The Umbrella Man

This little film by Errol Morris about The Umbrella Man in Deeley Plaza sort of captures all of the themes of the last few days’ blogs: protest, conspiracy, uncertain knowledge, the meaning of events changing with the passage of time, dodgy policing. Wonderful – thanks, Mark, for the link.

What did happen to Peter Pumpkinhead?

My three favourite books on the Kennedy assassination:

William Manchester’s The Death of a President.  Utterly compelling, minute-by-minute account, I read this in one sitting at a cricket ground in Eastbourne in the summer of 1985. It may or may not be good history, in fact it’s really part of what the event became subsequently as history, but it’s a great read.

Don DeLillo’s Libra. The book the film of which didn’t get made because of Oliver Stone, apparently, according to some stories, which is a shame. One of the few novels I’ve ever read more than once (actually, the only other one is Less than Zero). Has something in it for everyone, conspiracists and Warrenistas (I just made those terms up).

Vincent Bugliosi’s Reclaiming History. The book for grown-ups.

If I had the time, I would try to make a case for why reading lots about this is actually quite significant philosophically – conspiracy theories raise interesting epistemological issues you know. But I don’t have the time. And it would be a bit embarrassing to do so. If you don’t have time to read those books today, then you might always listen to The Wedding Present’s Kennedy, The Human League’s Seconds, or The Fall’s Oswald Defence Lawyer (there are other relevant pop songs, I’m sure, but between them, these three just about cover it all). Or try to find a recording of Lenny Bruce’s shtick on Jackie Kennedy ‘hauling ass’.