TABLE OF CONTENTS

American Myths

the Dallas/Houston Complex

Issued a dogtag (hey neat) on entering kindergarten, I always assumed the Bomb would fall during the school day. For years, each time a teacher was interrupted by the ominous cracking of the public address system, I routinely wondered—was this It? And so, when the disembodied voice of a high-school principal disrupted geometry to announce that the president had been shot, I experienced a thrill of vindicated relief. The catastrophe had happened—or, at least, a version of it—yet I was still alive!

OK, I admit it. I wonder if the many commemorations of the 30th anniversary of the day I learned the Hypotenuse-Leg Theorem will note the national postassassination euphoria elsewhere manifest in Beatlemania, the exhilarated public response to Dr. Strangelove, and the blatant gloating of Jimmy Hoffa. The appreciation of a sudden power vacuum may be the guiltiest of guilty pleasures. (I know I paid

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW at the special holiday rate of $45 a year—70% off the newsstand price. You’ll receive the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the November 1993 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.