Deep Throat

Most people don't remember what it was like to have a liar in the White House. I was a little kid when Nixon went on t.v. and lied about his dog Checkers, I was too young to understand what he was lying about, but I saw it on his face when he debated Kennedy. Of course I was too young too understand what the hell the fuss was about, but later, when I got to know Nixon, I could see in those debates the face of a liar. It's something you can sense, like the hairs going up on the back of your neck. So now we have the outing of the most famous deep background source in the history of modern journalism. Like having a guy in Pontius Pilate's suite, willing to spill the beans. What was his motivation? Well the articles make it seem like he was proud of the FBI and extra proud of Hoover who he went to personally to beg for a better position in the agency. Question is, was Hoover wearing pumps and a dress when he went to him? I mean, here's another first class creep, Hoover, the man in drag who is out there hunting down Martin Luther King, trying to smear him so he'd have power over him.. Certainly there's a motivation in there somewhere for Deep Throat to go after Nixon - but who'll ever know? It's not like Deep Throat at the age of 91 can sit down and remember his thoughts on the matter. But back to Nixon - Larry King was replaying some of Nixon's tapes - and we hear him saying "It's a Jew thing, right? I mean is the guy a Jew or not? It must be a Jew thing." and "I can't believe Hoover put a ****ing Jew in there!" even though Deep Throat was Irish. Oy vey. God bless the Presidency. A paranoid creep of the first order. And Pat Buchanan and Gordon Liddy being trooped out to sneer thatDT did a disservice to his country.. hmm.. so the creepy bigot could stay in the White House? There was a poll today that said the majority of young people think DT should have kept it to himself. Well I was alive when Nixon sent people off to die in Vietnam for no reason.. When our country hunted down and napalmed thousands, hundreds of thousands of innocent people who were in the midst of their own Civil War. If anyone bothered to notice, Bob MacNamara, the man behind the logic of the Vietnam War, has come out publically and admitted he, and the entire country, made a mistake. If he'd realized that Vietnam was fighting their own Civil War, and now the Cold War as was thought, we'd never have gone there. I was alive when Nixon used the office to hunt down and hound private citizens using the CIA, and the IRS.

I'll tell ya, I get the same creepy feeling when I see the four horsemen of the Apocalypse on t.v. - Dick Cheney calling Amnesty International offensive, he's got to be the most offensive VP we've ever had, George Bush talking about "dis-assembling," that it's the terrorists who are claiming abuse, when the FBI and the Red Cross have already gone on record saying the same things Amnesty Intl said about Guantanamo - and today it comes out that US soldiers "kicked the Quran" ("Hey Billy, let's go play kick the Quran, instead of Kick the Can" - and threw balloons filled with piss at the detainees, sometimes drenching them and their Quran's with pee. You've got to be kidding me. Balloons filled with piss? this is how we extract information for detainees? Has anyone in the military actually read "The Art of War?" It repeatedly says that the captured soldier is the only conduit to information and they should be 'treated better than your own soldiers' to obtain information. Then there's Don Rumsfeld on t.v. saying that the offenses he authorized at Abu Grhaib and I"m sure in every other detention center.. we're inconsequential, miniscule in the overall scheme of things.. Scheme is the right word. So what's a little torture, when the biggest lie in our lifetime has been swept under the rug in the name of patriotism, or the patriot act? Wolfowitz was the fourth horseman, but fortunately he's been put out to pasture. Ten years from now, when the country swings back the other way - kicking out the old and restarting the new (and then will swing back again the other way, if you're a student of history) people will look back on our era and wonder why the Prez wasn't chased out of office like Nixon for his lies. The answer is; because there is no Deep Throat out there. No one who will sneak around in dark corners and blow the whistle on the creeps that are running the store. Oh, and just to put it in perspective, a few days after I wrote a letter that was published in a national newspaper critical of the Bush administration I was hit with a tax audit. Who says the times have changed?


Always Connect

Always connect...

Ishmael Merchant died this week. He was 68. They say he died from a 'burst ulcer' - didn't know that you could die from that. They packed him up in a box and flew him back to Mumbai, where he was from. They said his box went to the house of a friend. Well, Ishmael was gay - I hope it went to the house of his best friend or lover, or whatever. But of course that's not in the article. Not that it should be - just noting the non mention - and that whenever you read the paper, if you read between the lines, you always get a bit closer to the truth. Truth is I met him once - at a dinner in Cannes, one of those fabulous affairs, where everyone is dressed to the nines and a waiter walks around with free champagne and cocktail treats until they seat you at a big table. Somehow I was at his table - he was wearing a big white caftan kind of thing - well there's an Indian name for it - maybe it was a white sari - and he was sitting next to some princess type - older woman, royalty blah blah blah. And I started chatting with him, not about movies, but about how unusual the Cannes experience is - because of time and place you wind up meeting people you never thought you'd meet, having conversations you never thought you'd have.. And he looked over at me, smiled and said "Always connect." I've thought about that since then - when I"m tired, trapped in some airport somewhere, waiting for my starbucks - impatient, in a bad mood, cranky, ready to take someone's head off for an incompetent move that cannot be tolerated at any.. and I stop and hear his voice and say outloud; 'How ya doin'? ' Of course since I'm from chicago, i can be forgiven for doing what all chicagoans do everywhere on the planet - 'how ya doin' is a universal greeting in chicago, usually followed by 'what high school did you go to?' friendliness for the sake of a laugh - finding some way to break the ice that surrounds us every day when we're out in the world. Or "what's up on your side of the counter today?" and you hear all kinds of tales.. I love to collect stories from people, they go into my work sometimes, and other times, I can see people lighten up physically just because I've taken the time to ask how they're doing. Or phone operators, who are bored out their minds - i'll ask "so where are you located now?" sometimes it's in colorado - atlanta, canada, even india... but just by taking that extra time to connect - 9 out of 10 times the transaction goes that much quicker, the outcome is that much more favorable, and the memory is that much happier. So, I salute you Mr. Merchant, and in your next life whatever it may be; may you always connect.

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