One of my life’s great privileges is my long-standing friendship with the famed science fiction writer Barry N. Malzberg, with whom I have shared countless emails about Trump and Trumpism over the last five years. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Barry’s many books, stories, and essays, his world view is somewhat, well, dark. This morning’s message strikes a different note….elegiacal, even, dare I say it, a tiny bit optimistic.
“I don’t blog, I do not know how to blog, if I had a blog it would be for an audience of seven so it is to you I turn with a statement I really would like disseminated; would take it as a favor if you would put it in the air. Awoke remembering as I often do Jimmy Breslin’s column (must have been the POST, the Herald-Tribune was gone then) on the day after the day of Nixon’s “address to the nation” on the White House lawn before he boarded the helicopter. Breslin wrote of the vista on the eve of that resignation, he walked the streets surrounding the White House at midnight. Absolute quiet, serenity, a couple of stray police in front of the white House. Utter calm. Isn’t this a wonderful country? Breslin wrote. No mobs, no noise, no protests, no guns, no militia, no heaving turmoil, just a Summer night in the breeze. Historically and in many countries today (Eastern Europe, South America, Africa) the scene would be chaos but here nothing at all. The most powerful person in the world was going to leave ignominiously and quietly and life rolled on around him . It was a wonderful night to be a citizen of this country.
Breslin is dead, his daughter his dead, his wife is dead, Nixon is dead, everybody from that era except Kissinger is dead and I doubt that there is anyone who remembers that column. But I do. Maybe you could make reference.
Nixon accepted the situation with the gift of reason.
(This is ill-written but it is 6:30am and my own reason is tilted.)”