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Black and White Photography, New York: Monday, June 07, 2004

"We need him now more than ever," a tearful woman says in a clip that runs over and over.  Wasn't that Nixon's slogan - "now more than ever?" 

Reagan's death has set cookie cutter news machines into full gear.  We have our hero again.

The clips play ad nauseum: "Mr. G. tear down this wall."

The more desperate the times, the greater the glory of our dead presidents.  Okay, that's fine.  The fellow who was once described as a "genial dunce" has now become a great intellectual.  I guess that happens at everyone's funeral.

I liked my uncle Morty very much.  But to hear him described as a "gentle soul" at his funeral  was a bit much.  I remember sitting in the chapel while relatives built him up into something he wasn't and wondered what that is all about - and that if Uncle Morty were sitting in the back watching, he would certainly have had an apt remark such as "what a bunch of bull."

Don't speak ill of the dead.

Why not?

It's the weaknesses, great and small, those that we've been able to overcome, and those that have overcome us, that define our lives. 

In other words, if you are a reporter and have any of the myriad of talking heads that knew Reagan - don't just ask - what was his greatest accomplishment.  You might ask, what do you think was Reagan's greatest failure?  But I assure you that if you utter those words you will not be seen on the tube again.

We switch to the scene of the D Day commemoration.  A young reporter is asking an old veteran about his memories of the invasion.

Reporter: How old are you, sir?

Veteran: I'm 83 years old.

Reporter: (baby boomer speak) You mean 83 years young.

Veteran: Up yours, buddy.

That is a clash of civilizations right there, and that is exactly what my uncle Morty would have said.

10:03:22 AM    


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