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The New Frontier is old again

By Owen Paine on Monday April 2, 2007 12:37 AM

Been thinking lately about the Kennedy Camelot -- because its avatar is even as I write this marching relentlessly and effortlessly toward the White House in the person of Barracado Obama.

To think this careful gray flannel man is the incarnation of the one fear the late J Edgar Hoover never wrestled to the ground. Why, he'd laugh like a hyena if he could see the way it turned out, after all those sleepless hours of dread: the real thing is just like a black Jack Kennedy, instead of whatever the unholy hell our nation's ugliest-ever transvestite conjured in those tiniest hours of the night.

Somebody wrote a piece a few days back on Barack as "magic Negro" -- google the phrase if the concept isn't already over-familiar. JFK, of course, was a magic Catholic. Maybe its time to review the vision of that earlier messiah, and in particular, examine just what his new frontier was all about -- since it looks like history is about to attempt one of its rhymes.

Let's make it brief -- Walter Winchell brief:

After the '60 election was stolen from Richard Milhous Nixon by the mob in Chicago, and cactus hacks along the tex-mex border, JFK moved into the White House along with Walter Reuther, Frank Sinatra and Robert Frost. Besides these notables, he also brought with him -- to help him perform the biggest and toughest job on earth -- as many new and terribly bright heads as his minions could collect from Ivy League campuses and Manhattan think shops.

But to what end?

One thing was clear from the get-go: anything new -- I mean really new -- might be dangerous, and wouldcertainly cost money needed for missiles and carriers and the like. So better recycle some spiffed-up old hats. Reblock 'em, stick in an exotic feather or two. In a word it was all to be cosmetics on the domestic front.

The concept, like the candidate, was straight from Madison Ave -- "do nothing new but do it with plenty of style, or, to be more precise do it with plenty of vig-ah!" Look full of bustle, but run strictly in place. Retain the old party platitudes that had kept this nation in a trance since Yalta, but teach 'em to do the peppermint twist. Bring in as many new bright heads as you can find, so long as they don't mouth a single original idea in public.

Of course mistakes were made. New ideas leaked out. In retrospect it seems that what with all that brighness running in place, it was inevitable something was bound to break a few old eggs. Unfortunately Kennedy got shot before he could put a stop to them.

And then... a miracle rode in, on the back of an old giant plug called LBJ, and the rest is signing ceremonies. The future was out of the box, and we've lived with it and through it ever since.

Comments (7)

owen paine:

so i missed the catalytic effect of jack's martyrdom

a very celtic catholic way of getting the impossible dream
to materialize eh ???
and to think ...
it wasn't jack's dream at all....

didn't even care so much for being president

not so much as his pap at least

just wanted to play president
..like our beau jethro from hope

billy bob clinton
plus a saving self ironic
dash of duane
minus the buckets full of shit eatin


okay he liked the "world leader " bit

just wasn't any good at it
beyond the red carpet
star turn crap

the part popes are for


Half the mission ever since has been a long, painful attempt to stuff that genie back into the bottle. There's something to work with in this, Owen, and it would be a riot if the next wave of social reform came in with some fat, indignant, Chestertonian huffing and puffing from the downwardly mobile stakeholders getting edgy over the effects on them of the subprime meltdown.


yes the state lives on
petty illusions
dies by petty dis illusions

the "fine " home owner in trouble
the "fine " professional in trouble

over mortgaged and over seas-ed

house nuts and job bolts

I was all of about six years old when JFK was assassinated, so a lot of my memories of those days were a sort of a real-time second-hand interpretation via my parents as I watched it all go down. Mom'n'Dad were both serious Kennedy Democrats(tm) and Catholic -- Dad fell out with the Pope on contraception in 1960, already -- so I've always had this misty, distorted memory of a really hip, progressive Prez handed down to me by my parents, aunts and uncles.

He got to be more of a riddle as I got older and more active, and started studying some recent (at the time) history viz Cuba and the early Vietnam decisions (man, wouldn't it have been weird to have heard all those kids in the streets chanting "hey, hey, JFK! How many kids did you kill today?")

Still, in all, an excellent ripping of the scales from my eyeballs, but check this:

1. He got to nail Marilyn Monroe. I'll say that again...He. Got. To. NAIL. MARILYN. MONROE. I mean, c'mon. That's pretty much what a lot of this JFK Myth Deconstruction is all about on both sides, right? He got to nail Marilyn, and you DIDN'T. Huh, so there.

2. Rice University Speech. Seriously, gang...can any of you imagine the famous Rice University speech -- "we choose to go to the Moon...!" -- being given by Tricky Dick, Bubba Clinton, Al Gore, or, the Big Bang forbid, George W. Bush? Hell, man, we never would've made it to the goddamn' Moon.


you had me with marilyn mike

my daughter the mao-ite
is an expert
on marilyn stories
the killing of same
by kennedy
"family friends "

bet you didn't know
MM was one of lenin's
fellow travellin' lasses

a party gal no less
(in the po-leeet-ical sense)
thanks to her
mexican connection and mentor
the mysterious
heir to mercantile gillions
and honest pal
of the international class struggle
comrade xy fields


"go to the moon ???"

dick nixon ???

fuck he howled at the moon

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on Monday April 2, 2007 12:37 AM.

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