Friday, June 11, 2004

Reagan Nausea

I am utterly nauseated by the eulogizing of Ronald Reagan. It's nauseating from afar and it must be a veritable nightmare for anyone with functioning brain cells and access to a television in the US. The man has effectively been dead for 10 years, just get it over with already. Admittedly, I had one moment of being moved watching CNN International this a.m.--a shot of Gorbachev paying his respects at the coffin--hand outstretched, lost in thought. It seems that he has some legitimate ownership of the grief. Whereas the rest of us--why do we have to be subjected to a litany of airbrushed (typical Hollywood) half-truths as to the grand effects of Reaganomics.

I realized during a course a few years ago at ASU that Reagan was a defining president for me--but in a negative sense. The president of my childhood. The president whose thoughts and policies I defined myself against. Even as early as his shooting in '81, I was in the 7th grade and my entire class had to stay after school when I asked brightly (and not without hope) in response to an announcement that he'd been shot, "Is he dead?" This did not please the wizened Mrs. Walker and she doubly punished me by making me unpopular with my classmates, since the entire class had to stay after for my statement. No wonder he was the defining president for me. It makes me feel a bit sad, really, to think that Reagan had any part in defining who I am.

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