Friday, May 14, 2010


Only I could inexplicably link together the kidnapping of Charles Lindbergh's baby and the gun battle that resulted in the arrest of the Black Panther founder at the height of the tense civil rights movement. It's scary what can happen when a fertile imagination and a pooly understood sets of pseudo-facts are allowed into a single brain at the same time. The result is typically GIGO (garbage in = garbage out).

Pseudo-fact #1: In a tragic story, the 1-year-old baby boy of intrepid explorer and bon vivant Charles Lindbergh is kidnapped right out of his room in the family estate.

Pseudo-fact #2: There was some pop-culture slogan that I remember seeing somewhere with throngs of people shouting "Free Huey".

In my mind I full entwined these two bits and had myself convinced, given the cleverness of my arguments, that I had successfully put together the complete picture. I, in fact, though, could not have been more wrong. Those who have the slightest bit of awareness of world events will remember that the infant son of Charles Lindberg (of the Spirit of St. Louis fame) was kidnapped and brutally murdered in the 1930s. The infant's name was Charles. The free Huey slogan referred to the jailing and treatment of Black Panther leader Huey Newton after a gun battle that resulted in the death of a police officer and the subsequent circus in the charged Bay Area civil right morass of the late 1960s. While both tragic events and major news stories, I had somehow figured that the "free Huey" chants were the public's uprising and response to the kidnapping of baby Huey Lindbergh.

My mind had somehow taken a few snippets of information and sewn together a story out of thin air. What is even more comic, in a you-really-need-help-man sort of way, was that I tried to convince a friend of mine of the veracity of my invention. He looked at me, shook his head, and walked away muttering to himself. It was then that I made the informed proclamation that I tend to take every premise to its most absurd conclusion. GIGO, pure GIGO.