Sunday, October 4, 2015

Douthat and W.F.Buckley

One day, I saw a man, Ross Douthat, make excellent comments on a show on Youtube.  Then I bought his book "Bad Religion.  How we became a Nation of Heretics."   A very good, quick, sensible read, it turned out to be.  Then I bought his book about Harvard University and the Privilege of the Ruling Class.  This also was a fantastic read.

In the end of the book on his Harvard education, Douthat describes his internship at the National Review Magazine, where he rubbed shoulders with William Buckley Junior, (of whom I had never heard.)  He even spent a weekend with Buckley at his house and sailing a large boat, together with another young intern.

Someone I know called Buckley a "formidable" debater and sent me to watch the video of the debate with Mr. Baldwin on whether the American dream was built on the back of the Negro.  I watched it twice.  Since then, I have also watched the discussions with several other notable men on Buckley's TV show, and have started into the apparently famous series of debates with Gore Vidal, (of whom I had never heard, either.)

This debate watching is seemingly becoming an obsession with me.  But! We discover that there is a movie "The Best of Enemies" made about these last debates, and was released only this summer.  I would like to find a place to view this movie without purchasing a DVD.

Rotten Tomatoes gives "The Best of Enemies" 4.5 stars out of 5.  The critics' consensus is:

Smart, fascinating, and funny, Best of Enemies takes a penetrating 

-- and wildly entertaining -- look back at the dawn of pundit politics.

<b>Best of Enemies</b>’ Trailer Brings Heated Debate Into Theaters

I feel like I could watch these debates over and over.  There seems to be so much more verbal skill than we see displayed nowadays.  Not only are we lacking in arguments and verbal skills, many seem to feel fully justified to employ plain insults, arrogance, jihads and violence.  In all sorts of places, the "rational" people demean average citizens who don't share their point of view. As some other people have put it, only "intellectuals" could be so out of touch, harsh, immoral and out in left field.  It is tiresome and I hope we are soon done with this imbecility.

Ross Douthat has another book on American Politics. -- And then there are all sorts of books by William Buckley.  I think I will put Buckley's "God and Man at Yale" on my list to purchase.  My husband would enjoy it, too.  Gene Veith has written much about the influence of the "elites", but Buckley and Douthat seem to be closer to the scene.

I have not been particularly fond of American punditry, news, wars, movies, finding much so very brash and violent, as well as domineering, thinking the world revolves around them, but I have enjoyed the books and the videos mentioned here.

Buckley's "enemies" are also very interesting people.  One can learn much about recent history and how it affects current times by seeing their points of view explored in depth.

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