I watched about 15 minutes of CNN’s “The Seventies” and was struck by how much killing, be it radical year-to-year increases in the national homicide rate, to Manson, to Jim Jones, to the Zodiac Killer, to John Wayne Gacy, to Ted Bundy, to you name it.
In the context of Trump’s ascendancy, the CNN piece exuded the sense that people, the __ of the nation, felt America had lost its way. This feeling, of course, would lead to Reagan’s quantum leap, “Morning in America” campaign/victory.
I was struck by the degree to which the ‘70s paralleled today’s pervading ennui, quietly spreading wide like a fog or mist.
The final segment of the CNN piece, about that decade’s infamous serial killers, steadies for a few seconds on the bizarre extent to which ordinarily normal young (white) women idolized these killers, becoming their groupies, writing them letters, working and speaking on their behalf, etc.
At the end of the CNN documentary, Lawrence Wright describes the ‘70s as a decade where “killers were lauded”, while the narrator ascribes the usual liberal canards as potential root causes: poverty, broken homes, “violence as a fabric of life”, etc.
What struck me is the potential parallel here with similar young people (including women) today throwing themselves before the BLM cause (and, presumably, its activists), or in Europe commiserating with Syrian “refugee’ types, or listening to ghetto black music, or otherwise emulating white-on-black Kardashianism.
Maybe this sensibility of mine is acutely tuned in right now, having just read H’s “Submission” and “The Elementary Particles”, as well as Jonathan Franzen’s “Purity”, all novels where an emergent theme is how one’s sexual behavior and norms of intimacy is a direct consequence and one’s parents’ behavior and choices.