This was the scene 40 years ago today:
The country was in chaos. This was a devastating speech, given by a man who had lost everything. And it was a very moving speech. I don’t know how anyone could watch it then and not cry, no matter how much they hated Richard Milhous Nixon and everything he stood for. He is the father of today’s dysfunctional Republican Party, and he showed you could win elections by cobbling together the racists of the old confederacy and the money men of the North and West.
Not to mention George McGovern was a completely incompetent candidate for the Democrats.
The overwhelmingly stupid thing about Watergate was that Nixon’s people never had to break into the Democratic headquarters in the complex to find out what McGovern was up to. The Democrats had totally blown themselves up in 1972 and there was no way in hell Nixon wasn’t going to win in a landslide.
But the thugs and criminals did their job, and the administration covered it up, and Nixon lied about it.
Want to know what’s more astounding about this? Nixon wasn’t impeached. He resigned before it happened. The last president who was impeached was Bill Clinton, and what he was impeached for, on a scale of impeachable offenses, didn’t even touch the top inch of the ice burg of corruption that was the centerpiece of the Nixon presidency.
Still, Nixon was the most fascinating president of my lifetime. I’ve read biographies and autobiographies about him, trying to make sense of how he got to this point in 1974. And at the end of it all, Nixon is immortalized in this song.
Even Richard Nixon has got soul.
If you are an average American, this is how your life is broken down into little boxes (of course, you can click to enlarge):
The sad part is I’m more than halfway through it and not so slowly moving from red to blue. How did that happen?
I’m reminded of a Tom Lehrer line: When Mozart was my age, he had been dead for 24 years.
“Who’s Tom Lehrer?” you ask. Yes, this is a true sign of age, because not only do millennials not know who he is, A lot of baby boomers are in the dark. Here you go:
I think he’s one of the great songwriters of the 20th century. If you get a chance, check out “Werhner von Braun” and “The Vatican Rag.”
Here’s what surprises me. Tom Lehrer is still alive! He’s 86 and living in New York CIty (where else?!). Of course, that means he’s running out of chart space.
Atrios (full of snark) describes this as:
The moment we all realized white people invented rap music.
I remember it as the moment a completely forgotten band from Boston was resurrected by Run DMC.
OK. It’s Robert Downey Jr. and Sting. Same thing. Great result.
Like, who knew he had that kind of range (other than the millions who listen to his records)?
We all know Mariah Carey can hit the high notes. Just listen to her sing “Emotions.”
I mean that’s one of those songs when you first heard it on the car radio, you pulled over and said, “What the hell was that ??!!?”
But, as the chart above shows, Axl has a wider range. Remember “Don’t Cry”?
He’s all over the place on that one. Yes, he goes nowhere near Mariah on the high notes, but then he’s the one who hits the lowest note.
He does Snoop Dogg:
And the Sugar Hill Gang:
And Marky Mark:
So how does he feel about this?
OK, so that’s French and this video is in German, but the point’s the same. A laughing cow is a jumping cow:
Just another example of animals fully aware of their surroundings. They’ve been cooped up in a barn forever, and they probably knew they were set for slaughter. (And animals are aware when they’re about to be turned into meat. Stand outside an abattoir sometime, and listen to the screams.)
This is like watching a prisoner being released into the world after being stuck forever in solitary confinement.
Or like Tommy when he gets his senses back: