November 22nd, 1963
by Bodwyn Wook
The link below is to a retrospective of the life of President Kennedy from the pages of the New York Times; his murder still beguiles and fascinates, not least with implications inherent in it in all our grim hindsight, of the very beginning of the collapse of American power through all the decades since:
Wretchedly, much of the resulting and nonstop speculation since on the dark and inevitable ways of History is bound up in the popular mind with virtually endless fantasies of plot and connivance.
Unfortunately, the much of this untaught so-called “conspiracy theory” is flawed twice over:
Firstly, it attests mainly the terrified secret longing of the theorists, themselves, who painfully enough long for an exemption from the terrible unfolding of History and who do rather obviously hope ”underneath it all” that somewhere, anywhere, some individuals might just be so gifted and clever! They may imput “evil” to this, but also tacitly accept that any successful conspiracy means the longterm survival of at least SOME remnant of humanity.
“Jesus Christ, IF only somewhere, ANY God-damn place, there really ARE anyway SOME bastards who are AT LEAST that good!”
Secondly, because of the generally poor and declining nature of “education” throughout the North Atlantic world, most conspiracy-minded personalities simply have no basis in either mythical or any other literature, and so they CAN not have any actual psychological or moral grasp of the issues.
And yet it is this alone, a literary education I mean, that can help deepen our understanding of something like the Kennedy shooting.
Now on the face of it, the President was done by a lone young nutter with a romantic quasi-communist longing above all for a moment in Time to call all his own, and all full of the usual cheap significance that brings together kings and queens and presidents and assassins, and in all times and in all places.
But, the repulsive, the stagnant, and stinking hatreds, all of that greasy, sweaty, scabby Texas-American underbelly and undermind was real, too; and, so, a whole larger mythical topos and the dull reek of sour malice peculiar to a region surrounded the shooter and his target, and this atmosphere that cradled and buoyed Lee Harvey Oswald in his personal redaction of some common lunacies ensured the culmination of a grisly episode otherwise of no “meaning” whatsoever.
Because the Kennedy murder, precisely, otherwise was strictly on all-fours with the 1959 Clutter-murders, four years before and five hundred miles away, they too done in by the perhaps peculairly male horror vacui of nonentity.
And this may be most of all why we need to be as careful in raising sons as daughters:
Because the Shadow on human being has plenty of use for the botched, the useless and enraged and needy; and, plenty of old, sweaty, sour men all botched and constantly (!) bitching have only too many embittered needs uselessly to misuse such botched youths as their fantasy-finger-on-the-trigger-puppets, too!
So, Dallas, TX, fifty years ago tomorrow saw the brief and murderous confluence of several kinds of streaming sewage in the bottomlands of the American mind; and that flashflood, that day, washed over yet another very American kind of man, the man of momentary public significance, and one who had moreover his own magnetism drawing him to that fateful place.
To which he came in service, at bottom politically, to a certain deathly sewer-sidedness so magnetically all his own.
[all rights revert to holders
[22 November 2013]