The RFK/Nixon Eternal Narrative

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My father left three physical possessions behind him when he departed this Earth: a battered leather jacket, his meticulous notes taken during his induction to the U.S. Navy, and a small stack of yellow newspapers that came out when Robert Kennedy was shot.

I remember finding these newspapers, shoved away at the top shelf of a linen closet & wrapped in a black garbage bag. One front page in particular really struck me, showing a close-up of the face of a dying RFK. A candidate for president, he was supposed to be the “new hope” of a country that seemed to be getting increasingly divided and strange.

Instead, the United States got Nixon. How does that equation go? It’s as old as time. It’s positively archetypal. It’s The Empire Strikes Back.

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The New Fatalism, Part Two

chris-cornellI wrote “The New Fatalism” a couple of weeks ago, noting a “spike” in suicide imagery in popular culture (13 Reasons Why, the Kurt Cobain-themed Father John Misty video “Total Entertainment Forever”) as well as a couple of actual suicides that had recently happened.

Then there is the case of 24-year-old Bruno Borges, who made elaborate “preparations” and then simply vanished (just about to the day of the 20th anniversary of the Heaven’s Gate suicides); there is no evidence Borges killed himself, but there is a similar energy in terms of “disappearing.”

And now Chris Cornell is dead.

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In The Eye Oculus

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I’m just about to wind up my little trip to Downtown NYC, but before I do a few notes

The first night I was here, a colorized episode of I Love Lucy was inexplicably playing on primetime TV, but I was strangely captivated by it; Lucille Ball in a diaphanous pink dress dancing with Van Johnson on CBS. A throwback to another time, but why not? I had a great day, a great dinner, and was getting ready to go to sleep.

But then I realized something. Where I was at that exact moment—it all used to be carnage. Unbelievable destruction and carnage. And now it’s all gone; cleaned up, removed. The only traces left being a few mementoes consciously chosen.

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On This Day The World Didn’t End: The Harold Camping Story

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spoilers.

I know way more about Harold Camping, the deceased radio evangelist, than I probably should. He’s best known for several failed doomsday prophecies, the most recent being on May 21, 2011 (Apocalypto Part One, The Rapture) and October 21 of that same year (Apocalypto Part Two, Electric Boogaloo).

The remarkable thing about Camping’s prophecies was how the media picked up on them—especially the May 2011 date, the hysteria that followed feeling like a test-run for the 2012 “Apocalypse.”

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Is Modern City Living Sustainable?

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This isn’t a touchy-feely sort of question where we all decide to grow our own tomatoes and “save the planet.” Rather, this is a raw, from-the-gut question that I have been wondering for at least 20 years. And I don’t mean simply environmental sustainability, either. I mean sustainable health-wise, psychologically, in the face of a possible disaster/attack, etc.

I have commuted to New York City to work on-and-off for said 20 years using mostly the subway. Let me tell you what it is like to go into Manhattan on the subway day after day, and what you find when you get there.

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The Man Who Is Becoming An Elf (A Modern Archetype?)

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In a world where people spend thousands of dollars to become a “real” Superman, a “Human Ken Doll,” and even a literal Cat-Woman, the story of Argentinian Luis Padron should not seem that unusual anymore. The 24-year-old Padron has spent over $30,000 on various surgeries and procedures intended to make him look like (and some might say, “turn him into”) a pale white-haired elf.

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