Since it’s presumably a slow news day, I thought I’d step back and look at the Kennedy assassination…last weekend was the 46th anniversary of the tragedy…andregardless of what some thought, I hope people consider it a tragedy…anyway, I’m curious as to opinions…
I was born just over a year and a half after Dallas, which makes me middle aged but not in the picture re: where I was when I heard. Growing up, it seemed JFK was revered as a martyr (though at my tender age, I didn’t know WHY, just that he was the young, not-Nixon president who’d lost his life); I very distinctly recall some of the hullabaloo afterGeraldo Rivera aired the Zapruder film (and in my own zeal to grow up, it made me a then-believer in a conspiracy), I also remember the JFK-legacy fall from grace, if I remember right, first with revelations fromJudith Exner; other “scandals” included his concealing of awful health and — gasp — in light of Watergate, an Oval Office taping system of his own (as to the former, sometimes I wonder if some of the philandering was at least slightly exaggerated–better thought of as a letch than a sickly weakling.)
Anyway, just to digress even more, it was on a diversion to Dealey Plaza on a trip out west that I began to doubt assassination conspiracy theories: Dealey Plaza is TINY. To be honest, I’m surprised it took Oswald three shots…maybe that’s what it means when they say he was a terrible shooter.
But I wonder what others think–is the JFK legacy and/or the assassination even relevant today? The 46th anniversary had a certain tragic roundness to it, being as Kennedy was 46 years old, but aside from a show or two on cable, I really didn’t see much attention paid to it or, more importantly, to the legacy of his policies, aside from a brief mention that his Medicare bill went to Congress on November 21st (if I remember right.) I expect that in four years the half century milestone will generate some interest…until then there’s the sideline interest of the Kennedy era coinciding with the pop culture hitMad Men — and, full disclosure, I got hooked to the show this season and am looking forward to watching at least some episodes from the previous seasons during the holiday. Indeed, watching any JFK assassination special these days, especially the footage from Texas, is a little weird (I’ve seen the Zapruder film quite enough, thanks but no thanks); however, other film or television clips, aside from being either super saturated or in alien black and white, are a kind of warped Mad Men, at least stylistically…Mad Men meets, if notDueling Banjos, Waylon Jennings.
Well, I’ve gone on pretty long, but I hope nobody minds. Look forward to reading any reactions in comments, and otherwise, have a pleasant Thanksgiving. I’m about to head down to New (S)Iberia…the turkey’s waiting, I’m supplying the chicken and sausage gumbo.