Over at Thought Catalog, Mark Dery looks back at the Manson Murders of 1968 and how Charlie's "love and terror cult" sliced open a seeping wound of fear whose scab is still being picked. Dery titled his essay, "Getting the Fear," Manson's phrase for "embracing the dry-mouthed jitters of sheer terror, riding that moment when your heart is thudding so hard it feels like something trapped inside your ribcage, trying to get out," as Dery explains it. From the essay:
"Growing up in Southern California, in 1969, I knew the isolation of the cul-de-sac houses out on suburbia’s asteroid belt, where the night air was thick with the cloying smell of sage and wild fennel and the darkness echoed with the hiss of automatic sprinklers, stuttering across lawns. A man might scream, might run into his front yard and scream, as Wojtek Frykowski did that night on Cielo Drive, Oh, God, no, please don’t! Oh, God, no don’t, don’t, don’t…,and get nothing but echoes for an answer. I knew the mass-produced alienation of suburbia, where you could live your life in a tract home fit for a battery hen, your sixth of an acre flush against your neighbors’, yet never exchange much more than a nod of recognition as you pulled into your driveway and they out of theirs.Whether or not I was aware of the Manson murders, the spreading stain of fear was seeping, in August 1969, under the locked doors of everyone’s consciousness."
The Skunklock is a $109 crowdfunded gadget that contains pressurized vomit-inducing gas the creators call “Formula D_1,” and which is intended to induce immediate vomiting when inhaled, as well as difficulty breathing, “A lot of similar symptoms to pepper spray.”
In 1971, Shirley Cromartie, a housekeeper for President Richard Nixon at his Key Biscayne retreat, was arrested for shoplifting four dresses. According to Cromartie, she was hypnotically coerced into the theft by a young woman who approached her, “released a jasmine-like scent from her left hand” to told her “to take the dresses former children.” […]
The Department of Justice has announced that it has arrested three Kansas men who called themselves “Crusaders” and planned “a bloodbath” in an apartment complex where many Somali people lived, which was to including bombings followed by house-to-house shootings sparing no one, “not even babies.”
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