The idea for this blog began with the proposition that Republican control of the White House is only two bullets away. Take Obama and Biden down and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Republican John Boehner, gets the job. For readers who might think the scenario unlikely or even outrageous, the blog would ask that they to reflect on how assassination shaped the course of American politics throughout the last century. Then assassins killed Libyan ambassador Chris Stevens, giving an unwarranted edge to Romney, as part of a furor over a film produced by someone beholden to the FBI. Point made.
It’s an off year for Kennedy assassination studies. The 49th. The Coalition on Political Assassinations in DC, still under guidance from Mae Brussel’s top sprout, John Judge, plans its annual observation in DC as ever, but the media attention is not what it will be next time. The official version of the assassination remains the same too, of course: the Warren Commission said Oswald did it alone; the US House Select committee in 1978 said it resulted from a conspiracy and turned its findings over to the Justice Department; and nothing ever became if any real investigation or prosecutions. The one man who was prosecuted by New Orleans DA Jim Garrison, Clay Shaw, was acquitted. So the great lesson internalized: kill a president and watch any recrimination get absorbed into a large and powerless bureaucracy.
JFK studies didn’t end with those official pronouncements, though. In fact, the real legacy of the JFK assassination is the culture of conspiracy research that grew from the inept and corrupt official response to the crime. Garrison’s case even connected it up to the long standing unsolved historical riddle of the UFOs. He did this by investigating Fred Lee Crisman as a possible grassy knoll shooter. The Feral-published, JFK & UFO, details all this. Garrison was even going to show Crisman’s photo on Johnny Carson but was cut off, a scene that can be caught only on the home release version of Oliver Stone’s JFK movie.
Just like the flying saucers, though, new revelations about the JFK hit still beg attention and inquiry. The latest has been the recent interest in an old TV show, Route 66. Loosely based on Kerouac and Cassady, one episode begins on location at Dallas’ Love Field, where JFK flew in that day he was shot. The Cassady character gets a job at the Trade Mart, where Kennedy expected to speak that day. At one point in the program, Earle Cabell, mayor of Dallas, is called on the phone. His brother, Charles quit/was fired by JFK after the Bay of Pigs. Earl Cabell was responsible for the re-routing of the presidential motorcade, putting it in front of the Book Depository. Last weird thing: this Route 66 episode was broadcast in 1962, a year before the assassination.
Another Route 66 episode was scheduled for broadcast at the time of the assassination, but never did because of it. Its plot involved a political assassination and so it was deemed inappropriate for prime time during the national tragedy. In this episode, the Kerouac character comes up against his own double, the assassin. The role of the Oswald doubles in Dallas on that November day is well known among JFK researchers.
Finally, there’s the infamous Tuesday Weld episode. It takes place in a town near Dallas and Waco according to a highway sign in the show, a fictional town called “Kilkenny”. A much more surrealistic presentation than any other episode, it came replete with dwarves, theatrical masks and clear allusions to Druidism. Newspaper photos at the time show the brother of George Maharis, the actor who played the Cassidy figure, hanging out at Jack Ruby’s Carousel club. Again, episode made in 1962.
What does it all mean? What, indeed, does the Kennedy assassination mean or continue to mean after all this time?
This link to the Internet Archives takes the reader to lectures on the subject worthy of a listen during any election year:
The lecture list includes Mae Brussel, the aforementioned founding foremother of conspiracy researchers; Josh Reeves, who explains some of the ritual symbolism that goes wel in tandem with the Feral Book Ritual America, and me going on about the Garrison case.
Kenn Thomas authored JFK & UFO, published by Feral House. He hopes to produce a follow-up JFK & LSD for next year. He can be reached via his web site, Steamshovelpress.com or at SteamshovelPress@gmail.com.