|Pop Culture Gadabout|
Wednesday, March 19, 2008 |
( 3/19/2008 07:35:00 PM ) Bill S.
CHARLIE: Reading today that two possible gravesites have been found at the Manson Family ranch got me remembering what a psychic mindfuck the Mansonites repped back in their day. We've seen our share of creepy violent cults in America over the years, but back in '69, Charlie Manson and his brood were something special: a loud and violent refutation to the sixties' audacity of hope. Even if you believed back then that the already dying hippie movement was largely b.s., the antics of the longhaired Manson and his heavily damaged acolytes were disheartening - if only because they served to reinforce every negative stereotype that the media and opportunistic political hacks like then-governor Ronald Reagan used to employ against those ungrateful hippiefreaks.
You can see the counter-cultural dismay reflected in some of the more memorable underground comix published in the aftermath of the Sharon Tate murders: R. Crumb did a bloody Manson strip ("Jumpin' Jack Flash") for Thrilling Murder Comics, one of the first of the horror comix, while Greg Irons & Tom Veitch's Legion of Charlies memorably conflated Manson with the My Lai massacre's Charlie Company. Looking at 'em today, you still see the sense of rage and betrayal driving each cartoonist. Even the most cynical undergrounder could still be appalled by the Family . . .