The Monday Substack—Oldie but goodie: Gore Vidal Vs Wm F Buckley Jr, on the historic 1968 Vidal-Buckley debate and its newfound relevance thanks to a London stage revival production—is now up and running. In the spirit of Eric Cartman’s axiom positing that an appetizer is what you eat before you eat to make you more hungry, here’s an appetizer.
Though his legend has been tarnished somewhat in recent years thanks to the way his creation, National Review magazine, has been betrayed by its present-day stewards, that isn’t in any way the fault of Buckley himself; the purblind fools currently running Bill Buckley’s noble legacy into the ground have to stand up to that charge on their own lightweight hook. The man single-handedly kept a practically-moribund conservative movement viable, breathing life into the corpse so it could carry on into whatever future it might ever have had. It’s a lead-pipe cinch that, without the foundation laid years before by one Wm F Buckley Jr, there would never have been a President Ronald Wilson Reagan to look back on in nostalgic admiration.
William F Buckley, much like the US Constitution he so revered, didn’t fail us. WE failed HIM, to our everlasting regret and disgrace.
Yes, the justly-renowned Buckley response to Vidal from that aforementioned debate is included verbatim. Although I wouldn’t say that was my sole reason for writing the piece, it woulda been justification aplenty, don’tchathink? And since I still haven’t been able to figure out a way to get Twitter embeds to show up in Substack posts, here’s the missing Tweet.
This is a poster for the new Gore Vidal vs. William F. Buckley Jr. play called “Best of Enemies.” To my best recollection, neither man was black. pic.twitter.com/pmFuj8hynJ
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray)
I’ll append a link back to this post to the Eyrie thang to reflect that inadvertent omission.
Update! Commenter streamfortyseven has most graciously provided a link over at the Eyrie post to the YewToob vid of the Buckley-Vidal debate’s “I’ll sock you in the goddamn face” magic moment. Thanks a mill for that, sfs!