Saturday, June 19, 2004

Reagan is Dead, finally.

You know, I'm getting pretty sick and tired over all the hubub about Ronald Reagan. When he first expired two weeks ago and everyone in the world started kissing his ass, I didn't say anything because I knew that was only a natural reaction. The man was the president after all, and even though I personally didn't think he was a good president he still deserved some respect. And so all throughout the bullshit of "Reagan week" I held my tongue, didn't bring up any of the gripes I had with the ex-president's politics, because lots of people were in mourning (although I don't know why, it's not like the 30,000 people who viewed his coffin knew him personally or anything,) and I know that the death of a beloved former president is a stroke to the nation's collective sense of self identity or some other bullshit like that. So when everybody and their mother couldn't shut up about what a great man he was I didn't complain, I didn't bring up the Iran-Contra scandal or Reagan's shutting down of the mental institutions in California and creating a whole subclass of homeless insane people, because I knew that most of these people were just talking out of their asses and it would be no different than if Carter or Ford died. Let the people express their sadness, no matter how misguided I think it is. Besides, a funeral is about the man and not his politics. Being the president is a very hard job, and I'm sure anyone would make mistakes. Even a Looney Liberal like me can recognize a good leader when I see one. Who am I to judge anyway.

But it's been about two weeks, and people won't shut the hell up about Reagan. He's on the front of the newspaper every fucking day. The nightly news seems to have a new daily segment where they "remember the life of Reagan." Every politician with a brain has tried to jump on the bandwagon, hoping some of the dead president's charisma will rub off on them. I've recently read an article written by Pat Buchanan comparing Ronald Reagan to George Washington, Abe Lincoln, or FDR. Bush is relishing in the three percentage points Reagan's death has given him and has taken to mentioning his name in every speech (too bad for him Reagan didn't die the week before the election.) Lets not forget the TV preachers, the reactionary talk show hosts, the bozos out there in internet land with who run the republican blogs where I go to make fun of people, and every other conservative wackjob tow-the-line parrot motherfucker in the goddamned country who is just too fucked up to let Reagan die in peace.

It has to end people, he's not coming back. HE'S DEAD. He died and is buried and is gone, not without a little personal agitation on my part I might add. I just happen to live in the town where Reagan was buried. Reagan just happened to die two days before the day I reserved two weeks in advance to go talk to a guidance counselor at my college, and when I get there, I find the school has been shut down and turned into a parking lot for people to go view the casket, thereby fucking up my plans and forcing me to reschedule and wait another two weeks. Three days later I was over four hours late to work, the reason being traffic was congested because everyone had lined the streets to watch Reagan's funeral procession. It took me four hours to drive a normally less than half hour commute. I'm sure Ronald Reagan didn't die just to fuck up my week, and if he was alive I'm sure he would apologize for it, but still, they could have airlifted him in by helicopter or something. Don't these people think about this stuff before they plan this crap?

Looking at the people lined up to get a glimpse of Reagan's casket nearly made me projectile vomit out of every major orifice. Every fat bloated elephant seal-looking redneck from here to Orange county sitting on the street eating hot dogs and yelling at their kids, I counted fifteen green plastic card-dealer visors on one block alone. It was obscene. Here's your moral majority twenty years later, a thousand morbidly obese sweaty white people scared to death of gangbangers, terrorists, hackers, and columbine school shootings, stuffed into goofy ass fanny packs, drinking gallons of Vons generic soda and crying. Why they were crying I don't know. Maybe at night Ron donned some Spiderman underoos and went out to fight crime, save babies from burning buildings, and beat up commies, and now that he's gone we don't have anymore vigilante superheroes to defend the weak and helpless. I know these people weren't crying over Reagan's invasion of Grenada, the savings and loan scandal, Reagan's media deregulation policies that turned a once fair handed media into a right vs. far-right load of commercialized PR bullshit, Reagan's sending of state troopers to put down protests against raising college tuitions, his ratting out of suspected communists in Hollywood during the McCarthy era, or that the star of Cowboy from Brooklyn was dead. Maybe Reagan owed some of them money.

Thank God it's over. Thank God he's in the ground so we can all forget the 80's ever happened and get on with fixing all the bullshit that Reagan and his protégé neo-cons have fucked up since then. To be fair I was a small child in the 1980s and so don't have a very objective view of the Reagan administration. All I remember from personal experience is that people used to dress up like him on Halloween. Mad Magazine had a pretty good caricature of him. I do remember one Saturday night live sketch where he threatens to kill Jimmy Carter for butting his nose in around Iran Contra. What I mean is even back then the impression I got was that Reagan was a joke, and even a ten year old could understand that to get rid of poverty it made no sense to give all the money to the rich people.

So yeas, Reagan was probably a great man, and did a good job at helping to end the cold war (something everybody seems to bring up, but they all tend to think that somehow Reagan did it single handedly. Gorbahcev, the Pope, and the people who ousted the Communists from Poland, Hungary, Romania, East Germany, and Bulgaria deserve some of that credit as well.) Also, not all of his policies tended to shank the middle class with the spikey dildo, although it seems hard to find one that didn't. But he was just a man. You conservatives out there are treating Ronald Reagan like he's Jesus or something, like somehow he's going to come back from the grave and save the soul of the GOP from fucking over the country during the last three years. All I know is that in 2000, there was no war, the economy was great, we had a surplus for the first time in twenty years, everybody was happy and content worrying about the usual stupid bullshit we Americans defend to the death worrying about. One reactionary president and four years later the country is broke, in a major deficit, and altogether fucked up, the economy is in the fucking toilet, and we have two wars going on at once and are losing both of them. Reagan's death, which should have been something that would bring people together to fix what's wrong with our country (partially due to him I might add) has turned into the usual American media bullshit story designed to tear your attention away from what's really happening in the world, just like O.J., Michael fucking Jackson, or Scott Peterson. It's become entertainment for jackasses with nothing else to talk about.

We have psychopaths crashing planes into buildings here people, we have a government that thinks the best way to stop them is to invade a country that had nothing to do with them, we have an attorney general who's such a tight ass he can't stand nude statues in front of his office deciding who gets thrown in jail, we have a president that's shutting down health clinics so he can drop more bombs on innocent people. We have shit that matters to worry about now. Let Reagan die in peace, if he were alive right now I think he'd be pissed off over the mess we made of his country. Time to let the Gipper go.