Sunday, May 26, 2013
This might be the best thing you could read today:
It stands entirely on its own merits, but it also raises some questions, such as why it was Mr. Kinsley agreed long ago to participate in William Buckley's "Firing Line" interview show (never mind PBS). Firing Line aired for it seems like now much of my life, until Mr. Buckley gave it up whenever it was that happened. And Mr. Buckley was indeed a fine sailor, and no doubt a nice guy to hang out with in the club or on a starry night on the Atlantic, with a scotch in hand, and I'll bet if a storm came up out there Buckley was a leader and a capable Captain and got the ship and the crew through safely.
But the truth is--the same truth being expressed in this great article at Sadly No--Buckley was an arrogant, mean, son-of-a-bitch who spent his life justifying and defending every arrogant, mean, son-of-a-bitch preconception and prejudice he happened to have faith in, and worse than that, got a long-standing TV program on public television no less with which to defend all his hateful beliefs, and this when he already had his whole fucking magazine at his disposal.
And Mr. Kinsley chose to collaborate in this travesty, for decades. Which gave Buckley and his rancid beliefs stature, and contributed to this terrible, false, pernicious idea that everything is just politics, that there is no core of truth and values to help us decide what's right and wrong. And that pernicious idea has led all of us to where we are today, a country hamstrung and hopelessly divided.
This is the William Buckley who got his goddam PBS teevee show, who indeed "earned" this show with performances like this. I only link to one portion of the "debate." I urge you to take the time and view every segment.
And, as I said. Michael Kinsley collaborated with apparent delight in making bigotry, racism, homophobia, and all the rest of Buckley's long personal catalog of evil beliefs palatable to the American Public, and in so doing contributed in the end to the actual election of our first actor President, Ronald Reagan, who put into practice much of Buckley's philosophy by doing such things as ignoring the AIDs epidemic because it was a "homosexual disease," and funding the "contras" in a dirty war against Nicarauga.
It is not, in the context of Kinsley's life's work, particularly surprising that Sadly No can so completely nail him to the wall in his brilliant post. It's what Kinsley's done, forever.