Camelot Was Just Another Myth

A story is hitting the global news today that will ripple through many of those in my age group and older as another belief found to be based on non-truths. The younger the reader, the more it will play as “Who? Who cares?” As in, “That’s ancient history.” For those into at least ONE version of the “Who Killed JFK” conspiracy theories, it will give a semblance of validation. For those who never were entirely comfortable mixing their liberal politics with socialite wealth and pretension, it will be another uncomfortable instance of having chosen icons with feet of clay.

The news is saying that Caroline Kennedy is releasing from the Kennedy Library tapes that former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy made following the assassination of her husband, President John F. Kennedy.  They will air on ABC News in mid-September.  Supposedly, they reveal not only infidelities of JFK, but of Jackie, herself, and also give the speculation that she believed that Lyndon B. Johnson, the then Vice President, who became President, was behind the assassination, along with a cabal of Texas businessmen. This is NOT a new twist to the story. I’ve read some fairly in depth versions of the same scenario; so, it’ll will give credence to those versions and resurrect them. I know I’ve seen a 2-hour version on the History Channel during “Who Killed JFK Week” every November.

The mutual infidelities are new. Up until now, Jackie O had managed to remain quite unsullied by that type of gossip. Not that she wasn’t paparazzi-watched by every long-range lens on the Mediterranean once she married Aristotle Onassis, and subject to tabloid journalism on a daily basis due to both Onassis’ former lover, Maria Callas, and his misbehaving offspring, plus her own baggage of being JFK’s widow and mother of his two children.

But, what fascinates me most about this story is how much my own perspective has changed over the years. I was 19 and on my own in San Francisco when the news broke that JFK had been shot. My world switched upside down, as it did for most others. It’s one of those few pivotal moments where those who witnessed that moment in history remember what they were doing, as well as everything about the event over the next several days. It deeply affected me.  Things like in a noisy city with newspaper men on nearly every corner were usually hawking the latest edition were suddenly quiet. They held out the paper, we took one as we handed over our dime. The city was silent. Even the streetcars on Market Street didn’t seem to bang their bells as much. No one honked. No one whistled for a cab — they just stood there with an arm raised and gestured. I ended up making contact with my ex and moved back in with him that weekend. I was at our old apartment watching the news when Oswald was shot. That weekend never quite ended.

It was my first experience with the emotions of martyrdom of a national figure. Unfortunately, it wasn’t my last. But, it was the one that “took my virginity” so to speak. Robert F Kennedy’s was impacting, as was Martin Luther King, Jr.’s. But, the disillusionment and disappointment with the larger world was already eating away at me. I lost my innocence with JFK. The more I learned about the Viet Nam war over the years, the more disillusioned I became. I more I learned about the slimy dealings of politics, such as Watergate, the more disillusioned I became. Realizing that Bush’s team stole the election through illegal electronic voting was just another one. I’ve had to accept many times over that whatever I thought or believed was a pale imitation of the truth.

This is one reason that I’ve turned my focus towards the entire issue of validation, whether it’s validating Michael or validating the world around me. I no longer believe that MY belief system is particularly an accurate mirror of the bigger world around me. There is too much that I don’t know. There are too many lies told. There are too many fools running their mouths. There are too many people who repeat anything they hear if it sounds like juicy enough gossip. There are too many people who don’t bother to validate.

I may choose to focus mostly on Michael for my validation, but that’s in part because I know from the get-go that everything “out there” is probably more steaming heaps of manure. But, it’s still disillusioning to realize how little effort is taken to broadly read “everything” available on Michael. How can you validate if you only read that with which you agree? How can you be sure that you’ve got enough of the picture to see a clear image?

But for others who never moved past their idealist stages, the news of Jackie O’s tapes will once again shake their reality.

2 comments to Camelot Was Just Another Myth

  • Linda Whitehead

    Did you have a chance to watch the TV series “the Kennedys”? It was very frank about the infidelities of Joe and JFK, but nothing on Jackie. Up here in Canuck country we are astonished at how you americans idealise your presidents…I don’t mean you personally, obviously. We certainly don’t idealise our prime ministers. We also don’t get brainwashed with patriotism in school…

  • Oscar

    A few years ago I’ve done some research into JFK’s assassination. My conclusion was that at least the CIA and the Mafia were involved. As Sam Giancana reportedly said, they were “different sides of the same coin”.

    Apparently there were several groups active on Dealey Plaza, but one of the teams consisted of Charles Nicoletti and James E. Files, a Mafia hit team. Nicoletti was positioned on the 2nd Floor of the Dal-Tex building, while Files was behind the fence in the ‘grassy knoll’ area. Files was also the one who fired the one, fatal head shot with a mercury-filled round from a Remington Fireball.

    More info:

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