RAVEN MACK is a mystic poet-philosopher-artist of the Greater Appalachian unorthodox tradition. He does have an amazing PATREON, but also *normal* ARTIST WEBSITE too.

Wednesday, March 2

LEARNED ELDERS: Charles Manson

Mr. Charles Milles Manson has always been an intriguing character to me. I sought out every piece of press I could find on him at one point in my late teens, because he's the epitome of the great jailhouse con man. He would've been a great professional wrestling manager, or spoken word slam poet, had his life ran in a different direction. As it was, he was a hillbilly born to a slut mom, who ended up in and out of correctional facilities from a young age. Once he was released to the general population and wandered himself into the Haight-Ashbury freak scene of the '60s, he had spent more than half his living life behind bars. In that time, he learned how to reflect on people, to be able to see what they wanted him to be and reflect that back as immediately as possible, to personal gain. And either drugs or normal mental illnesses from an abusive childhood warped him, but he held onto that first-rate con man's ability. It is how he had women clamoring to live in squalor with him, and how he had one of The Beach Boys trying to hook him up with a record deal. And if you've watched all the interviews and read all the pieces on him like I have, obsessively, it's what he does to this day. You sit him in front of a Geraldo Rivera or Diane Sawyer who wants to demonize him for primetime ratings, and he will throw that back at you, talking about stacking bodies to the sky and killing off the world because he hates everything about what you are. But that's exactly what they want. You put this same man in front of a Nicholas Schreck or some other adoring fan, and he will talk of how he's a victim of society's constraints, simply a too proud revolutionary who was railroaded into a life of confinement, because he wouldn't accept their confines while he was out. He is tapped into this talent unlike most people on this planet, and it's why he's such a prominent figure to this day.
That being said, beyond the hillbilly prophet angle, beyond kicking the cosmic kung fu from beyond, he has intrigued me because here is a guy they threw in jail and said killed the '60s. He was going to be executed, even though he actively did not kill anyone (although according to the story, he probably did kill Gary Hinman, which was not related to any of the sensational murders the media jumped all over, but just a drug deal gone bad), he was considered the man who did all these things. He made others do his bidding. That's really amazing, with the whole creepy crawling philosophy, and general brainwashing that would be involved. Even with the help of LSD, that takes a forward thinking hillbilly conman to pull off such a move.
But then the death penalty was briefly revoked, so he got put in jail with an impossible parole, because damn, they didn't even want people to read his final statements in his trial for fear of it brainwashing the public. And that was in the '70s. Now, here we are in 2011, and Charles Manson still sits in jail, not on death row, but never getting parole, especially the way he turns it into another tirade and rant because there will be cameras there. He is always working the crowd, although I don't know if he knows who the crowd is anymore. But he hasn't died yet. And sometimes I like to believe in my mind that this little man - same guy who told a judge during his trial he could kill him if he wanted to, and then sprung from a seated position with a pencil in his hand to jump over top a table and land about five feet away, in front of the judge, so quickly that everybody for a moment was like, "What the fuck?" as Manson just stood there, waiting to be held back, but knowing he had shown beyond a shadow of a doubt, that if he wanted to, he could - that this little man will outlive his actual sentence, no matter how many hundreds of years it is, and be a 237-year-old crazed wizard looking hillbilly Californian, and they will be forced to release him. And he will stumble off into the desert and creepy crawl his way through eternity.
He truly is an amazing man, and no amount of media demonization should take that away. We do not all end up being good with our amazing born-this-way talents, that get perfectly cultivated into sharpened precision by whatever life we happened to be thrown into. The story the system likes you to follow is if you are amazing, use that for your own financial reward, and get rich. Sometimes though, you are on the wrong side of the system from start, so regardless of how amazing you are, you'll never get rewarded, always held down or blocked out. At that point, there's nothing left to do but fuck shit up to your satisfaction. If it's not gonna let you benefit at all, you might as well smash it up however you can. That's Charles Manson, and few have been better at it, or more charismatic in doing so. The day the news headlines tell me he has died, that's gonna be a day that I'm sad for a fucked-up, serial criminal, maniac. Because the dude is one-of-a-kind, beyond a doubt, and there ain't too many folks like that, good or bad, on this boring ass earth.


kami said...

he scares them because he don't play their game their way - he has his own rules... and yeah, i think that like cockroaches and kylie minogue, charlie will out live us all!

Anonymous said...

Maybe you can get Manson's number...


Anonymous said...

If its not gonna let you benefit at all you might as well smash it up however you can

Raven Mack said...

no doubt about that.