When Writers Use Weapons Other Than Words

If you remember this moment…

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…then you will appreciate this piece, today:

For better or worse, no smashing occurred that night (though Norman Mailer would head-butt Vidal a mere three years later). But recalling the exchange made me wonder: What if writers were inclined to chastise one another physically? How would that affect today’s literary and journalistic landscape?

The idea of writers with deadly weapons is less farfetched than it sounds.

Read it all – a rather delightful piece on what happens when writers get their hands on weapons, beyond words.

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • kevin

    Not Buckley’s finest moment but inspiring nonetheless.

  • Greta

    I was just reading about the Southern Democrat Preston Brooks beat Senator Sumner almost to his death in the Senate Chamber with his heavy walking cane. The Senator was never the same after that beating. What had he done to provoke the attack. He gave a speech against slavery and made an interesting comparison. If one wanted to, one could easily attach the word abortion for slavery and it would apply to the same party.

    “Of course he has chosen a mistress to whom he has made his vows, and who, though ugly to others, is always lovely to him; though polluted in the sight of the world, is chaste in his sight. I mean the harlot Slavery.”

    In the two greatest evils in our countries history, slavery and all its baggage of KKK, lynching, and denial of human rights and in the holocasut of abortion, the parties align with good and evil the same way. If only we had the same determination in the Republican Party today to stand up and fight to end abortion as they did for freedom from slavery. We need speeches to open people eyes to abortion being every bit as evil as slavery and yes, I suspect it would cause some who support this evil to react in the same way as Preston Brooks. Of course the media in many ways was also in the fight to end slavery, but the media today is in the tank for abortion which makes it harder. Unfortunately, so are some Catholics who are personally opposed, but want to keep the abortion mills humming churning out 4,000 dead babies a day. I have been following the missing baby Lisa Irwin in the news. It is amazing how much attention this story is getting for one baby who is 11 months old. If she were a year or so younger and back in her mothers womb, her mom could kill her and would not be in the news. One year difference in age and change in location and it is legal to kill the very same baby. Amazing how far we have come from sanity.

  • Greta

    One more thought. I am not a huge fan of listening to Buckley. I always found Friedman far easier to listen to and much more interested in getting the point across than trying to show how smart he was.

    In fact, with today’s topic, how about a short segment from Friedman being interviewed by the bash the rich Phil Donahue back in 1962.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWsx1X8PV_A

    There are several others on this same you tube page with Friedman and it will show why Milton will always be one of my favorites.

  • Jamie Irons

    It seems to me I recall this interchange as having happened in a debate at the Sterling Auditorium at Yale Law School when I was a sophomore at Yale.

    But my recollection may be wrong.

    I didn’t like Buckley at the time, but later came to revere him.

    Jamie Irons


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