Charles Manson is dead.
Good news, right?
I know we're not supposed to take joy in the deaths of others, no matter how evil. I know some would say that makes us "as bad as them." I don't know that I'm feeling happy Manson is gone, but it's the end of an era, isn't it?
His influence on our culture is deep, and it's permeated in part by the news stories about his possible nuptials, his health, parole hearings, and any statements he makes during these times. It's ridiculous to think Charles Manson's influence will disappear with him, but at least it will stop growing and wrapping itself into our popular culture.
The people still fascinated with him, who attempt to send letters, try to get on his visitation lists, and otherwise speak of him like a misunderstood demi-god will have to move on, or at least focus their efforts on the past, rather than the present.
I wonder, too, if with his death we will see a brief resurgence of fandom for him. If there will be flowers and photographs left at Corcoran prison. I imagine there will be. The talk of the Tarantino film drew a lot of conversation, and I imagine there will be TV movies, documentaries, and more going over his life. In some ways, the people who loved him will probably only love him more now t hat he is gone. We won't ever be rid of him - but for a moment, he is dead, and we are rid of him.
People like Manson hold a strange, uncomfortable place in our public consciousness. If we cannot stop people like him from existing and doing damage, then perhaps we can at least feel relief when they are no longer able to actively participate in our culture.
I think it's fine to feel glad he's gone. I try not to wish people dead, not that I think it would make any difference if I did, but there are a few on this earth that I will not be sorry to see go, in the event that I manage to survive them.
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