Monday, June 07, 2004

Rampant Corpsophilia 

While it goes on to make some good points, the Times' lead editorial begins by flinging out this embarrassingly silly bit of post-digestive nonsense:
Ronald Reagan, who died on Saturday after his long battle with Alzheimer's disease, projected an aura of optimism so radiant that it seemed almost a force of nature.
Let's just set the record straight: while the maggots soon to be consuming Ronald Reagan's buried corpse are indeed "a force of nature," his "aura of optimism" was not.

Update: the wildfire threatening Reagan's former ranch is also "a force of nature."

Well, but seriously, though. What's the point of my writing these slanderous thoughts on a day when so many people are enjoying such wonderful memories of such a wonderful, cheerful, optimistic "man"?

For instance, here's a letter from a corpsophilic reader of CNN.com:
Annie from Raleigh, North Carolina:

President Reagan is my hero in so many respects. He was a good man who was secure in everything that he did because he was guided by his belief in what was right. As teenagers, we looked to him to understand what was true and good. His sense of humor disarmed us, his words embraced us when we tried to understand devastating incidents like the Challenger accident, his strength and convictions gave us courage, his quest for freedom for all peoples helped us understand what it truly means to be an American, and his love of this great nation inspired us.
His "words" "embraced" her when she "tried to understand" the Challenger accident. In other words, Annie from Raleigh, North Carolina, while watching a picture of an explosion on the television, felt vulnerable, sad, confused. Then, a dyed human head slathered in makeup appeared on the screen. Air flowed through an orifice in this head; the lips and tongue shaped the air to create word-noises. These noises "embraced" Annie.

However, here's what another reader has to say:
Lori from New York, New York:

I'm from a lower middle-class family that was negatively affected by the Reagan presidency. I was denied a guaranteed student loan for college, so I had to work two jobs to support myself. My parents had trouble finding work, and many benefits were cut to support military spending. I lost countless friends to AIDS because he refused to address the epidemic or fund low-cost drugs to control it. The 80's were a hard time for most working people.
Lori: a depressing name from a depressing, uncheerful, pessimistic place (New York) talking about uncheerful things like AIDS and drugs. Why does Lori hate America? Why does she have to talk about "hard time[s]" and "working"? (Doesn't she remember the funny, cheerful thing Reagan once said, that "It's true hard work never killed anybody. But I figure, why take the chance?" Isn't that funny? Cheer up, Lori.)

I wish Lori could go down to Raleigh, NC and sit down for a chat with Annie, who could explain to Lori that Reagan "was secure in everything that he did because he was guided by his belief in what was right." Isn't that so much more radiant, optimistic, and cheerful than talking about epidemics, drugs, work, and AIDS?

I say to Lori: If you know someone who has AIDS but isn't able to obtain low-cost drugs, just tell them to love the great nation more, smile radiantly, and focus their heart on what is true and good. (There's no reason to ruin everybody else's good time just because you're trying to endure horrible suffering!)


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