John F. Kennedy

Frank Rich: Dallas Shot JFK


The Spirit of 2009 has infected more than just Newsweek. Here's Frank Rich trying desperately to revive an old explanation for the assassination of John F. Kennedy:

Still more credible than Rich's argument.

[W]hat also struck me in a rereading [of William Manchester's The Death of a President] was Manchester's stern rejection of one major Warren Commission finding. Though he was onboard for its conclusion that Oswald was the lone assassin, he did not buy its verdict that there was "no evidence" of any connection between Oswald's crime and Dallas's "general atmosphere of hate."

Manchester is uncharacteristically contentious about this point. He writes that "individual commissioners had strong reservations" about exonerating Dallas but decided to hedge rather than stir up any controversy that might detract from the report's "widest possible acceptance." While Manchester adds that "obviously, it is impossible to define the exact relationship between an individual and his environment," he strongly rejected the universal description of Oswald as "a loner." No man, he writes, is quarantined from his time and place. Dallas was toxic. The atmosphere was "something unrelated to conventional politics–a stridency, a disease of the spirit, a shrill, hysterical note suggestive of a deeply troubled society." Duly observing that even the greatest presidents have been vilified in their time–Lincoln as a baboon and Jefferson as "Mad Tom"–Manchester saw something "more than partisan zeal" at work in this case. He detected "a chiaroscuro that existed outside the two parties, a virulence which had infected members of both." Dallas had become the gaudy big top for a growing national movement–"the mecca for medicine-show evangelists of the National Indignation Convention, the Christian Crusaders, the Minutemen, the John Birch and Patrick Henry societies."

This position was popular in the immediate aftermath of the assassination, but within a few years it faded. One major reason it faded is because it isn't enough to argue (as Rich, echoing Manchester, does at great length) that many people on the far right hated John F. Kennedy and expressed that hatred in virulent terms. You have to make the case that the assassin shared their worldview. And there's a rather big problem with that position, one that even Rich feels obliged to acknowledge:

Immediately after the assassination and ever since, the right has tried to deflect any connection between its fevered Kennedy hatred and Oswald's addled psyche with the fact that the assassin had briefly defected to the Soviet Union.

Kind of an important detail! It's hard to argue that Oswald was inspired by far-right rhetoric if his politics were sympathetic to Soviet communism. Indeed, there is strong evidence that several months before he killed Kennedy, Oswald attempted to assassinate Major General Edwin Walker, one of the loudest voices in Dallas' right-wing "atmosphere of hate." I guess that's a sort of influence, but it isn't the type that Rich is invoking.

Now, there are people who claim that Oswald's Marxism was a front and that his actual loyalties lay elsewhere. But Rich doesn't want to go down that road: It would require him to enter the thicket of JFK conspiracy theories, which he rejects with disdain. He blames the radical right for influencing the assassin through osmosis, not for giving him direct marching orders. So how does he get around the issue of the sniper's apparent sympathies?

But at the time even some Texans weren't buying that defense. An editorial in the Dallas Times Herald chastised its own city for supplying "the seeds of hate" and "the atmosphere for tragedy." The editor of the Austin American wrote that "hatred and fanaticism, the flabby spirit of complacency that has permitted the preachers of fanatical hatred to appear respectable, and the self-righteousness that labels all who disagree with us as traitors or dolts, provided the way for the vile deed that snuffed out John Kennedy's life."

Really. That's his counterargument: Even some Texans agree with me!

[Hat tip: Bryan Alexander.]


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  1. Damn. I didn’t know Frank Rich was a contortionist.

    1. it was teh mob, capisch?

      1. flerp derpity herp glarblz [DERP]

        1. ur eye-talian suxs dude

  2. “He was two hundred and fifty feet away and shooting at a moving target. Oswald got off three rounds with an old Italian bolt action rifle in only six seconds and scored two hits, including a head shot! Do any of you people know where these individuals learned to shoot?”

    1. “A rifle is only a tool. It’s a hard heart that kills. If your killer instincts are not clean and strong you will hesitate at the moment of truth. You will not kill. You will become dead Marines. And then you will be in a world of shit. Because Marines are not allowed to die without permission. Do you maggots understand?”

      1. I like you. You can come over to my house and fu

    2. It was 3 shots in 11 seconds. The target was moving in his line of shot but away.

      Oswald was a good marksman. Still, he missed with one shot (or perhaps it was deflected), nearly missed with another and got lucky with the third.

      1. I saw a documentary a couple of nights ago where they made a case that his first shot hit a traffic light.

      2. They dug another bullet out of the car a few years ago during restoration.

        Whether that was 3 or 4, I won’t speculate.

        1. I wonder which one of the shots caused the debris that hit James Tague?

          Seems like we have all of the bullets now: the pristine one on Connolly’s stretcher, the one you’re describing in the car, and the one that ricocheted off the curb, causing fragments to hit Tague.

          1. I watched the documentary that Tarran is referring to. The working theory is that the first bullet hit the traffic light, was deflected where it hit the curb and the dude got hit by concrete fragments.

      3. It was 3 shots in 11 seconds. The target was moving in his line of shot but away.

        Oswald was a good marksman. Still, he missed with one shot (or perhaps it was deflected), nearly missed with another and got lucky with the third.

        So you’ve not seen the movie, then.

        I think I need to go put that on my Netflix list. It’s been far too long since I’ve seen it myself.

        1. The movie? JFK? Oliver Stone’s lies?

          Yeah, I’ve seen it. He has everybody involved in killing JFK except Oswald.

          Well, John Jr. and Caroline get a pass.

          Ollie isn’t totally nuts.

          1. Would it surprise you to find that Stone is an apologist for a Communist?

    3. A well-maintained Carcano with good ammunition (NOT milsurp…Italian WWII ammunition quality was awful) is a good rifle. In addition, if it had the Tiro a Segno Nazionale then it could’ve been one of the ones set aside for sharpshooter use.

      1. That’s the first time I’ve ever seen a Carcano described as a good rifle.

    4. “In the Marines! Outstanding! Those individuals showed what one motivated Marine and his rifle can do! And before you ladies leave my island, you will all be able to do the same thing!”

      Criminal that R. Lee Ermey wasn’t even nominated for Best Supporting Actor in 1987.

      1. In fairness-he wasn’t exactly acting.

  3. Here we go.

  4. Yes, Dallas as a whole obviously assassinated JFK. There was not one or two gunmen, but a million gunmen (in spirit, if not in practice).

    Seriously, screw you, Frank Rich!
    – Dallasite

    1. You may not have killed JFK but Dallas still sucks.


      1. Yeah, Houston’s totally awesome, with its stifling humidity and cockroaches the size of overgrown sewer rats. Your city’s greatest cultural contribution was purple drank. But I digress.

        – Dallasite

        1. Can’t we all just agree that Texas as a whole sucks?

          1. We can at least agree that people outside of Texas are jealous and all wish they could live here, as evidenced by trends in population growth. And our obesity rate is just reflective of the fact that our food is objectively better than anywhere else.

      2. What, compared to Houston?

        1. I’m sure he’s just jealous of our superior sports teams, better looking women and marginally better climate. Years of Houston summers and a steady diet of chopped-and-screwed music would naturally make a person delusional.

          1. “…our superior sports teams, better looking women and marginally better climate.”

            -undeniable truth

  5. The atmosphere was “something unrelated to conventional politics–a stridency, a disease of the spirit, a shrill, hysterical note suggestive of a deeply troubled society.

    If there is anybody who knows about shrill, deeply troubled hysteria, Frank Rich Roger Elizabeth de Bris is that person.

  6. The great irony of it is that if JFK was alive today instead of the early sixties, scum like Frank Rich would almost certainly view him as a right-winger. JFK (*gasp*) cut taxes for those evil “1%ers” and was a staunch anti-communist who took us to the brink of war over the Cuban crisis.

    1. I’ve always wondered what kind of thought process allows the Left to hold both Che and JFK as heroes simultaneously. The cognitive dissonance, it burns!

      1. Hint: it’s because they’re fucking stupid.

        1. JFK was a big government freak. Any doubters? Let’s see:

          (1) What did he do to eliminate the income tax?

          (2) What did he do to abolish the IRS?

          (3) What did he do to end death taxes?

          (4) What did he do to end the FBI?

          (5) What did he do to reduce the military / national security / surveillance state?

          Please do not shed any tears for JFK.


          1. GEEEZ! Do you own the front pew in the Church of the Radical Faux Libertarian or can anybody sit there?

            1. I know, I know…don’t feed the troll….Sorry

              1. The Great God of Liberty owns the front pew and he has appointed me as his earthly vicar.

          2. JFK was a big government freak.

            Of course he was, just like almost every president we’ve had from the start of the 20th century onward. By objective measures, JFK would be a fairly standard issue big government republican today.

            1. What do you mean from the “start of the 20th century onward?” I hate the ahistorical idea that 19th century and prior, government was small and respected individual rights better than today. This wasn’t true, especially if you were a racial or sexual minority (for example, the Fugitive Slave Act).

              And even George Washington, supposedly the “best president ever”, severely overreached with the suppression of the Whiskey Rebellion. Government was small at the time only because it was just getting established.

              1. As regards the founding generation, don’t you think one can credibly assert that at least they had aspirational liberty?

                1. Thomas Paine maybe, but mostly no, because they failed to see non-white male landowners as individuals worthy of liberty. The hypocrisy of Thomas Jefferson owning slaves while proclaiming to cherish human liberty is repugnant. And don’t say “he treated them well”, “he freed them after his death”, etc.

                  1. Agreed that Jefferson was a hypocrite due to his slave ownership and that both Adams and Washington were hypocrites given their willingness to murder in the name of the state.

                    However, their stated aspirations are of differnce in kind, not degree, from the stated aspirations of the Roosevelts, Wilsons, Trumans, Eisenhowers et al.

                    1. Perhaps without all the mechanisms the Founding Fathers set up to, for instance, enforce slavery or oppress the Native Americans, as well as the open-ended nature of the compromised document they wrote, progressivism wouldn’t have had compelling cause to rice in the first place, and it certainly wouldn’t have had the government mechanisms to enforce their policies. So even though I can respect the aspirational intentions to limit government and incrase liberty, the Founding Fathers are largely to blame for the lack of constitutional clarity and the violations of human liberty that justified the Big Government of today, which of course violates liberty in new, different ways and overcorrects for past prejudices.

              2. Grover Cleveland was OK.

          3. I read where JFK wanted to abolish the FED and return us to lawful currency. But you’re right about the rest.

            1. Some argue that’s why he got shot. Of course, some argue he got shot because he fucked Marilyn Monroe. Who the hell knows?

        2. Seriously, we should sell shirts with the faces of Che, Martin Luther King and JFK on them, and then laugh at the ignorant idiots who buy them.

    2. And stood idly by as the Soviets built the Berlin Wall in violation of treaty, and escalated the war in Vietnam.

  7. That bullet was guided by the hatred of the people of Dallas! Oswald could have pointed his rifle at the moon, and that fatal round would still have found its dastardly mark.

  8. I’m totally shocked — the theater critic says something stupid. Again.

  9. Everyone knows Goerge W Bush and Dick Cheney shot JFK. It’s common knowledge.

    1. And that was after the secret meeting with Hitler and Elvis’ alien love-child in Paraguay!

      1. GWB must have been some kind of teen-age wunderkind of a sniper.

  10. I guess I’ll go pour some wiskey on JFK’s grave and ask for his wisdom. He has to know why the Greys wanted him dead.

    1. For my rebuttal, may I present People’s Exhibit A in the matter of The People vs. The Doctor:

  11. More seriously: Frank Rich is a Team Blue hack.

  12. One fact I’m stuck on – the magic bullet, that hit Kennedy and Governor Connally, left fragments behind in the Governor’s wrist. Yet it was found in perfect condition. That does not make sense.

    1. I know!

    2. The fragments were from JFK’s cyborg parts.…

      1. Good cartoon!

    3. Not really. It was bent and missing small parts. The fragments taken from Connally matched the rest.

      If, however, that bullet didn’t go through Kennedy and then hit Connally, where did it go? It had to go somewhere. If it missed Connally then it should have torn up the backseat of the limousine. Or something.

      Either it exited JFK and hit Connally or it exited JFK and disappeared?

      1. The pictures I’ve seen show a pristine bullet that the gov’t credited with hitting JFK and Connally. Connally’s x-rays show fragments left behind.

        1. Yeah, the bullet looks nearly intact. But the weight is off by a bit from a fully “prstine” one.

          The critics of the “single bullet” or “magic bullet” still have to answer: if the bullet didn’t hit both JFK and Connally, where did it go? If it exited JFK and didn’t hit Connally, it should have gone into the backseat of the limo. Or somewhere.

          If the bullet exited JFK and didn’t hit elsewhere, it had to hit Connally.

          1. I’m still skeptical, especially with the records being sealed for, what, 50 years? I think there were two shooters, and Oswald was probably one of them.

    4. I’ve seen lots of bullets hit lots of things. What happens after they hit is very unpredictable. They faster the round is moving, the less predictable.

      JFK was hit at 80 yards with a 6.5mm rifle with an effective range of 650 yards. That bullet had a lot of energy to do crazy stuff.

      If I remember correctly, Oswald was using full-metal-jacket ammo. FMJ does the craziest crap – tumbles and yaws in soft tissue, sometimes follows bones, sometimes the core comes out of the jacket. Hunters use lead bullets with controlled expansion to prevent all that crap.

      1. Hunters use lead bullets with controlled expansion to prevent all that crap.

        We’ll fix that for you.

        1. Thanks – I knew I could depend on you guys.

          1. Barnes Bullets makes leadfree bullets with excellent expansion properties from al I have heard.

            I’m note sure how they get a solid copper alloy bullet (nor what’s in the alloy to get the weights they get) to expand the way they do but the demo videos are remarkable.

            There available to reloaders as well as being loaded by some commercial ammo makers. Hornady comes to mind IIANM.

            I just find there a little pricey for the kind and especially the amount of shooting I do.

            1. That’s the idea. You are free to buy all the ammo you can barely afford.

  13. Collectivism means never having to say “alone”.

  14. At the time that Manchester wrote his book on the assassination, little was known about Lee Harvey Oswald. Who he really was, what his background was, what made him tick.

    Since then a number of authors – e.g., a Gerald Posner – did extensive work on the man and discovered that he was able, capable and willing to kill the President. Oswald was a violent-prone Marxist driven by his own demons and desire to fulfill his dark destiny.

    Dallas or Topeka or Cleveland or Boston…it didn’t matter what city for Oswald. Luck came his way and he took advantage of it.

    1. Little was known about Oswald because few wanted much to be known.

      If someone else had been convicted of Kennedy’s assassination, there would be a whole industry of books and videos suggesting that a far more likely suspect is the wife-beating Communist-defecting ex-Marine sharpshooter nut who used to hang around a lot of those Fair Play for Cuba types.

      1. Being a leftist means never having to say you are sorry. Hell, you can even get away with blaming any one and every one else for the crimes committed by your sympoticos. Not only does Frank Rich get paid for writing this kind of tortured excuse for prose, he gets paid because he writes this shit.

  15. “That’s his counterargument: Even some Texans agree with me!”
    Why some of my best friends are Negroes!

    1. The Name is “1960’s Cracker”, thank you very much!

  16. For several decades we were the vanguard of the American progressive tradition. We backed the ideals of rational economic planning, assertive nationalism, and eugenics to create a New Man for a New World Order. We put our clout behind politicians who supported these causes, and we destroyed the careers of old fashion liberals and replaced them with progressives who understood what must be done to create a New Republic. After all of this was accomplished, every furry faced academic in the country wanted to take credit and pretend they shaped the New World Order into their image. An extraordinary degree of subterfuge was necessary to rewrite history and wash their hands of us.

    1. All they did was point to the losers in the white hoodies burning crosses upon the land of southin’ nigras.

  17. Author’s note. The assassination of President Kennedy on November 22, 1963, raised many questions, not all of which were answered by the Report of the Warren Commission. It is suggested that a less conventional view of the events of that grim day may provide a more satisfactory explanation. Alfred Jarry’s “The Crucifixion Considered as an Uphill Bicycle Race” gives us a useful lead.

    Oswald was the starter.

    From his window above the track he opened the race by firing the starting gun. It is believed that the first shot was not properly heard by all the drivers. In the following confusion, Oswald fired the gun two more times, but the race was already underway.

    Kennedy got off to a bad start.

    There was a governor in his car and its speed remained constant at about fifteen miles an hour. However, shortly afterwards, when the governor had been put out of action, the car accelerated rapidly, and continued at high speed along the remainder of the course.

    The visiting teams. As befitting the inauguration of the first production car race through the streets of Dallas, both the President and the Vice-President participated. The Vice-President, Johnson, took up his position behind Kennedy on the starting line. The concealed rivalry between the two men was of keen interest to the crowd. Most of them supported the home driver, Johnson.

    The starting point was the Texas Book Depository, where all bets were placed in the Presidential race. Kennedy was an unpopular contestant with the Dallas crowd, many of whom showed outright hostility. The deplorable incident familiar to us all is one example.

    The course ran downhill from the Book Depository, below an overpass, then on to the Parkland Hospital and from there to Love Air Field. It is one of the most hazardous courses in downhill motor racing, second only to the Sarajevo track discontinued in 1914.

    Kennedy went downhill rapidly. After the damage to the governor the car shot forward at high speed. An alarmed track official attempted to mount the car, which continued on its way cornering on two wheels.

    Turns. Kennedy was disqualified at the hospital, after taking a turn for the worse. Johnson now continued the race in the lead, which he maintained to the finish.

    The flag. To satisfy the participation of the President in the race Old Glory was used in place of the usual checkered square. Photographs of Johnson receiving his prize after winning the race reveal that he had decided to make the flag a memento of his victory.

    Previously, Johnson had been forced to take a back seat, as his position on the starting line behind the President indicates. Indeed, his attempts to gain a quick lead on Kennedy during the false start were forestalled by a track steward, who pushed Johnson to the floor of his car.

    In view of the confusion at the start of the race, which resulted in Kennedy, clearly expected to be the winner on past form, being forced to drop out at the hospital turn, it has been suggested that the hostile local crowd, eager to see a win by the home driver Johnson, deliberately set out to stop him completing the race. Another theory maintains that the police guarding the track were in collusion with the starter, Oswald. After he finally managed to give the send-off Oswald immediately left the race, and was subsequently apprehended by track officials.

    Johnson had certainly not expected to win the race in this way. There were no pit stops.

    Several puzzling aspects of the race remain. One is the presence of the President’s wife in the car, an unusual practice for racing drivers. Kennedy, however, may have maintained that as he was in control of the ship of state he was therefore entitled to captain’s privileges.

    The Warren Commission. The rake-off on the book of the race. In their report, prompted by widespread complaints of foul play and other irregularities, the syndicate lay full blame on the starter, Oswald.

    Without doubt, Oswald badly misfired. But one question still remains unanswered: Who loaded the starting gun?

  18. OK, why am I getting an ad for “Maid in Manhattan” on Telemundo next Tuesday with this article?

    1. I thought that you enjoyed viewing foreign language flics in order to improve your English.

  19. … And something something about Obama’s birth certificate.

  20. The nuts are out in full force at Dealey Plaza today. Why do so many have trouble accepting Oswald killed JFK and Tippett? They were his guns. He was at the scene of both crimes.

    1. They were easy shots too.

    2. Just wait until the 50th anniversary two years from now. It’s going to be a nauseating day-long media festival of whack jobs and aging nostalgic Boomers.

      1. And it is going to fall on a Friday – the same day of the week.

        We will have to listen to endless recitations of “Where I was/what I was doing when I heard….”

        It will be a good day to turn off all connections to the outside world.

        1. True story. I was at a business meeting in Dallas once and some colleagues of mine did a drunken recreation of the assassination at Dealey Plaza with a Chrysler Convertible at two in the morning. I got to be the unknown government gunman on the grassy knoll. The guy playing Oswald had to stand on the sidewalk since the Texas Book Depository was closed at that hour. It was fabulous.

          1. I’d have been worried that somebody might see it and call the Secret Service.

            1. Well we didn’t use real guns or even toy ones. It was pretty pathetic but damned fun, highly disrespectful and really funny, at least to us.

    3. Yes. Do people actually believe Oswald was bringing curtain rods to work that day?

      It was his rifle, he fired the shots, he ran away, got stopped, killed a police officer and then tried to shoot the cops who found him hiding in a theater.

      Odd behavior from a innocent man, eh Mister Stone?

  21. Huh. Mick Jaggger was right; it was you and me.

    1. And I’ve never even BEEN to Dallas.

  22. When the fuck will the Left get over JFK?

    Seriously. He was pretty bad President who didn’t really do anything the Left credits him for, and did a few things the Left absolutely despises.

    1. Yes. It has been fifty years for fuck’s sake. At some point there are no more lessons to be learned.

  23. Regardless of who killed Kennedy, could some please point out to boomer assholes like Rich that it has been nearly 50 years now? Did people run around worrying about who killed McKinley in 1951? WTF is wrong with these people?

    1. It’s his 2 minutes of Texas hate. It sustains him.

      1. Frank Rich is just jealous that all us Texans own mansions, look like the Marlboro man and sleep with buxom blondes in piles of petrodollars.

    2. My only grudge against McKinley is that they put his name on Denali.

      I really hate naming mountains or other natural features for politicians.

      The only things which should be named for politicians are schools and sewage treatment plants.

      1. Maybe it was the Eskimos who did it. Nothing against McKinley. But I doubt people were still puzzling over the lost possibilities of the McKinley age in the 1950s. But that is what losers like Rich do all of the time.

        Jesus, even the Civil War, which killed 1/4th of the fighting age male population didn’t hold sway over popular imagination like the fucking 60s do over the Boomers. Even the guys who lost legs at Gettysburg eventually got over it and shut up about it. The Boomers can’t seem to do that.

        1. I doubt the natives (they weren’t “Eskimos”, but I don’t know what tribe they were) living in Alaska at the time even knew who McKinley was.

          I do know that the natives in Alaska want the official name changed back to Denali (and a lot of other Alaskans do as well.)

    3. John, I’m pretty sure the endurance of the Kennedy (and Camelot) legend can be explained by the fact that JFK was a heavily marketed brand. I 1901 there was nothing close to the media saturation for the McKinley admininistration and especially assassination as there was for the Kennedy events.

      Ike might have been the first president to campaign on TV but Kennedy was truly the first television president.

      It may not be so much the boomers themselves as the fact that they were the first generation that were raised by the one-eyed babsitter.

  24. AMC’s ‘Madmen’ had the best JFK is dead line ever.

    The entire cast was in tears for about 10 minutes, even little girl Sally Draper who turned to her father Don Draper and said: The prez is dead, Daddy. What are we go do?

    Don Draper: Who cares, honey? We’ll get another president.

  25. I don’t know anything about why Kennedy was killed, but perhaps Mortal Error by Bonar Menninger would be of interest to the ballistics people in the room. I’d love to hear from anyone who reads it and disagrees with the conclusions made because I don’t know nearly enough, but it sounds good enough to me.

    1. Haven’t read the book and don’t intend to.

      Conspiracy theorists will pick out a few ninor ‘unexplained’ details (and a great many outright fabrications) and weave them together to fit their preconcieved notions. Then they will absolutely ignore any evidence which contradicts their conspiracy.

      1. That doesn’t explain the marksmanship to get off the three shots. Read the book and then comment. I’ll be all ears then.

        1. There was nothing exceptional about either the speed or the accuracy of the shooting.

          A couple of military trained people have duplicated Lee Oswald’s shooting since. and had it recorded on tape.

          Oswald is reputed to have scored slightly above average as a marksman in the Marines. Even below average marines shoot better than most of the best of any of us.

          Sounds to me like your book is the usual mix of halftruths, untruths and general misrepresentations that are the usual stock of conspiracy theorists.

          1. Even if he had been a bad shot, there is nothing to say he didn’t just get lucky. That happens a lot more often than vast government conspiracies.

            1. Plus the fact that I have never seen a JFK conspiracy theory that a) didn’t have more holes in it than a Texas oilfield and b) didn’t require that several thousand government employees working for many different federal, state and municipal agencies never, ever leaked critical information, despite having actively participated in the coverup.

          2. I was a Marine before re-upping. He shot Kennedy for 80 yards with a rifle designed to be accurate at 8 times that distance.

            80 yards is point-blank for a trained Marine. Other than a few 10-yard zeroing shots, we never shot at less than 200 in Boot Camp.

            The hard part was the movement. That is why the first 2 shots were slightly off. For the last shot, the car was moving almost directly away from Oswald – so he didn’t have to compensate for lateral movement. That was the shot that killed JFK.

            I’ve seen some re-enactments too – the last shot is the easiest. Forgot if it was Discovery or History Channel that reenacted it with the same type of rifle from same distances, angles, speeds, etc… Got him in the head every time by the third shot.

    2. Kennedy didn’t like commies and was willing to back it up – so a commie killed him.

      Now you know all you need to.

  26. Doctor Who didn’t kill Kennedy. He may have chosen not to intervene b/c the assassination was a fixed point in time, but unless JFK was a Dalek…a Cyberman…or a Time Lord…

  27. The boomers have to be the most dysfunctional generation ever. I think about my grandparents who were both born in 1907. I am sure growing up in the 19 teens and twenties that they listened to music and had sex and drank and did all of the other things young people do. But whatever that music was or whatever those adventures were, I have no idea because I knew them when they were in their 60s and 70s not when they were young. And they just didn’t dwell on their youth. They were not bitter or anything. They just didn’t care. They had grown up and moved beyond whatever they did or whatever happened when they were young.

    The boomers are not like that. They are now as old as my grand parents were when I was a kid and they still listen to the same music, wear in many cases the same clothes and do many of the same things they did when they were young. And worse still when they are not doing those things they are waxing philosophical about their youth. They have infected the entire popular culture and brought it to a standstill. Everything in popular culture is either hippie or punk the older and younger halves of the baby boom. Kids today are still dressing like punks in soho in 1977. Good God that was 35 years ago. And worse still, they think they are being creative and edgy. That is because they don’t have an older generation to laugh at them.

    This is not to say that everything should die with your youth. Some great art comes out of every decade and that art should live. There is nothing wrong with listening to The Clash or the Beatles or whoever. But while the art may live, the aesthetic dies. I love J.S. Bach. But I don’t go around wearing powder wigs and hosiery because of it. These morons in effect do.

    1. Maybe you should get a life. You’ll be happier.

      1. Maybe you should get a brain. It won’t make you happier though.

      2. Sister, you need to shut the fuck up.

    2. The worst part is all the erectile dysfunction ads with the naked aging boomer couples in oddly located bathtubs. They can’t even have their marital relations without throwing it in our face.

  28. John, there is so much truth to what you said. I see so many kids who can’t be more than 13 wearing Jimi Hendrix and Led Zep and Stones etc. Never saw kids in my generation walking around with Tommy Dorsey hats.

    But the worst part is: the stooopid baby boomers think that liberty and freedom were the result of the ’60s. But the reality is the ’60s, much like the 30s and 40s, unleashed untold federal tyranny.

    But you know, tie dyes, man. Wearing funky clothes and smoking weed–can you possibly want any more freedom than that?

    1. And thanks to the drug war, which is a hundred times worse now than it was in the 60s or early 70s, you can’t even have the good parts of the 60s.

      I am really disappointed in the younger generation. You would have thought they would have broken away from their parents and grandparents and been the opposite. Instead they are just a more pathetic copy.

    2. Ever thought that has to do with the fact that modern music is god awful and can barely even be classified as music?

      Tommy Dorsey to Rolling Stones was a revolutionary difference, a complete break with everything the previous generation listened to. Rolling Stones:Ke$ha = Che Guevara:Frank Rich.

      1. I know, comparing the Stones to Che was insulting. But I had to get it back on topic somehow.

        1. Insulting to who? (Whom?)

          1. The Stones, obviously.

      2. I have a different take on that. Artistic advances in music are pretty dependent on advances in the underlying technology. The changes in recording techniques from the 1930s to the 1960s were absolutely revolutionary and allowed the kids making music (a lot of them baby boomers by sheer luck of the timing) to make huge artistic leaps that prior generations and subsequent generations haven’t really been able to make, certainly not to that extent. There have definitely been advances made since the 1960s, but they’ve mostly been more about making the current techniques more efficient. Nothing like the leap made when multitrack recording was introduced. That’s why I think kids still wear Hendrix and Stones shirts, because the music really was that good and hasn’t been significantly improved upon yet, although good music is still being made and is easier to make too. Also possibly why baby boomers have an inflated sense of their own worth, they mistakenly think it was something special about them. They really owe it to people like Les Paul.

        1. Meant to be a response to John’s original post, sorry.

          1. Wait, I actually forgot who this was in response to. Because I’m retarted.

        2. I think that may be true. But as I said, the art lives but the aesthetic dies. People rightly still listen to Bach and Mozart. But they listen to the music. The cultural shifts they represented have fallen away. That hasn’t happened with the 60s.

          1. From a pop music perspective, the 1960s was the pinnacle. The extremely high quality of mainstream music (both production and songwriting) has never been matched since, from Motown and the girl groups to the Beatles and Stones to Dylan to the Beach Boys to the Kinks, to French pop music, and the expanse and high quality of the underground is still barely fathomed, even by music nerds like myself. Hell, the Monkees are geniuses compared to any of the similarly artificial acts that followed in their wake. Name any style of music since and I’ll find you 60s music that directly predates it and arguably surpasses it, from punk to electronica to heavy metal. I agree with Apple’s theory that multi-track recording allowed more experimentation and new styles, but also rock and roll had about 10 years to develop from both a commercial and a songwriting perspective, giving it more maturity and access. Everything coincided for a perfect storm.

            Since then, musicians gradually got bored with experimentation and major labels started catering to the lowest common denominator to sell the most records, sticking to risk-free, tried-and-true formulas. The technology became slicker and more accessible, which has both benefits and negatives.

            The 60s music scene was breathtakingly revolutionary, and I get the feeling we’ve extrapolated the ideas explored there about as far as possible, and are now generally out of compelling new ideas. Of course, quality music exists and can always exist, but you have to dig deep into the glut of trash for it. It’s completely logical to pine for the 1960s spirit, however – as long as you’re not just living in the past.

      3. Apparently you haven’t listened to much old vaudeville from the 1900-1939 period. If you did, you’d realize the Stones pretty much amount to Al Jolson without the blackface. Which pretty much describes rock in general: An amalgamation of some of the oldest vaudeville tricks in the book, with amplifiers.

  29. ….wearing Stones T-shirts and hats.

    Fuckin’ A! The Man is holding me down!

  30. How can you write a retrospective on the JFK assassination and not discuss the crazy leftwing theories that have been a cottage industry all of these decades?

    If you want to talk about hatred, Frank Rich, how about the hatred from the Mark Lanes and other far leftists who accused the entire government working with the Mafia of the crime?

    I guess that hatred is okay.

    Sure, we got poison in the body politic. But it’s not all from the lunatic rightwingers.

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