“Healter Skelter”-24″ x 36″ – Oil on canvas (2012)
“I saw Elvis in a potato chip once.”
Fox Mulder, the X-Files
Today marks fifty years since the strata was jolted by news of the Manson killings, and other than the brouhaha around Tarantino’s latest desultory offing, it’s barely warranted a footnote in the press.
Unsurprising really, and frankly warranted, given the eclipsing daily horror show in this country right now. Although, given that both eras represent discriminate murders, initiated by cult members and galvanized by the rantings of a deranged egomaniac, it could be argued that recent headlines could give those of half a century ago a run for their money.
Still, I note the anniversary because of the Man/son and the haunting of the American Madonna showcase, that consumed me through much of 2012. Back then, bolstered by a literary diet that comprised things like the hefty volumes of Peter Levedna’s Sinister Forces, Adam Gorightly’s The Shadow over Santa Susana, and every dank rabbit hole on the dark web-I crafted myself a tinfoil hat so tight, I almost microwaved grey matter.
That’s not to undermine the revelations I made during that particular artistic odyssey-I stand by what I said at the time, ” the connections around the Manson case are unfathomable and have far reaching implications not just on our lives, but on a level that defies understanding”.
It does however give me a micro speck of insight, into the malaise of modern conspiracy theorists; basement dwellers, pulling on threads so to weave a magical carpet, and comfortably seat their confirmation biases on.
For what began with conspiracies about the Kennedy assassination, Roswell, the moon landing, Manson -has mutated and become the provenience of alt right agitators from 4chan cesspits, promulgating batshit schemes about Pizza parlors and the Earth being flat.
Or mass shootings as false flag events where the victims are crisis actors.
When ultimately, it’s all just another spiritual quest for understanding, a way to mollify the shared human guilt of barbarism.
In making Gods of our fears, and seeking sense of existence as a wasted byproduct for some omniscient grand plan…one discovers there isn’t any to be measured.
Killing is the ultimate zero sum, self destructive act where man is nihilist,and nothing divine.
You can read my musings from the series, in my book Rise-Man/son and the Haunting of the American Madonna, available from the following link or purchase a signed art print: