Charlie had sort of loomed over us for most of our lives, an infamous, creepy, horrible and yet somehow attractive figure who etched himself permanently into American culture by acts he incited over two days in the sixties.
What has occurred to me in thinking about it is how Charlie, in a strange way, was a symbol of a much more innocent time. These days, we have people in this country committing atrocities far worse that Charlie did, on a weekly basis, only for them to be virtually forgotten about as the next monster heaves into view. The Las Vegas shooter, the Texas Church shooting, the Northern California guy spraying fire at a random elementary school- all in the last month or so. And we just move on, while Charlie managed to frighten us for forty years.
Mass murder isn't what it used to be, and in this Republican age, when the dominant political party deliberately stokes the kind of rage and hatred that produces these acts, it has been debased from a monstrous act to just another in an endless string of quickly forgotten tragedies. One more little price we pay for allowing rich people to run everything.