Monday, March 11, 2013

- William F. Buckley On A Harley

If you aren't already scouring the web for every word that Kevin Williamson writes then you're cheating yourself. His shopping list has more intellectual weight than anything ever published on the Huffington Post. And if you get a look at him in person or on TV, this is unexpected.

What you see when you look at him is a west Texas wild man transplanted to the lower east side - his cowboy boots offsetting his fashion forward attire. But get beyond the book's cover and what you get is one of the most carefully cerebral writers in America. Imagine William F. Buckley with a shaved head and goatee, careening over craterous FDR drive potholes while fearlessly standing on the seat of his Harley at about twice the speed limit, all with a giddy grin on his face. That's Kevin.

To call him unconventional is in some respects an understatement. But that isn't to say that his ideas are so far out there as to seem crazy - quite the contrary. He manages to present a unique view of American culture that is based entirely on the truth, but is still considerably more than a carbon copy of what the rest of the right is saying. That's harder than it looks. The left has it's unicorn farmers, and the right has a group of people who say little but to criticize unicorn farmers. Kevin instead talks about how eating a regular diet of Unicorn Creole increases testosterone production, and ponders what shot size St. Augustine would use if he were wingshooting unicorns. He deeply offends all the right people.

Take this example. Lots of people talk about how the occupy movement was driven by a fantasy of a corporate jackboots being held back only by the fairness monitors of an all powerful and universally benevolent state. Kevin not only identifies the specific fantasy and it's literary sources, he also enumerates it's many factual errors:

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? was set in 1992, Blade Runner in 2019, yet here we are, well into the 21st century, and there is still no colossal Tyrel Corporation bestriding the globe, and nothing like the corporate sovereignties of Jennifer Government. As myth, the corporate dystopia remains undiminished in its power. But the function of myths is to illuminate reality, and the reality is that there is no Tyrel Corporation today, and none on the horizon. If you want to know what the corporation of tomorrow looks like, don’t think Cyberdyne — think Groupon.

You would not know it from reading fiction, speaking with Occupy types, or listening to the speeches at the Democratic National Convention, but the corporation as we know it is in decline: The average size of a corporation as measured by personnel has been diminishing since 1975. In 1955 the largest U.S. company, General Motors, employed 576,000 people out of a U.S. population of 166 million; today Exxon Mobil, the largest U.S. company, employs only 82,000 people. Microsoft employs fewer than 100,000 people worldwide; Google employs about 54,000, and Facebook fewer than 6,000.

No one calls Kevin stupid - at least not without running the risk of open ridicule. He's smart. Very smart. Smarter than almost everyone. And it's obvious at a great altitude. Whats more, New York is a city that lines up for smart people in the same way that Los Angeles worships the good looking. So Kevin has a very bright future - almost whether he likes it or not.

He's got a book coming out soon. The title is "The End Is Near and It's Going to Be Awesome"

If he says so, then I'm sure it is.

1 comment:

frithguild said...

He forgot the Umbrella Corporation