Monday, August 10, 2009

The underside of the 1960s: Charles Manson

The ever-readable Dan Flynn sifts past the nostalgia of Woodstock in the air these days to shine light on Charlie Manson, murderous hippie thug.
Theories regarding The White Album, a race war, and the Book of Revelations often cloud other, more central, inspirations for Charles Manson's blood lust. These include political motivations, a desire to exonerate a friend on murder charges, and intimidating music industry figures who spurned Manson, including Doris Day's son, producer Terry Melcher, who had previously lived in the Tate-Polanski home. If we do not know exactly why the Manson Family murdered, it is in part because they probably don't exactly know why either. All we know is that they did it.

The 1960s were the age of The Beatles, civil rights advances, and the peace movement. They were also a time of rationalized violence, drug abuse, reckless sex, and societal upheaval. The Manson Family offers a glimpse at all of these ugly traits from the other side of the '60s.
Charles Manson will rot in jail and hell. But he really should have been hanged a long time ago.

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