con-sara-cy theories

Episode 6: The Shining Revisited - Was Ullman Really a Representation of JFK?

February 21, 2024 Episode 6
Show Notes Transcript

Transcription by  Please forgive any typos!

Welcome to con-sara-cy theories. Are you ready to ask questions you shouldn't and find information you're not supposed to know? Well, you're in the right place. Here is your host, Sara Causey.


Hello. Hello, and thanks for tuning in. In tonight's episode, I wanted to record a sort of postscript to last week's episode about the shining. After I finished recording, I went down the rabbit hole about this whole Omen JFK thing? Is that really what Kubrick was getting at? Does somebody just have bad eyesight? Is this even possible as a metaphor? I don't know. But I want to explore this together. So I'm gonna pour something to drink. So let's pull up and right. After I finished recording the last episode, I went to take a shower, just wanted to get my jammies on get in the bed. And as I was standing there, I just kept thinking about Ullman and JFK. And then Bill, the summertime groundskeeper like, Who does he represent? Is this even a valid theory? Some people get in the shower and they sing. Other people have fake arguments, or they have mock Lincoln Douglas debates in front of their shampoo and conditioner bottles, but not me, apparently. And yours truly likes to go down the rabbit hole even there. Even in that sanctuary. I'm thinking about all of these various theories. But once I saw it after watching room 237, on Tubi, I was like I had never even made that connection. I always thought it was a little bit weird that all men had this flimsy American flag on the desk, because it just doesn't even seem to go with the rest of the decor. So I guess he just patriotic. And that's his way of showing it. I mean, Kubrick is so intentional with his details that I figured it had to be there for a reason. And it struck me odd, but I never associated Allman with JFK. And as you know, the popup is something that I talked about regularly, it's a topic of great interest to me, especially the cover up that was involved. The Act itself was bad enough, but then being lied to. And gaslit for all of these years makes it even worse. So I was surprised like I had never seen it before. But then after hearing that theory posited in that documentary, I couldn't unsee it. So after watching room 237, I rewatched, the shining again with my notes, and I was just like, Oh, shit. Now that I'm sitting here looking, I feel like I can't unsee it. And from now on every October when I watch the movie, this is what's going to be in my mind that Allman has some kind of stand in for JFK. So the first thing I want to ask here is, is that even possible? I mean it does somebody just have really bad eyesight, do they need to have their glasses prescription updated? It? Is it even impossible for omens character to have been stylized like JFK on this issue. In general. If you go to websites like Reddit or Quora, you're going to see a host of opinions. And on one of the Reddit threads. In fact, it's titled, there's an idea that Ohlman resembles JFK, and I'll drop a link so you can check all of this out for yourself. There's a commenter who says almond doesn't look anything like JFK, his hair is blond, and his style is completely different. He also doesn't dress like JFK. He dresses like Ron Burgundy, red, white and blue jacket shirt and tie combo at the interviewer and the leather jacket slash turtleneck combo on the final day. So there's one obvious argument I mean, does Omen even resemble JFK enough for us to say this is a possibility, according to JFK is a United States Navy identification card. His hair color was Brown and his eyes were green. To me, they look more like a bluish gray slate color than green. But that might just depend on what he was wearing and what kind of light he was in. I included a couple of photographs where you can take a look for yourself. But by no means would I say that very Nelson and JFK looked so much alike that you would have to smudge one with blue ink to know who the real JFK was. They don't look that much alike. However, in looking at these pictures of Stewart Allman just still photographs from the movie. I mean, like I said, Now that somebody has brought it up, I can't unsee it. And it's also, I think, worth mentioning that very Nelson, technically speaking was the first actor to play James Bond on screen. He was in a 1954 adaptation of in Fleming's novel Casino Royale on a TV show called climax. So this was before Sean Connery became what we tend to think of as the first real James Bond in the movie Doctor No. So I mean, it's not. Yeah, I mean, the guy has played a spy before the sort of dashing debonair everybody like Roger Moore said everybody knows that he's a spy. They even know his call numbers double of seven. They know he drinks martinis, but he's supposed to be a secret agent wink wink. Somebody else that's worth noting, when we go to Barry Nelson's Wikipedia page Bond did not become well known in the US until President John F. Kennedy listed From Russia With Love among his 10 favorite books in a march 17 1961 Life article. I mean, coincidence, probably. So it's just another factor of Hmm. Could this be Kubrick's nod in some way to JFK? My verdict is it's possible. I'm not gonna sit here and tell you it's probable even but it's possible that Omen has been given some kind of JFK esque persona for the movie. Then we have to ask, why mean of all the public figures that Kubrick could have chosen, whether it's politicians, movie stars, musicians? Why would he have chosen JFK? This was one of the things like as I'm standing there, taking the shower going, why? I'm desperately trying to figure this out, because I feel like there's some kind of meaning to it. So when we go back to our Reddit thread, there's an idea that almost resembles JFK, the byline here is if this is so does Kubrick have something against his politics? Or is he just using an Americana aesthetic? And one person writes, he might be able to look, he might be made to look presidential to strengthen the connection of the Overlook Hotel being a stand in for America itself. That's been upvoted several times and somebody else replied this. That could be maybe he is this JFK esque figure. Because JFK is so recognizable. He has distinctive features. And even all these years later, if you show somebody a picture of JFK, they probably know who you're talking about. And that even includes people in foreign countries, people who aren't even American people who weren't even alive in the 1960s would probably recognize this picture. Think about the number of locations in other countries, not just America, but in other countries where there are streets, buildings, schools, named after JFK, there are statues dedicated to JFK in countries where he was never even the president. So it's possible that Kubrick made Olman look a little bit like JFK, a sort of nod in that direction, to let the reader know that the overlook is going to be a representation of America. And this is one of the things that comes up also in the room. 237 documentary, like the overlook is a stand in for America. Ullman is a JFK esque figure. And then Bill, the summer caretaker is sort of like the guy that's really pulling the strings almost like a Charlie India Alpha agent that's in the room glaring and being unfriendly to make sure that our JFK figure doesn't say the wrong thing. What a metaphor is that? This is a theme that we see throughout any kind of pop pop research that you want to do as it relates to JFK. There seems to be this real tension now. Okay, the Noam Chomsky is of the world want to convince us that JFK was a war hawk, Vietnam would not have been canceled, he would have been no better than any of the rest of them. And maybe that's true. I think here you have Kubrick possibly letting us know the way the world really works. We see this again and Eyes Wide Shut. Like here's what these wealthy hyper elite people actually do. Yes, they have estates. And yes, they have grotesque sex orgies with these gorgeous women that can then be disposed of. Like Mandy, oh, X, beauty queen dies of a tragic overdose. Isn't that sad? And then you have Ziegler saying, well, she was a junkie It was bound to happen. So as I was saying, when you when you get into even the most minor research into the pop, pop, you're just barely scratching the surface on anything related to the JFK Pop Pop. That's a theme that you see often, this tension that existed between the intelligence agencies and JFK. Remember, Allen Dulles was quoted to have said that little Kennedy thinks he's God. And he fired Allen Dulles, how convenient that Dulles winds up on the Warren Commission. Like this guy who got fired by this President that's been murdered in the street is now going to be one of the investigators, right? Because that's fair and balanced. Of course it is.


Interesting. Somebody else on this Reddit thread writes, I thought it was purposeful hair looks like a wig and the desk has a small American flag on it. And somebody else says I think you're right I've heard it's a to pay. Now I don't know if Barry Nelson was wearing a toupee or if his hair was just fluffed up that high to give this sort of, you know, Kennedy esque look to it. Someone else writes wouldn't be surprised if the guy who made Dr. Strangelove had criticisms for JFK. And they also be a way to more visibly associate Ullman as president in general, though, since JFK has a quite recognizable modern look. This is also possible that he has chosen a JFK stand in because as I mentioned, JFK is so recognizable even to people that don't live in America, even to people that weren't alive in the 1960s. Now, this person mentions Dr. Strangelove. Here's another just like weird little coincidence to this whole story in the same way that very Nelson had played the first onscreen James Bond. And then oh, by the way, James Bond was not well known in the States until JFK mentioned that he liked the book From Russia with love. So here's another like, weird little tie in to all of this. Dr. Strangelove, was supposed to be previewed by critics on November 22 1963. Of course, that was delayed due to the Pop Pop. Stanley Kubrick and I guess other people involved in the film felt like out of respect to the gravity of that situation, it wasn't the right time to release that film. I just thought that was interesting. Since this person on Reddit brings up Dr. Strangelove. And there was in fact supposed to be a special preview on the day of the pop pop that was delayed. So then, of course, we have our commentator who says that Allman doesn't look anything like JFK. Somebody else says no connection. JFK was a piece President anyway, which somebody else says I don't think that's accurate. Actually, they have a meme of some woman saying I don't think that's accurate. So presumably, we have someone from the Noam Chomsky set here, that's like, no, he was just going to war hawk like the rest of them. And the person's reply, as somebody else replies, Kennedy was more willing to come to understandings with America's international neighbors, and tended to be skeptical of the war hawks who infested the upper echelons of government. What I will say to that, you know, especially having recorded the episode about Alright, was JFK, a war hawk? Or was he a potential Peacemaker? I don't think that we would be living in Utopia, the lion would not be laying down with the lamb and all these sort of biblical Jesus type images. My, my conviction based on what I've read so far, and at any point in time, I could read more books on this topic that changed my mind in a different direction, based on the data that I have access to so far, I've not seen anything that compels me to think that he wanted to blow the whole world to smithereens. I just don't see it. It seems to me that based on the backchannels, that he had opened with Castro, and with Khrushchev, he was going to try to keep America and the rest of the world out of some giant cataclysmic nuclear war. He had plenty of opportunities to have gotten us into a cataclysmic war. In fact, the war hawks were planning to do that. And that's one of the things that I mentioned in that episode, is that the the war hawks had already planned out that there would be this escalating tension between the US and the USSR. And so then when the war happened, it would feel natural, it would the American public would be ready for it. And Kennedy didn't go along with that he could have but he chose not to. I just, yeah. That's my opinion. That's my analysis. And it it could be wrong. Was he completely a peace president? No, no president ever is, but I don't think he was a complete war hawk either. Another commenter writes, the theme of Native Americans having their land forcefully taken by blood by the US runs throughout the film. I think that's true, too. Especially because, you know, Allman points out that it's on an Indian burial ground. There were Native Americans there, potentially trying to attack the builders when they wanted to take that land and build that hotel anyway. You know, Danny, slash Tony sees these elevators that are just gushing blood. There are Native American designs and Native American pieces of art all through the hotel. So it's possible that Kubrick is not criticizing JFK specifically, he's just using him as a representative. And when you think about the level of the Pharmacy and and the slickness, maybe that's the word I want to use, you know, Omen Omen comes across as a good salesman, you know, whereas Jack is sitting there and he's the he's the job candidate that says anything to get the job. You could tell him where you're gonna have to shovel dog crap every day. And then you're gonna have to climb up on the roof and get down just by your fingernails every single day. Oh, no problem, sir. I'm happy to do it. He's just the he's he's overly overly enthusiastic. He looks crazy as hell and he's overly enthusiastic. Well, then you have Ullman, the smooth talker, the diplomat, the guy who always knows how to put everything in very cushiony terms. Then you have the summer caretaker who just looks sunken and sallow and mad at the world. That's an interesting trio of characters. Also on Reddit, from shitty movie details, what a name we find in the shining torrent says here's Johnny. This is because Jack Nicholson group delusional during filming and thought he was John F. Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States, whose name was Jack okay, this is just another like yeah, all right. Well, another just weird freaky tie in of these concepts. Now, there is of course, the the idea still that Kubrick is leaving breadcrumbs. No matter how subtle or weird Kubrick is leaving breadcrumbs in The Shining to refer to a fake moon landing. Over on the Paris Review. org blog. We find it starts with the Overlook Hotel. We are told the hotel stands for America, it was once grand but it has been allowed to dilapidated. I'm gonna break in here for just one second. If we assume that this is true, and that Kubrick had in mind that the Overlook Hotel is a metaphor for America. And then he's using Ullman as a stand in for JFK. There are people who feel that America lost its innocence the day of the pop pop. And that event was just very horrifying. And then you had all the bullshit, in my opinion that came out from the Warren Commission. That was really when people let go of their naivete. They stopped just trusting whatever these officials said, because they had been given so much bull crap, they just couldn't take it anymore in the law, the lies were too obvious. And people couldn't just go along to get along. So maybe that's part of it. Maybe Okay, America was once this grand apple pie flag waving nation, which I mean, look, I don't believe my going back several generations. So like my fourth and fifth grandparents in one particular part of the family tree. They were Eastern Band Cherokee. And they lived in the southeastern part of the US, and their land was taken from them by force, and then they were forced on the Trail of Tears. And they are buried about 30 minutes east of where my farm is. That's how that part of my family got to Oklahoma wasn't because they came here by choice. They were forced here on the Trail of Tears. So I don't have any delusion of this idea of well, once upon a time, everything was sunshine, roses, and lollipops and gumdrops, but then the 1960s ruined it all. I really think the 1960s just tore the veil back a bit. People were able to see the ugly a little bit better in that decade, and slowly gotten worse since then. But that's not a bad metaphor. Like okay, here's this guy that for some people represented Camelot represented Oh, there's a young attractive guy with a young beautiful wife. Everybody loves Jackie's got a couple of young cute kids and sometimes they ride their ponies around the White House and oh, this is so apple pie and then he gets blown away. By the you know, sketchy powers that be.


I'll continue to read the role of the caretaker a novelist named Jack torrents, and artists like Kubrick is to maintain the fiction while the foundation crumbles. The man who hires the caretaker sits behind a big desk with an American flag at his side and an American Eagle but behind him, he is the establishment and tells the caretaker an ugly truth. The site is supposed to be located on an Indian burial ground and I believe they actually had to repel if you to Indian attacks as they were building it. In other words, the hotel like America stands on the bones of its rightful owners. Later the hotel is engulfed in a winter storm. That's the Cold War which drove JFK to make that silly promise about putting a man on the moon. Meanwhile, Jack Torrance is writing compiling a manuscript that turns out to be evidence of a collapsing mind. And it is that that's what taking part in a lie does to the artist and why he must confess in quote, I'll break in again, this is another interesting potential metaphor that all of the snow this winter storm that's trapping the three people inside the hotel more and more each day, along with, you know, the phone lines are not working. Jack sabotages. The snowcat and the emergency radio is interesting to think of that as all of these escalations that took place during the Cold War, and then JFK feeling like he was over a barrel and needed to make this promise about going to the moon. I'll read just a little bit more Jack's pages. It's a terrifying discovery in the movie consists of nothing but a single sentence. Again and again, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. To the ordinary viewer. It's evidence of madness to a conspiracy theorist. It's a message all work a ll or a one one as an Apollo 11. At one point, the caretaker son Danny racing his big wheel through the enormous maze of halls amaze, duplicated by the hedge maze outside the hotel, amazing which the family is lost in the way the nation is lost in a wilderness of mirrors. By the way, the term wilderness of mirrors is not used here on accident. Supposedly, the spy chief James Angleton had coined the phrase, a wilderness of mirrors to talk about the kind of activities going on at the Charlie India alpha. So I don't believe they're using the phrase wilderness of mirrors unintentionally here. In the way the nation is lost in a wilderness of mirrors comes upon two twin girls creepy specters the ghosts of children killed by a previous caretaker why twins, because Apollo 11 came after another fake the Gemini mission. On the Zodiac chart. The symbol for Gemini is a pair of twins. The clincher comes when Danny gets up from his tricycle, and walks down the corridor following a mysterious call the sort that a government might make to a filmmaker in a time of crisis. The caretakers son is wearing an Apollo 11 sweater. Weird, huh? It shows a rocket over the words Apollo 11. When he stands, it seems as if the rocket is blasting off, whereas Of course, it isn't because it isn't real. Danny walks the rocket thus flies until he finds himself outside room 237. Danny, who stands for the child and Kubrick, the artist has traveled to 237 that is all the way to the moon, only he hasn't in quote. Now I don't want to go down the rabbit hole. In this episode of whether or not this the shining alludes to some sort of faked moon landing. I'm pointing out here that we have more allusions to the idea that Omen could very well be a stand in for JFK. We don't we don't get to any one firm answer as is so often the case on this broadcast. As I've said before, we're not always going to get to some resolute yes or no answer about something. But that doesn't mean a topic isn't worth probing. The website movie also mentions that the repeated pattern on the carpets of the Overlook Hotel are the exact octagonal structure of the Kennedy Space Center. But then they admit, these are pretty flimsy arguments. Well, any of these arguments taken alone are somewhat flimsy. I mean, anybody really could watch the movie and say you guys are all nuts. This is not it's just a horror story. It's a ghost story. It's about a dude that gets cabin fever. In fact, I have an acquaintance that will basically try to fight anybody. I don't know what his deal is, man. But he will basically try to fight anybody who thinks that the shining is not solely a movie about Jack Torrance going up in the mountains, getting cabin fever and going nuts. And I'm like, That's a rather simplistic and childlike view of what seems to be a rather complex film. Now you don't have to go down as many rabbit holes as I've chosen to but I think it's about a little bit more than just good old fashioned cabin fever. Right. I mean, that's part of what Ullman says to Jack during the interview. Great. He got a case of what the old timers call Cabin Fever, you know that isolation can really get to you. That's another example of how he is taking this tragic event. He's telling Jack about what happened. He doesn't hide from Jack what has happened, but he's putting a rather buttery type of tone on it. Oh, you know the old timers call it cabin? lever. Well, somebody can get a little shut in and start crazy and not murder their family. You know what, let's be real about that. So what do you think? Do you think that Allman was chosen by Kubrick as some sort of presidential standard whether he attended JFK because he wanted to make some criticism of JFK specifically, or he just wanted to have a recognizable politician? And then the summer caretaker? I mean, is he an Oswald figure? Is he a stand in for the Charlie India alpha or some other type of agency that pulls the strings behind the scenes? I think it's possible. I'm still not completely convinced that it's probable, but I do think it's possible. So what do you think, point to ponder, stay a little crazy, and hopefully, you will not choose to go down as many rabbit holes in the shower as I seem to maybe gonna have a nice relaxing night, and I will see you in the next episode. 


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