William F. Buckley’s Brilliance Remains Uncut

News of a “liberal” price cut on the late William F. Buckley, Jr.’s Manhattan flat in today’s New York Times provides reason enough to remember the iconic author/editor’s brilliance. Who was cooler? Who had more compelling presence on the global stage? And, who, perhaps most memorably, was unafraid to take on others whose views he felt were wrong. Exhibit A: Gore Vidal. Buckley’s take-down-- “stop calling me a Crypto-Nazi or I’ll sock you in the God-damned face—and you’ll stay plastered”—remind of us another, perhaps more Salingeresque, era in public political discourse.

It was just over a year ago thatVanity Fair’s Bob Colacello wrote about Buckley’s memorial service; Henry Kissinger spoke.


At St. Patrick’s the faithful responded to Kissinger’s emotion-choked eulogy with sustained applause. “Bill Buckley inspired a political movement that changed American politics,” the former secretary of state intoned. “He founded the National Review that, for over a generation, has shaped American political discussion; he hosted an influential talk show [Firing Line] for 30 years; he wrote an elegant column. Every year, he authored a beautifully written novel; in what passed for his spare time, he produced several nonfiction works and delivered over 50 lectures annually. He was a passionate skier, an accomplished harpsichordist, and a daring sailor. He wrote as Mozart composed, by inspiration; he never needed a second draft … this noble, gentle, and valiant man who was truly touched by the grace of God.”

Though Buckley’s brother the former senator James Buckley and sister the retired National Review managing editor Priscilla Buckley read from the Bible, Christopher Buckley was the only other eulogist. After quoting Hamlet—“I shall not look upon his like again”—and calling his father “the world’s coolest mentor,” Christopher concluded, “This afternoon I’ll make one last trip up there [to Stamford] to bury him.… I shall place in his coffin his favorite rosary, the TV remote control—private joke—a jar of peanut butter, and my mother’s ashes.”

Peanut Butter. Buckley loved peanut butter, and apparently commissioned his own private batch. What we miss about him is his unabashed confidence in what was right, and whether one agreed with him or not, one had to admit: he never wavered according to trend, he never wavered from the line of argument he felt was the right one for America. This strain of patriotism is worth something, even now. Try to name a public intellectual with his charm and mind. Just try.

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Can the keto diet help treat depression? Here’s what the science says so far

A growing body of research shows promising signs that the keto diet might be able to improve mental health.

Public Domain
Mind & Brain
  • The keto diet is known to be an effective tool for weight loss, however its effects on mental health remain largely unclear.
  • Recent studies suggests that the keto diet might be an effective tool for treating depression, and clearing up so-called "brain fog," though scientists caution more research is necessary before it can be recommended as a treatment.
  • Any experiments with the keto diet are best done in conjunction with a doctor, considering some people face problems when transitioning to the low-carb diet.
Keep reading Show less

A world map of Virgin Mary apparitions

She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.

Strange Maps
  • For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
  • These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
  • Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
Keep reading Show less

Want to age gracefully? A new study says live meaningfully

Thinking your life is worthwhile is correlated with a variety of positive outcomes.

YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images
Surprising Science
  • A new study finds that adults who feel their lives are meaningful have better health and life outcomes.
  • Adults who felt their lives were worthwhile tended to be more social and had healthier habits.
  • The findings could be used to help improve the health of older adults.
Keep reading Show less