No doubt I am not the first to have this flash of insight – in fact, just as George Harrison* picked up My Sweet Lord from Ronnie Mack and the Chiffon’s He’s So Fine, unknowingly and with great embarrassment, I am sure I will be reminded that this idea has passed here on the blog by commenters, and at other places too.
I’ve been thinking about public hoaxes that have been pulled off during my lifetime, but there was a gigantic one that played out in the years before I was born, while dad was chauffeuring a general in the Philippines and playing clerk/typist in safety. It was called The Manhattan Project. It was an ‘eyes only’ affair that was gripped in military discipline and compartmentalization. Only a very few had a wider view of the whole project.
I had an uncle who was involved in Manhattan. He was a shop foreman for various workers at Hanford, Washington. (I’ll bet you thought I was going to say he did something really important. He did not.)
What was Manhattan about? Building the bomb, we are told. But readers here, and those who follow MM, might have serious doubts that this is the true purpose of the program. After all, we learned, various atomic tests were obvious fakes, using photography tricks to make the explosions, which were probably just stacks of TNT, look massive. But I think we can be certain that Manhattan was a huge sink for real money that could not openly be authorized for expenditure.
I will stop here on that subject, as I do not know the true purpose of Manhattan. Someone else can fill me in on that. The overarching theme was to use a fake objective as a means of hiding the real one. In that sense, it reminds me of … Apollo. The fake objective of Apollo was to land men on the moon and return them safely. So intent were the people behind Apollo to seat this objective in the public mind that they even used the fake assassination of a president in order to glorify the objective as a tribute to a fallen leader. Did JFK utter his famous words in 1961 (about putting a man on the moon and returning him safely) with full knowledge that 1) he was going to ‘die,’ and 2) that no one was lunar bound? I suspect so. (I imagine that in 1969, wherever he was, JFK watched Apollo 11 on black and white TV, just like the rest of us alive at that time.)
So Apollo resembles Manhattan in this manner, a money sink used for purposes that could not be disclosed to the public, and with a fake cover story. It was played out using military discipline and strict compartmentalization. The Playtex people really thought their space suits were going to the moon.
I have not been writing much lately, but post-surgery now my right hand is almost fully recovered, and is now getting its exercise. I am feeling a surge of nonsense that will be directed your way, dear reader.
*I regard George as by far the most talented Beatle, sweating out his music without benefit of committees of songwriters and studio musicians later ascribed to “Lennon and McCartney,” public fraudsters. George had to do it for real, suffering bad offerings on his private road to some real musical gems, his own. That is the nature of creativity, 90 percent sweat equity.,