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April 19, 2011

Timely book plug: "Boomsday" [Fritzworth]

Christopher Buckley (son of the late William F. Buckley) took heat (deserved, in my opinion, and particularly in retrospect) for swooning over Barack Obama in the 2008 election cycle. You have to wonder how he feels now, given President Feckless's wrecking of the economy and the federal budget and his persistent unseriousness in dealing with massive and ever-growing deficits. (On the other hand, this post by Ace post-SOTU last January suggests that Buckley's still snorting the Kool Aid uncut.)

You see, back in 2007, Buckley published one of his best and funniest novels, "Boomsday". While there are subplots aplenty, the core plot revolves around a growing revolt by younger Americans against the massive entitlement programs that retiring Baby Boomers are counting on and the resulting increasing tax burdens they (the younger generations) face. This leads to the introduction in Congress of draconian legislation to address the issue, legislation that is not taken seriously at first, then draws increasing attention and support, including from a presidential candidate. In the end [minor spoiler] the legislation is watered down and compromised to the point of having no real teeth [end spoiler].

Sound familiar?

Of course, since this is Christopher Buckley, the legislation in question is [minor spoiler] legislation allowing significant tax breaks and other financial incentives for retired Boomers who agree to voluntary assisted suicide by a given age [end spoiler] -- a 21st century equivalent of Swift's "A Modest Proposal". But, heck, is it that far of a step from bureaucratic rationing of life-prolonging procedures to rewarding people for voluntarily killing themselves? One could argue that the latter is less intrusive and more humane. And if Obama gets elected to a second term, well, all bets are off.

Finally, and contra Ace's comments in his post from January, I've found most of Buckley's novels entertaining and decidedly un-PC. His best is probably "Florence of Arabia", which is a hilarious and unflinching look at misogyny in Muslim culture. YMMV. ..fritz..


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posted by Open Blogger at 02:55 PM

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