Charles Manson's Path to Freedom
Memorandum to: Charles Manson
From: Your Counsel
Date: October, 2006
We are roughly three quarters of the way through 2006 and your next parole hearing is in 2007. I despise useless, futile gestures, and actions that have mere pretensions of being meaningful. Think of 'Farm Aid' concerts, Hollywood's 'rolling hunger strikes,' and rich college kids sleeping out in solidarity with the 'homeless.' If we don't change our tactics, I am afraid that we will have to add 'Manson parole hearings' to this list of meaningless gestures.
If you are denied parole this time, Charlie, that will be eleven denials since your conviction and incarceration. In order for this next effort to succeed, we must galvanize public support for your parole. We need a campaign that will put pressure on the Parole Board. Having spent so much time with my finger on the pulse of the popular culture, I have devised a strategy that will greatly enhance your chances for success. Here's the plan:
1. Start Bashing Bush. This is chum in shark—infested waters. Like voting in Chicago, you should do this early and often. This action will immediately establish your credentials as a tough, nuanced, and sophisticated thinker. Ridicule his accent and emphasize how 'stupid' he is. This will create an immediate groundswell of support and motivate the beard and sandals brigades on campuses and online at places like Moveon.Org or the DemocraticUnderground. Air America will want you on the air, assuming that their six listeners stay with them long enough to stave off bankruptcy.
2. Convert to Islam. People will immediately think of Cat Stevens because he converted to Islam, and you look like him. Who can support someone's imprisonment when humming 'Longer boats are coming to win us...'? Any believer loves a convert, and this step will inspire our friends at CAIR. We can probably easily convince them to start running stories about how it was the Mossad who pulled of the Tate—LaBianca killings back in the late sixties. And being a Muslim immediately qualifies you as a certified victim with a list of legitimate grievances. You are simply entitled to sympathy and an audience by this status. Being a member of an aggrieved minority has certainly helped the causes of Leonard Peltier and Mumia Abu—Jamal. It is true that they are still behind bars, but they murdered public servants and not mere celebrities, and their campaigns for the 'Get Out of Jail Free' cards have not been as well thought—out as this one.
3.Announce Your Support for 'Women's Issues.' Repeat often how much you admire and how much you have learned from Katha Pollitt and the heiress, Katrina Van den Heuval. Cite The Nation as the deepest thing that you have ever read, other than Chomsky, of course. In very solemn tones mention that you much prefer peace to war, which you can then characterize as a 'patriarchal construction.' Announce your support for oppressed women everywhere, but don't get specific here. Never mention Juanita Broderick, Paula Jones, or Muslim women. If you must mention someone, stick to wealthy white women who are unhappy in a high profile way. I am sure the names of some celebrities will come to mind. Follow these steps and women who look in the mirror and see a 'progressive' will immediately be on your side.
4. Lose The Swasika On Your Forehead. There are many talented plastic surgeons in Southern California. A nip here and tuck there, and like magic the swastika can be turned into a peace symbol. On television this is as good as any expensive sound—bite and this will be mesmerizing in the faculty lounges all over the country. They have clout with all the demi—educated who will be the backbone of this campaign.
5. Court Hollywood Celebrities. If you rigorously follow steps one through four, this tactic is relatively simple. Our strategy, if carried out properly, is boob—bait for the Hollywood bubbas. Nick Clooney, Mike Farrell, Babs Streisand, Sean Penn, Ed Asner et al. simply cannot resist this sort of thing. Look at all they have done for our soul—mate, Mumia. Granted, in your case there is a paradox of sorts. It is true that you killed some of Hollywood's own, and this understandably might lead you to doubt their willingness to support you. But remember that a paradox is only an apparent contradiction. For the Left in general and for Hollywood in particular, you are never judged by your character or your actions. You are judged solely by the political causes that you support. Just like Laurie David flying off to Stop Global Warming in her private jets. You can be a completely self—centered, obnoxious, money—grubbing yahoo, but if you go to high profile fundraisers for the Democrats or make very public contributions to the Sierra Club, what's a little thing like murder or other boorish behavior. You are redeemed by your causes. Never underestimate the power of Hollywood's self—satisfaction. Furthermore, if CAIR does its job as I know they will, the celebs will be repeating the 'Mossad did it' line within days. Also, we will get a re—write of 'Hurricane' showing your plight. I see Robert Blake playing you.
Once this campaign is well underway we can expect the usual contributions from the mainstream media. Jonathan Alter will do one of those 'think pieces' where he will salute the principle of 'rehabilitation' and what a success this has been for you. Richard Cohen will, no doubt, do one of those pieces on how Charlie Manson has 'grown.' Maureen Dowd and Frank Rich can be counted on to do their usual bitchy attack pieces against your critics. Poor Robert Scheer lost his gig with the LA Times, but we can no doubt count on him to launch the 'Free Charlie' drive from wherever he is writing.
If you play your cards right, Charlie, the violent images of 'Helter Skelter' can morph into a more welcoming 'Gimme Shelter.' This plan will work, Charlie. You can be this year's Hurricane Carter if you will just follow directions. Free at last; free at last!
Henry P. Wickham, Jr. is an attorney and an occasional contributor to American Thinker.