14 December 2009

Buckley on Heller

Christopher Buckley, in yesterday's NY Times, on the anniversary of the death of his good friend, author Joseph Heller:
The death of any friend leaves a hole. In this case, a succession of holes, for I’ve often found myself wondering over the last 10 years, “What would Joe have made of this?” Having died just before the start of a tumultuous — to say the least — decade, the author of a landmark 20th-century satire missed, or perhaps another way to put it, avoided:

• the Florida recount

• 9/11

• weapons of mass destruction

• Saddam Hussein’s hanging, available on cellphone and YouTube

• Dick Cheney shooting his lawyer

• Hurricane Katrina

• John Kerry, war hero, being depicted as a Swift-boating wimp

• Lady Gaga

• A.I.G. bonuses

• Bernard Madoff

• the election of Barack Obama

• Glenn Beck

• the “controversy” over Barack Obama’s birth certificate

• Sarah Palin, best-selling author.
Heller's "Catch-22" is next on my list of never-read-classics. I have been meaning to pick it up ever since reading "No Laughing Matter," his memoir about battling Guillain-Barré syndrome, in 1987.

That one, I recommend highly.