Friday, June 12, 2015

A Long Strange Trip With Charles Manson

Can it be that Charlie Manson is now eighty years old? Has it really been a half century since that chaotic summer when the murders he inspired shocked the nation? The calender don't lie boys and girls so the answer to both is yes. And this summer is seeing America's favorite cult leader creep back into the public eye.

Mostly thanks to a new NBC series called “Aquarius”. It stars X Files star David Duchonvy as Sam Hodiak a divorced, loner, cliche ridden LA police detective with a drinking problem. As Charlie Manson we have Gethin Anthony who plays Renly Baratheon on “Game of Thrones”.

It is a long strange trip spread out over 13 episodes and if you have Comcast on demand you can watch them all. The story takes place over a year before the infamous killings and revolves around a teenage girl that joins the Manson family. Her mother is an old flame of Hodiak who is now married to a lawyer politically connected to the California Republican party.

The story telescopes out from the Manson story and covers the social upheaval taking place. You've got everything here; Viet Nam, womens rights, gay issues, the black power movement, police corruption, drugs, sex and rock and roll. And therein lies the rub you've got this sprawling story spread out over 13 episodes but it's told in little three or four minute bites because every eight to ten minutes you get interrupted by a block of commercials.

Aquarius tries to be a cable show but fails due to the limitations of the format. It's also pretty bad like another NBC cable style series “American Odyssey” the storyline gets to be a little far fetched without the style to really bring it off. Now I like bad and far fetched but I'm not sure if this is a trip I'll be taking all the way til the end. I just finished with the fourth episode and I'm not sure I can get through another nine. I give it 2 and a half out of 5 stars.

My Manson curiosity got further tweaked when I came across this strange story on the Dangerous Minds site about a copy of the Beatles “White Album” and a bible autographed by Charlie, Tex and the gals up for sale. According to the story “The signatures were obtained by a gentleman who was at one time associated with the Manson family at the Spahn Ranch, I choose not to post his name here. He acquired them at the respective prisons where they are incarcerated in California, including Corcoran State Prison, and the California Correctional Institution for women”. Interesting sounds like Charlies trying to make some cash? For more info follow this link.

Could it be for a wedding? It seems as if the 80 year old Manson has found a hot twenty something that wants to be his bride. Although it seems as if she just wants his body. More here.

At this point I wondered if the whole bizaare Manson story could get any stranger. That's when I came across this 1971 radio broadcast on YouTube. Here's the title and a sentence from the discription and you'll see this must be the true outer limits. Mae Brussell - Charles Manson Was a Patsy - October 13,1971. “Destruction of the hippie movement is similar to the CIA's overthrow of Greece in April 1967.” 

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