Saturday, March 05, 2005

...good lord...

"In three decades of speculation about the identity of legendary Watergate source 'Deep Throat,' few prominent members of the Nixon administration swept up in the scandal have endorsed a likely suspect. Even John Dean has hedged and offered multiple guesses. But now E&P has learned that former top Nixon aide, John Ehrlichman, who went to prison for his role in Watergate, felt strongly that he knew the identity of Deep Throat.

His candidate: Henry Kissinger.

This revelation comes from Walter Anderson, the chairman and CEO of Parade magazine and a close friend of the former Nixon aide, who died in 1999. Ehrlichman, Anderson said, identified Kissinger as Deep Throat in a conversation with him more than 20 years ago.

'He was absolutely convinced of it,' Anderson said, when asked by E&P to comment on the recent surge in speculation about the identity of Deep Throat. He added that Ehrlichman's view of Kissinger as Deep Throat has never surfaced before, as far he knows.

'Ehrlichman argued that Kissinger was high enough in the organization to have the information, and understand it, close enough to Nixon to know all the details,' Anderson said, 'and he was virtually untarnished by the Watergate scandal, particularly in the press.'" -journalist Greg Mitchell, Editor & Publisher, February 16, 2005

Well...shit. But it is worth noting that Kissinger, the stench trap I will smell for all eternity, doomed or no, is not the person you seek. No...Kissinger is a mere stock genius among swine and we are guaranteed to suffer these jackals again so long as vice and cruelty and their witless apostles trample and piss the Earth, and none of their stripe would (or will) ever rat nor fink on a crook like Nixon--and, I'll add, in the long haul Kissinger will look like the five-cent Satan ride before the doors to the big party came squealing open. Selah. I leave you to posterity.

But before we get to my posterity, as it were, I'd like to say that it is a very strange feeling to be a Dead American writer in this fresh century, looking at all this gibberish of mine that seems to belong so much to the last. Even Kissinger seems to belong to that Gone Century now--the stink is foul but quaint. There is a closing world up ahead without very much glimmer of me in it, either; I had hoped at least to leave a pining green light at the end of a distant dock. Right now I am staring at a fat red light on the wing of an iced-over 747, trapped in the Denver International Airport, and when I tire of musing on this last souvenir of Life on Earth I am still Free, as it were, to take in those big white barn tits DIA calls a roof, heaving-ho into the yonder. This, I suppose, is Death...(exactly as you had imagined it).

Before we get to Throat I will also mention that there is some kind of heavy connection between the keys on this machine and the words themselves--the high white sound is all in the speed-lashing, the banging, all things being wretched and alive, and I frankly don't give a fuck about that these days. I've grappled with these elegant mechanical beasts for the last time. I tend, more and more, to just sit back and think the words I if you are reading this...then on with the gameplan...

And this is a grim thing to think: I feel now my words are essentially complete. They've run off without me somewhere and don't want me ghosting around the exits anymore. I know in my heart the maniacal little fixers only ever wanted to scrape me open and screw the gristle into ever more freaky shapes, all for the sake of the Work. Who can argue with a battle-plan like that? My words, after all, are Americans too--balls-out, vicious careerists to the foul bleating core. They wanted to Succeed so bad they whacked me to get us all on the cover of the New York Times (AP says Las Vegas is number 15 on this week and Vintage Books has a "significant" reprinting in the works...Ah, then Hallelujah! To Be an American Writer!) I suspect that Horatio Alger's words must have gotten to mine. Alger always knew how to sell and Americans can't resist a salesmen come to sell them themselves, especially when it's a babyfucker, of the Super Eagle Scout Variety. An honest thief will never do.

Lord! I tried, O Lord, to teach them better, like Jesus says: they are not of this World, just as I am not of this World. But I'm out (once this plane takes off--they tell me we are waiting on Gidget) and they're in for good, a fixed final part of the world that will never howl against it in rhythm with the newer, fouler plunders the Hearts of Evil have in store. I should have armed them somehow. I never thought it would be necessary...there was a time when it seemed rage would break like hard winter lightning over the mountains and a scouring rain would crack open the sky, to ruin the Minds of Fear, dissolve all the kin shrines of the rich and send them coursing like rivers into the flatlands...It was not hard to believe these things then, if you were young with eyes like two big fury wheels and a mind blown in all directions on the American Dream.

France was a land, England was a people, but America, still having about it that quality of the idea, was harder to utter--it was the graves at Shiloh and the tired, drawn, nervous faces of its great men, and the country boys dying in the Argonne for a phrase that was empty before their bodies withered. It was a willingness of the heart. -F. Scott Fitzgerald

Indeed. And it's that Quality of the Idea that will do us all in one day, and already has... Bush needs only to cackle "Freedom" and textbooks fly open coast-to-coast inside our wicked, gutless minds, right back to the page where George Washington frees the slaves and hustles them across the Potomac in a Thanksgiving gravy boat built by B. Ross, from a cherry tree. They get you with the Idea, and the Idea (like Journalism, as Oscar Wilde once said), reigns forever and ever...and woe betide the doomed fool who dares get in its way. Nixon was a fiend, a dupe and an evil swindler, but Reagan was the Idea--even I could never hate Reagan right, because he had been a sportswriter...and for all his savage and howling buggery he gave the people what they wanted most of all--more than Life, Liberty, or the pursuit of Happiness, or whatever it was Tip O'Neill thought they, Reagan, like Alger, knew that Americans will endorse any obscenity if it comes cloaked in a vision of themselves as they have never been. We are a nation of Gatsbys desperate to relive the past...only Gatsby actually fucked Miss Daisy a time or two, while Norman Rockwell was never anything more than a collective fever dream. No one loves Rockwell/Reagan's Shining City on a Hill more than the hate mongers and lynchers among us, those who clamor for death and weep with wonder as they suckle blood from the petrified tit of Innocent America. We are myth-mad, homesick vampires. And our heart's grown brutal from the fare.

Bush, of course, has none of Reagan's magnetic hokum...but he has Fear, and Fear needs the Idea to live. Backed against the wall a Good American (first cousin to the "Good German") will see Glory Stars and Sobbing Eagles popping like fizgigs on the air where any normal person--a Spaniard or a Bolivian, say--would see a firing squad...and Bush knows this, lives this, feasts on it. His America is Reagan's America without the phony hope...all cowering, all cringing, all bleating madness with only the Flag to protect us from the outside, menacing world. There is something of the Beast in the way his eyes glow with a dull light, as if the man has a Greyhound terminal inside him--then, as the subject turns to War...Torture...Murder...Terror...he leans forward and the eyes shock alive into twisted, ferocious glee. Bush's Dream is a fucking slit trench of a world and it is already halfway realized. But it could not happen without the Idea, the Dream that gets to us all so early. It is no easy thing to live in a country founded on a concept; because the concept was never realized, the nation is at the mercy of anyone who can hoist aloft an effigy...and what foul dust floats in the wake of our Dream? Iraq? Syria? Iran? We are junkies. There is no crime we will not consider to get a fix.

Cazart! I began writing all this with a point, I'm sure--something about Pat Buchanan and the Capitol Hill Hotel. But now we are ascending and I've got a plastic cup of the finest finger of Royal Salute $450 can buy. Below is Denver, dimming away, and the dark atlas of the plains, and somewhere is Lisl Auman in a cage for life for no reason but human stupidity...and who knows how many others, all the way back through history, rolling out in all directions across the dark republic in the night...

Take one last look at the prison yard, goodbye Prison Grove Shine on all these broken lives, shine on shine the light on me. -Warren Zevon

In prison, those things withheld from and denied to the prisoner become precisely what he wants most of all.-Eldridge Cleaver

The flood is coming, I'm telling you.-Deep Throat

As far as I know, Nixon never learned the identity of Deep Throat: at least there is nothing about it in this fine, sleek in-flight magazine they've brought around with the cigarettes and pillows. It's an over-saturated, perfume-brittle Condé Nast affair and as queer a piece of lit as any I've seen, clocking 900 pages and reading something like a cross between Soaps in Depth and The Big Book of Mormon Genealogy. Here we have Dead Alumni cross-listed by Nation, Century, Manner of Death, Hobbies, and Career...and a Feature on Bob Hope called "Toilet Trading Beyond the Mortal Coil." The most common career, as it were, seems to be "Whore" (though Nixon, robbed again, didn't make that list). Vince Lombardi is currently said to be busy with "rough wooings by mean-minded mechanical arms on loan from General Motors," though previously he was "naked and knee-deep in angry voles." They have already inked out a place for the Pope under the heading "Vicious Polaks" and a feature-peek into his future daily doings, returned to Earth, as a box of Trojan Enz. I am cross-listed under Hobbies: Peacocks alongside American Writer Flannery O'Connor and Hobbies: Football with Richard Milhous Nixon, 37th President of the United States, a fellow fan of Grantland Rice, a Quaker, and a jabbering, pigfucking crook--Nixon currently resides at Number One Observatory Circle as the pacemaker that is keeping Dick Cheney alive.



What about Eternal Damnation?

Well...what do I know about a thing like that? I have already suffered hell with that trench-faced maniac, and I am a better man for it. It was enough to see his presidency come splitting apart stitch-by-crooked stitch as he paced the beach at San Clemente, moaning and brooding on life's simultaneous screws...and yes, to have had a part in it, too. I almost killed the motherfucker in Manchester, New Hampshire, leaning over the fuel tank of his jet with a king-size Marlboro butt burning out of the side of my mouth--and who knows what manner of weird paradise might have flowered on the Earth if I had killed Richard Nixon in '68? Was Nixon merely a symptom? Would setting him off like a ten-ton water buffalo even begin to squelch the rot? We would not have experienced Watergate...and at the time, Watergate was a glorious thing to see; I believed, at one point, that Nixon would stand trial, not just for his cover-up but for his very existence as a political monster--because by that time there were no questions left to ask but how he ever became the president at all...So the real defendant of that trial would have been the American Political Machine itself, visible at last. Just as Nuremberg forced Germany to confront Volksgemeinschaft as nothing more than the obsequious smile of a corpse, the Trial of Richard M. Nixon would have exposed all the swine...sucking fat and afterings from their fingers at the devoured heart of the American Dream...

Ho ho. So now you see why I did what I did. It was not a hot blast of Nixon-hatred that blew me to Washington, but Divine Afflatus beat was the Death of the American Dream and seeing the whole jabbering whorehouse come down was to be a fine work of Art, far beyond Jay Gatz and his sundered longing at the edge of Long Island Sound. I can admit now, I guess, that Gatsby once gonged in my head night and day and I lashed away thousands of letters to publishers and Famous American Writers Everywhere declaring myself the fucking Coming of the New Star-Spanked Christ Child of Doomed American Prose, at the ready to write the next soon as they sent me cash. Jesus! It was all some maniac fury to make the whole doomsday mess clear, and people could see, as it were, "what was on the end of every fork."

I see that our friends at Condé Nast make no mention of this. Under my name the word "drugs" appears 14 times and we score the trifecta of "hippies," "counterculture," and "Doonesbury," all in one foul sentence. Who are these thugs? Does the Columbia Journalism Review know about this? Is that little bastard Marty Beckerman writing for the kingdom-come trades now? I was almost the Governor of Samoa! Good God! Jimmy Carter offered to drop out of the '76 presidential race for me! And again...what manner of weirdness would wander the Earth if I had run in '76 and Jimmy hadn't? Strange to think...If Reagan had won that year he likely would have smashed up against the same ugly rock as Carter, and maybe the wreckage would have befouled the Goldwater Revolution for good...

Jesus, here's a revolting thought: am I responsible for Bush?

Or is the whole shitrain of history just the Fates at Play?

Baseball is great because anything can happen through the ninth inning. -Richard Nixon addressing a White House reception of the players in the 1969 Baseball All-Star Game, July 22, 1969

Indeed...and just a week before the Watergate break-in Nixon was whistling a tune in the Oval Office, busy at work with David Eisenhower on a list of the greatest baseball players of all time...which he then had printed as a gold-embossed tract and shelved alongside his famous Enemies List (and the lesser-known List of the Ugliest Women in Key Biscayne). I had a sort of relationship with Nixon for many years, and his love of sports was as high-humping crazy as my own. I have always maintained that I enjoyed our ride together one midnight in New Hampshire in 1968; Pat Buchanan and Ray Price were sitting up front and it was just me and the Dingbat at the hindmost, talking football--it was, indeed, "probably one of the weirdest things I've ever done."...But the pilot has just announced that we're 30 miles outside of our is time now to admit that Dick and I never spoke about football that night: we talked about whores.

I was feeling a little paranoid and Nixon only exacerbated my gloom by waiting at least five minutes to speak. He was sweating so much I could smell the South Pacific on his collar.

"Hookers, Thompson," he said finally.

What? Good God! The bastard had lured me into some kind of brutal mano-a-mano McCarthy hearing! He was going to run down a list of treasons and then torch me and dump me in the woods! Terror fused my brain. I fumbled at the door handle. No! I thought. Fucking Christ!

"I'm under the impression you might know a little about that."

Jesus! What? It all made sense now: they'd seen my Levis and my ski jacket and singled me out as the kind of person who could summon hookers at all hours. "You crazy son of a bitch!" I answered. "Get your own goddamn hookers!"

Nixon laughed. "We're interested in a group of hookers connected to the DNC."

Indeed. And this is where Watergate began: a staffer at the DNC had been arranging slam-ups between Democratic kingpins and a parlor of whores operating out of the Columbia Plaza apartments. Even in 1968 Nixon was onto it, and he asked me for whatever information I had...which was nothing until I visited the Columbia Plaza a few weeks later with Buchanan, a group of visiting friends of Plimpton's from The Paris Review, a porcelain frog full of cocaine, two bags of grass, and sixty pellets of mescaline...And late into that godawful night, after over three hours of wrestling Buchanan off the ledge and into the bathtub, one of the girls came kabooming out of her room with eyes like Atomic Fireballs--she had the Fear so bad that her dentures hit the floor and I could see all four of her candy-flossed teeth bobbing on her gums...she was wailing about a pimp with corkscrew toenails and "a beard like God," who wore Kleenex tissues on his hands...

"And Mormons!" she shrieked. "He has Mormons! His fucking Mormons will get me with needles to kill the germs!"

"Howard Hughes?" I asked.

Ye Gods! Hughes was the dough behind the whole operation...and after Bobby Kennedy died Hughes snatched up one Lawrence O'Brien, gnat in the eye of Richard Nixon and future subject of a bungled burglary at the Watergate Hotel, to be his lobbyist and Grand Pimp of Columbia Plaza...meanwhile Hughes was busy greasing the other side, kiting mastodon-sized checks off to Nixon's sidecar Bebe Rebozo in Florida...and in return Nixon offered a monopoly on Las Vegas casinos to Hughes, scoffing off any whispers of "antitrust"...but Nixon was so crooked he narced even on himself, and for security he sent Plumbers out to fix O'Brien's phones (or as H.R. Haldeman said: "On matters pertaining to Hughes, Nixon sometimes seemed to lose touch with reality. His indirect association with this mystery man may have caused him, in his view, to lose two elections.")...Hughes was both funding the DNC and funding the slush CREEP used to weasel it...meanwhile pimp Phillip Bailley, of the Columbia Plaza Bailleys, was arrested for sexual pandering...and John Dean called the special prosecutor up for a debriefing and a look at Bailley's address books...

And who is in the address books? Besides the hookers?

Why, Mo Biner--John Dean's dearly betrothed.

Ah...but we will be landing soon...Do the details really matter? They were all thieves and evil swine. And I'm having a hard time remembering the specifics...they seem to be blearing and whipping away from me now. Outside the light on the wing is green and smearing out like weird honey on the bunching clouds that tremble and sing below, and I can just make out bright bits of Earth bathed in batches by the green...this is where my words are headed now at the speed of death, back to my crippled country...

And before I go I must say that it is no small thing to have a king like Muhammad Ali alive and hungry on the Earth in your lifetime. I have been thinking, these last few days, of Ali most of all...I don't know the exact mechanics by which a smash-up with a bullet fucks up your memory, but when I try now to see America I first see Ali. He was a souvenir of some other world, of This Nation Before the Fall...there was something gorgeous about him, some heightened sensitivity to the promises of life...and they wanted to fucking lock him up in the name of America.

America! Lord! I won't miss it for what it was: a fucking snakehouse where the crooks snatched up all the Beauty and garotted its aching joyful Throat before the song ever began. But I think I will miss what it was meant to be...

I tried to make it so. Watergate was my try. They will tell you it was Mark Felt, but they've never been anything but a pack of shiv-fisted liars anyway. I was Deep Throat, and Watergate was my Great Work. It is a testament to the pains and exactitude of Art that I only told Woodward the believable parts...Buchanan barely knew the extent of the thing, because Pat is fine and straight and the straight never know what's really happening. Not in Washington...Not in America. It takes a madman to burrow all the way down into its seedy heart.

My way of joking is to tell the truth. That's the funniest joke in the world. -Muhammad Ali

-Hunter the Headless Thompson Gunner (HST #3)


Blogger Johnny St. Clair said...




2:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fuck man, somebody has gone completely sideways. I can't fathom this. Too many holes, is this some twisted joke? What the fuck is the holdup? I NEED SOME ANSWERS IMMEDIATELY!

7:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A Stroke of Genius Lost

Today on my 8 year old company laptop that weighs in at a hefty 275, and has dimensions of 120" x 83" x 41" I found the beginnings of genius lost. The title: The Death of Moroningness OR How I Learned to Stop Loving My Country and Start Fearing Republicans. It was dated Nov 2, 2004.

I vaguely remember writing that, and I'm sure there was more. Unfortunatley after the landslide republican (in terms of wins if not actual votes) victory my laptop automatically deleted any controversial writings for reasons that remain unclear. I'm still looking into them.

But for whatever reason, the title is still there. And that, for now, is enough...

7:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i had a stroke of genius

i would sit on my right hand until it went numb and then i would beat off with it

it was fabulous...i called it the stranger

~ the flamingo

12:15 AM  

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