So I'm Reading This Book

Well, I'm trying to read it, anyway.

This is a book called Teddy Bare, written by someone called Zad Rust and published in 1971 by some outfit called Western Islands. It purports to tell the true story of Ted Kennedy's accident at Chappaquiddick in 1969 in which 28-year old Mary Jo Kopechne tragically died.

I bought this book for next to nothing at a used bookstore sometime in the 1990's.  If I recall correctly, I got about as far as this bit in the "prologue" before tossing the book aside:
The man for whose benefit so much legal and illegal manipulation has been practised is, as was each of his two brothers, one of the prominent operators chosen by the Hidden Forces that are hurling the countries of Western Civilization toward the Animal Farm world willed by Lenin and his successors.
Ah. Hidden Forces. Western Civilization. Those of you with any familiarity with the Internet writings and commentary of today's conservative wingnuts may recognize a common stylistic flourish here: the tendency to Randomly Capitalize words, and the tendency to capitalize words to emphasize their Extreme Importance. Or maybe to indicate Iconic Status. I don't know. What will be interesting will be finding out if Mr. Rust will be able to resist the temptation TO GO ALL CAPS ON MY ASS.

Oh, fuck. Here it is, 25 pages in:
So we've got Random Caps, ALL CAPS, Hidden Forces imperiling Western Civilization, and a Democrat in the White House (referring to JFK here) who was Secretly Working to Bring America Down. And it's only 1971, for chrissakes.

Already I have the beginnings of a theory; today's wingnuts are the wildly inbred, horribly disfigured descendants of the John Birch Society, once thought beaten into irrelevance, but now multiplying again, even "perfected" like the Uruk-hai orcs in Lord Of The Rings. I know, this has certainly been suggested by others, but I'm thinking this book might be an interesting experiment with the potential to confirm that theory.  I've never read it before, having purchased it in all innocence of its political batshittery and quickly tossing it aside in disgust, but before I get more deeply into it, let's see what sort of predictions result from the theory. What else, now, should I look for to see if, in fact, today's wingnuts are the same mindlessly belligerent, resistant to reality, and hopelessly paranoid scum making the same arguments with the occasional update  as yesterday's Birchers?

Well, I suppose we'll need to find some racism in the book somewhere, maybe some accusation that a prominent and politically involved black man is secretly working for the Other Side. Bonus points if your characterization of this man includes accusations that are mutually incompatible.  Oh, hey--check this out from the bottom of page one:
These qualities are quite different from those suggested to the public mind by a relentless and formidable international publicity effort, comparable only to that exerted by the organs of public information of every country to kill, morally and politically, Senator Joe McCarthy, or to transform into an apostle of peace and non-violence Martin Luther King, Jr., the communistoid agent, provoker, and organizer of all the violence that has disrupted the national life of the United States in the last decade and that will continue to disrupt it for years to come.
Well, it looks like the writer really hits that one out of the park.  The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., a Baptist minister, was secretly an agent working for the godless commies. Definitely bonus points for coining the term "communistoid." That highlights the alien nature of the enemy, and strongly suggests the presence of Pod People in our midst. Or, if not fully grown Pod People, at least some Anchor Babies.

Now granted, this doesn't really say anything here about King's race, but we know what his fight was, and blaming the late civil rights activist for all of the violence of the previous decade and for years to come? Yeah, close enough. So we've got some racist code going here.

The reference to "the organs of public information of every country" is also nice, though not nearly as catchy as, say, "the Mainstream Media." Which is also easier to Capitalize For No Reason. Definitely missed an opportunity there, but it's the right thought.

So what else do we need? Now obviously,  we're going to need some Jesus. Can we get some Jesus in here, please?
This Force of Darkness has already brought the world very near to the point of no return on the road to total annihilation of the liberties of man and the independence of nations, and to the enthronement of the Antichrist.

Now I will grant you that Ted Kennedy was responsible for the death of a young woman and got off easy (from a legal standpoint) with a charge of leaving the scene of an accident. He may or may not have been drunk (his earlier driving record suggests he was capable of driving off a bridge with no help from any substance), but the evidence suggests that he was negligent and did attempt, for a time, to cover up his involvement and only admitted to being the driver after his lawyer friends refused to back up an invented story.

But that's a story of money and politics and power and privilege; it's not a story of betrayal of a country to foreign powers or of delivering America to its enemies. The author might actually have a valid point in there about money and power, but by failing to apply the same standards to his own ideology (as witnessed by his defending of Joe McCarthy, above) and lashing out with the accusation that those who disagree with him are not political opponents in a democracy but traitors, he has fled Earth for Planet Wingnut. That particular charge, in this book, seems to be more about JFK's actions while in the White House than anything really involving Ted, and mostly involve failing to overthrow Castro in Cuba at the Bay of Pigs and having the audacity to actually negotiate with the Soviets.

Because any disinclination to bash the shit out of any country we're having issues with is tantamount to treason. That's a charge, incidentally, that got thrown around a lot when the U.S. invaded Iraq, when it turned out not everyone Supported The President, which of course means Hating America, at least when the President is a White Christian Republican.

But hey, let's get back to our story. What else should we expect from our Birch Tea Society author, in order to really confirm this theory of the passing of political DNA? Hmmm, I suppose we haven't seen anything lambasting sex education, or the lack of prayers in school and government, or contraception, or rock music. Roe v. Wade was still in the future, so we might not expect anything about abortion necessarily. Gays were still in the closet, so we might not talk about that, but I'm sure something about sexual mores will raise its ugly head. And we'll need some Flag, and some Cross, and maybe a bit about "activist judges" or the 1971 equivalent. And religious persecution. Let's not forget religious persecution.

And we'll need some FEMA camps or something, to confine the good people who dissent.

And what about the children? Won't somebody think of the children?

It's hard, though, to fit all that into a narrative about a car accident and subsequent cover-up, so let's see if maybe there is some kind of "conclusion" chapter that really brings it home at the end.

Oh yeah.

He cleverly titles this chapter Conclusion.
When systematic corruption of teenagers and younger children by pornographic literature and so-called sex education, in the schools; the invasion of the streets by looters, arsonists, and snipers; confinement in a mental institution by simple administrative decision or the arbitrary ruling of a judge; the public defilement of the national flag and the glorification of that of the enemy; the outlawing by the courts of the land of the name of God and of the display of the Cross, are looked at with indifference--
Wow, he's really on a roll here. So let's skip to the end. And could we please confuse America with the whole world? That would really give it that special proto-Internet feeling.

And maybe throw out an accusation of enforced, dogmatic political beliefs (Political Correctness), and toss in everybody's favorite, Evil, and I think we have a match.
Millions have understood, at least for a while, that what had happened had plunged the American community still deeper into the zone of callous insensibility, of mental and moral asphyxiation, where it could not live much longer without coagulating into a faceless mass of political robots, broken to the harness of a satanic and lethal power--a power which, since the very beginning of the Roosevelt era, has been driving the United States, and with it the whole world of Western civilization, toward surrender and perdition.
Yeah, yeah, we're fucking doomed. We'll never make it past 1978. I get it.

Same shit, different decade. Pretty impressive how Obama can stand in for all three Kennedys and Martin Luther King, Jr., though. That's one dangerous dude.

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