Skip to main content

Boy Leaves Yale, Man Meets God

William F. Buckley Jr. who has recently died, was, according to some sources, variously: a CIA agent, Catholic, Yale Man, rightwing TV firebrand, homophobe, baronially arrogant, and one of the 20th century's most brilliant debaters. Only the last need detain us here. I share few of Buckley's vices, or virtues perhaps, and less of his ideology, but I have often felt that debaters, however otherwise turned rightwards, make the best companions (for dinner, if not bed). When I was a college debater of some repute (I often debated at places called Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Vassar, McGill, etc) Buckley was a hero, for his patrician indifference to low-brows and mass culture (though he practically invented High-IQ US TV discourse). My father (alas, dead) and I loved to watch him lean back in his chair, impossibly, an architect of disdain, a Pisa of scorn, his pen or pencil in his poised hand - about to strike, viperous. I met the gentleman once, all those teeth in that slithering smile!, after a Firing Line taping live from McGill in Montreal; at the cocktail reception, we briefly discussed poetry.
Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog


Like a crazed killer clown, whether we are thrilled, horrified, shocked, or angered (or all of these) by Donald Trump, we cannot claim to be rid of him just yet. He bestrides the world stage like a silverback gorilla (according to one British thug), or a bad analogy, but he is there, a figure, no longer of fun, but grave concern.

There has long been a history of misogynistic behaviour in American gangster culture - one thinks of the grapefruit in the face in The Public Enemy, or Sinatra throwing a woman out of his hotel room and later commenting he didn't realise there was a pool below to break her fall, or the polluted womb in Pacino'sScarface... and of course, some gangsta rap is also sexist.  American culture has a difficult way with handling the combined aspects of male power, and male privilege, that, especially in heteronormative capitalist enclaves, where money/pussy both become grabbable, reified objects and objectives (The Wolf of Wall Street for instance), an ugly fus…


According to the latest CBS, ABC, etc, polls, Clinton is still likely to beat Trump - by percentile odds of 66% to 33% and change. But the current popular vote is much closer, probably tied with the error of margin, around 44% each. Trump has to win more key battleground states to win, and may not - but he is ahead in Florida...

We will all know, in a week, whether we live in a world gone madder, or just relatively mad.

While it seems likely calmer heads will prevail, the recent Brexit win shows that polls can mislead, especially when one of the options is considered a bit embarrassing, rude or even racist - and Trump qualifies for these, at least.

If 42-45% of Americans admit they would vote for Trump, what does that say about the ones not so vocal? For surely, they must be there, as well. Some of the undecided will slide, and more likely they will slide to the wilder and more exciting fringe candidate. As may the libertarians.

Eyewear predicts that Trump will just about manage to win th…


Announcing the Shortlist for the 2016 Sexton PrizeSeptember 13, 2016 / By Kelly Davio
Eyewear Publishing is pleased to announce the shortlist for the 2016 Sexton Prize. The finalists are, in no particular order, as follows:

HISTORY OF GONE, Lynn Schmeidler
SEVERE CLEAR, Maya Catherine Popa
SIT IN THE DARK WITH ME, Jesse Lee Kercheval

The shortlist was selected by Eyewear’s Director Todd Swift with Senior Editor Kelly Davio. Don Share of Poetry Magazine will select the winning manuscript, which will be released at the 2017 AWP conference in Washington, D.C. The winner will be announced in October. 
Congratulations to our finalists!