Bad Subjects Issue #85:
November 2013 will undoubtedly see much ink and pixel devoted to November 22nd, 1963, the day US President John F. Kennedy was shot. This issue of Bad Subjects: Political Education in Everyday Life examines not only the President and his times, but aspects both progressive and regressive of his enduring legacy.
The first black President (and his Mormon challenger) have been compared to the first Catholic one. JFK's assassination, and that of his brother Bobby, made the nation examine the easy availability of guns in the US. His brother Teddy regretted supporting Bush's "No Child Left Behind" legislation a decade ago, but Teddy survived long enough to cast his final Senate vote for the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare"). The impact of his contemporaries the late Dr. Martin Luther King and (surviving!) Fidel Castro remains, in our nation and world, worthy of re-evaluation. Do the United States' Afghanistan and Iraq wars in our time weirdly echo the errors and horrors of the Vietnam war in the 1960s? The culture of the time is reflected in TV's "Mad Men", in its sexual politics, personal vices and style. Contemporary fashion often references Kennedy's wife Jacqueline, and performers still look to his girlfriend actress Marilyn Monroe.
Contributors are invited to put on their Ivy League suits or pillbox hats, pour another martini, and sit at their typewriters to contemplate whether "Kennedy is the Remedy" (in the words of one campaign button), the enemy, an early Mitt Romney or America's frenemy, and how 2013 is or isn't like 1963.