Not making a difference since 2006. Blog motto: Always be sincere whether you mean it or not.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

I Was Sick And You Healed Me, I Was Separated And You United Me

So Gerald Ford has passed on. I wish him well whatever dimension he has attained. The comments on the news are coming fast and furious and are notable for an almost uniform vacuity. We are being told he healed and unified the nation. Funny, I never felt sick enough to need healing and I felt no more or less united after he became president.

I remember Nixon going and Ford being sworn in. He made a speech utterly forgetable other than for the line "I'm a Ford not a Lincoln." He was excoriated for pardoning Nixon. Even Teddy Kennedy is now saying that was a great move. Supposedly, if Nixon had been tried, we would have either had a civil war or gone into a national funk that would have been disastrous in those pre prozac days. Well, I for one would have liked to have seen Nixon tried. He was a fair lawyer and if he could have gotten a change of venue out of DC he would have made a show of it. Maybe, it was the political class that was healed and unified.

Yeah, they were dredging up anyone who could be relied upon to say something meaningless. Barney Frank said Gerry was the last of the Republican moderates. So who is the last of the moderates in your freakin' cargo cult, Barney. That would be Grover Cleveland and we shall not see his like again among the Dems.


Black Sea said...

I haven't read any of the article's on Ford's death (the boredom factor) but it neverthless reminds me of the eulogizing that surrounded the death of John Kennedy Jr. Of course, it's only polite to say kind words about the deceased. But the spectacle that surrounded the death of that bengin non-entity, John John, exemplified something about modern culture and the media that I'd probably be happier not thinking about.

I watched on TV one of Kennedy's contemporaries, who'd found some profitable niche for herself in journalism, carrying on with earnest sentimentality about what JJ had meant to "our" generation, meaning people of her and JJ's generation, which would also mean people of my generation.

Evidently, despite our shared generational experience, I'd grown up so far out of this self-referential loop that it had never occured to me that JJ's life or death meant anything of even passing significance to me. I guess I'd never realized how profoundly Jonh John had been influencing the course of my life from the age of three, when he saluted his father's passing casket.

I had nothing against the guy, but to the extent that I ever formed an impression of him while he was still alive, it was simply that of a handsome, high born, and perhaps well-intentioned mediocrity struggling to pass his bar exam, then trying to salvage an ill-conceived magazine. But who knows, maybe this really is the "spirit" of my generation.

I realize this is suposed to be about Ford, and I hope there's some connection. His presidency, and perhaps his life, was arguably that of a fairly decent (by political standards), fairly unexceptional man who, through historically bizzare circumstances, found himself for a time the unelected occupant of the White House. But you know, that's hardly sufficient to the day. His death presents the media, and those Washington remora fish who regularly appear on TV, the opportunity to inflate his signficance in pursuit of greater air time, a bump in the Neilsen ratings, and the passign illusion that any of this counts for much, or even means anything much, to nation.

Twenty-four hours a day is a lot of air time to fill.

tvoh said...

Let us not forget, it's a slow for news around this time of year.

John John was a guy Princess Di. Do we really want the People Mag types out of a job?