jswami on February 29, 2008 – 4:45am.
Mr. William F. Buckley, Jr., the politically conservative founder of the magazine National Review, an opinionated intellectual whose views I have sometimes agreed with, sometimes disagreed with, and often not known or cared about but whose skill as a writer I have often admired, died on Wednesday at 82.
Among his other roles, for thirty-three years he served as host and combatant on “Firing Line,” a television program of highbrow discussion and debate.
An article today in The New York Times about Mr. Buckley and his program relates an anecdote told by Richard Brookhiser, a conservative writer and a frequent guest on the program:
And there was the time that Allen Ginsberg asked Mr. Buckley’s permission, in the middle of an episode, to sing a song in praise of Lord Krishna.
“That was a howl—sorry, sorry about the word choice,” Mr. Brookhiser said. “Bill was very gentle with him. He said of course.”
Mr. Ginsberg proceeded to play a long and doleful number on a harmonium, chanting along slowly and passionately, Mr. Brookhiser said. “And when he was finished, Bill said, ‘Well, that’s the most unharried Krishna I’ve ever heard.’ ”