Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Returning to the events of November 22 1963 and beyond...

What I best remember about the Kennedy assassination is how everything just shut down, completely, and for about a whole week.  Everything just closed down:  businesses, government offices, schools...society just stopped in its tracks altogether.

There was no school the following week.  And forget about watching television.  All networks cancelled their regular programming that following week as well.  It was all coverage of the tragedy and of Kennedy's funeral---both live and constantly repeated video tape reruns.

One has to understand that back then there was more loyalty to one's country and its system-of-things.  People were more idealistic and believed in the better things about life a lot more than they would in later years.  (We've been way too cynical and jaded for way too long.)  And, of course, collective patriotism was a given as well (as was a general collective belief in God, even if in a generalized sense).

The U.S. took itself very seriously in those days.  In fact even making jokes about either the assassination or about Kennedy himself was considered tantamount to treason.  (Prior to the assassination Kennedy was fair game for everyone from standup comedians to MAD magazine parodies, much like any other politician or celebrity.  So that changed in a heartbeat as well.)

1 comment:

  1. What I meant by "believed in the better things about life" is the way people then took for granted the ethos of fairness and basic moral principles, the way they had unequivocal faith in government and authority, how they took to heart a belief in God (even those who weren't very religious by nature still held a general consensus of the existence of a "God"---or a facsimile thereof: in other words, your quintessential "Sunday Christian" types.)
    And how they embraced "progress"---the way they simply figured man's ingenuity and inventions would continue to improve everyone's quality-of-life, with no thought given to depletion of resources or desecration of the environment that would bring such progress to a sudden halt just as it was on a good roll. Or about the Catch-22 aspects of all this continuous "progress".