So today I marked the passing of three icons by paying partial attention to the CNN broadcast on the TV in the far corner of the room while I enjoyed lunch at a downtown eatery with The Boys.
Gerald Ford, the last president before I became conscious of what presidents are.
James Brown, the godfather of soul. My appreciation of JB doesn’t go much beyond L.A. Style’s offering of the song from 1993, James Brown Is Dead (mp3). Do you like techno?
Saddam Hussein. Last night, in the midst of end of year celebratory activities my friend KT informed me that the news was showing the demise of Saddam. I immediately returned to the equally dissonant memory of a day (January 15?) in 1991 that I learned we had commenced bombing Iraq. I was on an educational immersion trip in Chicago and marched on Michigan Avenue the next day.
Curt at Can’t See the Forest makes the good point:
“Saddam Hussein’s regime was being enthusiastically backed by the Reagan administration at the time the Dujail massacre, for which Hussein has been hanged, transpired. The propensity for Washington commanders to overlook such inconveniences of record is keen and unfaltering...Happy coming New Year.
But Iraqis remember. Palestinians and Iranians remember. Only in America is history so easily and smugly rewritten, and only in America are the motivations of those in the Middle East who would wish our government ill so poorly grasped.”