Sunday, November 27, 2005
I wasn't watching but the anniversary of JFK's assassination came along without much ado. There was one quick reference on a movie last night (The Rock) as the lead character drives into the sunset unwinding secret film from a canister, asking his wife, "Honey do you want to know who really killed JFK?" But as I said. I wasn't watching. So maybe there was the obligatory look at the classic Zapruder film or the reconstruction of old, probably doctored theories and documents. Maybe even another movie to trivialize his death and all its repercussions.
You'd have to be my age or older to care about JFK. Or be a neoconstructionist historian. I became engrossed in the conspiracy possibilities. There were so many: it was the Cubans; it was the Hawks; it was the Mafia. Those were a few potentials. But what stays alive in a visceral sense is the psychic weight of his death. I was attending an Irish Catholic grade school. The nun who called me "Therese" in that stringent Celtic voice, whose red face and rail thin body moved at exactly the same pace, hidden under shiny black habit, that nun actually wringed her hands. I was a kid. We were released from class early. Cars streaming into the asphalt parking lot at the wrong time. The sunshine that swept across the blackness and my mother in her perfectly ironed matching blouse and skirt. Later I saw her eyes clinging to the portable TV, heard her anguish and the cry when Oswald was shot. This was an emotional rupture of the same magnitude as her father's death. I knew that as a kid. Then that muffled walk to Arlington, the black veils, silence, weary Walter Cronkite. The whodunit was an aftermath of several years. A cathartic journey. But none of us out here knows who. Perhaps for those of us who care, the enigma should be preserved, along with the whole Camelot mystique. Not because secrecy needs preservation and not because the Presidency needs mythic drama. But because not-knowing, mystery in itself has the kind of value that will not be replaced with The Truth. What did Lorca say about our need for "mystery"?
So it's 42 years after, what are your memories of JFK's assasination? Where were you the day of? when Ruby shot Oswald? Was it a conspiracy? How has it affected your life? Has it?
at 7:26 AM