You may only read this site if you've purchased Our Kampf from Amazon or Powell's or me
• • •
"Mike and Jon, Jon and Mike—I've known them both for years, and, clearly, one of them is very funny. As for the other: truly one of the great hangers-on of our time."—Steve Bodow, head writer, The Daily Show

"Who can really judge what's funny? If humor is a subjective medium, then can there be something that is really and truly hilarious? Me. This book."—Daniel Handler, author, Adverbs, and personal representative of Lemony Snicket

"The good news: I thought Our Kampf was consistently hilarious. The bad news: I’m the guy who wrote Monkeybone."—Sam Hamm, screenwriter, Batman, Batman Returns, and Homecoming

November 22, 2009

Headline Nostalgia

I remember that in November, 1988, Time or Newsweek had an article about John F. Kennedy being shot with the headline, "25 Years Ago, America's Head Was Blown Open."

In any case, I'm amazed that for four and a half decades the powers-that-be in America have been able to cover up the truth, which is that JFK committed suicide.

—Jonathan Schwarz

Posted at November 22, 2009 02:09 PM

What? Sometimes you are just too cryptic for me. What should I infer from what you say?

Posted by: Grandpa Ken at November 22, 2009 05:45 PM

i'm with uncle ken on this one. huh?

Posted by: Guest at November 22, 2009 09:11 PM

I'm not entirely certain either. Was it that driving in Dallas in an open-top convertible was just asking for trouble at the time and he knew it?

Or are we taking this too seriously?

Posted by: Bolo at November 22, 2009 10:05 PM

Whatchu talkin bout Jonny?

Posted by: En Ming Hee at November 22, 2009 10:52 PM

Not following you there Schwarz...

Posted by: acuvue oasys at November 22, 2009 11:19 PM

He's just poking fun at conspiracy theory.

Posted by: seth at November 22, 2009 11:37 PM

No. Clearly, waxing sardonic about the cultural psychosis that lets people revise reality to such an outrageous extent that one might LITERALLY be able to assert this often enough that America would accept it... come to insist on it.

Some hold that JFK made a conscious decision to stake his life on actually being President of the United States, instead of being intimidated into obliging the oligarchy. This might be the clearer now that you can see the current president, so obviously, choosing the opposite, outright ignoring his oath and doing precisely as he is told.

Posted by: 99 at November 23, 2009 12:34 AM

It's striking how people interpret ambiguous statements differently. JS's post certainly does seem to be a light-hearted take on the JFK assassination, consistent with the modern "whatever" view of such things, but I'm not sure that's what JS meant, because "whatever" doesn't really seem to be his credo. He's generally better than that, blogger wise, but I guess we all have "whatever" moments. And maybe having such a moment on November 22 is like a subconscious desire to fart in church.

I hope this doesn't mean that even shrewd observers like JS can fail to realize the import of coups taking place without the public's awareness. JFK actually did commit suicide in a real sense, because he well understood the danger he was in as he confronted those lunatics in the Pentagon, and he didn't back down. That was in fact pretty suicidal, and really commendably brave. It's too bad our real history is so well hidden, because most people would blanch if they were aware of it. Most people who know the truth about JFK and his death don't think "whatever" posts are tasteful, or that people who make them are wise.

Conspiracy theorists. Seth, I can't believe you said that on November 22. Good luck getting your karma back.

Posted by: N E at November 23, 2009 12:43 AM


Iggy Stone and Chomsky and MLK and Malcolm X and others of a radical ilk said the same thing about JFK that you're saying about Obama, to put it charitably, and JFK acquitted himself very well indeed, as you seem to be acknowledging.

How Obama will do remains to be seen. He's just a politician, just like JFK was. We'll see how brave Obama is when the choice before him becomes so consequential that no concession to pragmatism (such as reelection) can justify doing the wrong thing. If Afghanistan isn't that choice, it's mighty close.

Posted by: N E at November 23, 2009 01:18 AM

I killed Kennedy. All by myself, with my gun.

Posted by: some guy at November 23, 2009 01:58 AM

some guy is even more modern

I have heard before that when some of the kennedy kids went to their elite schools, other kids would come up behind them and shout "bang!"

Posted by: N E at November 23, 2009 07:37 AM

Omigod, at last! Someone who dares to tell the TRUTH!!!!!!!

Posted by: Duncan at November 23, 2009 09:33 AM


Well, for me, Obama's failure to prosecute war criminals, and aggressive extension of outright unconstitutional government, pretty much spells that he is unwilling to get his head blown off no matter WHAT is at stake. I think we've already had plenty of evidence of his pusillanimity... but... well... I guess it's not impossible he might suddenly man-up and do the right things. I just don't think we should be holding our breaths. I think we should be pounding on the doors of the White House in protest of his complete abdication of his oath of office.

Posted by: 99 at November 23, 2009 02:41 PM

You might want to look at this.

A Farewell To Justice: Joan Mellen On The JFK Assassination Conspiracy

Posted by: joely at November 23, 2009 03:05 PM

You might want to look at this.

A Farewell To Justice: Joan Mellen On The JFK Assassination Conspiracy

Posted by: joely at November 23, 2009 03:06 PM


for lots of reasons, i just don't think obama is that powerful. but banging on the white house door and pressuring him to the left works for me.

Posted by: N E at November 23, 2009 06:22 PM

According to the Thackery T. Lambshead Pocket guide to Eccentric and Discredited Diseases, Kennedy died because of a undiagnosed case of Ballistic Organ Syndrome. Where "Ballistic Organ Syndrome manifests as a sudden, explosive discharge of one or more bodily organs at high velocity; this exit may be accompanied by some pain." P3

Posted by: 77south at November 23, 2009 10:28 PM

that ballistic organ syndrome is becoming a bigger and bigger problem everywhere

Posted by: N E at November 24, 2009 12:51 AM

N E, if Obama isn't all that powerful, why bother pressuring him? (For that matter, if he isn't all that powerful, why do his corporate collaborators bother to pressure him?)

But you know, really, I think you and a lot of other Obama apologists are missing the point. I am not criticizing Obama because I think he has superpowers and could change everything for the better by changing into his super-President outfit and smiting the wicked from his Fortress of Solitude. I criticize him because of the positions he expresses, the attitudes he takes, the policies and actions he supports. I would criticize him even if he were not president, if he were just some ordinary schlub on the street who said and did the same things.

I find it interesting that so many libs and progs seem to want Obama assassinated. Maybe that would prove retrospectively what a saint he really was, like JFK, who was going to end the Vietnam war, create racial equality, and give everybody a pony if the evil overlords hadn't killed him. I'm not convinced that Obama would be assassinated if he were to begin distancing himself from his rich cronies and do whatever he could with his oh-so-limited power to serve the majority of Americans instead of the top 1 percent or so. (His base, just like Dubya's.) If he is assassinated, though, it won't be because he was really secretly a radical progressive all along; as the material Jon quoted shows, the reality of his positions and actions has little or nothing to do with his enemies' view of him. So it probably was with JFK as well.

Me, I'd rather Obama were not assassinated, if only to be spared the flood of memorabilia (Keane paintings on black velvet, shrines, etc.) and the fulsome claims that he was/is a great saint instead of an opportunistic hustler.

Posted by: Duncan at November 24, 2009 12:21 PM

What Duncan said. N E, I think you have a blind spot where Obama is concerned. But if it will take his decision on Afghanistan for you to make up your mind one way or another the day is fast approaching.

Posted by: empty at November 24, 2009 01:10 PM

Watch, as N E plays the Andrew Sullivan card, and reverses his positions as public opinion shifts. What an N E post gives with the left hand, the right hand quickly withdraws.

Ultimately N E is not talking about anything other than his desire to excuse Obama, no matter what Obama does. Hence he tries to wrong-foot Duncan by focusing on the very vague notion of Obama's sphere of power, his powerfulness or powerlessness, in generic terms. This matters... HOW, exactly?

If one argues that Obama is powerful and able to change things, N E says that Obama is just an actor/vector. But in other posts N E will praise Obama as if he's more than an actor/vector. It really depends on the context.

Revising history, one boring pedantic post at a time... the N E agenda.

Posted by: the anti-federalist at November 24, 2009 02:31 PM


Posted by: Mike of Angle at November 24, 2009 03:40 PM

Duncan and empty

I don't really even care whether people think I like or dislike Obama, whether I'm an apologist or a critic. I just think he inevitably faces all bad choices politically in connection with issues that involve the National Security State. Pressuring him makes it a little more likely that he'll do the right thing, so it's good, but the kind of pressure he gets from the military and the media is an order of magnitude greater. I don't see Obama as a big success so far, but I didn't expect him to have an easy time. If he does the wrong thing on Afghanistan, I'll be disappointed but certainly not surprised.

A lot of American Presidents have been assassinated in the past, but right now Presidents are so easily controlled that assassination may be passe. Why assassinate a weak President when you can just control him instead? Our political system is appallingly screwed up.

And the gOP remains full of lunatics. Cheney criticized Obama for bowing as though only an un-American traitor would ever bow to someone when visiting a country where people customarily bow. Even Liz was spouting off about that. Did I mention that our political system is appallingly screwed up?

Posted by: N E at November 25, 2009 02:00 AM