40 Years Ago Today

In a recent issue of Newsweek Walter Mosley introduced the cover story this way:

Everybody is guilty of something. This is a truism of the West. It goes all the way back to Cain and original sin and has been a central topic of discourse among members of society from the construction of the laws of ancient Rome, through the Inquisition, into the Jim Crow system of the South (and North), stopping to wallow in the culture of the Soviet Union, and going right to the rotted heart of the race laws of Nazi Germany.

In 2,000 years of Western civilization we have been guilty of heresy, perversion, theft, and murder; of fighting and refusing to fight; of loving, lusting after, and sometimes just looking. We have been guilty of speaking out and keeping silent, of walking, marching, and running away. We have been found culpable for following orders and for refusing to follow them, for adultery, child endangerment, sexual harassment, and elder abuse. We have also been guilty of our religion, national origin, skin color, sexual preference, gender, and, now and then, of the blood in our veins.

Interesting take on our obsession with crime. Some of our most memorable movies—Bonnie and Clyde, Natural Born Killers, The Silence of Lambs—actually feature the most villainous personalities imaginable. I’ve wondered about our obsession too, but like other things, it’s not something you want to spend much time thinking about lest you stumble upon something too real and disturbing. But maybe there’s some truth into the deeply ingrained sense of guilt. Read more from Walter Mosley by clicking here.

Forty years ago today Sharon Tate and four others were brutally murdered by a group that ultimately became known as The Manson Family.  Author Joan Didion wrote in her memoir that this single event ended an era. Chief Prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi recently sat down with Newsweek‘s Tom Watson for an interview. I post this not only because it’s a cultural issue, but also because it struck an entire generation so deep. I was not quite two years old at the time but even my generation can remember sensing the wake of the event. (I had no idea that Charles Manson was 5’2″.)

Read the interview here.


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