This 6th note was ignored by LBJ, but attacked by the Black Negroes and the FBI. One admits that a lot of it is lousy—I was having personal troubles at the time—but I still think it is lousy but good. The Bitch Goddess didn’t quite get into bed with me this round, but at least she didn’t get into bed with Bill Styron either, up in his plush Connecticut retreat. All the Bitch did was to blow in my ear—one of those mysterious, prepsychotic Jackie Kennedy whispers. My answer to the FBI would run this way: the existential orgasm would make atomic war and even atomic testing impossible. “Fall-out” is not an accidental coinage, but a revolutionary insight. Fallout is the orgasm itself, remember, Mr. Vice President.
The Black Negro attack on me and on the 6th note was naturally more interesting than the FBI assault. I said, in a hastily written reply, that I would take up the matter in a ten thousand word article as soon as. I got out from under pressure. But as a hint of my rebuttal, I quote from a previous “Little Cud” column of mine, written three years after Adverts. One said then, to repeat: “Send Lady Bird to New York and let her experience delinquency first hand before you stupidly decide to do away with delinquency altogether.” I airmailed this to Ethel Kennedy, but have not received a reply. The dear old mare was lying-in again and so my timing was off.
In my 4th note to LBJ one asked for a confrontation, that is, an invitation. I said I could turn that dog of a plurality in 1960 into a landslide in 1964. Existential politics—where are they to be found except in the iron championship eyebrows, the cement of a black fighter’s handshake? Still, I don’t think Liston is ready for the ticket yet; it takes him too long to write his speeches and the responsibility of the Presidency is terrific. But I do think, Lyndon B. Johnson, that the whole matter should be taken up. I myself will be available, just as soon as I get the novel I talked about in Adverts out of the way.
This article is available to subscribers only.
Please choose from one of the options below to access this article:
Purchase a print premium subscription (20 issues per year) and also receive online access to all all content on nybooks.com.
Purchase an Online Edition subscription and receive full access to all articles published by the Review since 1963.