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August 2015

A Susceptible Mind

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The key ingredient was to find a person of faultless poise. A person willing to see both sides of the argument, but also the ability to find an equilibrium permitting the completion of the task at hand. With two forces tugging at both ends, which way would he turn when the time came? The end result of every constructed and orchestrated plot is for the most part, demise. There are too many dumb people involved, arrogance, megalomania, external forces, and straight up unforeseen (which should be foreseen) stupidity that comes into play. A deep fall for many characters who essentially feel like they’re dying, desperately searching for a way out of their own painted corner. The best recourse would have been a lone wolf, but they had gone too far, and everyone involved would pay in one way or another.

“In the evening he sat on the porch, thinking. He believed it was a natural law that men with secrets tend to be drawn to each other, not because they want to share what they know but because they need the company of the like-minded, the fellow afflicted – a respite from the other life, from the eerie realness of living with people who do not keep secrets as a profession or duty, or a business fixed to one’s existence.”

Man do I love me some conspiracy theories (this review was done before I became aware of Bannon). I even have my own tinfoil hat in the closet that I constructed a few inches larger because I’m paranoid my head is getting bigger by the day. Speaking of conspiracy theories, did you hear that Elvis Presley is alive in well in the home of the smallest jail house in Canada; Tweed, Ontario. Or that Mother Teresa was actually an undercover agent for America to help curb Russian influence in India during the Cold War. Great foreshadowing for the doozy that comes in Don Delillo’s Libra. It seems that for every big event you get a new conspiracy, and for every big conspiracy the “truthers” come out in droves. I personally don’t believe in a lot of what they spew, but damn it is very interesting and amazing the lengths they will go to support their claim.

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Told Ya So

Perhaps, I enjoy conspiracies because it is a trip to a not so ordinary life where everything is not how it is presented to be. Like the preacher’s wife with a beaming smile in the department store developed picture with her husband and two children in their coordinated outfits. There’s no way in hell she can be that happy, can she? Maybe it says more about the theorist than it does the realist, perhaps it’s the pessimism in most people that hope that there’s more too it than meets the eye. For me its more the whole “Loch Ness monster” effect that drives me to conspiracies. Being exposed to the unbelievable is a lot more interesting even if you know its not really there. Maybe it’s fear or just wishful thinking, but as long as there are major events there will always be conspiracies. No greater event has caused more controversy and conspiring thoughts than the John Fitzgerald Kennedy assassination, which brings me to Don Delillo’s Libra.

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During a time when Pearl Harbor, The Cold War and The Cuban Missile Crisis brought about a feeling of insecurity among Americans, there has been a sudden corresponding rise in civilian paranoia and haste reactions. The majority had found solace in the youthful exuberance and faithful optimism of their nation’s new young leader with the funny accent, while a small minority regarded him with a disdain that would see him take the country down due to his cooperative nature. Some people will remain patient and hope for the best, while others will take it upon themselves to be the protectors of ideologies and values that their country, as well as themselves hold dear.

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A man with a history of abandonment, truancy and violence in a militaristic time has manifested into delusions of grandeur, but a man that still appreciates life’s struggles. A misplaced martyr, an in the bones mama’s boy, a leftist sympathizer, Castro pawn; how can you ask a person with his history to fail? Sounds to me like failure due to over analysis, or is it the perfect plan… Lee was always searching for something to identify with, always searching for a truth in the world so he could have a new beginning. Spending countless hours in the library reading everything he could get his hands on but always going back to Russian manifestos and aviation, he would soon get the answer he had been searching for.

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“A family expects you to be one thing when you’re another. They twist you out of shape. You have a brother with a good job and a nice wife and nice kids and they want you to be a person they will recognize. And a mother in a white uniform who grips your arms and weeps. You are trapped in their minds. They shape and hammer you. Going away is what you do to see yourself plain.”

Enlisting in the Marines has brought about its own separate challenges. Military imprisonment had transformed Lee from a man of great thought to a man with a true call to action for his thoughts. By learning the full force of the system he had become a vicious, hardened and ruthless person. Looking for an alias, who knew he would find it in Lee Harvey Oswald. He knew that from watching how national, as well as municipal media would add a middle name that previously had served little purpose outside of a measly initial on a military recruitment application. What you can’t deny is the power of the spoken middle name, just ask my fourth grade French teacher.

This book was a postcard from the edge of reason with narratives that are constantly switching time and place setting, and a tone congruent to the mind state of Mr.Oswald. Definitely not an accommodating flow of information but one that grants you a residency inside the mind where the decision to hold secrets reign supreme. A story of contradictions that allows you to see both sides. Too be honest I didn’t really enjoy this book at all. I have never met a JFK assassination documentary that I haven’t enjoyed, but enough is enough. I believe if I had read this at the time of the books release I would have enjoyed it more, but reading it now; it never really had a fair shot. I guess when I found it was written by Don Delillo I was hoping for something way off the wall and genre-bending. I feel it kind of stayed too much on the path and was overall too serious and boring. One thing is for sure, is that this reads like it may have been a work of non-fiction, the writing is that convincing and my mind is already far too impressionable.

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” ‘There is politics, there is emotion, there is psychology. I know him quite well but I wouldn’t be completely honest if I said I could put him down, pin him right to the spot. He may be a pure Marxist, the purest of believers. Or he may be an actor in real life. What I know with absolute certainty is that he’s poor, he’s dreadfully, grindingly poor. What’s the expression I want? ‘                                                                                                                                                                 ‘Piss poor.’ “

 

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