Churchill fought and lost many a battle. He fought tyranny and he won. THE GENIUS OF CHURCHILL, William Buckley said, ‘was his union of affinities of the heart and of the mind. The total fusion of animal and spiritual energy.’” —RML
Cole Porter and a Vanished Culture: Brewster and Mussolini
Downloading a Cole Porter classic, “You’re the Top,” to Spotify, I realized how much the lyrics have changed. Some verses were altered, others just dropped, because they’d only baffle people. Take for example my favorite—a verse now extinct, because it’s well-nigh unrecognizable:
You’re the top! You’re a Ritz hot toddy.
You ‘re the top! You’re a Brewster body.
You’re the boats that glide on the sleepy Zuider Zee,
You ‘re a Nathan Panning, You’re Bishop Manning, You’re broccoli!
This essay on William F. Buckley Jr. was published shortly after his death. In the 2020 controversy over giving political partisans the Presidential Medal of Freedom (*PMF), I update and reprint it with an addendum.
Reader question: “In Right Time, Right Place, his book about his life working with Wiliiam F. Buckley, Jr. at National Review, Richard Brookhiser aserts that WFB disliked Sir Winston. I queried Brookhiser who replied: “WFB’s obituary for Churchill in NR was notably grudging, and reflected I think his youthful America First convictions.” As these two men are my only heroes, I was disappointed to see such an assertion from someone who apparently knew Buckley very well.…
Britain has left the European Union. “It was a transcendental night,” Andrew Roberts writes of January 31st. Read his excellent piece on Brexit and the UK’s regained sovereignty in the Daily Telegraph: “Britain has become an adult once again, taking ultimate responsibility for our own choices and actions. [It] has boldly stepped out on its own, taking a risk, certainly. But then which great historic national action has not involved some element of risk?…
By stating that no foreign law shall henceforth have jurisdiction over British law, we have thrown away the jurisprudence comfort blanket and become an adult, taking ultimate responsibility for our own choices and actions again….…