Why ‘Parkland’ annoys

Tom Hanks’s JFK flick opens tomorrow and a critic for the Seattle Weekly is annoyed that anybody still cares about the JFK story.

The fact that the JFK assassination is still politically potent 50 years later is annoying. But that doesn’t mean that it is not important.

It is an unsettling reality that if JFK was killed his political enemies, we live in a different country than if he was not.

This is why debates about JFK’s death are so intense: because the whole JFK conspiracy debate goes to our fundamental conception of the United States as a country.

Those who suspect conspiracy see history made by hidden powers, whether in the national security agencies, organized crime syndicates, or foreign countries. They see news organizations as complicit or incapable of revealing the hidden machinations of power.

Those who reject the idea of a JFK conspiracy tend to have a much higher basic confidence in the U.S. media and American democratic institutions.

A lot hangs on understanding who killed JFK.

So you go to the multiplex for escapist entertainment, and “Parkland” reminds you that JFK’s murder, while it happened long ago and far away, still matters very much today. Some find the whole story intensely annoying. Others say that’s why the JFK story is intensely important.

See also:

JFK: “The Political Rorshach Test,” by Jefferson Morley, Los Angeles Times, Dec. 8, 1991)

Plus: JFK Facts on the Cinema of Assassination

9 comments

  1. Hans Trayne says:

    The critic failed to mention the tremendous amount of wealth available in the ‘Kennedy Dynasty’ (estimated to be in the area of 1 billion dollars) that allowed any one of them individually or collectively to mount their own investigations & autopsies had they quietly desired to do so, just as nothing prevents quietly support for those researchers sincerely searching for truthful answers to questions that have hung in the air for 50 years.

    The blind faith in the US government system the critic seems to advocate may seem a bit ludicrous to some now that the government has shut down for 3 days in a row.

    • larrywheels says:

      the government track that JFK was on was a threat to the track the CIA and military JCS wanted during the Kennedy era 1961-63. It is not the concept or body the government resides in -it is the people who have the power to use government for certain interests. that is the government of JFK was different from LBJ and the power shift that went with moving from VP to president in a heartbeat.

  2. Michael says:

    These are the same people who use the cliche “It’s 2013,” and then whine when someone does not think whatever cause they espouse is not important.

  3. Jeff Pascal says:

    Well said. Never have so many smart people, both conspiracists, and lone nut theorists, have said so many dumb, knee jerk, close minded, and insensitive comments about such a terrible event. Besides all the historical ramifications, it is rarely if ever mentioned that the Kennedy Administration brought the great poet Robert Frost to the White House, and Igor Stravinsky one of the greatest composers who ever lived. JFK was a well rounded man who could inspire like no other across many areas-Arts, Politics, Sports, History, and through out the world.

  4. Dan says:

    Professor Larry Sabato’s new book “The Kennedy Half-Century” reports on a public opinion survey taken as part of the book project. JFK is the most highly rated president by the public for the period since 1953. And fully three quarters of respondents reject the official conclusion that Oswald acted alone in killing Kennedy. These survey results indicate that the issues involve reflect widely held views among the American public, rather than marginal or fringe views.

  5. Phillip Dodge says:

    By many accounts “Parkland” is an entertaining movie. It should simply be remembered that it is fiction. Any actual similarity to the real events are a coincidence. There are people, movies and books coming out of the woodwork now to coincide with the anniversary. Jesse Ventura goes on Coast To Coast tomorrow to address it. Roger Stone, somebody who actually knows what happened has written a nice piece lambasting one of the books: http://dailycaller.com/2013/10/02/what-caro-knew/

  6. Neil Hodges says:

    The author of the article seems to be attacking the film ‘Parkland’ for being too oblivious to the unanswered questions about what happened in Dallas that day. That seems like a fair criticism of the film.

  7. Hans Trayne says:

    Jim DiEugenio gives his take on what’s wrong with ‘Parkland’ here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3HSSuMo7hBw

    The video interview is a special treat for those who have never seen him in person. I do hope he follows Len Osanic’s example & posts more of his analysis on YouTube. I admire Jim’s style; no one cuts thru BS, distortions & lies on the JFK murder case quite like him. I usually learn a minimum of 12 words I never knew existed in each essay he posts online.

    Notable JFK researchers/authors like Jim DiEugenio, Jeff Morley & some others give hope to old fellas like me that this JFK puzzle case may be solved while I am still breathing.

    • Photon says:

      Very revealing “interview”. So many distortions in such a limited period of time . I simply can’t see how anybody takes this guy seriously. The CIA and FBI set up Oswald as a patsy to kill JFK while simultaneously the completely incompetent Dallas Police Dept. frames him for the Tippit murder?
      And then the CIA and the Mob hire a hitman to kill Oswald-yet give the job to somebody who NEVER killed anybody?

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