Charles Manson just died.
When I was seven I saw MANSON in huge blood-red letters painted onto the street in the spooky tree-shaded corner of my (actually haunted) neighborhood. That piqued my interest in this mythical character. Who would scrawl such a bold ode? I had to understand …
It was the time of KISS and K. C. and the Sunshine Band and 7-11 Football Trading Cups and WCIX Creature Features. Who was this great man, that his name was the only one ever painted in our neighborhood?
So I studied this legendary Man-son. He was a hippie—the hippie. A prison-educated confidence man with occult powers. An evil hippie leading the naive hippies, the scary essence of hippie. If Do What Thou Wilt is the hippie way, and he wanted to do something B-horror, why not? He was the King of Scary Freedom. We loved him. His name scared mall zombies and parents, which made us love him more.
Then came the greatest televised moral reversal in television history. Of all time. The imperative that we assent to invented value was hacked. You can check it out here.