign my copy of The Redhunter when he gave a reading at B&N around the time of its release.
My father kept saying that his speech pattern was an affectation, but I never got that impression.
He was so impressive in-person.
While I can’t say that I agree with a good deal of the eulogies (I don’t think the late Buckley had anything to do with putting American conservatism in the center of our politics; I do think he took it out of the Midwest and the South and brought it to the East), he will be missed. His legacy? It passed off the stage much earlier than he did. His magazine is a mere cheerleader for the GOP, the government has expanded to new heights under a “conservative” president of a “conservative” party, and Buckley, who voiced doubts about the American role in Iraq, was probably considered an unpatriotic conservative by the likes of David Frum (odd how many conservatives in America are neither American or conservative). The man has left us, his dream left long before. RIP.
I saw him speak at Chapel Hill way long ago. Saw. I heard him, too, but understood barely a word. The hall was too full of people applauding or politely laughing in response to everything they were pretending to have heard and understood. Oh well. At least I saw him.
Most importantly, I read him.
My gratitude to the man who taught me the word masturbatory (when referring to marijuana use) and also taught me not to be afraid of the niggardly.
Posted by: Eric at February 27, 2008 11:37 AM
I used to own a WFB Jr. word of the day calendar.
My favorite esoteric term, which he used in some context I can’t recall at the moment, was “vapulatory.”
I don’t even think you can find that in the OED.
As a lover of vocabulary, even I am aware of this guy. He didn’t write like an octonagerian, which is the beauty of the written word.
He seemed to have IMO no time for the latest carriers of the torch for conservatism, though.
I’m proud to credit Buckley (along with Kirk and Nash) with smacking me upside the head when I was little more than a wannabe Black Panther socialist propagandist. And even though I learned what it meant to be a true conservative from NRO rather than NR in print, I still feel bound to the thousands of conservatives before me who can testify to the life-changing impact of one WFB, Jr.
He will be missed.
That said, I do agree with Von Bek. NR is trash now. So sad.