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National Day of Mourning

Okay, the cult of personality surrounding former president Reagan has gotten completely unhinged. I went to the post office today to try to post some letters. It was closed with a note on the door about the USPS observing a "National Day of Mourning" for Old Mother Reagan. A NATIONAL DAY OF MOURNING? I don't know what to say to that. It's bizarre. Churchill deserved a national day of mourning. Kennedy, certainly. Queen Elizabeth. Lenin and Stalin, I suppose, in a totalitarian sort of way. But Reagan? But apparently Bush called for it, and everyone's going along. Except, of course, that I'm still at work.

If you believe Dante, Reagan is currently residing in the Ninth Circle, gripped by ice, or possibly in the Eighth. Actually, an awful lot of politicians make an appearance in the Inferno, so I guess the character of our leaders hasn't changed much in the intervening centuries.

I just couldn't believe it wasn't some sort of Post Office slacker joke. Did this sort of thing happen when they buried Lyndon Johnson in 1973? I know they didn't go anywhere near this berserk for Nixon in 1994.


( 2 sutras — Your wisdom )
Jun. 12th, 2004 11:09 am (UTC)
I know they didn't go anywhere near this berserk for Nixon in 1994.

Yeah, but don't forget: a far larger percentage of the American population adored Reagan than they did Nixon. Nixon nixed the idea of a national funeral in DC because he didn't think there would be crowds enough to make the occasion anything more than a sad national spectacle. Somehow, Reagan infected the hearts and minds of a big part of this country, and though I wasn't a fan, millions of others were and are. Shrub calls himself Reagan's ideological son—does the national day of mourning make more sense now? He's mourning his spiritual daddy. Daddy was no great shakes, but I'd take him any day over his pompous, condescending, arrogant successor.
Jun. 12th, 2004 11:31 am (UTC)
I certainly understand that Bush Jr. would want to associate himself with a popular president (since he's got trouble in the polls himself). But, shutting down the Federal government?

I guess the only sane commentary I've seen is Jimmy Breslin's widely-linked "Reagan should be on a $3 bill", which points out what an empty spectacle most of this is, and the primary role of George Kennan in winning the Cold War.

I'm especially fond of this graf of Breslin's:

For the funeral of Ronald Reagan, they took the body from Beverly Hills to Simi Valley, the white Los Angeles suburb, where it stayed for a day and a half or so then they drove it in one of these two hearses to the airport and flew it to Washington and then they had a march and afterwards put the casket into the Capitol for crowds to pass by and now there was to be another march and a religous service and then a drive to the airport, where the casket will be shuttled back to the airport south of Los Angeles and in a hearse to the final ceremony at his library on Friday. That is quite a funeral. They buried George Washingon in half the time.

It's funeral as choreographed entertainment. It's macabre.

Why is the press and the public so spineless? I just feel really out of touch with America about the whole thing. Come to think of it, I felt that way during much of Ronnie's presidency as well.
( 2 sutras — Your wisdom )

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