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BS: Reagan & Recreational Grieving Syndrome

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GUEST 10 Jun 04 - 08:44 PM
GUEST 10 Jun 04 - 08:55 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 10 Jun 04 - 09:23 PM
Amos 10 Jun 04 - 09:29 PM
GUEST 10 Jun 04 - 09:35 PM
GUEST 10 Jun 04 - 10:05 PM
freda underhill 10 Jun 04 - 10:29 PM
dianavan 10 Jun 04 - 10:49 PM
DonMeixner 10 Jun 04 - 10:59 PM
GUEST 10 Jun 04 - 11:19 PM
LadyJean 11 Jun 04 - 12:50 AM
Amos 11 Jun 04 - 12:59 AM
Ellenpoly 11 Jun 04 - 03:44 AM
Tracey Dragonsfriend 11 Jun 04 - 04:58 AM
Teribus 11 Jun 04 - 06:49 AM
Green Man 11 Jun 04 - 06:57 AM
jacqui.c 11 Jun 04 - 07:38 AM
Strollin' Johnny 11 Jun 04 - 07:57 AM
Amos 11 Jun 04 - 10:27 AM
Strollin' Johnny 11 Jun 04 - 11:03 AM
Amos 11 Jun 04 - 12:02 PM
mg 11 Jun 04 - 02:49 PM
CarolC 11 Jun 04 - 03:27 PM
CarolC 11 Jun 04 - 03:30 PM
jack halyard 11 Jun 04 - 06:54 PM
Peace 11 Jun 04 - 06:58 PM
Peace 11 Jun 04 - 06:59 PM
Deckman 11 Jun 04 - 08:25 PM
GUEST 12 Jun 04 - 09:58 AM
CarolC 12 Jun 04 - 10:22 AM
GUEST,sushitune 12 Jun 04 - 10:48 AM
Fibula Mattock 12 Jun 04 - 02:21 PM
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Subject: BS: Reagan & Recreational Grieving Syndrome
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Jun 04 - 08:44 PM

Beloved, great leader or recreational grieving?

Here are some excerpts of an article that explains what I mean by 'recreational grieving' (see also the Reagan Rapture thread):

Report slams 'recreational grieving' trend
Ostentatious displays of public mourning such as the outpouring of grief in Britain after the 1997 death of Princess Diana have become a "cheap emotional fix" replacing real emotion, according to a new report.

The report by leading political think-tank Civitas says people are kidding themselves in the way they display their sorrow.

It says the British have shed their traditional emotional reserve to indulge in "recreational grief" for dead celebrities and crime victims, so as to feel better about themselves.

This sort of "grief lite" was "undertaken as an enjoyable event, much like going to a football match", the Civitas group charged in an 80-page report.

Within days of Diana's death in a car crash in Paris, the streets outside Buckingham Palace in London were carpeted in thousands of floral wreaths.

A similar tumult of emotion was uncorked by the murders in 2002 of schoolgirls Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman, a case which transfixed the nation.

The mourning for Diana was indicative of an age "characterised by crocodile tears and manufactured emotion", the report's author, Patrick West, wrote.

He says the only statement people are making in mass grieving is what nice people they all are.

"Ostentatious caring allows a lonely nation to forge new social bonds," he said.

"Additionally, it serves as a form of catharsis."

He noted that immediately after her death, Diana's memory seemed likely to live forever.

"Yet, on the fifth anniversary of her death in August 2002, there were no crowds, tears or teddies. Diana had served her purpose. The public had moved on."

The murders of Holly and Jessica exemplified another phenomenon, the report said, that of "grief tourism", as busloads of visitors arrived in the schoolgirls' home town to show their sorrow.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reagan & Recreational Grieving Syndrome
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Jun 04 - 08:55 PM

And these are excerpts from a Washington Post article published in the wake of JFK Jr & his wife & sister-in-law's deaths in 1999:

Public death has become one of the binding American experiences, giving strangers something to talk about in a culture in which individuals are increasingly distanced.

"We are not a communal society in the way that we used to be," says Wanda Ruffin, an assistant professor of psychology at Hood College in Frederick, Md., who is working on a book on New Orleans jazz funerals and mourning. "We may not know our neighbor, but we know JFK Jr., so when he dies we want to be a part of that."

Now, more than ever before, society's mediators are the media. The 20th century brought television, which broke new ground in 1963 with the exhaustive chronicling of the assassination of President Kennedy. Now there is 24-hour cable news and the Internet and more ways for Americans to absorb the deaths of the notable and plug into the ritual.

It begins with news anchors coming in on their off-days or flying to the scene to take command of the story for their networks, the first sign that the story is really important.

Saturation TV coverage follows, and when there are no new facts to report, "experts" fill the void. The experts are pushed to push the envelope. They offer theories on the circumstances and causes of death. They perform pop psychology on the victims. They explore the "larger lessons" for society. The search for metaphors is constant: It's like something out of "Macbeth" or "Richard III."

The public feeds off this commentary, and spontaneous debates erupt in office buildings and health clubs and living rooms, where people are keeping track of the latest developments and forming their own opinions. Did Kennedy's reckless urges finally do him in? Was the plane defective? What if he had left earlier in the evening, leaving more daylight for the flight?

Citizens rush to designated mourning sites – in this case so many sites: the John F. Kennedy Memorial on Cape Cod, the Kennedy Library in Boston, the Kennedy grave site at Arlington National Cemetery, the TriBeCa apartment building where John Kennedy Jr. and Carolyn Bessette Kennedy lived. They toss bouquets and cards, and they stare or they cry.

Ministers incorporate messages of healing in their church services. The tributes – and not particularly from the ministers – quickly turn to deification because that is also part of the American ritual, to go way, way over the top. As television critic Howard Rosenberg wrote in the Los Angeles Times, young Kennedy, like Princess Diana, "appears destined to be closely scrutinized, glorified and celebrated far more in death than in life when to most Americans he was less a widely beloved national figure – regardless of what you're hearing now – than a good-looking celebrity with a famous name."

Then come the funerals and memorial services and the televised shots of solemnity – family members dressed in black, wearing dark glasses, dabbing their eyes. The TV narrators speak in hushed tones . In the case of Kennedy and his wife, Carolyn, whose body also was recovered yesterday, a private Mass is being planned for tomorrow morning at the Manhattan church where his late mother worshiped.

For those not invited to the services, modern technology is marvelous. It heightens the ability to grieve en masse. The Internet has become a giant Hallmark card. As of yesterday evening, more than 20,000 prayers and condolences for the Kennedys and the Bessettes had been posted on American Online message boards. And that is not the first time for this kind of thing. "In the case of Princess Di," says AOL spokeswoman Regina Lewis, "we printed them out and gave them to the family."


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Subject: RE: BS: Reagan & Recreational Grieving Syndrome
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 10 Jun 04 - 09:23 PM

Don't know who Patrick West is, but I'd like to shake his hand. What's happening to us?


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Subject: RE: BS: Reagan & Recreational Grieving Syndrome
From: Amos
Date: 10 Jun 04 - 09:29 PM

Easy enough, I think -- we are having our importances and priorities set for us by network executives and are accepting greatnesses independent of our own experience of people. A lemming race which is steered not by the individual measure of another person, but by the number of exposures that name can claim. Listen to any name-dropping contest -- what makes an impact is the degree of fame, earned or not, with which one can claim any link or association, not how wise one's own parents were, or how kind a cousin was, or how well-finished a piece of hand-made cabinetry.

Thanks to the media we have entirely confused the merit of virtue or magnitude of spirit with the ratings of fame, Nielsen ratings, and media-clicks.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Reagan & Recreational Grieving Syndrome
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Jun 04 - 09:35 PM

This is a quickie review of West's book I found online:

We live in an age of conspicuous compassion. We sport empathy ribbons, send flowers to recently deceased celebrities, weep in public over murdered children, apologize for historical misdemeanors, wear red noses for the starving, go on demonstrations to proclaim 'Drop the Debt' or 'Not in My Name.'

We feel each other's pain. We desperately seek a common identity and new social bonds to replace those that have withered in the post-war era - the family, the church, the nation and neighborhood. Mourning sickness is a religion for the lonely crowd that no longer subscribes to orthodox churches. Its flowers and teddies are its rites, its collective minutes' silences its liturgy and mass.

This book's thesis is that such displays of empathy do not change the world for the better: they do not help the poor, diseased, dispossessed or bereaved. Our culture of ostentatious caring is about projecting your ego, and informing others what a deeply caring individual you are. It is about feeling good, not doing good, and illustrates not how altruistic we have become, but how selfish. And, as Patrick West shows in this witty but incisive monograph, sometimes it can be cruel.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reagan & Recreational Grieving Syndrome
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Jun 04 - 10:05 PM

And I nicked excerpts of this one (in a similar vein of "what are we coming to?) from the Aussies:

THE 2003 NATIONAL TRUST HERITAGE LECTURE

presented by

Don Watson

...Around the time of the Paris Commune, Flaubert wrote a letter to George Sand, in which he said that he'd suddenly become aware that all his life he'd been indignant. He said he was indignant in his marrow. He said indignation held him up and drove him along. His indignation just then was understandable. He couldn't stand the philistine bourgoisie and the idea of a philistine and stupid proletariat replacing them was just too horrid to think about. But Flaubert's protest was more than indignation, or rather I'd suggest a definition that takes in more than annoyance or pique.

Let's say indignation is a hopeless entanglement of thought and feeling, of mind and emotion. It's when we feel displaced by someone or something, unable to recognise what was once familiar or the authority of those who are now telling us what to do. Old people and children and those who never grow up particularly suffer from indignation.

Around the time of the Second World War, Simone Vale asked herself what sort of society would develop when economic necessity ceased to be the dominant force in ordinary life. Vale thought that some form of socialism was likely to bring this about. She was mistaken. A little bit of socialism brought it about but a lot of the free market brought it about for a fair proportion of the population.


In any event, Vale answered a question by saying that, freed of the necessity to put food on the table, people would retreat to a world of the emotions and she didn't want to live in such a society. She said there could be no good society where there is no life of the mind as well as the emotions; that the mind had a place equal to the heart's. She said the pursuit of some ideal was necessary.

The sort of society she imagined seems to me broadly to describe the society that's now emerging in Australia. We thrive on celebrity and the emotions of celebrities, on public grieving, on reality television, on all the varieties of narcissism that anyone ever thought of and some that have never been thought of till now.

And somewhere in that is some kind of confirmation (this seems to be a very French evening), a sort of confirmation of what De Tocqueville said when he was in America, that in democratic communities imagination is compressed when men think of themselves. It expands indefinitely when they think of the State. This, by the way, is not a socialist argument. It's about the individual thinking beyond his own interests – to God (some time ago), to patriotism (for a while) or to the interests of others.

_______________________________________

It is my contention that the Reagan recreational grievers and grief tourists who make up this current mass media Reagan propaganda film, believe they are reaching towards God and patriotism, when all they are really doing is playing their bit parts, as assigned by the mass propagandists of the Republican American Way.

Does anyone else get the feeling that Orwell is turning over in his grave about now?


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Subject: RE: BS: Reagan & Recreational Grieving Syndrome
From: freda underhill
Date: 10 Jun 04 - 10:29 PM

kids are hooked on reality Tv, people are hooked on celebrities. I went to a talk about freedom of the press this week, at which a number of journalists of different backgrounds and political opinions spoke. Some of them mentioned the attitude of their editors to certain topics (such as reporting on a finding a month ago by the Human Rights Commission that our Prime Minister was guilty of the abuse and torture of refugee children held in detention). They would be told "that's too gloomy - people don't want to hear about that".

but yes, people do want to feel gloomy, its just that the media controllers want them to feel gloomy about the right things, about those events which will distract them from current political realities.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reagan & Recreational Grieving Syndrome
From: dianavan
Date: 10 Jun 04 - 10:49 PM

Now I know why I always feel slightly nauseated by a public outpouring of grief. Its not real emotion. Its only a way to make the mourners feel as if they are good people.

Of course there are exceptions. I was in high school the day Kennedy was shot. Now there was real grief! Ever seen 500 teen-agers completely silent or crying? I always wonder if their disillusionment and disappointment wasn't the beginning of the 'tune in and drop out' movement. It certainly shattered our sense of security.

I think the grief expressed at the loss of Lady Diana was also sincere.

Nobody I know, ever thought Reagan was anything more than a cheap stand-in for the real power behind the presidency. He was the most unpresidential of any president. He mocked the people of the U.S. and everything the U.S. stood for. I can only imagine that the people grieving were too young to remember or too old to remember. The rest were just Republicans using Reagan's death as a campaign stunt.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reagan & Recreational Grieving Syndrome
From: DonMeixner
Date: 10 Jun 04 - 10:59 PM

Getting tomorrow off with pay is the first positive benefit I have personally recieved of his presidency.

Don


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Subject: RE: BS: Reagan & Recreational Grieving Syndrome
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Jun 04 - 11:19 PM

My bro-in-law works for the USPO, and says the same thing Don!

I agree with some of the things that West, et al are saying about the recreational grieving thing. I disagree, dianavan, that the Princess Di thing was genuine. I think it is the first time we saw it on a such a large scale throughout the Anglo world, is all. I thought the JFK Jr thing wasn't genuine, but pretty sick in a prurient, voyeuristic sort of way.

These are examples of a phony sort of grief that is a mile wide and an inch deep, but one that allows someone participating in it to vicariously become part of the communal drama.

I don't consider them to be the same as genuine communal grief, like with the Kennedy assassination, or 9/11, or the Madrid bombings, that sort of thing. Even though there are plenty of sickos who make money, become notoriously attached to the story, or otherwise and get social cache out of attaching themselves to it.

I view it the way I view a fairly common phenomenon among adolescents when someone dies, and they narcissistically try to interject themselves into the grieving and mourning ritual drama by claiming to have been good friends, or somehow attached to the deceased, when they really weren't.

I'm pretty cynical about this Reagan grief though. As Bobert pointed out in another thread, the networks ought to start billing the RNC and Bush/Cheney campaign for the coverage, which is looking like a week long Republican campaign commercial.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reagan & Recreational Grieving Syndrome
From: LadyJean
Date: 11 Jun 04 - 12:50 AM

When Tolkien died, I felt as though I'd lost someone dear to me, ditto Patrick OBrien. But my grief remained private.   The Kennedy asassination tore the heart out of our country. My parents were good Republicans but they grieved too.
Ronald Reagan apparently left plans for his own funeral, and modeled it on Kennedy's, which I find seriously revolting.

The good news is this time next week everyone will be talking about someone else, and nobody but his family will remember that there was a Ronald Reagan.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reagan & Recreational Grieving Syndrome
From: Amos
Date: 11 Jun 04 - 12:59 AM

A lot of the parts of the funeral -- the boots and riderless horse, the caisson, for example -- are standard parts of a full military honors funeral at Arlington. Any Commander in Chief would receive them in his ceremony.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Reagan & Recreational Grieving Syndrome
From: Ellenpoly
Date: 11 Jun 04 - 03:44 AM

Really interestiing thread. I'm pretty much in agreement to what has been written here by GUEST and most others.

I'm going to read this all again now..xx..e


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Subject: RE: BS: Reagan & Recreational Grieving Syndrome
From: Tracey Dragonsfriend
Date: 11 Jun 04 - 04:58 AM

Aha... 'recreational grieving'! So THAT's what it's called. Yes, where did this new and distateful trend for public weeping & wailing come from? It really does seem like a way of showing off to me - nothing to do with real feelings at all. Yuck. Maybe it's part of this whole trend towards vicarious feeling we seem to be having at the moment, what with reality TV & the cult of celebrity being so popular & all.

My theory is that it's a reaction to the fact that any real sense of community or "tribal" identity is pretty much gone. People don't have so many real people around them to relate to or care about, so they develop emotional attachments to people they've never even met.

Sounds plausible, but I'm no psychologist - whaddya think?

Cheers
Tracey Dragonsfriend
Scorch's Pyrography


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Subject: RE: BS: Reagan & Recreational Grieving Syndrome
From: Teribus
Date: 11 Jun 04 - 06:49 AM

Amos,

One thing I noted about the "ceremmonial" - any idea why the arms borne not reversed?


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Subject: RE: BS: Reagan & Recreational Grieving Syndrome
From: Green Man
Date: 11 Jun 04 - 06:57 AM

If all this was happening for Ray Charles I could understand it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reagan & Recreational Grieving Syndrome
From: jacqui.c
Date: 11 Jun 04 - 07:38 AM

To some extent I agree, Green Man.

Reagan was 93 and had effectively been out of the public eye for a long time. Was it expected that he would live forever? Of course it's sad for his family but for the rest of us? Ray Charles was 73 and had been performing up to very recently, I believe. I was touched by his death as with the deaths of many musicians and authors whose works I have enjoyed. It certainly isn't enough, though to make me go into mourning for them.

It seems that celebrity has become the new 'religion'. People pore over every little detail that's published and are always avid for more. What's the betting that, at some time soon, there will be articles uncovering the 'downside' of Reagan's life with reporters turning over every stone for all the salacious details they can find. And the people who are 'mourning' his passing will be reading those accounts just as eagerly.

What seems to be missing today is compassion. I didn't particularly like Diana but I felt for her sons when she died. In the same way I feel for Nancy Reagan, who is obviously heartbroken by the death of her husband. They are the ones who deserve to be thought of, as is the case in any death, whatever one's opinion of the deceased or the survivors. I agree that the outpouring of grief is very much a case of 'look how nice I am'. Then those people go on their way without any real thought for the survivors, who are quite often left to pick up the pieces without any real support.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reagan & Recreational Grieving Syndrome
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 11 Jun 04 - 07:57 AM

Tracey and Jaqui C between them have got it about right - there's a huge difference between compassion and grief. Unfortunately the modern-day love affair with Celebrity has caused many to confuse the two.

I feel the same compassion for Reagan as I would for any human being who suffered Alzheimer's, but I don't feel grief for him. I feel compassion for anyone who suffers in this life, or dies, or is affected by the suffering and death of others, but it's not grief.

My grief is reserved for those who truly deserve it, who made me who I am - my wife, my children, my parents, my sister, my other close family, friends and colleagues.

J


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Subject: RE: BS: Reagan & Recreational Grieving Syndrome
From: Amos
Date: 11 Jun 04 - 10:27 AM

Yes, where did this new and distateful trend for public weeping & wailing come from?

Well, keening and wailing at wakes and funerals has been a proud tradition for centuries amongs the Irish, and the public rending of garments and tearing out of hair accompanied by loud protestations of grief is an ancient Greek tradition, just to name two. So I don't think it is just a new and distasteful trend. The stiff-upper-lip school, essentially Anglo and Victorian, I think, is a fairly recent invention. It would make an interesting study what indigenous cultures do with their grief -- let it out or keep it in.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Reagan & Recreational Grieving Syndrome
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 11 Jun 04 - 11:03 AM

But, Amos, is it grief? How can someone weep and wail, rend their garments and tear out their hair (O that I had some to tear out!) for the death of a flickering TV image (which is all these celebrities are to the vast majority of people)?

It's just a form of Rain-Dance, or Fertility-Ritual, or some other Tribal festivity. They're not truly grieving, just saying "Look guys, I'm here and I'm one of you".

IMHO :0)


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Subject: RE: BS: Reagan & Recreational Grieving Syndrome
From: Amos
Date: 11 Jun 04 - 12:02 PM

I concur, Johnny -- it isn't personal grief, it's Token Grief. The more we are defined by our communication channels, rather than by our choices and actions, the more real experience gets replaced by Token Experience and Media Meaning takes the place of personal meaning.

I find it very offputting to watch this trend over the decades since TV was first introduced. But it was going on earlier, with radio and movies defining the pattern as well. But it is dehumanizing in a sense and certainly erodes any values at the individual center.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Reagan & Recreational Grieving Syndrome
From: mg
Date: 11 Jun 04 - 02:49 PM

oh heavens..I am as mystified as anyone why the coverage is so excessive (in my opinion) and the rituals are also excessive for an older president who has been dying for 10 years. But who is anyone here to say whose grief is or isn't real? Now we have grief police? I can certainly understand the Lady Di thing, and John Kennedy's death, in conjunction with other tragedies of his family. I don't understand the Reagan thing, except to say I probably seriously misunderestimated him. No one is going to stand in line for hours and hours to have fake grief I don't think........what emotions people have are real to them. The media could not manipulate this. I am sure their executives would far rather be running Taxi reruns etc.

mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Reagan & Recreational Grieving Syndrome
From: CarolC
Date: 11 Jun 04 - 03:27 PM

I don't necessarily disagree with anything the authors of the previously mentioned articles and reports have said about this idea about a "recreational grieving" trend. But the fact that these reports were written by "think tanks" brings up another trend that I find disturbing. The whole idea that we need to have "think tanks" to do our thinking for us is even more disturbing to me than the idea that we need to use the deaths of celebrities as a way of experiencing emotions.

Maybe next we'll be hiring people to live our lives for us.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reagan & Recreational Grieving Syndrome
From: CarolC
Date: 11 Jun 04 - 03:30 PM

Oh, yeah and since I'm already guilty of a bit of thread drift, I think I'll just throw in another trend that I find disturbing.

Last week, I saw a great huge motor home towing a HUMMER.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reagan & Recreational Grieving Syndrome
From: jack halyard
Date: 11 Jun 04 - 06:54 PM

There's a large number of people whose deaths have impacted upon me far more meaningfully that a fearsome and dangerous US president.
It seems good to me to remember that this is a US election year and the US right wing and the military industrial complex need a major event to re-bond after the recent horrifying revelations of duplicity and state sanctioned savagery. It does not surprise me that Margaret Thatcher- Attilla The Hen from Number ten- was one of the eulogists.
The tragic thing is the extent to which the state and the mass media have dragged the American people into this piece of propagandist theatre. It's got too much in common with Stalin's funeral to be comfortable with.
                               Jack Halyard


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Subject: RE: BS: Reagan & Recreational Grieving Syndrome
From: Peace
Date: 11 Jun 04 - 06:58 PM

I am reminded of a short story by Ray Bradbury. (Title escapes me.) In the story, everyone was handicapped so that no one could think 'better' than anyone else; no one could jump higher, etc. I think that is beginning to happen in our world.

Reality TV is a misnomer. These fu#kin' stupid survival shows are a joke. (My idea for one involves putting twelve people on a small island with no food or shelter. Give each contestant a knife. Come back in a year. The person remaining alive wins the million. My idea was rejected by all the networks. (Actually, I never sent the idea in--didn't want to waste the e-mail.))

Am I the only 'catter who feels that people are being conditioned by media? Just curious.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reagan & Recreational Grieving Syndrome
From: Peace
Date: 11 Jun 04 - 06:59 PM

Sorry for the thread drift. I do not mourn Reagan's passing. (I don't rejoice in it either.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Reagan & Recreational Grieving Syndrome
From: Deckman
Date: 11 Jun 04 - 08:25 PM

Carole C ... I wonder what you would have said if that Hummer had a bumper sticker that said: "LOOK AT THIS HUMMER!!!". Bob


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Subject: RE: BS: Reagan & Recreational Grieving Syndrome
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Jun 04 - 09:58 AM

Like I said earlier, I don't agree with everything the article claims to be true, and I have my suspicions about the motives of the author.

But I do believe there is a recent phenomenon we hadn't ever seen before the Princess Diana's funeral on TV with 24/7 coverage FOR DAYS. I do believe there have been times in the past (prior to TV and going back to the 19th century) where thousands of people actually come out of their homes, go on pilgrimmages (of sorts) to the destination of where the funeral of a renowned person is being held, or to a place they associate with the person who has died, and act out these ritual performances, in order to feel a part of the funerary drama.

But here in the US at least, the book of condolences around the country is new. Placing the flowers, votives, photographs, cards, and mementos as makeshift public memorials isn't new for all cultures, but it is only relatively recently I think, that it has worked it's way into the Anglo American mainstream to the point where it is today. It certainly wasn't part of the Anglo mourning process when I was growing up. But then, I didn't grow up with Anglo mourning rituals, so I guess I'll leave it to others who did, to comment upon that.

While I find the recreational mass grieving thing to be the equivalent of something like the mass unity of sports teams going to the World Series or something, ie here today gone tomorrow, I also understand that for some people, it must fulfill some desire for belonging to a tribe by participating in it's rituals. It is just a desire I know I don't have.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reagan & Recreational Grieving Syndrome
From: CarolC
Date: 12 Jun 04 - 10:22 AM

LOL Bob (Deckman)! Good question ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Reagan & Recreational Grieving Syndrome
From: GUEST,sushitune
Date: 12 Jun 04 - 10:48 AM

Americans are first-class spinmasters. They thrive on theatrics and hyperbole. Politicians, a sub-specie, are addicted to a theatrics loaded with non sequitors which leads to torpor street, a candyland where up is down and the lamb eats the lion.
    The late Reagan was the ninth inning of the World Series, the Yanks trailing by a run, Jorge Posada (a painfully slow loper) the runner at third, the passed ball stopped in the dirt halfway to the backstop and the third base coach inexplicably mum.
    Freezing life there over and over again is essential for modern-day political ascension and continued success. Life for a great leader consists of small, dramatized sound bites to lull us into dreamworld. A dreamworld which dramatizes the neutral and chops up the commonplace events of modernity into points of crisis.
    Each crisis in return leads to a staged event displaying our royal sovereign sprinkling prowess and wisdom dust over the affectionate, do-nothing flock of dumbbells. And always this absurdity is set in a backdrop of army generals decorated with every heart imaginable doing their verbal gymnastics to make it perfectly obvious to the scum of this fetid planet just WHO is in charge.
    Every "May God bless America" announced by a President is just another shake of theatrics. It's boastful, its arrogant, it's insolent, it's presumptuous, it's immoral.....because Americans assume that they, and only they, are annointed and divinely blessed by the Creator.
    Let's leave the halftime shows for the gridiron, not the funeral of our leaders. We honor them most by serving society rather than deifying them for having served.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reagan & Recreational Grieving Syndrome
From: Fibula Mattock
Date: 12 Jun 04 - 02:21 PM

I love the term "mourning sickness" - fantastic!

I was quite disgusted at the fuss made over Diana's death. When did this whole tribute giving thing arise? It's one (traditional) thing to leave votive offerings at shrines or graves, but the whole flowers-and-teddies-at-the-scene-of-death seems quite recent in the UK, (and quite tacky too).


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Mudcat time: 13 April 4:00 AM EDT

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