Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Nil nisi bonum

On the right, there has been much snarling and yowling about Glenn Greenwald's insistence on his right to speak ill of the recently deceased Margaret Thatcher. I would favor the bitten tongue and the show of civility, but for one thing: I can recall how the right reacted when Ted Kennedy died. And everyone knows how the Breitbartians would whoop and hollar if Obama or Bill Clinton or Jimmy Carter died tomorrow.

Civility is a two-way street.
On the right there continues to be snarling and yowling about our right to have an opinion that differs from theirs or to point out their hypocrisy.
The Right is invested in their usual myth making, turning Thatcher into the saint she never was, so she can sit alongside Saint Ronnie. I found yesterday's endless praise nothing short of nauseating. No, we shouldn't speak ill of the dead. But I don't find deifying politicians be they on the Left or Right particularly useful.

Yes, the commentary on Ted Kennedy was absolutely vicious. But then, the Right has always suffered collective amnesia to their own failing, lack of civility and reasoned discourse. More myth making. They're pros at it!

Greewnald's truth and right wing condemnation.

As he points out the right uses the passing of "them" to unleash the vitriol not caring one wit about truth, so why should we step back?

The Left is running out of cheeks to turn.
"One owes respect to the living, but to the dead one owes nothing but the truth." --Voltaire
It should be pointed that we haven't been British subjects since Thatcher and Reagan were teenagers.
Hard to beat Greg Palast's somewhat negative (ha!) piece on the occasion of Reagan's death, which included:

"Reagan was a con-man. Reagan was a coward. Reagan was a killer."

He received over 150 death threats.

I wonder if it isn't more a question of timing.

Say what you want, but wait until a) the body is colder, and b) laid to its final rest. THEN go to town.

That would be more polite and tasteful, not to pretend it would ever be welcomed or occasion less counter-hatred.

Greenwald seems to say BECAUSE their supporters go crazy with adulatory praise (exactly in this immediate post-death time), the detractors need to do so at the same time. Not sure that's true.

The "right" can go fuck themselves. My storehouse of civility is empty. When I heard the news that "The Iron Lady" had kicked it, I posted on every social network I have my dirty fingers in that she was now burning in Hell with Reagan - and I really hope I pissed people off in the process.
Greenwalds piece was very well argued. He said that hagiography was to be resisted for fear of the development of an enduring myth, like Ronny built lasting prosperity, or Ronny and Thatcher brought down the Soviet empire.

They didnt. Its a lie. But its a lie thats widely believed cos its repeated often without being corrected.

He also noted that when Chavez died no one made the same argument. The same papers which are claiming that its wrong to speak ill of the dead felt no such scruples. A situation made all the worse because Chavez himself thought that he was a victim of American black opps.

Whats striking to me is how many people are opposing the myth. Nice try but we remember the truth. You guys might believe your Ronny crap, but the Brits dont buy that Thatcher crap. We know that she was a class warrior who fought and won for her adopted class. The rich.

What Greenwald is saying is that "death etiquette" should not be a silencer of the truth. Since those who though Thatcher was a great leader don't hesitate to spew their lies about all the wonderful things she did, the actual truth should be put up to counter this. There should be no "cooling" off period for the truth

That said, I don't think any human being deserves the "ding dong the witch is dead" and "dancing on her grave" sorts of comments that I've seen all over the place. Stating unpleasant facts, however, should never be considered "bad taste".
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