For no reason I can articulate, I’ve recently become interested in the assassination of JFK: I’ve been watching old coverage from the time (including the Zapruder film) on Youtube and trying to learn a little bit more about the event.
In one of the videos I watched someone opined that every time one watched the Zapruder film, one secretly hoped that this time, Kennedy would come through it okay — and that, of course, he never did. Just a few minutes ago I read an account from one of the doctors who was present at Parkland Hospital: he noted that he could see inside JFK’s skull sufficiently far to note that the right hemisphere of his brain was gone … and that the President’s cerebellum fell out onto the gurney (!). So, no … no … he would not have survived this, even in 2022.
I don’t recall that day in late 1963 — I would have been about two and a half years old. I also don’t remember precisely when I became aware of what had happened. If the awareness came as it usually did, it was via the pages of Mad magazine (although it doesn’t feel as though that particular event would have been a likely subject of parody). Typically, if I saw something in media and did not understand what the referent was, I’d ask my parents, and sometimes they’d fill me in.
I find myself wondering whether the contribution this event made to the general tenor of the world — the emotional color of the place in which I lived — could, despite my overall ignorance of the facts, have had an effect on young me.
Reading about that hapless cerebellum has certainly changed me today.