Thursday, December 28, 2006

"The nation mourns President Ford,"

THEY INTONED GRAVELY on every national newscast.

1) Is "national mourning" mandatory? Is there a law?

2) If not, then I'll let it be known that no, I'm not mourning. I really didn't know the guy personally. He was one of the least distinguished presidents of the last century, and he got his job by accident. Seriously, why would I be all broken up?

3) If the Voices of Authority on our evening news were to find that most Americans actually were getting on with our lives just fine, would they bother saying so? Or are they too into their perceived role as court scribes and hagiographers of power?

4) Why isn't "the nation mourning" James Brown, who arguably had more impact culturally and even politically?

5) Why do so many worship power? Why are some so hellbent on making the cult of the already imperious Imperial Presidency even more so with each passing day? 

The Ford death was attended by the same sort of imperialism orgasm that attended the death and corpse tour of Reagan a few years back. Why all this attention showered on a carcass?

Did we really need the nationwide tour, the honor guards, the pageantry, the fanfare, the lionization, the damn-near deification? Where does this stop? When the title is changed to Caesar and he is declared God in the flesh?

Since they are dead, dead presidents are not helped by the worship of their remains, nor by the monuments built to them, nor by the monumental sums of taxpayer-contributed paper dead presidents consumed in the process.

But for the the still-living who stand to inherit the power, exploitation of the dead for propaganda purposes -- as spellbinding talismans and ritual props for the power structure -- is essential. The modern United States of America is restoring this ancient superstition to a high art. 

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