Friday, November 22, 2013

A man at his end

He was the the ultimate American brand. Young, handsome, visible. For god's sake, don't let him get his head blown off. And they did. They did. The worst possible thing imaginable, happened. He ended.

Zapruder gave us a man at his end. We can watch it on demandwhich doesn't seem rightThis is a man ending, surprise and horror. A trajectory snuffed. Daddy? Honey? Son? So much more than Mr. President. Jackie was worried about the media photographing Jack, at his end, unguarded, opened. The agent wraps his coat around the president's head and back.

There's a weird detachment between JFK's cultural prominence and his end. You kind of think he's still among us, that he knows he's a shot president. Wondering and theorizing along with everyone else. Was there another shooter? Was Oswald hired? Did they botch my autopsy? It's hard to process that such a visible, high-profile man doesn't know what happened, doesn't know his ultimate storyline. He's the man who accompanied Mrs. Kennedy to Dallas, accompanied her to Parkland, accompanied her back to Washington.


November 22, 1963 from The New York Times - Video on Vimeo.

Conspiracy theories? That's loneliness, that goon. Aren't conspiracies believed most passionately by those so certain of government's ineptitude?

Fifty years. Surely this is it. Dallas acquiesced, that tension is now snapped. This fiftieth anniversary is the mother of them all, and it's own end.

It will still come around, as anniversaries do. And each time it will feel a little different. You've grown, learned. Like re-reading a book. You think you know what you're getting into, but--it's different? How could that be? Same story, same characters, same setting, same ending. Oh. It's me. I'm different. The tale now tells me different things, reveals new truths. JFK was a young president, a young man with a beautiful younger wife. He was a dad. He set bold goals for himself, and reached them. All that vigor and strength and hope, gone in a wisp.

Life and the world are awesome. His keep ending, right before our eyes.