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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1999 > Apr > Apr 24

Buckley Sighting Reported

From: Stig Agermose <stig.agermose@get2net.dk>
Date: Sat, 24 Apr 1999 05:09:51 GMT
Fwd Date: Sat, 24 Apr 1999 10:57:24 -0400
Subject: Buckley Sighting Reported

Source: The Chicago Sun-Times,




Buckley sighting reported

April 21, 1999


While Christopher Buckley calls himself a "UFO agnostic," the
author admits he is totally fascinated by the phenomenon of
extraterrestial life. "Simply because it is such a big thing in
this country," he says. "It's huge." Buckley, who has snared
both critical and popular acclaim over the past half-dozen
years--thanks to such satires as The White House Mess, Thank You
for Smoking and Wry Martinis--is calling from Minneapolis,
having just "survived one heck of a nasty traffic jam."

The subject at hand? Anything that strikes his fancy. First up,
of course, is his latest book--Little Green Men (Random House,
$24.95). Combine that title with the author's delayed call (due
to that traffic snafu) and one wonders if there was any
interference from, well, little green men.

A gentle teasing about being temporarily abducted by aliens revs
up Buckley's razor-sharp wit.

"No. Actually, I was in the middle of a very enjoyable probe,"
he said, making a not-so-subtle reference to the physical
examination of "alien" abductees in Little Green Men. "But being
the professional I am, I looked at my watch--which, of course,
had stopped--giving me my first clue, and made me realize I was
late for our chat." Chatting is clearly an avocation Buckley
enjoys. Of course, being the only son of conservative icon and
political pundit William F. Buckley Jr., he is presumed to have
discovered the art of lively and engaging conversation at an
early age.

Conversation is easy. Buckley loves to jump around, but his
range of topics always seems to tie together in a flow of
language that makes the listener laugh often, imagine easily and
stop and think about serious implications now and then, too.

First of all, Buckley explains the sheer magnitude of "the
belief system we've created" regarding UFO phenomenon made it a
subject he couldn't wait to tackle. "After all, think about it.
The 50th anniversary of [alleged UFO sightings in Roswell, N.M.]
made the cover of Time ... " Throw in Buckley's penchant to
tweak the Washington Beltway establishment, and Little Green Men
was off and running.

The book juxtaposes the presumed behavior of aliens with D.C.'s
power pundits--satirically attesting to how much the two groups
have in common.

Underlying the whole story is the possibility that the entire
UFO thing is one big government hoax. Those inflated federal
defense budgets and "Star Wars" programs have to be justified
somehow in this post-Cold War world, don't they?

Once he knew he was going to write a book about aliens and media
decisionmakers, Buckley immediately knew the character around
whom he would spin his tale--a strait-laced Washington Sunday
morning talk show king dubbed John Oliver Banion.

"I just became obsessed with the idea of abducting George Will
and probing him," said Buckley. "I hasten to say, I'm a big fan
of his ... he has one of the finest minds working today, but as
a figure he does lend himself to a certain amount of

Yet even readers of Little Green Men not privy to Buckley's
revelation in this interview would likely catch the Will
influence on the Banion character.

"The key is that line [early in the book] about Banion being
perpetually on the verge of smiling while never actually giving
into the impulse," said Buckley. "Doesn't that just tell you
it's George Will?"

Throughout the book, Buckley also uses a number of
footnotes--obviously designed for comic relief. Claudia Schiffer
is footnoted as "Highly desirable German model." Buckley
chuckles when he says, "It's maybe the only time she's been
footnoted in contemporary literature."

Asked whether he's also implying that Schiffer should only be a
footnote in our contemporary culture, Buckley laughs, but keeps

When it comes to his work ethic, the author sheepishly admits to
being more disciplined than he'd like one to think. "But I don't
know that I'd want to be a full-time novelist. It's kind of fun
to go from one job [as managing editor of Forbes' FYI magazine]
to the other. ... Frankly, it's prudent for most novelists to
have a day job."

Buckley pauses and then shares a thought about one of his
favorite authors, Honore de Balzac. "He used to make himself a
couple of pots of coffee and start writing at something like
midnight and write for 18 hours--until he was spent." Buckley
also likes to share a "great line Tom Wolfe had about [the
prolific] Balzac. ... Wolfe says, 'The reason he was able to
[produce so much] was that no time-saving devices existed' "

Buckley is a bit cynical when it comes to Hollywood.

"New Line owns [this book], they optioned it, but then they also
optioned the last one. Actually I have three of my books in
development. I've learned that is code for, 'Your book will
never become a movie.' "

For Little Green Men, Buckley does not mind fantasizing about
who he would like to see in the Banion role. "We'd need someone
like George [Will], only younger. I could see Tom Hanks doing
it, because I can see him play stuffy, but then losing it when
he thinks he's been abducted by aliens and surrounded by all
these loons.

"Of course, knowing how Hollywood works, you watch. I expect to
get a call one day when they tell me, 'We're so excited. We just
came from the casting meeting, and Chris Rock is really pumped
about the role.' "

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