Sunday, November 16, 2008


One morning, as J. Edgar Hoover "assiduously scoured the newspapers for signs of dissent and subversion, he noticed a report about the latest article written by Norman Mailer for Esquire magazine."

The FBI monitored Mailer's "writings, meetings, speeches, movements, acquaintances and even Christmas card list, posing as a friend, calling up his father and knocking on his door in the guise of deliverymen."

Their reports were than [sic] stamped "CLASSIFIED", "SECRET" and "SUBV. CONTROL", the latter an apparent reference to suspected subversives.

"The fascinating insight into the tactics of Hoover's FBI has been made public in newly-declassified US government files. The documents were released to the Washington Post under a Freedom of Information Act request lodged following the writer's death a year ago. The FBI's first Mailer memo, dated June 29 1962, contained enough incriminatory material to fuel the investigative instincts of Hoover, a fervent anti-Communist and veteran of the post-war "Red Scare" McCarthyite witchhunts. It noted that the writer "admitted being a 'Leftist'" and called the FBI "a secret police organization" that should be abolished. One informant said Mailer was "a concealed Communist", although others disputed that assertion."

----- A couple of things to recognize here. One, the FBI, like so many other Federal employees, waste time and tax dollars performing "look busy" work to justify their inflated salaries and egos, and two, the WaPo getting Mailer's FBI files is not "fascinating insight" into anything. And just to be petty, I know the Brits use spelling variations, but I had to correct their word "assiduously" as it was misspelled in the original article. Do new agencies not have spellcheckers or proofreaders with an eye?

Also, I think it's been a while since I have read Red Scare, McCarthyite, witchhunts, Leftist, secret police, informant, and Communist all within three short sentences. That's to remind you, coming soon, not to be afraid of such labels - it will be the old FBI up to its tricks again.

All I remember of Mailer in his heyday is I couldn't finish any of his material, and feminists at the time referred to Norman as a chauvinist pig. Apparently he had his fans, otherwise how could he become such a noted, award-winning writer. (Son of a well-known connected Jersey Jewish family, Harvard man, etc. had nothing to do with it.)

According to the article above in 1973 Hoover "feared" the release of Mailer's biography about Marilyn Monroe - Norman was accusing the FBI of cover-up in Monroe's overdosing death. Conspiracy surrounding Marilyn's death was a sales market bonanza for at least a decade. Like so many "artists," she was worth much more dead than she ever was alive. She was the prototype, albeit older, for a Spears or Angelina type tabloid queen, of which Mailer attempted to cash in on as so many did at the time, and still do.

Guys like Mailer, Capote (Clutter family) , Schiller (Jon-Benet), etc., with pen in beak, circle like vultures over high-profiles. Schiller, good friend of Mailer, does have some beautiful photography of Marilyn Monroe. (Fortunately, he didn't smear feces on the virgin Mary or stick a bullwhip up her butt and call it art.) Made wealthy, they have convinced the public that "true crime" ragmag writing is an art form. They helped secure an insatiable, vicarious national appetite for sleaze; with marketing to convince us such writings are a study in psychological profiles or investigative reporting, or an educational analysis of social man.


It's high gloss on the style of writing that my junior high teacher kept hidden in his desk drawer - erotic magazine covers showing a busty female in the clutches of a muscled intruder with titles like Real Detective or True Crime. Fetish anyone? Mailer and ilk are the National Enquirer for "educated" folk. As for profiles in psychology - that's all the monkey-see monkey-do American needs - lots of exposure to the perps and victims of the depraved among us.

You really think the FBI believes their own files - or are they laughing at the public faith that FOIA has "information" anywhere in it? They must get their writers from the same muddy-the-water comedy pool the public gets theirs.

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