Sunday, November 24, 2013

President Kennedy epilogue, and another site on Wildwood’s golden-era architecture

  • From Ex-Army: If he had survived. Another alternative history. I’ve long believed the one where he would have been re-elected in ’64 (Goldwater was good at the time; he should have been president) but his getting us into Vietnam would have turned the mob majority against this hood ornament of the golden era (as the Sixties generally would have?), so the next Democratic candidate would have lost in ’68 to Nixon, and the real timeline would have resumed.
  • From Steve Sailer:
    • Entertaining speculation from National Lampoon’s heyday: The overarching gag is that if Jackie Kennedy had been the one martyred in Dallas, Jack would have settled into the Irish politician's pattern of staying in power for roughly ever (e.g., Eamon de Valera, Richard J. Daley in Chicago, or James Curley, who was mayor of Boston on and off from 1914 to 1950); but JFK would have pulled this off by mobilizing the puerile energies of white baby boomers, rather like Chairman Mao's cult of personality did during his Cultural Revolution. The Lampoon issue takes on the difficult challenge of imagining how an Irish wardheeler with a veneer of media sophistication, an intuitive understanding of which way the wind was blowing, would have dealt with The Sixties. What has The Onion contributed at all to understanding the Obama Phenomenon? Cracked is disappointingly PC preachy sometimes (news flash from Roissy and his friends: not only is this not how reality works, but that article won’t get you a date, buddy) but overall pretty good: news and history of the weird and non-putdown humor. The Onion is a bunch of smug SWPLs I stopped reading a long time ago.
    • From the comboxes: Alan Ehrenhalt had a nice line about the retrospective sentimentalization of the Kennedy assassination: “The only teenage males I know who were emotionally shattered by the Kennedy assassination are the ones I read about in books or see in movies.”
    • Getting to the heart of the matter, a sensible answer neither the lone Commie nut (though it seems a conservative favorite) nor All Society’s Fault™ (then-conservative Dallas, the military-industrial complex, etc.): A lot of conspiracy theorists seem to lose themselves in the who-dun-it scenario. It's true that many people hated Kennedy and wouldn't have minded seeing him dead. But that doesn't mean they were involved in the killing. It's like lots of people hated Reagan, but it was Hinckley who nearly killed him. The opposite of the IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT scenario is THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE scenario where the conspiracy turns out to be much larger than anyone can possibly imagine. I guess something in between is the CHINATOWN scenario. The mystery is bigger than one thought but it's still about a handful of corrupt men doing something sordid, not a mega-conspiracy. I don’t know who (but it wasn’t then-conservative Dallas) or why but yes.
    • Not about JFK but true: Have you ever noticed that basically everything you are supposed to believe in these days -- feminism, diversity, etc. -- turns out in practice to just be another way for hot babes, rich guys, super salesmen, cunning financiers, telegenic self-promoters, and charismatic politicians to get even more money and power?
  • From Bob Wallace:
  • Wildwood Doo Wop. A list of all the Wildwoods’ (one New Jersey shore island, three towns) remaining golden-era buildings and neo-doo wop ones.
  • And on that note — the Sixties never happened — happy last Sunday after Pentecost. Mass: Dicit Dominus with an apocalyptic gospel. Next week, Advent I and the great switch in the office from Salve, Regina to Alma Redemptoris Mater.

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