Ross Perot, Quentin Tarantino, & Charles Manson

No, this isn’t an answer from Carnac the Magnificent, but just a note on two recent articles of mine that I had meant to note here earlier. In July, when Ross Perot died at 89, I remembered him in City Journal as a memorable (and influential) figure but also as a man who tapped into many of our cultural archetypes: “Though Perot became, almost effortlessly, a classic political performer, behind the presidential run and the infomercial charts and the caricatures and impersonations lay a life that evokes cherished American notions about hard work and ingenuity, about devotion to country and family.”

Last month, as media stories marked the 50th anniversary of the Manson Family murders, I wrote about Manson’s unfortunate cultural presence, both in the context of my own memories—as a kid growing up in the 1970s, I heard a lot about him—and in reference to Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, which hit movie screens in July. My essay is much more about Manson than about the movie, which I did see and appreciate. I mention it briefly at the end but made sure not to give away any specific spoilers.