Monday, November 17, 2008


Art and life -- both versions converge next month. For an 88 minute edited version of the original 28.5 hour 1977 interview sessions with David Frost and Tricky Dick Nixon, check out Frost/Nixon ("The Original Watergate Interviews") on December 2, 2008.

Whenever I teach US history, there are always students who respond to the Watergate affair with fascination and amazement. It's inherently gripping stuff. Rediscovered by each new generation, the tale will not die on the vine.

Ron Howard's Frost/Nixon, based on Peter Morgan's play, is set for limited US release on December 5, 2008. Carried over from the London theatre production, it stars Frank Langella as Nixon and Michael Sheen as Frost.

Frank Langella is a groovy guy. He started out in Diary of a Mad Housewife (1970) as the awful playwright George Prager, so it's not a big stretch for him to play the awful American president Richard Nixon. Specializing in villainy, he's also portrayed Count Dracula.

P.S. Diary of a Mad Housewife should be released on DVD or some other digital format.

Finally: I had a Nixonian boss. He was terrible at small talk but obsessively good at micromanagement, petty scheming and hubris. While in power, he had sycophants who should now be hung upside down, like Mussolini, from meathooks. I was glad to be rid of him, and certainly shed no tears when Nixon died, either.

From the late great Hunter S. Thompson:

Richard Nixon has never been one of my favorite people anyway. For years I've regarded his existence as a monument to all the rancid genes and broken chromosomes that corrupt the possibilities of the American Dream; he was a foul caricature of himself, a man with no soul, no inner convictions, with the integrity of a hyena and the style of a poison toad. The Nixon I remembered was absolutely humorless; I couldn't imagine him laughing at anything except maybe a paraplegic who wanted to vote Democratic but couldn't quite reach the lever on the voting machine.

Today's Rune: Protection.


Charles Gramlich said...

So how did old Hunter really feel about Nixon?

That was about my evaluation of the man as well.

JR's Thumbprints said...

Nowadays, when I think of Nixon, I think of China.

the walking man said...

i always thought that Nixon going down as he did was karmic. Being old Joe McCarthy's side man had it's perks and pitfalls.

I saw Frost with Jon Stewart...I wonder how anyone could talk to such a dullard as Nixon for near 30 hours.