JFK: The cultural impact of an assassination

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This year marks 25 years since the release of Oliver Stone’s JFK (1991), starring Kevin Costner and a flamboyant supporting cast including Tommy Lee Jones, Joe Pesci, Donald Sutherland and Sissy Spacek. The three hour-plus film reignited debate over the 1963 assassination of US president John Fitzgerald Kennedy. A quarter of a century on, that debate still festers. In addition to Stone’s fascinating (though hugely flawed) production, Kennedy’s murder has spawned countless books, films, television documentaries and websites, each devoted to solving the crime. Virtually all take a position on the shooting underpinned by one of two competing theories. On … Continue reading

Paedogeddon

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British newspapers are overwhelmed with stories about paedophilia scandals. The latest name on the growing list of accused public figures is the late Ted Heath, who served as premier between 1970 and 1974. With over 40 politicians currently under investigation, what began with the BBC’s Jimmy Savile in 2012, now seems to be engulfing the entire political class. As a lifelong bachelor, Heath showed very little interest in women. He was enthusiastic about sailing and composing music. Not surprisingly, the Tory leader was suspected of being gay. Yet it has never been proven. Conservative Brian Coleman claimed Heath was ‘cottaging’ … Continue reading

The Bullet That Saved JFK

Kennedys Riding in Dallas Motorcade

To many, John F Kennedy was a hero. The pretensions of the Great Man are always a worthwhile target and the Kennedy cult is one such prime case. The legend of John F Kennedy is a tightly inflated balloon that has been wafting across the discourse since the young man defeated Nixon in 1960. Fifty years since the man was gunned down under circumstances of considerable fixation the time is more than ripe to take aim at that balloon and fire. Kennedy is not remembered for the details of his foreign policy, his efforts in the subversion of Latin American … Continue reading