HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » Frankenheimer's Monster

Fri Oct 4, 2019, 10:09 PM

Frankenheimer's Monster


“The Manchurian Candidate” was a novel that Richard Condon published in 1959. Three years later, John Frankenheimer directed the movie version. The story was about a Korean veteran who had been a POW and tortured, which was certainly a reality for too many young men sent to fight that war. Upon his return to the US, the man was unconscious of the fact that communists from China and the Soviet Union were exercising “mind control” over him. As an assassin, he would help take over the United States.

It is difficult for those who were not alive at that time to appreciate how frightening this movie was for many Americans. Both World War Two and the Korean War were recent history. The Soviet Union had tested its first atomic bomb ten years earlier. “Red” China, as it was known in the U.S. then, had openly intervened in the Korean War by 1950, literally sending waves of soldiers that made our forces run out of ammunition. US POWs were “brainwashed” – it is accurate to say our soldiers were terribly mistreated. China would have the atomic bomb by 1964. So all these factors made Americans uneasy.

How frightened were people at the time? My generation recalls “civil defense drills” as far back as elementary school, which included hiding under our desks, or sitting with our heads between our legs in a hallway. This was our version of today's “active shooter” drills scaring the heck out of children. It was considered rational at the time.

But irrational people reacted to the fear, as well. I remember some sad incidents in the rural neighborhood of my youth. A neighbor, who was a Korean War vet, also suffered from what was called “manic depression.” Most of the time, he was an off-beat but wonderful man. He was my best friend's father. But when he didn't take his medication, he was very afraid that the Chinese were inches away from invading our country. One afternoon, when my family returned home from somewhere, he was in our basement, destroying all of my father's tools that had the color red on them. Another time, he attempted to run over a neighborhood kid wearing a red tee-shirt. The reason I tell of this will be apparent shortly.

Yet, for many Americans, that was a fantastic era. Fathers worked, mothers were homemakers, and dogs almost always behaved. As 17-year old John Lennon wrote about England, it was a time “when belly-buttons were knee-high, and only shitting was dirty, and everything else was clean and beautiful.” We watched “Father Knows Best,” and white folks were comfortable in believing they knew their place in society. Women were expected to be obscene, but not heard.

It seemed really unfair for communists to want to destroy our country. Our leaders warned us that Martin Luther King, Jr., was certainly a communist trouble-maker. Darn him. The middle class was happy to pay high taxes so that the military could keep us safe. Ignore what Ike said at the end of his presidency, for he was old and confused. We could trust the CIA to not throw the bath water out the window with Frank Rudolph Olson. We were stronger than the communists.

In 1962, authors Fletcher Knebel and Charles Bey published the novel “Seven Days in May,” which quickly became President Kennedy's favorite. The authors had based the story upon some of their feelings resulting from events and interviews with Generals Edwin Walker and Curtis LeMay. It is about a military coup that results when a president tries to make peace with the Soviet Union. Kennedy pushed for it to be made into a movie. President Kennedy allowed part of it to be filmed in the White House. Frankenheimer was the director, and it was released in 1964.

Things remained pretty darned good in the USA, with but a few exceptions. Oh, there were some political assassinations, but they were deemed the work of white men. Then, like now, murderous white men were insane loners, and that made everyone feel safer. Well, perhaps not Fred Hampton, but he wanted little children to get free breakfasts, a sure sign of communist influence. Better dead than red., it was said.

Yet the commies remained intent upon destroying us. Southern ministers conducted studies of the Beatles' music, for example, and concluded it was written by communist mind-control evil geniuses. King and others engaged in the Civil Rights movement, which in J. Edgar Hoover's expert opinion was a communist plot. Then America's youth got upset about the war to save South Vietnam from Uncle Ho, who had helped the US during WW2. Clearly, too few of these young people were watching “Father Knows Best.”

The United States in 1968 was as divided as it had been since the Civil War. It was as divided as it is today. Many in the government, including LBJ, were convinced there was a coordinated effort to overthrow the government. The Youth International Party (YIPPIE!) named their paper Over Throw, after all. And YIPPIES never told jokes. It was a tense and frequently very violent time. But we survived.

Today, we face a serious threat to our national security that isn't just in people's imaginations. It is Donald Trump, his administration, the majority of the republican politicians, and a large segment of the republican party. We are seeing Trump not only openly violating the Constitution, but aiming “dog whistles” at a segment of his followers. It's not only to those who are suffering from serious mental illnesses. Rather, he is targeting others who are obsessed with the delusional threats that Trump is barking about. These are Trump's “candidates.”

Some may inhabit the margins, and mail bombs from their van in Florida. Others are simply angry, like the guy who murdered people at the Wal-Mart in El Paso. And still others are parts of the white nationalists groups that infect our culture. They are dangerous. Trump knows this. That's why he is signaling to them that they need to act out violently, to protect him.

It's a crazy time in this country. Trump will continue to be more dangerous until between Thanksgiving and New Year's. His unstable base will become more dangerous in 2020. It is what it is.

Still, we are in an increasingly good position within this tense situation. We have elected representatives who understand the use of creative tension. And we are more powerful than our opposition in every important way.

Peace,
H2O Man

14 replies, 577 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 14 replies Author Time Post
Reply Frankenheimer's Monster (Original post)
H2O Man Oct 4 OP
NRaleighLiberal Oct 4 #1
H2O Man Oct 4 #2
coeur_de_lion Oct 4 #3
H2O Man Oct 5 #4
coeur_de_lion Oct 5 #5
H2O Man Oct 5 #8
coeur_de_lion Oct 5 #10
malaise Oct 5 #6
H2O Man Oct 5 #9
coeur_de_lion Oct 5 #7
H2O Man Oct 5 #11
coeur_de_lion Oct 5 #12
malaise Oct 5 #13
coeur_de_lion Oct 5 #14

Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri Oct 4, 2019, 10:22 PM

1. Thanks for a good dose of hope to end my day with.

Spot on and brilliant, as always.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to NRaleighLiberal (Reply #1)

Fri Oct 4, 2019, 10:39 PM

2. Thank you!

I appreciate it.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri Oct 4, 2019, 11:32 PM

3. Why between Thanksgiving and New Year?

Great OP as per usual H.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to coeur_de_lion (Reply #3)

Sat Oct 5, 2019, 12:48 AM

4. It is just

based upon my interpreting the facts coming out, the pace they are coming out, and my thoughts about the sociopath in the Oval Office. It is certain possible, even likely, that I could be off by up to 24 hours either way.

On an added note, I got my box-set of the "new" Abbey Road yesterday. I can't stop listening to it.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to H2O Man (Reply #4)

Sat Oct 5, 2019, 11:03 AM

5. How is Abbey Road new? Tell me about it.

You're cute. I hope you aren't off by more than 24 hours. That would be tragic.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to coeur_de_lion (Reply #5)

Sat Oct 5, 2019, 02:45 PM

8. Anything is possible.

But everything isn't.

I began collecting everything by and about the Beatles the day after they first appeared on Ed Sullivan. That includes post-Beatles, too .....I love the Plastic Ono Band.

Last year's boxed-set of the White Album, like this year's Abbey Road, is re-mastered. Both are great. But what I really love are the studio out takes. Even with my collection of various bootleg records, I am happy to get "new" versions of old songs.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to H2O Man (Reply #8)

Sat Oct 5, 2019, 02:49 PM

10. Sounds really great

I must get a copy for my husband.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sat Oct 5, 2019, 11:09 AM

6. Another great essay - it is what it is

Thank you my brother

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to malaise (Reply #6)

Sat Oct 5, 2019, 02:48 PM

9. Thank you!

Much appreciated!

Even I am surprised by the increasing pace of the leaks coming out. Along with the idiot's rants, it is evident that he will be impeached. I am thinking he will be convicted in the Senate if he tries to fight it there ....but I think he will quit first. And it will be too late for a pardon then, though I have wondered if he will try to pardon himself. Ha!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sat Oct 5, 2019, 11:34 AM

7. When you say creative tension

Still, we are in an increasingly good position within this tense situation. We have elected representatives who understand the use of creative tension. And we are more powerful than our opposition in every important way.


How do you mean it? Do you mean Nancy holding a press conference during Rump's meeting with the Finnish president?

I am watching Rachel Maddow right now with Susan Rice. And listening to the two women does make me feel better. Reading your OP is also reassuring in much the same way. Though at the same time, the times we're living in are still a bit scary.

The reassuring part of your OP and Rice and Maddow's comments is that we actually have been through worse before, and we survived and became stronger. Out of all of this I expect to see new laws that make it impossible to have another tRump.


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to coeur_de_lion (Reply #7)

Sat Oct 5, 2019, 02:52 PM

11. Right.

I think that Speaker Pelosi is good at this. And I think that the chairs of some of the committees are equally good at it. This makes for a strong team.

What I think is really interesting is that those in the Congress know a heck of a lot that isn't being reported to the public yet. More, people in the administration know a lot more, too. It is apparent that a group of them are coordinating the knee-capping that we are enjoying these days.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to H2O Man (Reply #11)

Sat Oct 5, 2019, 03:03 PM

12. Oh that's reassuring too

We all counted on Mueller so heavily. Even when there were warnings that we shouldn't.

But this is so much more satisfying.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to coeur_de_lion (Reply #7)

Sat Oct 5, 2019, 03:18 PM

13. I sure hope so

This planet does not need another Con

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to malaise (Reply #13)

Sat Oct 5, 2019, 03:21 PM

14. For sure

We will win because we have to.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread