May 06, 2006

Kennedys? Their only curse is Evil with a capital "E"!

ABC News "Good Morning America" are re-hashing the old "Kennedy Curse" bull. I suppose they can't help themselves.
Is Pat's Crash Part of Kennedy Curse?
Misfortune Has Long Followed Camelot

May 5, 2006 — The political career of Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I., got off to an incredible start.

He first won office in 1988 at the tender age of 21, when he was elected to the Rhode Island House of Representatives. Then, at age 26, the son of the legendary Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., was elected to Congress.

Thursday's car crash, though, near the Capitol may just be the latest installment of what some consider to be the curse over the Kennedy family.

"They've contributed so much, and at the same time so many of them have these human failings, drug problems, drug abuse, tremendously risky behavior," said Ron Kessler, author of "The Sins of the Father: Joseph P. Kennedy and the Dynasty He Founded."

Patrick Kennedy has spent time in drug rehab and admitted seeking therapy for depression. During his career, he has had to answer questions about personal incidents.

In 2000, he was captured on a surveillance camera shoving a female airport security guard. No charges were filed against Kennedy, and he apologized for "being rude." The guard's lawsuit was settled out of court.

In 2001, the Coast Guard was called after an argument with his girlfriend on a yacht. The woman reported he had been drinking. Kennedy also has been accused by two marina owners of chartering boats and returning them with damage — sometimes significant.

Kennedy's parents have had their problems, too. His mother, Joan Kennedy, has battled alcohol abuse. Her children — including Patrick — forced her into treatment after she was found injured on the sidewalk in front of her home. Ted Kennedy was at the wheel when his car drove off a bridge, killing a young female passenger, at Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts in 1969.
Problems? Indeed! Curse? Hardly! Camelot? You must be joking!

"If ever there was a crook it was Joe Kennedy." The man who said that was not exactly a bah-bah whitesheep. Sam Mooney Giancana was a Chicago Mafia boss who was known for having his enemies strung up on a hook in a meat plant while his men slowly tortured them to death with ice-picks and blow-torches, and one of the unpalatable friends Joe had made during Prohibition. Joe walked a tightrope between organised crime and President Franklin D. Roosevelt's election campaigns to whom he both forked out and after which he was given the ambassadorship to Britain. Joe's first faux pas in London was to announce that he was pro-Nazi. In 1938, that was.

Joe Kennedy had his daughter Rosemary lobotomised without her consent in 1941 — at the age of 23 and without the knowledge of her mother. Joseph Kennedy made this decision because he feared that his mildly (if at all) mentally retarded daughter might embarrass the family and jeopardize the political ambitions he had for his oldest son, Joseph P. Kennedy Jr., who died later in World War II and his ambitions for his daughter Kathleen to marry the Marquess of Hartington, heir to the Duke of Devonshire. [Notabene that it was okay to marry a Protestant if it fitted the ambitions of the relentless social climber Joe!] There were no pain killers given and Rosemary was fully awake as they cut away at her mind. It reduced her to a vegetable who was unable to care for herself. She spent the rest of her life in institutions.

In Rosemary's own diaries before the lobotomy she chronicled a life of tea dances, dress fittings, trips to Europe and a visit to the Roosevelt White House… while they revealed no great secrets, the three diaries -- written between 1936 and 1938 -- described people she met and concerts and operas she attended and that she was hardly a case of mental retardation.

So did nothing but unrulyness seal her fate? Rosemary Kennedy's letters show she was deeply saddened by the lack of acceptance she felt from her father. Her mother was looking for a way to cure Rosemary of her over-eating, her tantrums and her disobedient way of sneaking out of her convent, to drink and meet the opposite sex, no more and no less like many other privileged but unruly young women.

It seems that Joe was worried that his daughter would not permit him to have veto power over her relationships with men. She apparently thought it wasn't her duty to dedicate her life to pushing brother Joe Jr. into the White House. Her father did not take kindly to insolence, so he had her fixed.

Let's do a time leap! Hardly Camelot material was, too, Edward leaving Mary-Jo underneath a bridge in a waterlogged car for the night while he went home, caught up with some sleep, had breakfast, read the newspapers and finally reported the incident when he could be sure that she was well and truly dead. If somebody was cursed, it was the poor drowned girl.

Dying in a plane crash when you shouldn't be flying at all but thinking that for a Kennedy the weather forecast doesn't apply IS a curse, albeit only for the family of those you kill in the process. Date rape, driving backwards down a ski slope and hitting a tree, having an affair with one's babysitter, being arrested for possession of heroin and dying of a drug overdose are not part of a curse. They are character flaws. So is womanizing ("Jack" was not alone in this. Taki, the self-styled Greek playboy, remembers partying with Bobby in the Sixties. An "ugly character… a hater who passed moral judgment on everyone while committing adultery non-stop"). The Bay of Pigs fiasco, working for Joe McCarthy and involving the United States militarily in Vietnam... no curses, just bad judgement at best, plain evil at worse.

Camelot my ass and royalty my behind!

Well, maybe having too much money, power and spare time can be curse, but I doubt that's the meaning the media are trying to cram down our throats.

The only curse of which the Kennedys are suffering is Evil with a capital "E"!


The sources I used are all freely available in the internet save one, an article from a far-back issue of the English glossy Tatler, volume 289, number 9, August 1994, pp. 86-93.

The author is Glenys Roberts, the article was inappropriately dubbed, I suspect by the editor, not by the author who staunchly dismisses any equation between the Kennedys and "royalty" throughout her piece, "The fall of the house of Kennedy".