Miley Cyrus was on the homepage of CNN’s website today. As The Onion so gracefully pointed out, that’s very stupid. I haven’t actually seen the thing she did that everyone seems to care about, but I have seen the numerous Buzzfeed posts filtering through my twitter feed. Something about “twerking” and teddy bears, I gather.
For some unexplainable reason, all of this reminded me of something Richard Condon, the guy who wrote The Manchurian Candidate, wrote after Kennedy’s assassination.
You see, after Kennedy was killed in Dallas some people looked to Condon’s book to explain what motivated Oswald. They wanted to believe that he was a disturbed man on the outskirts of American life, brainwashed by other governments.
He argued that the purpose of his book was in fact to show that the “brain washing” was happening right here on our own soil:
“I meant to show that when the attention of a nation is focused upon violence—when it appears on the front page of all newspapers, throughout television programming, in the hundreds of millions of monthly comic books, in most motion pictures, in the rhythms of popular music and the dance, and in popular $5 novels which soon become 50c paperbacks; when a most violent example is set by city, state and federal governments, when organized crime merges with organized commerce and labor, when a feeble, bewildered set of churches cannot counteract any of this and all of it is power-hosed at all of us through the most gigantically complex overcommunications system ever developed—we must not be surprised that one of us bombs little girls in a Sunday school or shoots down a President of our republic.”
Condon was probably wrong about the motivations of Kennedy’s killer, but his thoughts are still interesting. Just swap out “violence” for “reckless behavior.”
The bottom line is, this shouldn’t have been at the top of CNN’s homepage, or any homepage for that matter, because it’s simply not surprising.