Sunday, February 6, 2011

Railing Against Reagan Again...

Railing Against Reagan Again...

Today would have been Ronald Reagan's 100th birthday. There has already been a flood of stories about the man, an icon among conservatives and more generally an embodiment of the right-ward shift that took place in the U.S. in the 1980s.

He really was a terrible president.

But that's not going to stop people from telling their favorite Reagan myth. Be it dealing with the War on drugs, the beginning of the AIDS epidemic or the destruction of urban policies. The bastard was just awful and I have no idea why the media makes a narrative out of his potential 100th birthday.

I do have to wonder.. Reagan's dead. Why the fuck do we have any attention about his birthday? Is this the right wing republicans attempt to get a national holiday going for it? I mean, had he lived, he would have been 100 today.. Woop dee do. Do we do this for any other president? How old would George Washington would have been? Just because he would have been something doesn't make it meangingful.. I mean, it's not meaningful to him.

I would love to dig up his corpse and give him a pepper spray enema. But again, much like if he was alive, he would not remember a single thing about it. We should dig up his body and dump it into the potomac.

If it were possible to bring the dead back to life, it would be immoral to not bring Reagan back and make him suffer for his crimes.

Many people and corporations are just attempting to preach his holy Warhawk supply-side gospel to a new generation, they must be proven wrong with Reagan's ultimate weakness, facts and studies!

I better get used to it. This year everyone's favorite President is going to be the subject of a biopic. You better reserve tickets now!
He was the US president who oversaw the end of the cold war and the rise of the Aids epidemic, a ferocious anti-communist during the McCarthy era who nevertheless referred to his darling wife, Nancy as "Mommie". Now the story of Ronald Reagan is set to be told on the big screen for the first time, in what looks likely to be a sympathetic biopic.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the film Reagan will be based on two bestselling biographies of the 40th US president by Paul Kengor: God and Ronald Reagan and The Crusader. No casting decisions have yet been made, and there is no director on board. The project does, however, have a $30m (£19m) budget in place.

Producers have been keen to distinguish their project from the most recent effort to portray the life of the former president on screen, the 2003 miniseries The Reagans. US television network CBS dropped the 180-minute piece, starring James Brolin as Reagan, amid protests from conservative figures. It was eventually shown on a sister network. The casting of liberal Brolin as the president angered some commentators, as did some of Reagan's dialogue. At one point, during a conversation about Aids, the president turns to his wife and says: "They that live in sin shall die in sin."

"Only in Hollywood could you make an insulting, condescending movie about a much-loved historical figure, hire an actor who loathes the man, watch it flop and then somehow conclude that Americans don't want to see a movie about him," one of the producers of the forthcoming film Mark Joseph told the Reporter. "I watched Americans line up and wait for 10 hours for the simple privilege of passing by his closed casket. They love this man."

Jonas McCord, screenwriter of 2001 Antonio Banderas thriller The Body, wrote the script. He said he had been disinclined to take on the project until he researched Reagan's childhood, which he described as "a surreal Norman Rockwell painting with his alcoholic Catholic father, devout Christian mother, Catholic brother and ever-changing boarders the family took in".

McCord's tale begins with the 1981 attempt to assassinate Reagan, and tells the rest of his story through flashbacks and flash-forwards. The film is being scheduled for arrival in cinemas late in 2011.
Let's just focus on the most interesting aspect...
....tells the rest of his story through flashbacks and flash-forwards.
Would you look at that, it'll be just like it was in real life. Though I can't get behind this shit..
"I watched Americans line up and wait for 10 hours for the simple privilege of passing by his closed casket. They love this man."
Not sure if this guy knows this, but many were just making sure he was actually really dead.

I really hope this is two hours of Reagan eating jellybeans while a line of gay men behind him slowly get sick and die. It should be noted that the screen writer for this fine film also directed a Tales from the Crypt episode.

I guess I shouldn't be so cynical. I'm sure it'll be a well researched biopic and will delve into Iran-contra and his support of right-wing terrorists.... I'm sure it'll be the highest-grossing film ever to have a sex scene that includes the word "Mommie" in it.

Ah well.. Blue Velvet has had a good run.




I do wonder if the reality of Ronald Reagan's presidence will ever be a popular narrative? Like, will the public wake up from this circle jerking that we do for his image and realize how much of a monster he really is.

I find that if you try to argue the reality of his presidency you would be accused of historical revisionism and eventually just give up.

Though I guess I'll be happy enough if they did this film like they did Momento. It would also fit with Reagan's actual experience. Yes, we should totally do this like Momento as a comedy/farce.

It's scary that I keep hearing on NPR on how much Obama is using Reagan as a positive character study. Why?! It's incredible how a man as evil and incompetent as Reagan was so quickly venerated. he was so unbelievably popular when he was President and I'll never understand why. Oh wait, it must have been his smile.

You want to hear something truly disturbing? Here's Ira Glass talking about Ronald Reagan. Just listen to the part where they go to the Ronald Reagan Library and have children reenact the invasion of Grenada. It's pretty disturbing.

You know those things that happen in history that are just sort of incomprehensible from a present perspective? The American congress passing the fairness doctrine is one of those things.

I should track down the press conference transcript where they're joking about if the president has aids during the aids epidemic. Till I do, here's this lovely anecdote
I told one of my students that the most memorable Reagan AIDS moment for me was at the 1986 centenary rededication of the Statue of Liberty. The Reagans were there sitting next to French President Francois Mitterand and his wife, Danielle. Bob Hope was on stage entertaining the all-star audience. In the middle of a series of one-liners Hope quipped, "I just heard that the Statue of Liberty has AIDS but she doesn't know if she got it from the mouth of the Hudson or the Staten Island Fairy." As the television camera panned the audience, the Mitterands looked appalled. The Reagans were laughing. By the end of 1989 and the Reagan years, 115,786 women and men had been diagnosed with AIDS in the United States, and more than 70,000 of them had died.
Though I think the most surprising thing about that is what a shithead Bob Hope was. But anyway, here's a quote from the press conference.
October 15, 1982: AIDS is first mentioned in the White House when reporter Lester Kinsolving asks Ronald Reagan's press secretary, Larry Speakes, if the president is aware of the "gay plague", which the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has just declared an epidemic after 600 cases and 200 deaths. Speakes jokes, "I don’t have it — do you?", garnering laughter from the press corps.
It makes me feel a little better that in Reagan's last years, he was probably uncontrollably shitting and pissing himself, trapped in his own degrading mind and more than likely terrified of being at the final steps into oblivion. That he even turned on his own flesh and blood (Ron Jr.) is the icing on the cake.

It's not just that he did terrible things as an actor, a governor and during his presidency. Sure enough he did all of those terribly. But he's poisoned our waters forever, giving credibility to ideas that should never been met with universal scorn.

And yet Ronald Reagan has one of the most visited presidential libraries and has a foundation going around getting his name put on new highways and libraries

But hey, let's remind you, dear reader, why Reagan is such a terrible person..\

Reagan and The Fairness Doctrine:
In 1987 the Supreme Court ruled that the fairness doctrine was not mandated by congress and therefor unenforceable by the FCC. In 1987 both houses of Congress voted to make The Fairness Doctrine law and therefor enforceable. Reagan vetoed it and killed it.

Reagan and the metric system: A time line.
1975: The Metric Conversion Act of 1975 (Public Law 94-168) passed by Congress and the U.S. Metric Board is created.
1979: The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (BATF) requires wine producers and importers to switch to metric.
1980: The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (BATF) requires distilled spirits producers and importers to switch to metric.
1982: Reagan disbands U.S. Metric Board and fires everyone associated with it.

Reagan and Gun Control
*Reagan supported and signed a 15-day waiting period when he was governor of California. He then blamed it on the Democrats.
*Reagan supported and signed a law "prohibiting the carrying of loaded firearms on one's person or in a vehicle, in any public place or on any public street." The law was aimed at stopping the Black Panthers after their march on the California State Capitol, but affected all gun owners. He then blamed it on the Democrats.
*Reagan supported and signed a ban on the transfer of new manufacture fully automatic firearms while president and blamed it on the Democrats.
*Reagan vocally supported the Brady Bill and the Assault Weapons Ban after his presidency in the early 90s. Which were then blamed on the Democrats.

Iran-Contra treason.
Lied about it.
Likely encouraged Iran to keep US Embassy hostages until he was into office.

Supply-side economics.
National debt tripled.
$12 billion trade surplus --> $100+ billion trade deficit.
Deregulated savings and loans, precipitated huge economic crisis.
Tax raiser.
Taxed the poor, cut taxes for the rich.
SDI "Star Wars" boondoggle.
Military spending increased to match imaginary spending in USSR.
Deregulation caused oil bust.
Broke air traffic control union.

Gutted social welfare.
Release of mental patients without recourse, homeless population up.
Ignored AIDS crisis.
Abstinence-only sex education.
Strengthened ATF, banned automatic weapons, blamed Democrats for it.
Increased spending for War on Drugs.
National drinking age of 21.
Underfunded NEA.
EPA Superfund grants manipulated to help Republicans in local elections.
Deregulated kids' tv, initiated 22 minute toy ads.
Killed energy programs.
Crack in the ghettos. (? Due to support for Contras and Noriega?)

Wars all over Central America, incl Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras.
Promoted Iran-Iraq war.
Sent Marines into Beirut, abandoned mission after terrorist bombing.
Broke detente with USSR until Gorbachev personally made things better.
Backed Contras in drug running schemes.
Supported right-wing dictators and movements everywhere, including:
Apartheid regime in SA.
Marcos regime in Phillipines.
Saddam Hussein and Baathist regime in Iraq, even after Kurds gassed.
Taliban in Afghanistan.
Manuel Noriega in Panama.
Augusto Pinochet in Chile.

Welfare queens.
Trees cause pollution.
Ketchup as a vegetable.

30+ convicted appointees.
Ed Meese at Justice, porn freak.
James Watt at Interior, idiot, corrupt.
William Casey at CIA, religious nut, strikes into Uzbekistan. (? Uzb part of USSR, maybe mean Afghanistan?)
HUD a corrupt mess in general.
Politicised CIA.
Robert Bork to SCOTUS (failed), segregationist and asshole.
Antonin Scalia, same but he got in.

Unfit to serve due to Alzheimer's disease by term's end.
Horrible excuse for a human being in general.
Neo-Conservative. (? Isn't neo-conservatism post-Cold War?)
Backed Moral Majority.
Pardoned Robert Walker, who went on to kill his wife.
Started presidential campaign at racist murder crime scene in Philadelphia, MS.
Laid wreath and made speech at SS cemetery in Germany.
Vietnam War a "noble cause."
Helped start right-wing noise machine. (? By promoting myth of liberal media?)
Hated sex, made Ron Jr. feel like a sissy and quit ballet.
Dumb as a stump.
Believed in astrology and used it to run government.
Innovated "talking points" cue cards.
"I don't recall" to weasel out of press questions.
Confused movies with reality.
Outlawed Russia forever, started bombing in five minutes.

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