Since it seems dying automatically makes you a flawless human and a regretted politician, regardless of the fact you were actually a senile, dim-witted actor with more blood on his hands than many a current dictator… I feel obligated to add my little contribution to the endless string of tearful eulogies filling the media right now.Or rather, I’ll let the brilliant Gil Scott-Heron do it in the words he used more than two decades ago:
And that was before he was able to carry most of his politics…
Well, the first thing I want to say is…"Mandate my ass!" Because it seems as though we’ve been convinced that 26% of the registered voters, not even 26% of the American people, but 26% of the registered voters form a mandate – or a landslide. 21% voted for Skippy and 3, 4% voted for somebody else who might have been running. But, oh yeah, I remember. In this year that we have now declared the year from Shogun to Reagan, I remember what I said about Reagan…meant it. Acted like an actor…Hollyweird. Acted like a liberal. Acted like General Franco when he acted like governor of California, then he acted like a republican. Then he acted like somebody was going to vote for him for president. And now we act like 26% of the registered voters is actually a mandate. We’re all actors in this I suppose.
[…]And when America found itself having a hard time facing the future, they looked for people like John Wayne. But since John Wayne was no longer available, they settled for Ronald Reagan – and it has placed us in a situation that we can only look at – like a “B” movie.
[…]Remember, we’re looking for the closest thing we can find to John Wayne. Clichés abound like kangaroos – courtesy of some spaced out Marlin Perkins, a Reagan contemporary. Clichés like, “itchy trigger finger” and “tall in the saddle” and “riding off or on into the sunset.” Clichés like, “Get off of my planet by sundown!” More so than clichés like, “he died with his boots on.” Marine tough the man is. Bogart tough the man is. Cagney tough the man is. Hollywood tough the man is. Cheap stick tough. And Bonzo’s substantial. The ultimate in synthetic selling: A Madison Avenue masterpiece – a miracle – a cotton-candy politician…Presto! Macho! “Macho, macho man!” “You go give them liberals hell Ronnie.” That was the mandate. To the new “Captain Bly” on the new ship of fools. It was doubtlessly based on his chameleon performance of the past – as a liberal democrat – as the head of the Studio Actor’s Guild. When other celluloid saviors were cringing in terror from McCarthy – Ron stood tall. It goes all the way back from Hollywood to hillbilly. From liberal to libelous, from “Bonzo” to Birch idol…born again. Civil rights, women’s rights, gay rights…it’s all wrong. Call in the cavalry to disrupt this perception of freedom gone wild. God damn it…first one wants freedom, then the whole damn world wants freedom.
[…]“Why wait for 1984? You can panic now…and avoid the rush.”
excerpts from the lyrics to the song B Movie (1981) by Gil Scott-Heron
Whether him or somebody else, never would I wish in cold blood for the death of a man. But please do not expect me to mourn him:
For fuck sake: the man died peacefully in his bed, at an age most people on the planet have not even heard of. I can think of quite a few people in Latin America who were not given this chance.