Nowhere is Buckley funnier than when he lampoons the dance between politicians and the press.
Every Sunday morning, John Banion runs the capital's most powerful elected officials through a brutalizing interrogation on his top-rated TV show, sponsored by a leading maker of electrocution chairs. citizenry alarmed about the possibility of invasion from outer space, and therefore happy to fund expansion of the military-aerospace complex."The project had started modestly by towing pie-shaped reflective disks around the desert sky, but "when the thrill of disabled vehicles and freaked-out pets wore off," MJ-12 had to start staging alien abductions. "For one thing, it meant finding dwarfs with security clearance.
Senators and presidents sweat under Banion's owlish gaze, but "in a medium glutted with sound bites, people were happy to come on and have 20 minutes of national TV exposure all to themselves, even if Banion sometimes extracted an admission price of flaying them alive, on air."Far from Banion's rarefied world, Nathan Scrubbs is "waiting for his computer to advise him that somewhere in Indiana another housewife had been abducted and sexually probed by aliens in a flying saucer."Poor Scrubbs works for a supersecret government organization called MJ-12. For this reason, aliens have gotten considerably bigger over the years."In a moment of recklessness, Scrubbs decides to defend the nation's new space station by converting its most vociferous critic: John Banion.
I concluded gravely, "The trustees will be meeting soon to discuss your employment status."Kids: Don't try this at home.
My friend swallowed it hook, line, and sinker - and then swam off in a rage toward the chairman's office.
Years ago, a friend of mine and I taught at a conservative private college in the Midwest.
One semester, he hung a series of his quiet, muted paintings of the Maine coast in the school lobby. Using office stationary, I wrote him a letter - from the chairman of the college - complaining about the shockingly pornographic nature of his paintings.
About book: My review published in the San Francisco Chronicle in 1999: LITTLE GREEN MENBy Christopher Buckley Random House; 300 pages; .95 Anyone who has ever stared in horror at one of the arrogant, priggish stars of a Sunday morning pundit show and wished upon said star a nice, long proctological consultation should get a kick out of Christopher Buckley's latest comic novel.
The priggish Sunday talk-show host in question, whom Buckley calls John O.
Buckley calls himself a novelist, not just a magazine editor with a cool hobby, which means he has a certain responsibility to his craft.
No form of writing is more demanding than the comic novel; it takes more work, not less.
The opening scene, in which the president of the United States shows up at the ``Sunday'' studio for a rude, badgering, real-time interview with Banion, tips us off that Buckley is taking us to a never-never version of Washington.