Because Surely No One Else Will Write About 11/22/63 This Week

Hi folks.  I removed a post that was just 5 videos, because my site was loading very slowly for me, and I have to assume it is for a few other people who also have slower connections.  Have to think that’s a sign to me, that one, maybe two, maybe zero, music videos per post is plenty.

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(No prisoners taken in this post)

It’ll be 50 years this Friday since we were herded into the library of the country schoolhouse I went to in 1963, to be told that we were going to be sent home, that our President had been shot and killed.  It was nonstop TV for the next four days, from tape of the limo speeding futilely towards Parkland Hospital to the slow Monday procession, John-John saluting, with a real live murder in the middle.  Or so I remembered it.  CBS had a special the other day where they showed that they hadn’t had a live feed from Oswald getting killed, but they had gone to the taped footage shortly after.  Maybe I was watching Chet Huntley and NBC, who knows?  Those were our only two choices, but TV was free if you had an antenna.  So, yeah, more or less, I was one of millions of kids who went into the kitchen that Sunday morning, 11/24/63, to tell our moms, “They just shot that guy on TV!”  No wonder we are a warped generation.

Somehow, in some severely and sadly twisted way, the Zapruder film brings a calmness to me.  I don’t really believe it to be any morbid fascination with death or murder or horror or whatever; I think it is because I was lucky enough to be alive long enough to see it.  We were forbidden, you see, to see the nasty part for 12 years, because Abraham Zapruder didn’t think we could stomach it, and Life magazine, who had paid Zapruder 150K for it, agreed.  I couldn’t have handled it then, not as a 2nd or 3rd grader, maybe not even had I been an adult in ’63.  This was before the nightly scenes of carnage from Vietnam, before the riots in the streets after Martin was assassinated, before Sadie May Glutz supposedly levitated as she stabbed Sharon Tate.  Or did Tex stab her?  There’s some disagreement about that, and many confused memories about the past, especially about the ’60s.  I don’t know where I got the idea that I’ve always held about the Zapruder film, that we weren’t allowed to see it for 25 years because of a request made by the Kennedys, but, no, Geraldo Rivera showed it in all its grisly glory in 1975, though it wasn’t widely seen till some conspiracy or conspiracy-debunking TV specials aired in the years to follow.  Of course, now you can dial up “the money shot” any time you want, on Youtube and elsewhere.  In any case, almost nothing shocks any more.

Nothing shocks, but everything outrages.  We’re outraged if held up in traffic, if our instant-communication device/encyclopedia/forum/porn source/instant weather report/bank statement/music source/car-repair how-to video library/shopping mall, etc, doesn’t immediately go to the right website, if our dead cow and greasy potato sticks take more than 3 minutes to be handed to us, if the weather rains on our parade, if people have the unmitigated gall and unfathomable stupidity to have a different opinion from ours.  Hell, we get outraged if we have to be outraged, rather than have a day of Zen-like calm just handed to us, on a satin pillow, with a mint.

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It’s pretty passe to write about writer’s block, but I’ve had it for so long now, it has become, not the 800 pound gorilla in the room, but more like the unpleasant girlfriend or wife in the room, waiting to greet you after work with news of something you messed up on, so that you feel like you’re going home from work to a second job, one that doesn’t pay, and doesn’t involve any smiles from the women who are at your workplace.  My dad did pass away recently, and that hasn’t been fun (he was 90 though, and life was no longer any fun whatsoever for him after 4 years of hospitals and nursing home and helplessness), but it (my writer’s block and extreme lack of giving a fuck about anything) has been going on much longer than my dad’s 5-day journey from emergency room to funeral home.

It’s beyond pathetic that I whined to myself numerous times about feeling somehow “obligated” to spend an hour or so visiting my dad a couple times a week at the home, that he didn’t have much to say himself, and didn’t get excited at my small talk unless I had some really new and exotic gossip.  But I suppose it could be put to good use–the extra time I now have, I mean.  Time will tell, won’t it?  A co-worker today, when I mentioned how I didn’t know what to do with myself Thursday nights or Sunday afternoons, suggested I visit other people in the nursing home.  Yeah, because the last 6 years of visiting my mom and then my dad in God’s waiting rooms wasn’t a fun enough glimpse into lonely oblivion, and I certainly don’t get reminded of the horrors of aging and mortality enough by watching Perry Mason and Twilight Zone reruns, with their constant barrage of catheter and adult-diaper commercials.  Never can get enough of those catheter commercials.  “The new ones hurt less”–please, just shoot me.  I used to want my friends to take me out hunting when I get to  a “helpless” state, then just blow me away in a farm shelterbelt.  Now I’ve decided that, instead, I’ll wait till my daughter is grown and out making her way just fine in the world, then I’ll start screwing everything that walks, so that I can get blown away by some jealous husband.  Much better than that godawful slow fade into the grave.

Another thing that sucks about writer’s block is that you get an idea about something, but don’t write it down soon enough, or lose your train of thought because you’re in a funk, and don’t remember what it was that led you up to your blog’s “money shot” (as you see it), yet you want to include it, since you’ve finally got up gumption to write.  So, who knows what the fuck was in my train of thought that led me to feel like yapping about not wanting to drive up to people’s farmhouses, like some people do when they want to ask to hunt there, or they have a breakdown and need help, or they get stranded in the snow.  It doesn’t matter.  Let’s just say it was something about being able to put myself in the mindset of some horrible killer (as a reader or writer), and that doesn’t bother me, but the idea of going up to a strange house does.  I envision the old farmer’s wife looking sweetly out the window at us, putting a pie on the windowsill to cool, while the farmer says “Sure, you can hunt pheasants on my land, if you help me lift this one thing out in the barn, young man”, then me spending the last 30 years of my life in an old well in that barn, covered in hillbilly come and rat bites, with the old lady, then, after she dies, her one-armed, web-handed daughter, throwing lard sandwiches down to me.  And a slice of pumpkin pie, in the basket, lowered down to me for a treat on Thanksgiving.

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10 Responses to Because Surely No One Else Will Write About 11/22/63 This Week

  1. I love the phrase ‘hillbilly come and rat bites’. So evocative! Hillbillies really do have one hell of a reputation, don’ they. Do they deserve it or are they misrepresented as straw-chewing inbred sodomists?

    • That was my favorite part by far in this little “essay.” I think some rural Southern poor people are still “straw-chewing inbred sodomists” (great name for a band, by the way), but a wayward traveller is probably more likely to have harm done to them by stumbling upon a meth lab these days than by running into random rural serial killers.

  2. Nothing shocks but everything outrages, for sure.
    You sure know how to write about writer’s block.
    Thursday nights & Sunday afternoons, I suggest you try a yoga class.
    (I don’t do yoga myself, but I’ve always thought I’d like to try it.)

  3. Gregoryno6 says:

    Slow down a moment there. A few lines back you were looking forward to screwing everything that walks in hopes of being shot by a jealous husband. Now you’re giving thumbs down on the idea of yoga with soccer moms and college girls.
    Maybe it’s just me, but one looks like the perfect road to the other. Take the time to learn the geography, chart the landscape – and when you know which ladies are (a) eager to put out for you and (b) married to a guy who names his dogs after his handguns, make up that shopping list!
    I mean, how were you planning to go about it? Maybe you had plans to get a T shirt printed saying LOOKING FOR LOVE FROM A WOMAN WHOSE SPOUSE HAS AN ITCHY TRIGGER FINGER. I’m not saying that wouldn’t work, but if you drew the wrong sort of audience you might end up in the county nuthouse. Electroshock five times a day and a diet of mashed bananas is not the way you want to go.

    • I think you have a very valid point there. I just have to laugh, though, at the idea of me, even 30 years ago, trying to do a yoga pose. But just putting in the effort would surely get me some attention from the ready-to-cheat ladies.

  4. kitchenmudge says:

    For a writer’s block victim, you came up with a pretty entertaining post.

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