What I’m Watching: Best Of Enemies – Vidal vs. Buckley



I’ve always been a movie junkie. I attribute my transition from childhood’s “All movies are fun!” sentiments to actually, really deeply loving film and movies to my Dad who harbors a keen interest and love for the form himself. On more than one occasion he handed out reprieves from getting my homework done so we could watch something great on broadcast television like Mel Brooks’ The Twelve Chairs or John Sturges’ perfect and perfectly American The Great Escape.

While working in the studio either screenprinting, packing orders or just cleaning up and re-organizing I tend to gravitate to watching old TV shows and movies (when I’m not listening to music or podcasts). Of late, I’ve been on a documentary kick, and came across the epic, whip-smart, and incredibly energetic film Best Of Enemies, written & directed by Morgan Neville & Robert Gordon, about Gore Vidal & William F. Buckley’s intensely bitter relationship. And it’s this relationship’s enmity that brought them both to wider recognition and audiences around the world as both political commentators as well as leading critical thinkers (for good or for ill) around the world. In this current Presidential election cycle, this film couldn’t be more current, prescient and on-trend.

Enough said, luckily it’s available in at the film website here, as well as on iTunes, Netflix, & On Demand. Enjoy!


In the summer of 1968 television news changed forever. Dead last in the ratings, ABC hired two towering public intellectuals to debate each other during the Democratic and Republican national conventions. William F. Buckley Jr. was a leading light of the new conservative movement. A Democrat and cousin to Jackie Onassis, Gore Vidal was a leftist novelist and polemicist. Armed with deep-seated distrust and enmity, Vidal and Buckley believed each other’s political ideologies were dangerous for America. Like rounds in a heavyweight battle, they pummeled out policy and personal insult—their explosive exchanges devolving into vitriolic name-calling. Live and unscripted, they kept viewers riveted. Ratings for ABC News skyrocketed, and a new era in public discourse was born.


President George Washington; New art print released!

United States First President, General George Washington, 8 color screenprint

United States First President, General George Washington, 8 color screenprint

  Mr., General, President George Washington. He was a complicated man for exceptionally complicated times. Farmer, general, slave-owner, politician, surveyor, patriot, Mason, husband, stepfather, and the United States very first and formidable first President. A man who didn’t belong to a political party, nor believed in them. Kind of difficult to imagine these days, isn’t it? Unfortunately. 

Mr. Washington here is a new hand screenprinted art print, done for a print exchange and upcoming show at fellow printmaker Leia Bell’s gallery called Signed & Numbered Gallery in Salt Lake City Utah. The show is called “All The Presidents Men”, features 44 prints from 44 different artists (one for each US President, should you be keeping count. “All The Presidents’ Men” opens on Friday January 16th 2009 during the SLC Gallery Stroll and there will be another party to celebrate the actual inauguration of our 44th president on Tuesday January 20th 2009 from 1:00 until 7:00pm. 

My new print for this show & exchange is available now, and I have just a few since half of the run is part of the show and the print exchange with the other participating artists. Mr. President here is an 8-color hand screenprinted print with process Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black (CMYK) inks, with lots of overprints to make 8 magic colors out of just 4. Gotta love overprints in screenprinting! Edition of 100, with 47 going to the show and the print exchange, so I have just a few for sale. Size: 9.5w x 13h inches. Perfect for framing. Paper: acid-free & archival Cougar 100 lb White, cover weight. 

Growing up in Philadelphia, just a couple of blocks away from Independence Hall, The Liberty Bell and many other colonial landmarks that were a part of the making of the United States, I was quite excited to get the chance to do a portrait of our first President. Thank you Mr. Washington.

Chicago 10

Well, it’s a funny ol’ world and a funny time to be thinking about American politics. And not really so much “funny ha ha”. In a random  stroke of good timing I just finished watching the film Chicago Ten after hearing a piece about it on NPR’s All Things Considered a few weeks ago. It was so compelling just to listen to the bits played that I “Netflixed” the movie right away.

The movie is a documentary, but with an interesting mixture of animation and live action archival footage of the 1968 Democratic Convention protests, riots and defendents in the subsequent trial. The animation and related audio portions are based on the existing film and audio recordings of the trial itself as well as appearances by the Chicago 8 themselves, in a sort of rotoscoped look, which is quite cool. For a documentary nerd such as myself, it’s an added bonus that the dialogue in the animated portions of the film are directly taken from court records and other filmed materials.

Ultimately, like other documentaries about the turbulent late 1960s in the US, Chicago 10 reveals an intense period of change, conflict and eventually some resolution. Albeit at times, seemingly tenuous. “Netflix” it.

2 New Prints released

And ready to go home with you, captain!

They are both ‘of the season’, kinda. The first is my VOTE! print, all about our civic duty. Hang ’em where humans use their peepers for maximum effect. 2-colors, hand screenprinted by me and available at my website.




The second is my Monsters Need Love Too print. Featuring real live GIANT GOOGLY EYES! Just in time for Halloween and bittersweet romances. I sure hope that they can work it out by the big All Hallows Eve Dance. Hand screenprinted (by me! duh!) 2-color print, available over at my website. Or, you know, clicky on the image. Down there, below…jeeze Gramps.