MONDO EXTRAS

Gimme Shelter

by Jacob Clifton May 24, 2004
Helter Skelter

At the time Joey didn't really draw a line connecting the Helter Skelter stuff to the Tate and Boring murders, but looking back, it seems (obvious, really) that there might be a connection. Other than the race riot graffiti and the words "Healter Skelter [sic]" written on the stuff, of course. Joey remembers asking Charles Manson about the progress on Helter Skelter a few days after the murders, and Manson said, "I had to show Blackie how to do it." Do you think there might be a connection that he just illustrated for you with PowerPoint and felt animals? Joey just can't make the connection, although he does fishify things further by pointing out that in addition to women and the name "Chuck" (and he would know about the latter), Charles Manson totally hates all minorities. He forwards Bugsy to some guy named Paul with a very high voice and very pale eyes and very stupid fake wig-fur, who meets him in a diner and who left the Family just before the murders.

Paul flashbacks some stock docu-style footage of Charles Manson word-noising his way through the usual line of crap. We get the explanation for the third time in ten minutes about the race war going on while the Family bunkers down in the desert. The secret and unforeseeable part of this fun plan is now revealed: black people are too worthless to actually do anything of interest without all those dead white people around, so he and the Family would come out of the desert and tell them what to do, thus ruling the world in the creepy-creepy-crawliest way imaginable.

This bug-eating Family dude visits Charles to get his instructions and to ask the most important question of all: "What about Sadie?" Charles Manson is pretty cagey on both these topics: as far as the next step, Renfield "knows what to do." As far as Sadie, Charles Manson is going to have to "shut her up." Well, now I'm worried about her. Damn. Back in court and wearing a red velour disco shirt, Manson complains that he is being denied his rights, because he would like to just call off the whole case, and can't. Really, though, he would like to interview Sadie and Fresh Meat for his defense case, which their lawyers are disallowing, as is their right. Charles Manson floats the idea that Sadie's testimony might have been coerced. Bugsy looks really worried about this obvious lie as Charles Manson says that she wants to recant all her testimony.

He then files with the court, by reading it aloud, a motion that he is being denied "of my every last spiritual, mental, physical and molecular liberty, in an unconstitutional manner not in harmony with man's or god's law," and asking that he "be released, as of now." All the cult members in the courtroom yip and holler and give a holy "Right On, Charlie" and generally make themselves look even more like assclowns, to which the judge immediately alerts Manson. As the cult giggles like it's sixth grade and Manson just called the teacher a "dillweed," the judge explains that he is appalled by Manson's "outlandish behavior" and "nonsensical motions."

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Gimme Shelter

by Jacob Clifton May 24, 2004
Helter Skelter Already happy about the postponement, the DA shoots his wad over this one. Manson stares creepily at him for a few minutes, and then his spidery hands reach down for a glass of water. "Your hands are shaking, Charlie. Are you scared of me?" Bugsy sits down, and Charles Manson makes a multitude of faces, almost crying, then praying, and finally going blank. He allows as how Bugsy seems pretty fair, and Bugsy agrees that he wants to give Manson a fair trial. It's all so humane and polite, I get really, really tense. Bugsy says he's looking forward to cross-examining Charles Manson on the stand (although I'm more interested in the defense's questioning at that point: "I'm Jesus, right? As in Christ?" "Yes, I am.") because he's curious about a lot of stuff, like where Charles Manson got the idea that other people don't always want to live. Charles Manson makes three more faces, but they all say the same thing: "Where am I again?" That same garage-rock cover of "Helter Skelter" from the opening comes back -- it sounds like someone's cousin or teenage son's band, probably John Gray's -- and there's a montage of "Free Manson" paraphernalia (can you still get that? I think it would make good gifts for, like, my grandmother). All the magazine covers and Manson merchandise have the Monkeyspanker's face Photoshopped in, like even the famous eye-bulging LIFE cover, all of which is relaxing. I didn't want to deal with Manson's actual face after all this. Some hippie dude soundbites that he "fell in love with Charlie Manson the first time [he] saw his cherub face and sparkling eyes on TV." Whatever, dude. A little of that Sensitive New Age Hippie-Man poetry crap goes a long way. Some blonde flower child trust fund chick who can't act bitches that Charles Manson is "the death of the hippie," because even though they aren't members of the Manson Family, they still are discriminated against as hippies. Sweetheart, I'll tell you what I told those black trench coat kids a few years ago: I hate to burst your bubble, but everybody already hated you even before anything happened. Don't kid yourself. Manson rebuts this young lady from his cell by yelling word-noises about how he hates hippies. Case in point, babe: even Charles Manson looks down on your ass. This guy is such a good impersonator of Charles Manson! Again, I can't decide if that makes him a good actor, and I know I'm stuck on this, but I think I already thought he was a good actor, so this is unrelated, like finding out he's best friends with Lemony Snicket and speaks Japanese and can play the banjo with his feet, all at the same time.

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