Monday, November 13, 2017

OUTSIDE THE MANSON PINKBERRY - MANSON BLOGGERS AND THE WORLD OF MURDER FANDOM by Rachel Monroe

The author of this piece, Rachel Monroe joined us on the 2014 Tour. One of our unofficial traditions is forcing guests to write the first Tour Post which you can read here. Below are some of her memories of her time spent with us, her fascination with the subject matter and some honest, introspective thoughts on what she feels makes her tick. However due to contractual obligations a full reposting is not possible at this time. Instead, here is an excerpt and a link to the full piece. Looking forward to your responses...
On the second day I spent with the Manson Bloggers, we found a tongue hanging from a tree. This was in the northwestern fringes of Los Angeles County, the half-wild, half-suburban part of the city that the Manson Family once called home. These days, most of the land is owned by the state and nearby there is a church; on top of a hill, a ten-foot cross looms in right-angled judgment. The Manson Bloggers did not seem to notice the cross, because they had another mission in mind: finding the Manson Tree, a gnarled oak that's notable because Charles Manson used to perch in its crook and strum the guitar.



We had to scramble over a highway railing to reach the old oak. As we got close, I saw that some previous visitor had thrown a white rope over one of the tree's branches. Something was dangling from the rope—a sweet potato, I thought. Or some sort of lumpy, orangish doll. The Manson Bloggers knew better. “It's a cow's tongue,” Deb said. She was right. Up close, it was unmistakable, a length of moist muscle, obscene and obscurely violent. The tongue was covered with rainbow sprinkles, the kind you'd put on a child's scoop of vanilla ice cream. One end of the white rope was tied around the tongue's root, where it had once been attached to the back of the cow's throat. The other end of the rope was tied around a bottle of fish-oil pills. There was one AA battery inside the fish-oil bottle. On the ground was a crumpled-up shopping bag from H&M.

The Manson Bloggers and I stared for a moment in mute wonder. The tongue, the rope, the sprinkles, the fish-oil bottle, the battery, the H&M bag: it all spoke to some inexplicable ritual, a dark magic that somehow brought together cult murder, fast fashion, and nutritional supplements. I'll be honest, I was spooked. The bloggers took it all in stride. Maybe their world accommodated more strangeness than mine. Or perhaps they were just used to finding messages of violence in unexpected places.

READ THE FULL PIECE >>
Rachel Monroe is a writer based in Marfa, Texas. Her work has appeared in the New Yorker, Texas Monthly, Bookforum, Oxford American, and elsewhere. Her book A Life in Crimes, an exploration of women, crime, and obsession, will be published by Scribner in 2019.



37 comments:

Zelda Formaldehyde said...

ATWA would not be impressed by displaced cow tongue.

DebS said...

I don't think any of us were all that impressed either Zelda! It certainly was one of the weirder moments we've had on a tour.

Matt said...

She'll never let me live down that pizza.


starviego said...

Stoner Van Houten.... Ahhhhh!!

To quote the actor Sam Elliot in 'The Big Lebowski:'

"The Dude Abides. ... It's good knowing he's out there."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYsw0KVRjCM

ColScott said...

Stoner hunting the relics...and I get called a liar and fall out with Matt. SMFH


St Circumstance said...

My observations from the tour I attended:

You do have no idea who will be there until you show up.

You do have to write first post as a newbie

The only one who stayed up drinking beers most nights was me lol ( should I take the hint ? Nah I'm going again )

Everyone on both sides of case is very courteous and respectful.

California and Spahn Ranch have rattlesnakes which is why a guide like Stoner is invaluable.

Patty and Deb are even prettier in person and Matt looks even bigger.

Southern California is just about the coolest place on Earth and having people familiar with the area who plan a well organized agenda make it better than most professional tours of the area you will take.

I really wanna go back this year and if they let me - I will 🍻

christopher butche said...

Matt, my wife and myself who will be 50 in 2019 are thinking of coming out for the 50th anniversary tour. Any thoughts yet on tour plans for it? Failing that it's 2027 to watch Manson walking out of prison when he gets parole.

Matt said...
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Matt said...

Hay Chris, that one will likely be in August to coincide with the anniversary. Focusing on the victims would be appropriate IMO.


Panamint Patty said...

Congratulations on your book deal Rachel! Patty will definitely pick up a copy.

beauders said...

Remember Ed Sanders got a cow tongue, along with the odor from Fromme and Good while they lived in Sacramento.

Peter said...

What a bunch of loozers.

St Circumstance said...

My favorite thing about this post is....

figuring out how Grim is going to write a 4 paragraph synopsis ....

LOL GOTCHA !!

:) Grim- I too love what you write and read (almost) all of it every time bud. Cheers!

ColScott said...

Matt

You bring Stoner and I can get the White Bus

I can write to the Scientologists who own Waverly claiming location scout needs and see if we can meet

We can go to El Monte and do a grave rubbings from Steven Parent's grave then all pour beers on it in solidarity. We can see if Janet will do coffee with us all after the Grave stuff

From there we can head to see the Folger Family, bringing some classic "tins" for them to inscribe for ebay to fund the trip.

From there we can hook up with AesNihil and hear a lecture on things he remembers from yesterday, which will include nothing, steam and cold air. He will give us a revised "want " list of souvenirs for the rest of our trip and we can use Patty as secretary to keep track of our treasure hunt.

On to Harvard Westlake School where we can bring Adam Gabriel to perform solo and live for the youngest students there. His version of "Your home is where you're happy" will be recorded by Stoner and released on BackPorch records for extra grub money.

There we head off to the remains of Gold Star Studios on the Sunset Strip. Alisa Statman will join us as long as Max Frost waits in the lobby and stares at the Aquarium and never looks her in the eye. She will leave suddenly after realizing that she has been there before on the astral plane.

From there it is off to El Coyote where no one had any last meal but we can pretend and sit near the toilet while Stoner cuts off pieces of the seat and labels them "Ginny" "Voy" "Jay" and "Shar". George will down pitcher after pitcher while dropping alternate theories of the crime, including his very earnest belief that Gail Bugliosi may have given Tex an floorplan of the Cielo Estates when she came to his old wig studio.

You and I will spoon in the back of the booth and look upon all we survey and find it amazing.

Zelda Formaldehyde said...

Throw in a trip to Summitridge for a chance to run with the Alsatians and I'm there.

DebS said...

I laughed so hard I wet myself, just a little.

ColScott said...

yeah we can do that too if you want, by the pool

Nelson's ghost can do the back rubs


Let's ask Tom O'Neill if we can have a private book signing during the tour too

After Karate Lessons of course

Jenn said...

Can't resist a moment of nerdiness. Gold Star wasn't on the Strip. It was on Santa Monica. The location is now a nail salon in a strip mall.
Back now to your regular programming.

Matt said...

Zelda, I had to look that one up. I had forgotten that passage from Sanders.


Panamint Patty said...

Ok even Patty thinks it's funny

grimtraveller said...

Used to eat a lot of cow tongue back in the 70s. Tasty stuff !

Zelda Formaldehyde said...

Matt, Roman being chased in the hills by a pack of aggressive dogs and you forgot about it? I'm just dissappointed someone didn't snap a photo of it.

Peter said...


Bidding Heats On Quentin Tarantino Script As David Heyman Boards As Producer.

"Add Tom Cruise to the short list of candidates Tarantino has spoken with to play one of two lead male roles. He joins Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio in that small circl ..."

All of Hollywood wants to know ... who will play Col. Scott?


http://deadline.com/2017/11/quentin-tarantino-movie-bidding-david-heyman-producer-margot-robbie-tom-cruise-brad-pitt-leonaro-dicaprio-1202208169/


DebS said...

Not sure how accurate this is but TMZ has a pretty good track record.

http://www.tmz.com/2017/11/15/charles-manson-hospitalized-near-death/

prefeteria said...

Although I’m far from a CM sympathizer, I’m feeling a twinge of sadness at that news. On the other hand maybe Leslie Van Houten will have it easier to get out.

Awaitingmyescapewithlove said...

It's coming to an end.

Peter said...

Father O'Malley: Is there anything you want to say before you go Charles?

Manson: Yes. The motive for the murders was ... was ... was ... uggggghhhh.

Zelda Formaldehyde said...

Many outlets have now picked it up. Sounds like the reaper is set to take Charlie out this time. And my 43-year-old bottle of Glenfiddich is begging to be cracked open.

David said...

Peter said: "Manson: Yes. The motive for the murders was ... was ... was ... uggggghhhh."

Ugggghhhh? No one would take the time to write "uggggghhhhh".

David said...
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Vermouth Brilliantine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vermouth Brilliantine said...

So, anyone have the inside scoop on how Manson's funeral will be conducted?

Renditions of "Cease to Exist" and Irish folk-songs?
Prayers to Abraxas and Hitler?
Sandy & Squeaky giving readings from the Holy Works (White Album lyrics & George Lincoln Rockwell's 'White Power')?
Annoying hippy retards dancing around the Confederate-flag-draped, naturally-sourced Redwood coffin as it's lowered into the ground (all while they chant "Air! Trees! Water! Animals!" repeatedly)?
Clandestine attendance from the children of Dennis Wilson & Bugliosi - just to make sure he's REALLY dead?

Or will THE STATE simply dump his ashes in an unmarked garbage heap??

starship said...

I am going to be out for a few days in March. Would anyone care to meet?

Panamint Patty said...

Hi Starship! Whereabouts?

Zelda Formaldehyde said...

Vermouth, it will go like this .....

I will follow his casket
In the pale afternoon
And I'll watch while he's lowered
Down to his deathbed
And I'll stand over his grave
Til I'm sure that he's dead.

A twist Bob Dylan there.

Trilby said...

Frank Struthers didn't make the phone call from the now-Pinkberry's location, but from the restaurant adjacent to it on Hyperion. Was a hamburger joint then, became Burrito King, now it's Mixto. The funkified vintage stucco place up the street from Gelson's, kitty-corner from Trader Joe's and one-in from Hyperion/Rowena corner (past the strip mall with Pinkberry's on the end.).

starship said...

Hey Patty, I will be working in Anaheim...but not all the time....