By Jim Boyer
As with many other aspects of society, we have entered a new era of behavior and social deportment. Funerals, memorials and the passing of notable figures will never be the same.
Washington – the celebrity-industrial complex
When Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States was assassinated, a three-week series of events mourned his death and memorialized his life. Funeral services were held in Washington D.C. and then at additional locations as a funeral train transported his remains for burial in his hometown of Springfield, Illinois. This extended event was a solemn rail bound procession made strictly to honor and memorialize the man who had taken on the task of preserving our republic, our united states.
103 years later the body of Robert Kennedy was transported from New York to Washington, also by train. Maybe as many as a million or more lined the tracks along the way. Because his coffin could not be seen from the ground, it was placed on chairs so it could be seen through the windows of the rail car.
It was reported that “thousands and thousands” of black people stood for hours in the summer heat to see the train pass. Arthur Schlesinger who was on the train and reportedly commented “Marvelous crowds” as he stared out the window. In response a longtime friend and aid to the Kennedys replied, “Yes, but what are they good for now?”
This prophetic comment laid dormant for 35 years until the memorial for democrat Congressman Paul Wellstone ushered in a new era of the political-celebrity-media complex.
The 2002 memorial for Wellstone degenerated into vulgar and unforeseen displays of vitriol and demagoguery. Marking the definitive end of the unity America experienced after the 2001 World Trade Center attacks, the most solemn of ceremonies became a venue for political speeches and vindictive diatribes.
The Wellstone memorial degraded to a political mosh pit when the partisan liberal crowd booed former House Judiciary Committee Chairman, Republican Henry Hyde, and humiliated him for having the audacity to enter the room to pay his respect. Though it was Paul Wellstone who was being memorialized, the event seemed to center around former president Bill Clinton who was glad handing amongst the crowd and trolling for accessible women.
Like a Las Vegas sales convention, networking and resume exchanging created a buzz amidst the political speeches blaring out from the stage. The only thing missing was a democrat voter registration booth – but that may be here before long.
The Paul Wellstone memorial became a distant memory, probably due to the fact that no significant opportunities presented themselves until August 2018 and the passing of Senator John McCain.
As a politically driven media tends to do, it has dragged the passing of a notable political personality into the gutter of partisan opportunism. The once solemn moments in the process of saying goodbye to loved ones and paying tribute to their lives has become an event with which to prop them up as a display mannequin and use their image for political pornography.
In the latest but ever escalating production of political sensationalism, John McCain’s personally designed memorial and funeral script worthy of the presidency he thankfully never attained, was played out over several days in an overdone attempt to rewrite history, create an image different from his real-life persona and somehow transform him from a left leaning Republican to a liberal icon praised and immortalized as a ‘maverick’ adored in death by the people who hated him in real life.
The propaganda potential provided by the death of a liberal politician has been forever etched into the psyche of the media and liberal movers and shakers. As happens in our celebrity driven society we have passed the point of no return. In the future we can expect to see glitzy production parades with golden caskets and Hollywood sets producing living murals complete with interactive historical speeches, campaign and issue driven signage, holographic images, organized protest marches and yes … the aforementioned voter registration booths strategically placed throughout the carnival of absurdity.
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