Harlot’s Ghost

I am reading Harlot’s Ghost by Norman Mailer – it is taking forever on Kindle, but I read elsewhere that the real paper book is 1,300 pages. No wonder! It drags and then picks up and then drags. He mixes fictional characters with the names of real people, and describes in intimate detail the meanderings of JFK among the numerous vaginas at his disposal. The man was insatiable.

I am 81% through it, according to Kindle, and the narrative is now leading up to the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.  If JFK indeed had a change of outlook, that is where it happened.  Prior to that time, he and Bobby were obsessed with getting rid of Castro. The Bay of Pigs left a mark.

We never get to know things with any certainty, of course. But in the book JFK and the Unspeakable, author James Douglass suggests that the flirtation with killing millions of people led to a change of heart, real attempts at disarmament, even a better man. Douglass says that Jack, deeply wounded by the loss of son Patrick, even became closer to Jackie, the wife he was handed by his father as a means of getting his boy elected president. (Marrying her was old Joe’s choice, not Jack’s. It took some convincing. But then as now, bachelors could not be elected president.)

All of this leads to his gruesome death. I don’t know if Mailer will suggest that the main real life characters in the book, Bill Harvey, J Edgar Hoover, Sam Giancana, Robert Maheu, Johnny Roselli and Santo Trafficanti and E Howard Hunt, are culpable. Surely power goes higher than those men, so we cannot know at what level the decision to kill him was made.

Author Noel Twyman in another work makes an important point: The stakes were so high that those who murdered Kennedy 1) had to succeed in the murder, and 2) had to get away with it. The plot could not fail. It was botched in so many ways, so that the official story is a patchwork quilt, and absurd. But it had to be that way. They could not just kill him. They also had to take over the government, or risk the gallows. That made it a coup d’etat.

The power asserted that day is still asserted to this day. That is why journalists  (and most public figures) are afraid to give the magic bullet story the ridicule it so richly deserves.

This is a point that I cannot make well enough for people to understand – why 11/22 matters to this day. Those who seized power kept it, and all that has followed is in due course because of the type of people they are.  They are with us throughout history. Their lust for power is as insatiable as Jack’s for women. They are fascists, a generic term for people who want power for power’s sake. They have a military at their disposal, and with public fear kept at a high level by artificial means, they also have unlimited funding. They have a worked their way into every aspect of our lives, taking control of the executive, news media and entertainment, and the voting system.

They also watch over the education system, not wanting a bunch of people wandering around capable of thinking too well. Our system delivers in that regard. That’s why we have so many Pogie’s in our schools, teaching our kids so poorly and imagining they are doing it so well.

Of course, my question is and always will be if any of this is really new. Wasn’t our country always like that, and all countries before? Did we ever really break free of our British overloads? Hasn’t self-governance always been an inside joke?

About Mark Tokarski

Just a man who likes to read, argue, and occasionally be surprised.
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