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.
JFK: “The Political Rorshach Test,” by Jefferson Morley, Los Angeles Times, Dec. 8, 1991)
Plus: JFK Facts on the Cinema of Assassination