Reagan's Themepark America: From the Village Voice, "The Death of a Salesman":
I think that Reagan, like no other American, deserves the honor of being the first person ever embalmed at Disneyland.... Ronald Reagan is the man who destroyed America's sense of reality--a paltry target, all in all, given our predilections. It only took an actor: the real successor to John Wilkes Booth. In our bones, we had always been this sort of bullshit-craving country anyhow, founded on abstractions: not land (somebody else's), not people (Red Rover, Red Rover, send Emma Lazarus right over), not even shared history (nostalgia isn't the same thing, and try pulling that Civil War Shinola anywhere west of the Rio Grande). Just monumental words and wordy monuments, with two convenient oceans between them and circumstance; from Nat Turner's status as three-fifths of a man--even though we ended up hanging all of him--to Reagan's child Lynndie England (b. 1983, the year we invaded Grenada and lost 241 Marines in Lebanon), any shortfall could be blamed on something lost in translation. But it was Reagan, whose most profound Freudian slip was the immortal "Facts are stupid things," who beguiled us into living in the theme park full-time, and so much for the Declaration of Independence's prattle about "a decent respect to the opinions of mankind"--actually the only time we ever expressed much concern for those. Since his 1980 opponent, Jimmy Carter, was about the sorriest embodiment of the reality principle imaginable--Three's Company 's Mr. Roper on the world-historical stage--facts didn't have a prayer.
Also: for more "Gipperporn," read Wonkette.com.

1 comment:

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