The offputting title of WFB’s last book

Richard W. writes:

As yet another sign of how far National Review has fallen (as if one is needed) I offer you this amazing link. It is to the new collection of Buckley articles, just published and proudly offered in the NRO store. It is titled “Cancel Your Own Goddamned Subscription.”

How sad that National Review, Buckley’s heirs, and perhaps Buckley himself, have stooped so low as to include a blasphemous curse in the title of this book. [LA replies: The book was published while Buckley was alive, so we can assume that he chose the title.]

Buckley’s own career and fame began with the publication of “God and Man at Yale,” which decried the routine disrespect accorded Christianity in the academy. It is sad that, having begun a career in such a manner, he would choose to end it with a flagrant violation of one of the Ten Commandments.

But of course it’s just a clever joke, isn’t it. Like so much of the “See, we right wingers can be hip too” thoughtless drivel that comes out of NR these days, it’s actually a nice summary of their entire attitude. They have embraced the liberal disdain for tradition as their own, and they dismiss their own readers with a curse. A perfect reflection, really.

But then, as you have pointed out repeatedly, Buckley was merely a parody of himself for the last few decades. The title of this book stands as a bright explanation mark on that observation.

LA replies:

“Cancel Your Own Goddamned Subscription” seems like the equivalent of the saying carved in Shakespeare’s tomb: “Cursed be him who moves my bones.” So ungracious and thuggish, so unlike the author of the plays.

In fact, as Charlton Ogburn pointed out in his great book The Mysterious William Shakespeare, this is one of the many pieces of evidence that together point persuasively to the conclusion that Shakespeare of Stratford was not the author of the plays. (Just a passing point, I’m not that I’m trying to start a discussion on this.)

Posted by Lawrence Auster at April 25, 2008 12:27 AM | Send

Email entry

Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):