Born Yesterday (Part One)
I hear the ancient footsteps like the motion of the sea
Sometimes I turn, there's someone there,
Other times it's only me. - Bob Dylan
There's a great Bill Hicks' bit about JFK. "You wouldn't believe the attitude in America," he says. "'Bill, quit talkin' about Kennedy, man. Let it go. It was a long time ago, would you just forget it?' I'm like, 'Alright. Then don't bring up Jesus to me.'"
Bill Hicks died in 1994. That's 13 years. He himself is already a long time ago by the way we measure things. Kennedy was not even 30-years dead when Hicks made the joke, and JFK was already ancient history. About the same time, researcher Mary Ferrell opened a symposium of assassination researchers in Dallas with these words (as recorded by Gaeton Fonzi in The Last Investigation):
As the thirtieth anniversary of the assassination of President John F Kennedy descends on us, I am much concerned that we are on the threshold of a failure from which there will be no forgiveness.
We must win this struggle for truth...and do so very quickly, lest the assassination of President Kennedy flounder on some remote shoulder of highway, in a century whose history is on the way to the printer. In the next century, this case could be relegated to obscure questions on high school history examinations. Time is our most relentless and uncompromising enemy.
When Kennedy was killed Mary Ferrell was a 41-year old Dallas legal secretary. She devoted the remaining 41-years of her life to compiling research on the murder as her contribution towards the cause of justice. The year of her death, 66% of Americans were persuaded Oswald hadn't acted alone, but was part of a "larger conspiracy," but that's not the justice Mary Ferrell died without seeing.
What is the currency of popular opinion in our post-modern, fascist global hegemon? What has it mattered that two of every three Americans believe their own government is covering up the murder of their president? One in every three believe it aided or abetted the attacks of 9/11. If mere belief that something were true held the promise of a tipping point, shouldn't many tipping points have been reached by now in America? I mean, more than the point of no return.
Winning the battle for public opinion is a hollow victory, one the other side is happy to concede, because the long war they wage need not regard what we think of it.
June 19 will be the 25th anniversary of Roberto Calvi's murder, and for 20 of those years the legal finding was "suicide." A few days ago, all five of those standing accused in his death were acquitted. It wasn't a surprising judgement. None had actually hung him; none had ordered his murder. The worst that could be said of them was they were "enablers," connecting the dark powers who decided Calvi's death and his executioners, and the connections had been cut out of the heart of the prosecution. And the dark powers abide.
I was 22 I guess, and not very sharp, when I read Eugene Ionesco's play The Killing Game. There's an unknown plague ravaging a town; characters drop dead without warning. There are no symptoms, and no cure. I remember thinking how terrible such a circumstance would be, before it occurred to me, finally, that it was precisely our circumstance.
How old are you? I'll be 48 fucking years old next month. I remember nothing of the first four and little of the next ten. Then came the wanking, followed in quick succession by Marxism, Maoism, Evangelism and Christian Atheism. By the time I was 24 I'd thought I had it all figured out several times over, when actually the whole while I'd been nothing but a wanker.
How much time do we have? The world itself seems on the clock now, as we ourselves have been all along. How many more years do we have to figure it out, let alone do something about it once we have? The fact is, we've never had the time we need, even if we get ourselves off to a good start. Knowledge, the Qabalist says, is a false crown. Perhaps a paper birthday hat.
In The Filth, Grant Morrison has a character exclaim, before he knows what he's saying, "Imagine time itself as a weapon!" I think I get it now.