Welcome back to my blog, which will remain unnamed for now. Though I am shifting out of LA (my old blog) and into NY; this piece focuses on LA’s most infamous murder(er).
I am reading “Manson: In his own words” which is pretty self-explanatory. Except for the part where most of what you’ve been fed about Charles Manson, the smooth-talking, charm-the-pants-off-of-anyone, master manipulator, is a media slant.
Now, I don’t know old Charlie personally. And as I once said in my old blog Hollywouldn’t, I could have made a great defense attorney because I have a special ability to befriend crazy. I am the Clarice to your Hannibal Lecter if you will. Just scratching my head and wondering why you eat people, not just simply disturbed at face value that you eat people, and turning my head in proper disgust. No, no. I am eternally entertained by the fascinatingly batshit. Like, for example, Jodi Arias. Hands down the most bonkers, broken little screwball of a girl I have ever studied. I mean here’s a girl who was obsessed with a boy she dated for only six months; rather than move on, she pined over him for another year after they split, slashed his tires when he was with other girls, then threw 6 cans of gasoline in her (please make it inconspicuous) rental car and drove across a couple states to stab him 27 times, slit his throat, then shoot him in the head after a day-long sexcapade of homemade porn and camping rope. She then jumped back in the car, drove through the desert, left him a voicemail asking where he was (Twilight Zone music), sent flowers to his grandmother in his wake and then blamed it on ninjas to the cops. Come again? True story. Not so much the “boy meets girl” kind.
Talk about prime candidacy for the death penalty, yet the jury is still out. And expert testimony swears she was the victim.
The funny thing about Manson is, he was a lover not a fighter, quite literally. His sexual freedoms and promiscuity, the pimping and the failed pimping because he fell in love with his girls. Manson loved women. A contradiction to most lost boys raised by unfit mothers. Manson was born to a mother who once sold him for a beer at a bar as a baby. If that doesn’t scream mother of the year upbringing.
Manson had no idea how to bend and shape in order to be a part of society he so badly wanted to be a part of.
He spent his entire adolescence in detention centers and later full-on jails, getting raped by men twice his size. He began to rebel against, well, everything in the natural order of the world. Finally freed after almost an entire lifespan of incarceration, Manson stepped foot into the late 1960s, a decade of loose women, looser morals and drugs popped like candy. He was in culture shock. He craved to fit in, but secretly knew he never would, so he naturally craved fame instead.
Fame, is a way to never fit in really, but hell what difference does it make? Once you are famous, people have to regard you in some way. Good, bad, or indifferent. Everyone that ever ignored you, wronged you, slighted you, or otherwise; they’ll have to hear you now. Your songs on the radio, your face on the TV…
It’s the amazing race in Hollywood and it honestly hasn’t changed. The only difference with Manson was that he had no basis of comparison for reality (without structure or family) and he innately didn’t buy into society’s rules. There are many people I know like the latter. Mostly artists.
Usually the right-brained out-of-the-box thinkers of the thought, ‘who’s rules are these anyway?’ Manson was curious, wondering why you couldn’t go left when you were told to go right. Had he walked the world alone, his self-loathing eventually would have killed him. Only Manson found thirty other kids that equally didn’t believe in the “rules.” A few dozen misbehaved people who were dropping so much acid they couldn’t discern whether they had it right all along or whether the world was onto something instead.
So they had orgies, they had dinner parties, they got so high they thought they’d solved the world’s problems. To me, it sounds a lot like present day LA. They even raised a baby (Charlie’s) as a communal effort to give a big profane middle finger to the standardized parenting that had failed them all.
As far as the murders go, I call bullshit on the “Charles Manson made me do it” testimonials of his “family.” Free will speaks volumes. Then again, maybe I am now so manipulated by his words, I too have fallen victim to his prowess.
Manson and his minions refused to conform to society, yet his minions followed the herd and murdered because they were told to. I find this hard to believe. What sounds more likely is that when you combine a lot of hallucinogenics and countless nights of surreal conversation, lines get blurred and the Manson Family was filled with identity-less blurred-lined souls who thought they had killed for a greater purpose.
When I look at the school shooters and the serial killers today, I wonder how Manson of all people got dubbed as one of the world’s most notorious.
I also think that any one decision made at that time, would have changed everything. Manson was chasing the fame train so hard, kissing record label ass and befriending Beach Boy Dennis Wilson. If a record deal landed in his lap and these kids felt they had caught a break, not one life would have perished and teenagers would have been running out to buy Charles Manson albums and plastering his posters on thier walls. There’s a strange thought. If he was a celebrity, no one would ever have noticed how off the beaten path he was, because then he wouldn’t have been. Because we validate our insane celebrities, we even create reality shows like The Surreal Life to watch those who peaked long ago ride the washed-up tidal wave straight to celebrity rehab.