Monthly Archives: March 2008

F For Faggot

Ever since February 27th of this year, when that loathesome turd William F. Buckley Jr. kicked the bucket that had been so eagerly awaiting him I have been trembling with overwhelming antici-

(long Dr. Frank N. Furter pause)

-PATION (!) for a savory salvo from the Crown Prince of Snark Gore Vidal. And on the Truthdig.com website (his favored berth of late) he does not disappoint.

“I can recall that day in the 1930s when a “news” (sic) magazine appeared in Washington, D.C.; it was called Newsweek: meant to be a counterbalance to Time Magazine’s uncontrollable malice. In due
course the two became sadly alike as Vincent Astor morphed into Henry Luce: Was it something in the water? I once asked Henry Luce why he called Time a news magazine when it was simply Uncle Harry’s means of venting his rage (this was 1960 or so) at liberals, and “degenerate art” like the plays of Tennessee Williams-he had no answer. At Newsweek Vincent Astor was far too stupid to answer any such complaint. Now here we are in the Newsweek of 2008, and it’s still lousy. There have been a few decent writers in between that were less nutty than today’s Newsweek hacks.
But why is Newsweek currently lousy?”

Oh, why not? What do you expect with President Low Normal as Codpiece-in-Chief and talent-free nonentities enrapturing millions on American Idol as our War For Oil lurches toward its Sixth Big Year?

“Here’s an example provided by an
editor who keeps a sharp eye on their crimes. He sent me their recent obituary of William F. Buckley, a hero to those who feared
democracies.”

And here’s the “Money Quote” from said obit:

“Buckley was a bon vivant with luxurious tastes, a prolific author of best-selling novels as well as serious nonfiction, a sportsman most gleeful on icy slopes and navigating through a gale, a world-class namedropper, a refined musicologist (and self-taught harpsichord player) and a lover of big words (a sesquipedalian, as he might say).”

and a committed racist.

“Buckley bridled at bullies [we are assured]. But one of the rare times he lost his temper was debating Gore Vidal, who “got under his skin,” says son Chris. When Vidal called Buckley a “crypto-Nazi, ” Buckley responded, “Now listen, you queer, you stop calling me a crypto-Nazi or I’ll sock you in your goddamn face and you’ll stay plastered.”

And here’s the video of that August Occasion, marking as it were the birth of that which has come to be known as “Reality Television.”

“But usually his public manners were genteel [I think they mean gentile]. With “Firing Line” guests who seemed nervous or over their heads, Buckley was gentle. Behind the scenes, he could show remarkable kindness. In 1980, a rising conservative star, Congressman Bob Bauman, was soliciting a 16-year-old [male] for oral sex. Bauman had been a gay-basher, and he instantly became a pariah. The next day, knowing what lay ahead for the disgraced congressman, Buckley quietly gave him an envelope containing $10,000. “He was a knightly man,” says Chris.”

–which explains why Clay Aiken is playing him in Spamalot.

“Unknown to them and everyone else who might read that publication, my views on many matters do not conform to the tired hacks who’ve taken over Newsweek, a magazine that has convinced itself that Bobby Kennedy Sr. was a great liberal.”

WHOA!

It is, needless to say, an article of “serious” political faith that RFK was as liberal as the day is long. Even those attendant on his exceedingly late shift in “priorities” (Yes, I’m looking at YOU, Warren !) like to recall those with whom he was allied in his younger days. Get yourself a copy of Point of Order and dig the shot of Bobby hauling ass as Tailgunner Joe goes down for the third time.

But back to Gore and Newsweek

They love throwing about misunderstood terms like liberal and conservative that seldom suit their superficial, not to mention malicious, standards. Recently, their words of mourning for the fallen “genteel” paladin were incredible. As my editor friend knew that I seldom read the wilder attacks on me, he deconstructs Newsweek’s obituary of Buckley:
Parenthetically, I should note that, back in 1968, ABC TV had asked me and Buckley to “debate” each other at the Democratic and Republican conventions. Although Buckley was often drunk and out of control, he was always a spontaneous liar on any subject that his dizzy brain might extrude. When we were in Chicago during the Democratic convention, the Chicago police decided it would be fun to attack the young co-ed demonstrators in Grant Park, not far from our studio It was one of the worst displays of police brutality I’ve ever seen, and so I said on air; he liked what the police had done; in no time, the whole country was as shocked as I, but not Buckley. On air he was hissing like a cobra against the young people in Grant Park because, he said, they were egging on the Viet Cong to kill American Marines. They were not, of course. Buckley was a world-class American liar on the far right who would tell any lie he thought he could get away with. Years of ass-kissing famous people in the press and elsewhere had given him, he felt, a sort of license to libelously
slander those hated liberals who, from time to time, smoked him out as I did in Chicago, when I defended the young people in Grant Park by denying that they were Nazis and that the only “pro- or crypto-Nazi” I could think of was himself. He sued me and got nowhere. He sued Esquire, in which our words appeared. By then the coming right-wing surge was in view. And so Esquire cravenly agreed to settle with him for a few paragraphs worth of free advertising for his weird little magazine The National Review, hardly the great victory he
claimed.

And HERE (appropriately annotated) is the unexpurgated (ie. pre-lawsuit) version of that Esquire piece.

“Now, to Newsweek’s obituary of this late dishonorable American in which my editor-friend assures me that his brain-dead son Christopher had a hand: “Buckley bridled at bullies.” And who was the bully in context? Myself. He was also an expert at changing indefensible contexts. Buckley maintained that I supported revolutionaries who favored murdering U.S. Marines. Yet all the talk of Nazis etc. was started by Buckley. There was no lie he would not tell to get back at those who defeated him in debate.”

Love the “brain-dead” — particularly in light of the repellent David Mamet.

“The current editors at Newsweek appear to have listened eagerly to his son Christopher, who is guiding them to a benign view of what had been a most hysterical queen (WFB), much admired by a media that takes everyone at his own evaluation of himself as they did with Capote, who told them that he was a great writer like Proust (pronounced Prowst) and the hacks ate it up.”

I trust I’m not alone in recalling Gore’s comparasion of Buckley to Marie Antoinette.

When it comes to Hysterical Queens, I’ll take Marie.

“The correct assessment of any reputation today is so far from plausible reality that it might be a good thing if the hacks of a magazine like Newsweek steered clear of characterizing those disliked by the advertisers; hence his creepy son’s depiction of me as a “bully” when I was simply attending to one, and then-o, joy!-Buckley called me a “queer” and actually threatened me with physical violence, so great was his testosterone level.”

True. He might well have cut to the chase and cried “FAG!!!!”

The irrepressible Jim Provenzano informs us that the word on the Cater-Waiter circuit was that Buckley’s delight consisted of dripping blood (extracted how and from who, none can say) over the bound and gagged body of his hustler du jour.

“No harpsichord recital for you, stud!”

Next, the loyal son, suspecting that the pejorative use of “queer” is politically incorrect in mag-land, Christopher rambles into a story about his father’s kindness to a Mr. Bauman who had lost his seat in Congress after the congressman had been caught while soliciting Oral Sex from a 16-year-old male (note how prurient Newsweek’s prose is, in describing undesirable people). Chris weeps into his computer as he describes how Dad gave the poor sinner of the flesh an envelope containing $10,000 (I bet?) in cash adding, mysteriously, “He was a knightly man”: Who was-the cocksucker recipient of Buckley’s charity? Or his admirer, Mr. Buckley himself?-Bauman was very right wing, it
is said. RIP WFB-in hell.

Now don’t go all soft on me, Gore!

Buckley’s largesse is Standard Operational GOP Procedure these days when closeted cocksuckers (and other even more egregious Dimsdales) pile up like leaves in Autumn at the RNC’s door.

“The unique mess that our republic is in can be, in part, attributed to a corrupt press whose roots are in mendacious news (sic) magazines like Time and Newsweek, aided by tabloids that manufacture fictional stories about actual people. This mingling of opinion and fiction has undone a media never devoted to truth. Hence, the ease with which the Republican smear-machine goes into action when they realize that yet again the party’s permanent unpopularity with the American people will cause them defeat unless they smear individually those who question the junk that the media has put into so many heads.”

And thus, depending on who’s holding the smear bucket, Barack Obama is a dangerous Black Panther supporter, an aide to Louis Farrakhan, or (because his middle name is Hussein, doncha know) a sleeper Al Queida agent.

Rather than RFK Mach II.

Anyone who says “We gotta fight ‘em over there or we’re gonna have to fight ‘em over here.” This absurdity has been pronounced by every Republican seeking high office. The habit of lying is now a national style that started with “news” magazines that was further developed by pathological liars that proved to be “good” Entertainment on TV. But a diet of poison that has done none of us any good.

Except of course Unhysterical Queen Harvey Levin.

I speak ex cathedra now, ad urbe et orbe, with a warning that no society so marinated in falsity can long survive in a real world.

And I speak of the summer of the year of my birth, 1947

“Rent overdue
My sister has measles
Hole in my shoe
My belt’s drawn tight
My income is nil
My in-laws are weasels
My present is dark
My future’s a fright
But as long as you are there
What in the world do I care?
Though hope is low,
I’m aglow when you smile at me
Life is simple as A B C
Not a thought in my head
Not a care in the world
Though skies are grey
I’m as gay as a Disney cow
Not a wrinkle upon my brow
Not a cent in the red
Not a care in the world
I view the scene
Like that old queen of Russia
As Kate the Great
Used to say long sgo
“Nichevo!”
And so if I move
In a groove with a giddy trot
I’m a trottin’ because I’ve got
Not a bean in my pot
Not a care in the world
Though I can’t jive
I revive when I see your face
Not a limp in my merry pace
Not a crimp in my style
Not a care in the world
Though I’m a wreck
I can peck if you take a chance
Not a shine on my blue serge pants
Not a crack in my smile
Not a care in the world
Why should I fret
When I bet on a sure thing?
Like Nick the Greek
Used to say ev’ry day
“Yip-i-ay!”
And so if I’m struttin’
With nuttin’ ahead in store
There’s a reason I said before
I’ll repeat it once more
Not a care in the world!”