Sunday, June 06, 2004

Here's a quarter--call someone who cares

Ever since yesterday's Belmont Stakes ended--giving average Americans a much-needed reminder that there's no such thing as a sure bet--the television has become unwatchable. For as soon as the race was over, almost every station pre-empted its programs and went into sickening, syrupy Reagan tribute mode.

Granted, Reagan's death is on everyone's minds. At the club last night, the soundman's nightly "We're closed, so please leave now" speech referenced Bedtime for Bonzo. Nice touch.

But I can't stand this fuss. I haven't got a single nice thing to say about Ronald Reagan, and I'll be damned if his dying from Alzheimer's is going to change that. You honor a person because he deserves it, not because you feel sorry for him and his family for having to go through something so horrible. And Reagan deserves to go down in history as a traitor, not a hero.

How can I like a guy who turned our country against Jimmy Carter's energy-saving initiatives by describing conservation as "freezing in the dark"? How can I admire a person who tripled our national debt? How can I look up to someone who stole the 1980 election by exploiting the Iranian hostage crisis? And don't the words "Iran-Contra" mean anything to anyone?

I know this is going to be sickening. Look at the laudatory send-off we gave Nixon. All I can do is lie low for a few days and wait for it to pass...and hope that no major landmarks in my vicinity are named after the guy during this rush of misplaced adulation.