Kennedy and Nixon together again

     The 8-part miniseries “The Kennedys” wrapped up on Reelz Channel on Sunday. (Yes, Virginia, there is a Reelz Channel.)

The series had a difficult time finding a network. Must have been protests by The Surviving Kennedys. (Note: Good title for the next mini-series in the continuing saga of “America’s Royal Family.)

There was nothing controverial about the series. And not much new was learned about what we haven’t already been deluged with before.

And it couldn’t be because people don’t want to see another series about the Kennedys. Because we always do.

Even though we know how their stories end, we can’t turn away.

It’s Shakespearean.

Wealth, power, sex, glamour,tragedy and redemption.

There could never be enough of JFK as a central figure in stories based on fact or fiction. Even fantasy:

[Fade in]
       Somewhere in the afterlife, JFK is in a heavenly furnished Oval Office. He has just finished watching the minseries with his old nemesis, Richard Nixon. JFK enjoyed every minute of the TV movie event. The same, of course, can not be said of Nixon.

JFK: That was some darn good TV. That Katie Holmes was a dead ringer for Jackie.

Nixon: At least they got your old man right, that S.O.B. He did whatever it took to get you elected.

JFK: C’mon, Richard, you’re not still holding a grudge after all these years. You just sat through 8 hours on the life of your arch rivals.

Nixon: I’ve got one word for you: Penance.

JFK: Oh.

Nixon: But you wouldn’t know much about that. Not you. Even up here you’re getting all the attention.

JFK: Well, we’re both in the Oval Office.

Nixon: Right. Just so happens my last words were “I’ll never be caught dead in this place again.”

JFK: Why so down? It was only a TV show. I liked the movie that was made about you.

Nixon: Oh ya. The guy they cast to play me was the same guy who played Hannibal Lecter.

JFK: Still and all, you did a fine job as president.

Nixon: You’re not just saying that to make me feel better?

JFK: There’s, ah, no lying in Heaven, Richard. You certainly did a good job cleaning up that fiasco of Lyndon’s over there in Vietnam. Lyndon, what a putz. Bobby was right about him all along. But that war finally got you elected president.

Nixon: Not the second time, Jack.

JFK: Touche. But I wouldn’t have waited that long to pull out.

Nixon: Really? I heard you never liked to pull out of anything too early.

JFK: To put it another way, there wasn’t going to be any escalation in my second term. Didn’t you see that Oliver Stone movie about me? That’s why I was assassinated.

Nixon: Really. Only because of that.

JFK: There was a lot of speculation surrounding my assassination. Who do you think did me in?

Nixon: No offense, Jack, but you could round up a lot of the usual suspects.

JFK: I’ve heard all of the conspiracy theories: The FBI, the CIA, Castro, the Mafia, the Southern Baptists. Heck, even ol’ Lyndon. What did you make of the Warren Report?

Nixon: Best fiction since Dickens. I always wanted to ask you, who do you think did you in?

JFK: The Vatican.

Nixon: Oh for God’s sake!

JFK: They got wind that I was going to convert to Judaism in my second term. I was the first Roman Catholic president, so why not be the first converted Jew? You heard the phrase “it’s enough to piss off the pope.” Well…

Nixon: You really were going to become a Jew? [expleteive deleted] Jack, you really did have a death wish.

JFK: I don’t know who did me in. I’ll be damned if I’ll ask the Almighty. But America did go nutsy-Fagen after my assassination: Civil unrest, rampant drug-use, promiscuity, anti-war protests, mistrust in political leaders, The Beatles. My murder shook up the cosmos. It changed the world. Some might argue for the better.

Nixon: But it took my resignation to get the country back on the up and up. Sometimes it seems like my not leading the country did more for the country.

JFK: Tell me about it.

Nixon: Still, Jack, you’re a martyr. I’ll always be the schmuck with the 5 o’clock shadow who lost the debates to you.

JFK: Don’t cut yourself short, Dick. You fared well in your missions to Russia and Chiner. Coincidence it was in an election year.

Nixon: Tricky Dicky! But you could do no wrong. The press thought you walked on water.

JFK: They did live vicariously through me. They’re nothing but a pack of rabid hyenas who would eat their young if it meant a Pulitzer. Or I suppose these days you would say to get their own cable TV news shows. Doesn’t matter, none of them get into Heaven.

Nixon: Thank the Lord. I thought once I got here I’d find out you’re a saint.

JFK: Not bloody likely. [feels the back of his head after saying that] There are many of us up here on a pass. God only knows we’re no angels.

Nixon: My mother is a saint….

JFK: You know, Richard, that old Irish proverb proved to be prophetic in our case.

Nixon: Which one’s that, Jack?

JFK: “May you be in Heaven a half an hour before the devil knows you’re dead….”

Nixon: Amen….

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