Posted on June 7, 2004 Posted by John Scalzi
I’m back and catching up on the news, which is mostly about Ronald Reagan having died. I am, perhaps not unexpectedly, curiously unmoved by his passing. It is partly due to a lack of enthusiasm concerning his presidential accomplishments, a rather cynical opinion of the concept of him being the model conservative president (i.e., a genial but dim front man, content to leave the details to more ideological and substantially meaner underlings, the nadir of this concept being the current office holder), and the general feeling — and yes, I understand this is mean — that’s he’s been dead since the second half of his second term, and it’s merely taken his body this amount of time to catch up.
I do of course feel for his family, and I have more respect for Nancy over the last few years as she’s taken up the cause of treating Alzheimer’s, even when it puts her at odds with her party (such as with stem cell research). But honestly. Doesn’t it feel like he’s been dead for years already? Weren’t you sort of surprised when the media announced he was dead? Even if you knew he was still alive, didn’t the announcement seem superfluous? I’m not trying to be cruel here (not in this paragraph, at least) — it’s just that he’s been out of the public eye with an inevitably terminal disease, and Nancy has been effectively speaking about him in the past tense for a while now, just a few weeks ago saying that “he’s in a place I cannot reach” or words to that effect. He’s felt dead to me for a while, and I don’t suppose there’s any nice way to put that.
One thing I’m not looking forward to is the orgy of conservative mythmaking about the Gipper that had already begun but was retarded by the inconvenient fact Reagan was actually still alive. Now that that’s taken care of, it’ll be full speed ahead, and these twits won’t be happy until the man is on every single possible thing it is possible for him to be plastered on. Someone’s going to have to beat these dudes back, with heavy rebar if necessary. For this reason alone, I wish Reagan were still alive. But he’s not, and now we’ll have to deal with his blubbering, calculating acolytes. Poor us.
Whatever Everyone Else is Saying