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« And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge! | Main | How long, O Lord, how long? »


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Shakespeare's Sister

This fact about straights probably confuses the hell out of gays who have found themselves in loved and loved back by people who have no desire to go to bed with them.

Blink. Blink.

Why would gay people, who do the same thing (My name is Shakespeare's Sister, and I am a fag magnet - and happily so, I might add!) be confused by that?


What a splendid, complex post!
First, some of my oldest friends are guys I truly love (and feel loved by), but entirely fraternally; if there was ever an erotic component in our attraction to one another, it was by unspoken mutual agreement a taboo, just as impossible as fucking a brother. These men have stood by me through the whole coming-out odyssey and it makes no difference now (except for a bit more frankness!).
Second, the Kennedy Machine experience is the defining difference between him and Nixon, I think. You had to grow up in Daley the 1st's Chicago to see the last gasp of that political tradition (not that it didn't leave ghosts...), but Nixon came out of something entirely different. From my sketchy knowledge of West Coast urban politics, what machines there were were broken a long time ago - I don't think any of the major cities there have strong-mayor systems, and, god, LA has a miniscule City Council for a town that size. What you got instead was oligarchies, and they tended conservative. Nixon comes out of that.
I'm grasping here - help me out, Ezra!
Last, Merchant is giving you juice, Lance! So cool! I'll address that separately at the other post, but - whoa - I hope you get to see Pacino's riff on Richard III - "Looking for Richard" - it's wonderful.


O - and to Shakes's Sis - Fag Mag, eh? Who woulda thunk? :-))

The Heretik

This is why though his campaigning style looks corrupt to us, Kennedy himself doesn't. Because he wasn't. It didn't touch him. And when he became President he left it behind.

Hmm. Sounds suspiciously of the Jesuit in the world, not of it world view, LM. Whether this is possible, I will leave to lawyers and philosophers to determine.

I am uncertain what might be worse: to be divorced from one's circumstances and what brings one success, or to be entirely of a corrupt world without shame. How the followers respond to leaders of either sort is the beginning of myth and the end of tragedy.

Exiled in NJ

Besides Daley in Chicago, there was Bill Green and his money man, Matt McCloskey, in Philly. They carried PA for Jack. Walter Annenberg hated them for it. McCloskey ended on his S... list; his photo could not appear in Sir Walter's paper. The story was told that on a July 4th, Kennedy came to Independence Hall to give a speech and as he was shaking hands, Matt popped his head into the popping flashbulbs, reportedly saying, 'now let that SOB keep me out of his paper.' The next day the photos appeared, with a gray blotch of airbrush where the contractor has stood.

We 18-20 year olds could not wait for Ike to go in 1960; he seemed to be doing nothing. We couldn't vote but we wanted John and Jackie, not Dick and Pat. Good god, that man inspired my friend Crazy Frank to walk from suburban Philly to Washington one March weekend in 1963. Vinny and I joined him in Baltimore; the two of us made it to College Park and then took the bus. Maybe Vinny is a Repug now; maybe he's dead. Who knows? Crazy Frank owns a saloon.

What died with Nixon and Kennedy was comity and a certain respect for process. For all his ugliness, Nixon did resign. Can you imagine what would happen if Junior were impeached? We would probably have a coup.


What makes you write JFK was careless about his security?



JFK had the Clintonesque habit of plunging into crowds. Drove the Secret Service nuts. He routinely over-ruled their plans for protecting him in public. And that day in Dallas they wanted to put the bullet-proof bubbletop on the car and he said no way, no how.

He also used to talk about the possibility that he would be assassinated---we now know that he was thinking that Castro would try to take revenge as well as just being the victim of a nutcase. I think he believed it was a real possibility and yet he didn't do anything special to prevent it from happening.

Erik Loomis

I wonder if there will ever be a really good and complete biography of Nixon in less than 500 pages. He's so complex he makes Lyndon Johnson look like Calvin Coolidge by comparison. What a strange strange man.

Anne Laurie

The other Kennedy/Nixon trope is the ongoing, all-American contest between "the aristocrats" and "the common men". American presidents going back to Adams and Jefferson have swung between these nodes, even when the truths of their personal histories had nothing to do with their presidential bios. Adams was labelled as the classic "I deserve to be president because I'm smarter & better than you voters" aristo, even though he was very much a self-made man. Jefferson was "the Man of the People", even though he came from old money (all of which, and more, he managed to pour down the rathole of his endless intellectual whimsies). Kennedy was a second-generation Irish ward rat running as an old-money intellectual; Nixon was an old-family Quaker running as California's man of the people. They could respect each other, at least in their Congressional days, because they both knew the difference between their complicated individual truths and the one-dimensional circus posters of their virtues as touted to the voters. The current occupant of the Oval Office, on the other hand, actually seems to BELIEVE that he's a horny-handed, hard-working son of the middle class (and not just the perfect example of the old Irish proverb, "Shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations"). If nothing is more fatal to an actor than believing one's own publicity, you'd think this particular bad actor would have fallen out of favor by now.

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