September 6, 2018

god damn you, people magazine

I spent a fair amount of time, back in 2008, calling John McCain a blithering fucking idiot what couldn't find his way out of a distended colon using a flashlight and a mission statement, on the sole basis that he delved too deep and summoned the Balrog dug Sarah Palin out of Alaska and set her loose like the Tasmanian devil free from its wooden crate, except ten jillion times more destructive.

And to tell the truth, I'm still somewhat miffed about that.  We'll be paying the price for several more decades.

Yet there I was, next in line at the register this evening, with two balloons in my hand for a co-worker tomorrow, one of those office celebration things, and I saw John McCain's face on the magazine stand, and unexpected tears welled up and I let them spill because some of his philosophies - and some of his doings in life - might have been utter shite, same as the rest of us, but he was still a good man, with integrity, and you always knew what you were getting.  Even if that thing was Palin.

I dreaded moving up in line and paying for the balloons, because the cashier saw me weeping at the People Magazine cover and probably expected me to start talking politics, and I might be right about that because I got some seriously peppy customer service and was quickly out the door, still sniffling a bit.

Remember our old friends?  Someone once showed one of them a picture of Dubyah, and he screamed in a perfect Smeagol voice, "Ahhhh!  Takes it away!  It burns us!  It freezes!"

I'm thinking of the Dallas memorial service and Dubyah dancing to the Battle Hymn of the Republic, and Michelle Obama finally just giving in and locking arms with him and swaying.

It used to be okay to hate a president's guts, skeleton, and skin, because it was safe to do.  I'm not referring to free speech.  It went beyond that.  Somewhere in there, they were still a president enough to take it, somehow.  You didn't have to like it, or them, but there was some basic functional capacity involved, and they got the job done.  The same applies for similar leaders.  And later, like in Dallas, there could be redemption; they could write books; they could open their eyes and learn, like Dubyah has; they could inspire others and move on to great things.

We didn't know how good we had it.

So now, I don't take a word back from ten years ago, because I meant them, Mr. McCain.  And tonight, I wept for you and for all of us, because you were one of the few remaining Best Of Us, and I mean that, too.

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