Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The mother of all "conspiracy theories"... was indeed a conspiracy

Anyone who seriously doubts the conventional story of Shakespeare is often tarred with the "conspiracy theory" brush. As in: Wouldn't Edward de Vere as "Shakespeare" involve some elaborate and practically impossible conspiracy?

I won't add to the libraries of musings over the general conspiracy question but will only pause to note that that thing that's practically synonymous with conspiracy theories today -- JFK's assassination -- turns out in fact to have been a conspiracy.

This is the conclusion reached by Naval War College historian David Kaiser in his new book The Road to Dallas: The Assassination of John F. Kennedy (published by that bastion of reckless conspiratorial speculation, Harvard University Press).

As Kaiser tells veteran radio journalist Christopher Lydon in the latest edition of Lydon's program "Open Source," Kaiser combed through the reams of new documents made available by the JFK Assassination Record Collection Act of 1992 and after years of the boring but necessary grunt work that all good historical scholarship entails, all but definitively determined that the Oswald-Acted-Alone crowd are the lone nuts in this story.

In the 1989 PBS Frontline program "The Shakespeare Mystery" the late Shakespeare scholar Samuel Schoenbaum confidently stated, "There are no grassy knolls in Shakespeare."

Ah, professor doctor Schoenbaum. You wrote and edited some pretty good books in your time. But the time is now officially passed when a finger-wag in the direction of Dealey Plaza is sufficient to shut up sober-headed, serious people.

Even in our comparatively free and liberated age, it's a documented fact that big, elaborate and seemingly impossible conspiracies do happen.

So, then... can someone in Parliament please pass the Shakespeare Authorship Record Collection Act now?

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