Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Getting ready: JFK assassination 50 years later

4 essential books of the event, 1 thought-provoking read, 1 poem and a ballad.

1. Who Really Killed Kennedy? Recent overview of the various theories, what we know, what is speculation, good overview.

2. Trauma Room One. Most important book establishing a conspiracy, i.e. the medical evidence, more than one shooter, medical cover  up. Written by doctor who was there.

3. JFK and the Unspeakable. A religious scholar puts the assassination in international and moral contexts.

4. Mary's Mosaic. Story of one of JFK's lovers. Author, the son of high CIA agent, makes the case against his father and cronies, and he puts the assassination in convincing personal context.

5. Surrounded By Enemies. Gripping political thriller based on concept that JFK survives assassination attempt and fights back.

Here is my Ballad of JFK, which I wrote a few days after the assassination and performed for years thereafter. (To the tune of "Dust Storm Disaster" by Woody Guthrie.)

From In My Old Age ..

American History In My Lifetime

So there was this President
and he actually was going to
change the power structure in
the country, which of course
threatened those who held the
power. They conspired to protect
what they considered theirs
and successfully assassinated
the sonofabitch President who
dared to think he could change
the status quo. They killed the
sonofabitch. They actually did.
And the plan was so good they
even had a fall guy and they
killed him too so he couldn't
talk. And there was so much
dirty laundry everywhere that
an actual honest investigation
was impossible without dire
consequences,"national security"
and all that, so they made
a half-ass investigation they hoped
would put the matter to rest
forever. Unfortunately a few loonies
didn't buy the official results
and investigated on their own
and came up with unbelievable
frightening theories about what
actually happened, which in fact
was pretty close to what happened,
and many people believed them except
for some reason they didn't get
pissed off enough to take to
the streets and demand full
disclosure. Instead they just
shrugged and said, Well politicians lie
and there's nothing to be done
about it. So nothing actually
changed even though many folks
realized they'd been duped.
They went shopping and forgot
about it. And the original
criminals who assassinated the
sonofabitch President in the
first place retained power
and now could relax because
they learned a profound lesson:
in the end shopping wins out
and if you let people shop,
hell, they'll put up with


Mike Gold said...

I was five at the time of the assassination, and I don't remember the government being any different than it was after Oswald shot at Kennedy.

No, really, who benefitted from the conspiracy? My father, an assistant US district attorney at the time, went to work as usual. My older brother, an Air Force pilot, went to Vietnam and was later shot down over the Red River Valley, south of Hanoi. He would tell us how the White House and LBJ had to approve of every bombing mission--how LBJ didn't want civilians killed.

I still believe that JFK would have gone to war in South East Asia. He was a fervent believer in containing communism. At the end of 1962, he had increased the number of military advisors to 12,000. Not long after that, my brother (under Kennedy) went off to bomb targets in Cambodia--talk about expanding the war.

Yes, the truth is fascinating. All these decades later, I'm still writing about it. Occasionally, I manage to sell a screenplay option.

Best of luck to you teaching this year, Charles.

Charles Deemer said...

Oregon Senator Wayne Morse said Kennedy told him he was leaving Vietnam, and I believe him. No, a coup changes power significantly and when citizens don't notice or care, it has worked perfectly. Today the primary purpose of voting is to provide citizens with a way to vent and continue the delusion they do have power.

Charles Deemer said...

p.s. Read Kennedy's speech at American Univ shortly before he died. He had abandoned previous thoughts about the Cold War.