Free-Floating Hostility

Monday, August 14, 2006

Fanmail for Trixie

The following was transcribed from a letter my mom recently received in response to an appearance she made on TV, in which she discussed how a person can claim to be an intellectual and a person of faith at the same time. Enjoy.

Dear Prof. Trixie:

As a side effect of some of the things I’ve been reading I stumbled across what I believe to be the meaning behind all the nonsense surrounding the Kennedy assassination. The trouble I run into is that so far I have failed to find anyone who is willing to engage me in an honest dialogue about it. Even the people whom you’d think would be especially interested have been pretty dodgy about it. And there is so much inane chatter on the internet about it that I have given up trying to find a community of thinkers there.

When I saw you on [that TV show] the quality of your remarks led me to believe that you could grab hold of the right end of this idea. And when I read through the first few pages of your book on Joan of Arc I knew there was something we could work with, specifically the concept you called “A confusion of affiliations between England and France during the 100 years war.” [Trixie: What?] My own hunch about the Kennedy assassination led me directly to the American Revolution by way of the history of the French in North America. And what do I find but that the French aristocracy provided half the troops and navy and all the financing. And this was a revelation to me, since all I knew was that Jefferson and Franklin had spent a considerable amount of time in Paris. I was always under the impression that the American Revolution was all American. You know, men hiding behind rocks and trees, two if by land, Washington crossing the Delaware, that sort of stuff.

Then, when we return to the front end of American History, [Hmm] and we acknowledge that what we now call the Vietnam War began as the French-Indochina war, and we look at World War II and the storming of the beach at Normandy, and we look at the comment that Sartre made about the discomfort of American Intelligence with the notion of De Gaulle taking power in France, something alien starts to emerge. What I concluded, and what I believe still, is that we as Americans suffer from a factitious national identity. And this phrasing I think resonates very closely with what you have called a confusion of affiliations. No one can discuss the assassination openly because it’s impossible to do so without revealing this other rationality operating just below the surface. And, the idea that democracy is only skin deep wouldn’t sit too well with the populace.

Now, if for some reason you’re still a believer in the official version of events, know this: Jack Ruby made a phone call to a friend in Los Angeles twenty minutes after the assassination to arrange a new home for his dog. [Here I have elided some detail, but it is available on request.]... What’s more, all of this is in the Warren report, in the 25th volume of Hearings and Testimony. So either the left hand didn’t know what the right hand was doing, or they just figured no one would ever read that far into it. I certainly haven’t. I just found it at random. I figured the juicy bits would be at the end.

In case you were wondering what led me to start thinking of the case in these terms, it’s a little complicated, but the turning point came when I saw some documentary footage of Clay Shaw, the man Jim Garrison charged with conspiracy in 1968. He seemed to me to have a pronounced aristocratic bearing, and I wondered if that might be significant. After that, the planets just fell into alignment. The trouble is that to really flesh this story out, to give it the treatment it deserves, we require the concerted effort of a number of very educated people. People who have studied political philosophy, social sciences, history, and economics, etc [Trixie: Ah, Economics, truly my long suit]. Because what I envision is something on the scale of a Decline and Fall. A few years ago I was reading the Princess of Clèves by Madame de Lafayette and among the names that appeared in the courtly life of her times was Jacques Pierre. I didn’t know much about the French language at the time but once I realized I should pronounce the “S” it had a very familiar ring to it. [Please, FFH readers, enlighten me]I hope you realize how interesting this could get. So if you’re interested in discussing this further, or you think you could round up an adequate group of writers and researchers, I’d love to hear from you. I think this story deserves to be told and I don’t think there is anyone alive who could pull it off working alone.

2 Comment(s):

  •   Posted by Anonymous Anonymous at August 16, 2006 6:18 AM | Permanent Link to this Comment
  • Jacques Pierre . . . Zhacquespierre . . . Shakespeare?

    And . . . so the French killed Kennedy? 'Cause awesome.

    And I always learned that the French sent us boatloads of money and . . . well, boats, because they wanted us to beat the British. Does no one pay attention in history anymore? - Allison

  •   Posted by Blogger jess at August 18, 2006 1:02 PM | Permanent Link to this Comment
  • Wow... sounds like my ex.

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