June 06, 2004

What Would the 80's Have Been Without Him?

"My heart and my best intentions still tell me that is true, but the facts and the evidence tell me it is not."

That sunny genial old faker, what would the 80's have been without him? (What would the 2000's have been without him?). In his own way he helped put a smiling face on support for things like death squads and fundamentalism, he helped make the world safer for hypocrisy (our hypocrisy, at least), and (according to so many eulogies in today's press) almost single-handedly won the Cold War. He wanted to be right on the big picture, and he nearly was, but with the little things -- all those inconvenient little facts that make up something approaching reality -- he never quite made it all add up. Not that that would have concerned him much.

It was always hard to dislike him as a person, if only because it was so difficult to work out whether he was a person (rather than a celebrity or cipher).


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