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Lay...a nation mourns his life (Satire)

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Message Paul Titterton
The latest speculation that Ken Lay's death seemed a little convenient, reminded me that the US does conspiracy better than anyone. They have had a few dreadful recent assassinations for one thing. A response to cumulative tragedy maybe?... Not that a lot of people would have viewed Lay's death as such.

The very wonderfully acted, but totally misleading film, JFK, introduced a whole new glitz to the concept of conspiracy. How could a strange wee guy with an Italian pop gun, achieve what the mighty Khrushchev failed to do with a thousand missiles? He had even bought his rifle from the back of a comic book!

It must have been bigger. It's too unbalanced. It must have been more complicated..a Cuban or a Mafia /CIA /Russian plot. Oswald had even been to Russia! We loved Kennedy. We voted for him. Well, yes and no. Polls taken after his death showed that every American except Nixon and his wife had voted for him in retrospect. Of course it was closer than that, but a death is apparently good for your legacy. I wonder if Bush has thought this through, as his numbers sink.

"This hound don't hunt." was Walter Matthau's line in JFK, but it does, indeed hunt. The Italians make rather good machinery as every Ferrari driver will acknowledge. Oswald was trained by the US Army as a marksman. They kept his records and he was well capable of the hit. The "magic bullet" was completely explainable, given our reconstructive capability and graphics unavailable in 1963.

The Zapruder film has been analysed in ways that were unimaginable at the time. Oswald killed Kennedy. The public death of Oswald, was pure theatre and further "proof" that others were involved, but no, Ruby was simply the first televised person willing to swap an ordinary, if criminal, life, for international fame and prison-based glory.

Now Bobby Kennedy's death is different. Whilst it is certain that it was Sirhan Sirhan, the fact that he was released from a mental hospital because of budget cuts, adds an element of controversy. Fingers pointed to the conveniently deceased Reagan, who authorised the cuts.

King. This is still argued about. His killer, James Earl Ray, came to Britain to escape the law. The death of this wonderful man was a tragedy, from which America is still trying to recover. The fact that Hoover was trying to slander him because of his infidelity is so unforgivable, that I think Hoover's image should be put on Mount Rushmore, in a dress, to punish all Hoovers for all eternity, now that the great hypocrite has passed on.

I have no problem with men wearing dresses, as Hoover is widely rumoured to have done, only those who hassle others about their private lives. Hoover and the FBI did it, as much as Ray.

I had always hoped that King, when he marched, had been protected by his faith and been serenely immune to earthly worry and personal violence. No, not only was he human in the sense of infidelity, but he was also, like a few other humans, frightened. He did not like being punched, stabbed and spat at. The recent death of the Civil Rights activist, Rosa Parks, reminded me of the importance of King's work.

Despite his immense contribution though, he would have been much more help to the world, had he lived. His attack on the Vietnamese War was taking the fight beyond the borders and could have shown that the US screwed people abroad as well, not just blacks at home. No one was able to continue his work. Rosa Parks sat at the front seat of the bus and now American blacks can do likewise. However, the rest of the world's black people still have to sit at the back. MLK ...RIP.

I mentioned that popularity following a death can rise significantly and the Elvis and Jim Morrison sightings show this clearly. Death is no barrier to commercial success, in fact, it seems a sure fire way of improving both record sales and your legacy, as mankind has an inbuilt bias against bad mouthing the dead. Also our lack of ease with death means that all sorts of macabre and ridiculous ideas get discussed. Bodies go missing and record sales rise in tandem.

Record companies, never slow to spot a potential market, will be loath to quell a rumour which seems to give publicity to any artist. There really is no such thing as bad publicity. Morrison appeared to be smart enough to see what was happening to him and might have faked his death. The foreign burial added to the mystery as well.

However poor old Elvis could not see what he had become. His death would have caused way more sales as Elvis the Global Legend, than he would have achieved as Elvis the Globe. If you want to look at Elvis the Conspiracy, you could start with finding out where the record company sales people were the night he died. (In case I get sued, I wish to make it clear that Elvis died from a self-inflicted overdose of deep-fried peanut butter'n banana sandwiches.

He was not bumped off by any record company employee, who knows any lawyer. I wish to further make it clear, that I do not blame any member of his kitchen staff who helped prepare the final meal... .....this was a mercy sandwiching.)
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'Hamish ' is an antiwar writer socialist- scientist and musician living in Scotland.
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