Tuesday, April 9, 2013

I’ll miss Annette Funicello more than Margaret Thatcher: The whitewashing of historical figures cheapens us all

Posted By on Tue, Apr 9, 2013 at 12:11 PM

"We kill at every step, not only in wars, riots, and executions. We kill when we close our eyes to poverty, suffering, and shame. In the same way all disrespect for life, all hard-heartedness, all indifference, all contempt is nothing else than killing. With just a little witty skepticism we can kill a good deal of the future in a young person. Life is waiting everywhere, the future is flowering everywhere, but we only see a small part of it and step on much of it with our feet.” - Hermann Hesse, German poet and novelist

Both Annette Funicello and Margaret (“There is no such thing as society”) Thatcher died this week. One brought smiles to the lives of millions, no matter what their status in life, while the other comforted the comfortable and heaped scorn on the less-well off.

With few exceptions, there was the general junior high school (sorry if I am insulting any junior high history textbook writers out there) overview of Margaret Thatcher yesterday. Most news reports only seemed to find folks walking the streets who had nothing but the highest regard for her. Then again, it sort of makes you wonder how far they traveled from home base in order to get those glowing tributes.

I didn’t see that many members of what might be considered classically working class - not that you much of them on American TV, either, unless they represent the victims of some terrible catastrophe - or are the well-paid (yet remarkably toothless) catchers of animals who whose days would be a whole lot better off if these yahoos and their camera crews weren’t invading their territory.

How not well-loved was Comrade Thatcher amongst her own people? According to The Guardian, when the Citizen’s Theatre of Glasgow featured a pantomime featuring the Wicked Witch of the South, there was absolutely no doubt in anyone’s mind who the witch was.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2013/apr/09/margaret-thatcher-hard-to-mourn

A woman who seemed to view the less fortunate as a political annoyance at best, her policies helped to put millions out of work

Something else you may not see on our nightly news - which has turned adoration of the modern Royal Family almost into a sexual fetish - British police have been making arrests at impromptu street parties, celebrating the death of Margaret Thatcher.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2013/apr/09/police-arrests-thatcher-death-parties

Annette Funicello, who I will miss, simply because she seemed so cheerful (and so damned nice - something I’ll never accomplish, at least not in this lifetime) began with The Mickey Mouse Club and graduated to the beach movies with Frankie Avalon. I think I must have seen all of these, because American Forces Television kept running them over and over again on the weekends when we were stationed in Germany in the early 1970s. They were corny movies, but sometimes they made me laugh.

Something Margaret Thatcher never did.

Now, as I await the inevitable political cartoons featuring Ronald Reagan greeting her at the gates to Heaven (see if I’m wrong) it might be a good time for us all to actually educate ourselves on what sort of effect she actually had on her people, and not the bumper sticker version we have been given over the years. This is, after all, why God gave us the ability to read things longer than, say, just this blog.

Find out for yourself how divisive a Prime Minister she was, the effect she had on ordinary Britons, who were not as enraptured by her. I found an interesting blog written by Jenny Anderson, which came out when the film about Thatcher was released some time back. Here is the opening salvo, for any men who would point to Thatcher as a proof of a conservative feminist icon:

“This weekend saw the release of Phyllida Lloyd's much-anticipated film, The Iron Lady, based on the only ever British female prime minister, Margaret Thatcher. Unable to open a magazine, newspaper or even ride a bus without an image of the iron lady staring me in the face, the age-old question, 'Is Margaret Thatcher a feminist icon?' has once again, along with the red carpet, been rolled out. The answer to this is simple, no. Margaret Thatcher is not and was NEVER a feminist icon. To me she is the embodiment of everything that feminism is not; selfish, rigid and intolerant.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/jenny/margaret-thatcher-feminism_b_1196544.html

Folks might do well do read some of these pieces, and meet the real Margaret Thatcher for themselves.

******

Why one Roger Ebert is worth a thousand of these free republic Bozos

Reading and listening to good reviews is one of the ways in which one can learn to think critically; it doesn’t require you to agree with the reviewer, as the folks from the infamous free republic website seem to think. You didn’t have to agree with Roger Ebert to enjoy his writing.

But then, in their dank dungeons, unfettered by the bonds of rationality, live those . . .

Every so often I check out the free republic website whenever a major event happens, just to see what magic (and bad grammar) falls from their fingers. Try as they might, all too often, there is undisguised glee when someone whose politics they disagree with dies - and sometimes from a particularly horrible death.

Yet to a man (and most of them are men, save for the occasional woman, though like sex chat rooms, that is debatable) they would no doubt proclaim their staunch Christianity to you.

Roger Ebert’s death has given many of them a chance to vent their spleens on a society in which too there is way too much liberal values, actually knowing anything about film when you write about it, gun control, idiot liberals, leftist/homo/anti-American/anti-capitalist messages, and feminists.

It also may well be the only website on the planet in which anyone has actually brought up Cotton Mather, in reference to Roger Ebert.

Fun for the whole family . . .

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-bloggers/3005389/posts

*****

Quote of the Day

"Preservation of one's own culture does not require contempt or disrespect for other cultures." — César Chávez

rsdrake@cox.net

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