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Thank You, Woody Allen


I’ve often thought about, growing up in the 70s, the sense of anticipation reading WFB’s column in my local paper. In those dark days his was the only voice of optimism I remembered. While the culture and many of my peers were trying to tell me that America was in decline, that the good times (aka “the 60s, man”) were over, that we had to get used to second class status as a nation and a people, I could always count on WFB to either argue that things were better than we thought, or if there was something wrong, we could do something about it. We did not have to be passive and accept the negative judgement or flawed reasoning of others; we could fight back. I discovered Firing Line by accident — it came on TV after something else I had been watching and I paused to listen to the theme music — then after an embarrassingly long time I figured out the  the man on TV and the man writing those great columns were the same guy! I found out about National Review like many people my age, from Annie Hall (“Why don’tcha get William F. Buckley to kill the spider?”). I loved getting the magazine in the mail, seeing what was in store that issue, especially in the pre-wired days when there was no way of knowing the contents in advance. It was a pre-packaged set of intellectual adventures with a wonderful puzzle in the back. I thought then that if I could ever write for William F. Buckley’s magazine, I would be as happy and proud as I could be. And in time I did, and I was, and I am.


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