O Say Can You See?


They say that everyone can remember where they were the day that John F. Kennedy was assassinated on November 22nd 1963, exactly fifty years ago to the day as I write. I can’t. I wasn’t born until November 1967. I’ve come to question even that fact, following the amount of coverage that has been given to this historic event over the last few days. Perhaps I was there? I seem to know so much about it. Was I filming on a shaky colour home-movie camera? I’ve seen so much footage of the President’s head exploding, then imploding, pausing and then exploding again, forward and reverse in frame by bloody frame. I know the layout of Dealey Plaza, how long Oswald had been working at the Texas School Book Depository, the model of the rifle, the angle of the grassy knoll, the name of the club that Jack Ruby ran and I can almost taste the dirt as I hit the ground as the President’s cavalcade makes its pointless dash to Parklands Memorial Hospital. 50 years ago to the minute, as I write.

Of course I wasn’t there. I wasn’t anywhere in 1963. But here, now, today, I seem to be surrounded by conspiracy theorists that the internet has incubated and spawned, insulated from the infection of reasoning, evidence and truth. Bearded weirdies sitting in ill-lit bedsits, attempting to converse with reality by moulding their own.  I generalise, of course, but how else could I use my joke that none of these hairy truth-tainters possess an Occam’s razor between them?!

It’s a natural human phenomenon to wonder what multiple machinations are behind the events that shape all of our lives. Princess Diana could not have been killed in something as stupid as a car crash by a drunken driver, could she? A few young fanatically-deluded and religiously-opposed men could surely not bring the West to a halt by flying airplanes into skyscrapers?  But she was and they did.

We do not process mass bad news very well at all. We look for the most complex and involved theories to explain the most public of tragedies. Contrived dark forces somehow absolve society of any responsibility for any of these events. It wasn’t us that hounded Princess Di to death with our insatiable need for her picture, chased by the ‘paps’ and driven by a drunk. It was dotty old Prince Phillip and the secret service who ordered her death. Dark forces we know nothing about. So much more convenient. America wasn’t penetrated by seriously sick and deluded men  intent on making their mark. It was all George Bush and Bin Laden’s families quest for oil. To imagine 17 men wreaking that much havoc on the strongest country in the world is just too scary for most. You get the idea.

It’s safe to say that there will be plenty more Kennedy programmes this weekend marking his passing. And so there should be. Please share a thought for Officer J.D.Tippitt. No matter what the conspiracy theorists argue about Oswald’s involvement in the Kennedy assassination, Tippitt was shot dead just minutes after Kennedy, by Oswald, as he fled the scene.

It seems that there is no conspiracy theory linking Officer Tippitt’s untimely death. It’s just a coincidence, I’m sure, that his death does not affect a nation nor a world.

Kidcobbler, Grassy Knoll, Dallas, Texas

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About kidcobbler

kidcobbler is no kid, being a middle-aged man, and has never knowingly cobbled. He is, however, extremely proud of his Northampton roots, a town which he still inhabits. He believes in the anonymity of this provincial market town and the creativity that thrives under this cloak. His blogs are to publicise this anonymity to the wider world, but don't tell anyone. kidcobbler wishes his blogs to be received in the same way that an epileptic receives multiple camera flashes after disregarding the printed warning. There will be no warnings in these blogs. kidcobbler dearly wishes he could stop referring to himself in the third person.

4 thoughts on “O Say Can You See?

  1. Mate, it seems to me that Occam suggests the opposite. Nothing is as neat and tidy, with all involved dead to three degrees of separation, even thermodynamics suggests that. Kennedy was in bed with the Mafia and only the likes of Kissinger had the ability to steady the ship. Entropy will never decrease without work. I’m pretty convinced that the big guys had no prior knowledge, but after the fact is seems likely to me that there was a plan here. There have been cleverer assignations in the past. And you KNOW how difficult I am to convince of anything. Some of these killings (sometimes well justified) were carried out on CCTV (check out the wonderful Israeli operation in the hotel a couple of years ago. My question to you is, why not? My sympathy is with Officer Tippett. The WTC was without doubt an extremist terrorist plot. However, there are very few coincidences in this life, and this was far too signed and sealed for my liking. I’m not a conspiracy nut, just looks like a professional job to me. Travel gives you a lot of images to ponder, and if I’m certain of anything it’s that I’m not certain of anything.

    • Thanks for reading the blog and cheers for the comment.

      If you take a purely scientific approach to the evidence of the Kennedy assassination then Oswald is not only the lone gunman but the archetypal loner, full-stop. Mark Chapman-esque (or maybe Chapman should be Oswald-esque?) in his need for approval he was systematically rejected by both US and Soviet governments, his wife and his family. The plan, such as it was, to me, was for Oswald to grotesquely leave his mark. Of course, that in itself doesn’t rule out the fact that he may have been a pawn in a larger plan. Yet the evidence for it is simply not there or has yet to be represented. Conjecture can only take you so far, not matter how fascinating the ride. The evidence may have died with history but history is not only written by the winners it is reshaped with context.

      Kennedy was not the all-American blue-eyed boy of Camelot myth. Then not many heroes are under the microscope. Kennedy’s use of the Mafia in his 1960 electoral campaign shows that politicians are far more ruthless and unforgiving than the Cosa Nostra ever could be. Yeah, they wanted him and his brother dead for their betrayal and they both died by the bullet. Oswald’s links to Castro’s Cuba show him to be a passionate leafleter on their behalf yet even they rejected his offer of help. Nobody wanted him. I will disagree with your view that there are very few coincidences in life. That’s another branch of science and probability theory that I have an even simpler grasp upon. It comes down to the processing of bad news, the point of my piece. You asked me the question, why not? I’d answer that the evidence doesn’t support a plot, other than Oswald’s tenuous grasp on reality. The need to see beyond a stark truth acts as a buffer to us all. Even the sudden death of a relative leaves us with countless unanswered questions of why, how and why again. The Kennedy assassination moves that feeling into mass-consciousness. The shit-happens reply rarely provides succour for the individual nor the nation.

      I fully agree that the World Trade Centre was a terrorist plot; my point was that controlled explosions and an American / Saudi alliance to seize oil, whilst not beyond the realms of evil, has so far failed to reveal itself to me from behind the mist of heated conspiracy theorists coming in from the cold.

      I’m only standing on one tiny point of the lines of history, unconvinced of these two conspiracy theories, arguing for evidence to prove me wrong. We all have the advantage of being the armchair detectives and the internet has given us the ability to vent our views. Maybe Oswald in 2013 would’ve had his own Facebook page where similar loners could meet and share their theories of why their lives are somehow held back by unknown forces. I’m certain he would’ve been a very strong advocate of a conspiracy behind his own crime.

  2. I think we see what we want to see. There are always people working in the background of any political power base, people who want influence or regime change. Those people are thrown into sharp focus when stuff like this happens. I would ask your self this: why, if you had a strangle hold over one of the most powerful men in the world, would you then snuff him out? It makes no political, or criminal sense. Oswald was a loner, a marine and someone who’d only recently returned from the Soviet Union and whilst the shot was one in a million that doesn’t make it impossible. I’ve no idea how good a flavour of life in the States we get over here in Blighty, but it seems hardly uncommon for Americans to get hold of high powered weapons to voice their opinions.

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