Why is Charles Manson so notorious? - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#14864181
Charles Manson, one of the most notorious murderers of the 20th century, who was very likely the most culturally persistent and perhaps also the most inscrutable, died on Sunday in Kern County, Calif. He was 83 and had been behind bars for most of his life.


https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/20/obit ... -dead.html
#14864188
As murderers go, Charles Manson was small potatoes. He didn't even kill anyone himself - he sent his minions out to do it for him. As Godstud has said, he became notorious mainly because of who his victims were, and also because he played into the anxieties and obsessions of American society at the time. Manson seemed to come out of the hippy counter-culture (though in fact he didn't - he was a product of the prison-industrial complex of the 1940s and 50s, who happened to latch onto the hippy movement in the 60s), and was therefore seized on by conservative commentators as embodying all that was wrong and corrupt about that counter-culture. Also, the whole cult thing made him look dangerously charismatic and enigmatic, as though he was going to brainwash all of the middle class's children and order them to murder their parents or something. He was almost tailor-made to play into the fears and insecurities of middle-America in the 60s. All of these factors made him seem much more important than he actually was.
#14864192
seized on by conservative commentators as embodying all that was wrong and corrupt about that counter-culture.


Yes. Definitely.
This was the main reason why the whole thing was hyped up and it worked. lol
#14864199
@ness31
It used to be a cross but Manson changed to a swastika before or during his trial.

seized on by conservative commentators as embodying all that was wrong and corrupt about that counter-culture.


There was a similar stitch up, to a lesser degree, in the UK with the death of Lea Betts in the mid nineties.. The rave culture never really recovered.

The death of Leah Betts coincided with the golden age of British rave and Ecstasy culture, with the Home Office estimating that 1.5 million pills were consumed every weekend. Cultural historian, Ogersby, described the rave (and by consequence, Ecstasy usage) as the ‘Biggest youth subculture Britain had ever seen.’ At the time of her death 50 other youngsters were said to have died as a result of Ecstasy.

The aftermath of this tragedy saw the Government, her parents and the media, engage in the construction of a moral panic that lasted for years. This created a lasting legacy of irrational attitudes towards MDMA – particularly amongst those who lived through the incident. Restrictions on the ‘Rave’ have been described as the ‘Strictest set of social and cultural controls since WWII.’ The British Government continue to ignore the scientific findings of Dr Nutt’s famous paper, published in 2009, advocating a change in classification of the drug.

The Daily Mail, The Sun, The Times and the mirror published the harrowing image seen earlier in this article, with only The Guardian refraining from displaying such harrowing imagery on its front page. From the outset, it appeared as if editorial decisions were being made to shock readers into a state of horror, as they absorbed the narratives of the night.

This story was given high priority by the British press and received extended and comprehensive coverage for at least two years following Leah’s death. In the immediate months following the death, coverage tended to be concentrated in the early pages of newspapers, reflecting the prioritization given to this story by the editors. The Daily Mail continued to reference Leah Betts in Ecstasy polemics as late as 2002, whilst The Times mentioned her as late as 2009.

Predictably, headlines tended to exaggerate the dangers of Ecstasy. Notable examples from the Daily Mail and The Guardian include: ‘There is only one truth about ecstasy: it kills;’ ‘Ecstasy is one of the biggest threats to young people;’ ‘Ecstasy users often have violent and unpredictable results;’ and ‘If it can happen to the Betts family, it can happen to any family.’

Occasionally, coverage presented such claims in a statistical context – the Daily Mail referenced a senior social worker who claimed chances of death from ecstasy were a mere 6.8 million to 1. Such claims were routinely nullified through their positioning in articles with titles such as ‘Don’t Tell me Ecstasy does not kill.’ Even Sting was ridiculed for defending the drug.

Dubious scientific claims were ubiquitous throughout the reporting of the incident. A consistently quoted study produced at the University of Sheffield claimed to prove that Ecstasy users ‘Face irreversible damage to the brain, the heart and the liver.’ On closer examination however, the study is shown to be weak in methodology – based on a survey of 7 deceased Ecstasy users, the sample size was far too small by any scientific standard to present results as scientific fact.

Equally dubious was the claim made throughout the press by Senior police officer, Chief Inspector David Perry, who argued that Ecstasy causes an ‘Allergic type reaction.’ Such claims lay unexamined.

The Daily Mail, in a review of the film, Trainspotting, proclaimed: ‘This is the odious culture that killed Leah Betts,’ conflating the dangers of heroin with the dangers of Ecstasy. Sensationalist journalism at its finest.

Crucially, the press provided a key platform for authoritarian sources, including Leah’s parents, the aforementioned Chief Inspector Perry, and self-righteous tabloid journalists, to become moral spokesmen. Understandably devasted, the pieces written by Paul Betts in the Daily Mail and the ubiquitous voice given to all such moral spokesmen across the press, ensured that Leah’s story was a true parable of innocence, corrupted by the dangers of a malevolent, evil trade. Alternative narratives were few and far between.

When the actual cause of death was shown to be water intoxication, the British tabloid press in particular continued to stress the dangers of Ecstasy, rather than the need for better education on safe drug use.

Golding’s claim that the press ‘Is public opinion, or at least the visible version of it to which administrators respond,’ appears highly valid in this instance. The passing of the 1996 Public Entertainment License Bill was launched with the direct aid of Leah’s parents. Whilst Ecstasy is by no means completely safe, Governmental and ‘Public,’ opinion towards MDMA has been significantly shaped by press-sustained moral panic following the death of Leah Betts.

Some of the most recent estimations regarding the scale of Ecstasy usage in the UK, stem from the results of the 2014/15 British Crime survey. This study indicated that during the year, around 575,000 16-59 year olds had used the drug – a significant decrease from the peak consumption of the 1990s. Such is the power of the press and moral panic in modern Britain.


https://buckethatparadigm.wordpress.com ... ral-panic/
#14864202
What would the British middle classes be without their moral panics, a23? Feeling outraged about something or other gives them a reason to get up every morning. Lol. ;)
#14864245
Potemkin wrote:What would the British middle classes be without their moral panics, a23? Feeling outraged about something or other gives them a reason to get up every morning. Lol. ;)

Yes.
Nothing like a good grumble. So typically English.
#14864272
Part of it is that people were trying to discredit hippies by painting him as their representative.

Precisely. It was useful to the conservatives to build a myth about Charles Manson. Objectively speaking, he was and is a completely unimportant figure. He wasn't even a hippy; even a cursory glance at his biography tells you that. He was a delinquent who spent most of his life behind bars and was thoroughly institutionalised by his early 30s; so much so that he pleaded with the authorities not to release him. He told them that if he was released, he was going to kill somebody. They went ahead and released him anyway, of course. He moved to San Francisco just in time for the beginning of the hippy counter-culture, and cynically latched onto it as an easy way of getting free sex and starry-eyed adulation from impressionable teenage middle-class girls who wore flowers in their hair and wanted to rebel against 'The Man'. To his own astonishment, Charles Manson found that a cult developed around him, and he exploited it to the hilt. Being a sociopath, of course, the free sex and adulation alone was not enough for him, and he used 'The Family' to act out his aggressive impulses against society....
#14864299
I have this half-written thing in my head where Joe Friday and Bill Gannon are trying to solve the Manson murders and as it's happening they have have to reconcile that society itself has moved on and they are relics fighting for a world that no longer exists. Joe Friday would have to confront the fact that he was gay at the same time. As there's no way that dude was straight.

He turns down Dorthy Miller for no other reason than he's a lifelong bachelor for fuck's sake.

Image
#14864306
Joe Friday would have to confront the fact that he was gay at the same time. As there's no way that dude was straight.

He turns down Dorthy Miller for no other reason than he's a lifelong bachelor for fuck's sake.

Gives a whole new meaning to the title 'Dragnet'.... :excited:
#14864311
ness31 wrote:What was with the swastika on his forehead? I wonder if it was meant to be a symbol of religion or white supremacy?


He was a white supremacist.

Anyway, good riddance! :cheers:
#14864367
People are afraid of what they don't understand. Manson was a highly misunderstood individual.

Everyone thinks he was out of his mind, but I don't think so. He made a lot of really great points when he talked, and he was able to offer some very wise insight about the reality of the world that we live in.
#14864370
People are afraid of what they don't understand. Manson was a highly misunderstood individual.

Everyone thinks he was out of his mind, but I don't think so. He made a lot of really great points when he talked, and he was able to offer some very wise insight about the reality of the world that we live in.

I agree. Manson was highly intelligent, and he had a lot of spare time in his life to mull thing over. Lol. And he was right about one thing: the system created him. Given his childhood experiences, it's difficult to see how he could have turned out any other way. He was fucked from the day he was born.
#14864395
Potemkin wrote:...Manson seemed to come out of the hippy counter-culture (though in fact he didn't - he was a product of the prison-industrial complex of the 1940s and 50s, who happened to latch onto the hippy movement in the 60s), and was therefore seized on by conservative commentators as embodying all that was wrong and corrupt about that counter-culture. ...

Yes, and all the sick plotting, racist overtones, and murder that Manson represented in mass media created a wonderful and useful counterpoint (distraction) to all the sick plotting, racist overtones, and mass murder that the conservative forces of American politics were indulging in during this period in Korea, Vietnam, Latin America, and dozens of other helpless countries that weren't as telegenic as Sharon Tate.

If you were starting to think that conservative, traditional America "dropped experimental chemicals on poor people and gave toxic drugs to soldiers," you could always balance this by pointing to that hippy freak who killed perfectly nice Hollywood chicks.

In the end, this propaganda distraction was intended to push Americans toward supporting the devil they knew.
#14864474
At the end of the sixties the establishment was under attack from the youth and the counter culture. The Vietnam War was in full swing and this was fuelling anti government sentiment. The youth held the moral high ground and the old order were increasingly marginalised. The murder of Sharon Tate was seized upon and used to attack the counter culture and all it stood for.


Edit:
...hippies came together and it was a response to the Vietnam War, Manson not only killed his victims, he killed the whole baby boomers' peace and love movement

http://www.dailynews.com/2017/11/19/cha ... ge-in-l-a/

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