July 03, 2008

They Don't Make 'Em Like X Anymore

"They don't make 'em like Tim anymore. He was a product of a specific time and place and milieu." -paraphrase of Pat Buchanan speaking of the late Tim Russert on MSNBC

"The sobering irony is this: we, the second generation, have not been able to pass down the special quality of this inheritance to our children, the third generation; and it will not be repeated, ever." - Reid Buckley
Reid Buckley (William F.'s brother) has a book about his family, primarily concerning his mother & father. It's something that wouldn't have interested me much ten years ago, back when I thought brilliance was independent of family or society. I fear my attitude then was unconsciously something along the lines of: Bill Buckley was the shooting star; why read about the non-stars? (Though in his book Reid claims none of the children have quite lived up to William F. Buckley Sr.'s example.)

My then (very American) attitude of seeing anyone as capable of everything has changed such that now I have to guard against a creeping determinism, as if we're only a product of our family and society. Reid Buckley writes, "What we think, feel, do lasts for all time, is genetically and experientially continued in our children, even though our children may have no knowledge of us."

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