Tagged: Ronald Reagan

Remind me

Who would bother to determine whether a fictional narrative is historically accurate? Well, I’ll tell you. There’s a site (with the wonderful title “Information is Beautiful”) that, among other things, purports to assess the “accuracy” of Hollywood films. The unexamined assumption is that fictional narratives on screen should be “true.” Naive realism is foundation of such fake film criticism.

Random thought on the film “Sicario”: the Emily Blunt character is supposed to be the moral center of the film. The audience is expected to cathect to her “outrage” over breaches of the rule of law. Hence, the character should prevent the film from falling into the revenge-fantasy genre (e.g., Kill Bill, Inglourious Basterds, Django Unchained, etc.). Except for the fact that it does so in the final 25 minutes. Sicario is an utter mess.

It is worth recalling that foreign leaders attended Reagan’s funeral.

Right on track

High citation counts are more rewarding than a seat on Oprah’s couch.

Mr Trump is angry at Fox News again. It’s Donald Trump vs Rove News. Battle of the bottom-feeders.

Right-wing Republicans are planning to boycott the Pope’s speech in Congress because of his stance on climate change. The Pope’s call for Republicans to act on climate change is equivalent to Reagan telling Gorby to tear down that wall.

You put a lot of thought into your non sequitur: my reply to anyone who disagrees with me.

Under a cloud

During the Republican debate, various candidates invoked Ronald Reagan in his own temple. One could ask whether Mr Reagan is an effective bridge between the radical right of the 1950s and the radical right of today or whether he would be considered too moderate for the Republican red meat eaters of 2015/16?

Mr Reagan talked a radical game but in practice his policy enactments ignored the religious extremist segment of the Republican Party. An advocate of “freedom from government,” he barely pared the size of the national budget. He was more showmanship (see the carnival barkerish episode at the Berlin Wall) than substance. It’s very likely he was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease as early as his first term in office. In his book Ronald Reagan, The Movie, Michael Rogin documents the numerous instances in which Reagan confused the experiences of his film characters with his own life. Reagan’s honouring of SS officers at the Bitburg cemetery bespeaks, if nothing else, early onset moral dementia. Reagan’s second term was a disaster, overwhelmed by the spectacle of  the Iran-Contra scandal which made Oliver North (who fell on his sword for the “Gipper”) and Fawn Hall (the chief document shredder) household names. However, conservative pundits and their financers engaged in a campaign to make-over Reagan into a conservative FDR (whom Reagan had channeled and distorted in a 1987 speech on the “four freedoms”). The most effective — albeit empirically bogus — claim on Reagan’s behalf was that he had single-handedly ended the Cold War.

Reagan’s radicalism was more apparent in his effective demonisation of his political opponents. He was the first President to bring public political discourse down to the level of a street brawl. He activated and legitimated the most violent passions within an already deranged right-wing political culture. He was the House Un-American Activities Committee without the committee. If Reagan had not existed, there would be no Fox News, no Donald Trump, no Sarah Palin. This is his lasting legacy.

All that you dream

Male professional sports have always been supported by the bedrock of misogyny.

President Reagan loved dictators, counting Pinochet and Saddam Hussein as close friends. As a birthday gift for “Ronnie,” Nancy Reagan and her personal astrologer even hatched a plan to revive Generalissimo Franco during what can only be described as an occult ceremony.

100 years after the beginning of WWI, particularism is resurgent across Europe.

Dick Cheney is the Breitbart of conservative television.


Theodor Haecker was rightfully alarmed by the fact that the semicolon is dying out; this told him that no one can write a period [sentence containing several balanced clauses] anymore. Part of this incapacity is the fear of page-long paragraphs, a fear created by the marketplace – by the consumer who does not want to tax himself and to whom first editors and then writers accommodated for the sake of their incomes, until finally they invented ideologies for their own accommodation like lucidity, objectivity, and concise precision.

Theodor W. Adorno, “Punctuation Marks,” The Antioch Review, 48, 3 (1990): 303.

Suffer little children

During their calmer moments, Mr Reagan and Lady Thatcher believed Mr Mandela was an agent of World Wide Communist Domination, Inc.

Americans inherited their paranoia over sedition from the British though.

Online petitions are not exactly Cahiers de Doléances.

Didn’t Texas secede?

One thing that prevents Texas from seceding: the Dallas Cowboys wouldn’t be able to compete in the NFL anymore.