Monday, August 09, 2004

Those good ole boys were drinkin'
Whiskey and rye...

Thirty years after Richard Milhous Nixon resigned the presidency, your blogstress found herself moved to a profound and wistful melancholy when the deep, manly tones of the Nixonian swan song came wafting through her radio last night as she rolled paint onto her living room walls.

It was a sound that transported her swiftly back to the day and place when she learned of the deal--the way the scent of a bar of Palmolive soap brings her back to her grandmother's pink-and-black tiled bathroom.

As the voice of the Great Disgraced began his farewell address, your Webwench could feel under her nails the yarn of the cherry-red wall-to-wall carpet of the family living room in Clark, New Jersey, where she sat on the floor in front of a dated, tube-set high-fi, breathless and bewildered at this latest turn of the national screw. Dressed for a date, her long hair, ends curled on hot rollers, artfully splayed across her shoulders, she found herself suddenly in no mood to go out.

Not that she was any fan of the Quaker from California--but the Nixon drama was one that crystalized the generational divide in her household, and there's nothing so awful as seeing the father figure crumble.

Last night, listening to Nixon's disembodied voice emanate from her boom box, your blogstess could not help but note that, despite its self-serving spin, Nixon's address spoke to some high-minded ideals that seem to matter no more in American politics--notably, world peace and constructive engagement with former enemies. (Not noted in the speech was the overthrow of Chilean President Salvador Allende, engineered by the Nixon regime, which resulted in the brutal murders of tens of thousands of ordinary people.)

For a moment, your cybertrix lost her will to be flippant, feeling only the weight and confusion of a terrible moment in a blood-soaked decade.

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