WHY PEOPLE HATE THE MEDIA, PART 628 – Yesterday, “Newsweek” gave us an insight into how Charles Manson and Donald Trump both “used language to gain followers”. Today, “The New York Times” opines that “Charles Manson was not a product of counterculture”:
The Manson murders — the seven killings committed by Charles Manson’s followers in two days in Los Angeles in August 1969 — are often thought to mark the end of the 1960s, as if those brutal slayings were the inevitable outgrowth of the counterculture, the dark consequence of long hair, free love, casual drug use and a general breakdown of authority and social norms.
This sentiment was most famously expressed by Joan Didion in her book “The White Album.” She wrote that “in a sense” it was true that “the Sixties ended abruptly on August 9, 1969, ended at the exact moment when word of the murders on Cielo Drive traveled like brush fire through the community.”
But with some historical distance, and after Mr. Manson’s death on Sunday at age 83, we can see that the simplistic counterculture dichotomy of “freaks” versus “squares” caused people to lump Mr. Manson in with the freaks (for he certainly wasn’t a square). Apart from the long hair and the casual sex, however, Mr. Manson, who spent much of his life in prison with a swastika carved into his head, had more in common ideologically with far-right groups like the John Birch Society than he did with the anarchic leftism of, say, the Yippies.
Mr. Manson was not the end point of the counterculture. If anything, he was a backlash against the civil rights movement and a harbinger of white supremacist race warriors like Dylann Roof, the lunatic fringe of the alt-right.
But of course.
Earlier this year, “The New York Times” has published a series of nostalgic op-eds about the century of communism, including crackers like “Why women had better sex under socialism”.